Clean Beauty Products & Why You Need Them

Why do I need to buy clean beauty products? How many makeup & skincare products do I need to replace? What even IS clean beauty? Why should I care if my products are clean? Oh yeah, and where do I start????

Raise your hand if you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions because I definitely did. “Clean beauty” is definitely trending right now, and for good reason. But that doesn’t mean that it should be so dang complicated. Clean beauty should be as simple as the ingredient list and that’s why I put together today’s post. Breaking down everything you need to know in the simplest of terms and sharing all of my favorite clean makeup & skincare products.

beautycounter skincare, white blouse, holding clean beauty product
holding clean beauty product, charcoal face mask, clean skincare product

Clean Beauty Products & Why You Need Them

Here’s the thing. Understanding clean beauty and getting your head around the benefits of clean beauty products can be a little tricky. Instead of overwhelming you completely, I wanted to give you the information I personally found helpful when I decided to make the switch to using more clean beauty products & clean beauty brands.

Why You Should Consider Making the Switch to Clean Beauty

Women, on average, use 12 personal care and cosmetics products per day, which amounts to 168 different chemical ingredients! In contrast, men use an average of six personal care products, with an average of 85 different chemicals, on a daily basis. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons as to why seven women develop Hashimoto’s for every one man with the condition, perhaps the use of endocrine-disrupting chemicals may play a role.

If you take a look at the average American woman’s bathroom, you will probably find close to 100 personal care products, including hairspray, nail polish, lotion, shampoo, cleansers, makeup, and perfume. Most of the chemicals in these products have not undergone safety studies to verify their nontoxicity to humans, because most cosmetic chemists only test the chemicals on themselves to see if the products make them more aesthetically appealing.

The truth is that the skin is our largest organ, and its porous nature allows most of what it comes in contact with, to be absorbed. One study published in the American Journal of Public Health reported that 64 percent of chemicals found in drinking water were absorbed by the skin when it came into contact with the water. Some areas of the body, such as the underarms and genitalia, have been shown to have a 100 percent absorption rate, meaning that all of the chemicals that are placed on these areas are directly absorbed into the body!

source: Dr. Isabella Wentz

Clean Beauty Ingredients to Avoid

So what makes a skincare or makeup product “clean”? Even if you don’t have an autoimmune disease/Hashimoto’s like I do, chances are you can still benefit from eliminating your exposure to toxins – or at least decreasing the frequency of exposure. And that’s what clean beauty is all about.

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering to yourself, “okay cool – but where do I start?” While there are way too many chemicals present in beauty products to list them all, xenoestrogens are the most common components of commercial beauty products.

Xenoestrogens are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that mimic the effects of the sex hormone estrogen and include soy, BPA, phthalates, and parabens. The continued use and accumulation of these substances may lead to estrogen dominance and can have a profound impact on the immune system, adrenal health, and thyroid function. They can also cause birth defects, infertility, and cancers. Um. What the f&%k?!?!?

Ingredients to watch out for:

  • phthalates
  • triclosan
  • parabens
  • triclocarban
  • retinyl palmitate
  • retinol
  • PEG
  • ceteareth
  • polyethylene
  • DMDM hydantoin
  • formaldehyde
  • formalin
  • toluene
  • dibutyl phthalate
  • oxybenzone
Why I Started using Clean Beauty Products

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s – an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid (read more about it here) – a little under a year ago. In addition to eating a more nutrient-dense diet that not only fuels my body but supports my thyroid, I also sought out to find cleaner alternatives to my favorite supplement, skincare, and makeup products. What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in your body. A lot of skincare & makeup products are full of toxins and harmful ingredients that can trigger inflammation – and this is no bueno with an autoimmune disease.

Right after my diagnosis, I also made the decision to stop taking hormonal birth control (the pill). We are not trying to get pregnant – yet – but because I’ve been on birth control for 16+ years, I wanted to give my body a chance to get back to its normal hormone production. I’ve been off the pill for a little over six months and almost immediately started experiencing some of the symptoms I was warned about – the main one being hormonal acne. And let me tell ya – this freaked me out. I have never had acne before. Maybe a pimple here or there once a year but even before BC, I never experienced breakouts like I do now. One of the top suggestions by my doctor & nutritionist was to switch to cleaner skincare and makeup products.

