In case you’ve been living under a rock, the clean beauty movement is here, and here to stay. From celebs like Olivia Wilde backing safer cosmetics and skincare, to legal measures being taken to ensure our stores’ shelves get cleaned up, literally, the toxic ingredients hiding in mainstream products are being brought to light. Finally!

To give you an example of how behind the U.S. is when it comes to cosmetic policy, restrictions haven’t been updated since 1938 (before WWII when a lot of chemicals were added). Chemicals like phthalates, parabens, sulfates, etc. are likely being applied to your face and skin everyday thanks to the products that we’ve relied on for decades. And not to totally freak you out, but these ingredients go further than causing allergies. Some of the most toxic of the ingredients are linked to all sorts of serious health issues.

If you want to take inventory of your medicine cabinet, this is a helpful list of ingredients to ditch.

Luckily, big stores and brands are getting behind this movement, with pure products improving greatly in terms of quality and effectiveness. And being a beauty lover but also understanding that health trumps everything, I’ve made it my personal mission to find effective safe products and to toss the toxic ones. After lots of trial and error, here are the swaps worth investing in.


I’m a huge facemask fan; Sunday doesn’t feel right without one, so finding a clean option was crucial. I’ve been all about Herbivore’s Brighten ever since trying it, and appreciate this mask for a number of reasons: 1. It comes with a cute applicator. 2. You barely need any. 3. You can see results instantly. 4. It’s not messy (or an awful, weird color). This is an excellent once-a-week treat that evens out and brightens the complexion.


Even if I’m “not wearing makeup,” I’m wearing concealer under my eyes and around my nose. Since this is something I couldn’t live without, I’ve invested in quite a few. RMS proves to be the leader in multi-tasking while providing coverage. It’s light, but definitely lessens my under eye bags or red splotches—without drying me out like a lot of mainstream concealer


I’ve been a long-time Cetaphil girl, and though it’s a gentle, affordable option, it has chemicals. I’ve tried multiple clean cleansers since, and without a doubt True Botanicals is my fave. It doesn’t have an odd smell or texture like some natural versions do – it actually smells amazing – and it strips makeup without striping skin. Is it weird that I truly look forward to cleansing now?

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