My Go-To Clean Beauty Brand

I lost my entire makeup bag when we went to Lake Tahoe over the 4th of July last year. I was devastated. Literally – ALL of my makeup was in the bag. Brushes included. But when I tell ya timing is everything, I mean it. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s right before the trip and was already planning on slowly investing in some clean beauty products – and then bam, I had no choice but to stock up on all new makeup & skincare. After chatting with Jessica, I knew Beautycounter was the perfect place to start.

Clean beauty + safe ingredients. What’s not to love? Not only does Beautycounter choose the best organic, natural, sustainable and synthetic ingredients but over 80% of the ingredients in their products are natural or plant-derived. 

Every ingredient used in the formulation of their products is screened and assessed against 23 safety endpoints including carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, and reproductive and dermal sensitivities. 

And the best part? They prohibit the use of 1,800+ questionable or harmful ingredients when formulating their products through The Never List™. 



Why I Love It:

I apply this resurfacing peel every night before bed and now understand why it’s a cult favorite. With glycolic, malic, and botanically derived lactic acid, get ready to reveal a brighter, healthier looking, renewed complexion.


Why I Love It:

This mask is hands down one of my favorites for combatting my hormonal acne. It absorbs excess oil while also purifying, detoxifying, and clarifying the complexion. I apply 1-2 times per week and I don’t think I could love without it.


Why I Love It:

You might not think you need a Vitamin C serum but ya do. It’s that good. This ultra-potent 10% blend of two forms of vitamin C instantly brightens skin and helps reduce the appearance of existing dark spots, while antioxidant-rich turmeric and camu camu extracts help protect against new ones.


Why I Love It:

With a wide range of shades (V important if you ask me), this creamy concealer is one of my favorite clean beauty makeup products. I love the lightweight coverage it offers and how blendable and buildable it is. I use a lighter shade for under my eyes and a shade close to my skin tone to cover up those hormonal acne breakouts.


Why I Love It:

If there is one mascara you use, it should be this one. Not only does it lengthen the lashes but it wears all day long and gives me all the natural looking but long & elegant lash vibes that I crave.


Why I Love It:

You guys know I am no expert when it comes to eyebrows. I have no idea how to shape or pluck or fill in but I do know how to give them a little touch up thanks to this makeup bag must have. Simply swipe across the brows for an instant refresh and you’re good to go.

Where to Buy Clean Beauty Makeup & Skincare Products

In addition to Beautycounter, I’ve been really into the Sephora clean skincare range of products. They have a full section on their website dedicated to clean beauty products. You can filter your search by toggling on the “Clean at Sephora” filter – it makes shopping for clean makeup and clean skincare that much easier.



Why I Love It:

I have been seriously loving this cleanser lately. It truly smells like a spa day and for those struggling with hormonal breakouts, I have a feeling you’re going to love this stuff.


Why I Love It:

Toner, these days, is a girl’s best friend. Between maskne, hormonal breakouts and everything in between, I truly believe every girl needs a good toner in her arsenal and this one (another spa smelling potion) is the one you need.


Why I Love It:

I didn’t initially believe in a spot treatment but after using this First Aid Beauty gel, I am now a believer. It’s easy to use, compact and actually works. What’s not to love.



Why I Love It:

I’ll be honest, I haven’t always been a primer user. After doing some research, I finally decided it was time to add one into my routine and this Ilia priming serum was the first and last one I tried. It was that good. Lightweight and the perfect base for applying whatever look I want to rock that day.


Why I Love It:

Whew. I seriously love this stuff. On days when I don’t want to do an entire makeup routine, I apply a little bit of this highlighter under my eyes and on my cheekbones and I instantly look refreshed and glowing. It’s magical.


Why I Love It:

This is 100% my favorite bronzer – like of all time. The bronze is warm but not overpowering. The matte effect is beautiful and natural. It’s just so so good.