Cleanical Skincare: The Solution to Greenwashing?
Cleanical Skincare is making waves: it's the new cutting-edge category, particularly popular among Gen-Z, that combines the terms "clean" and "clinical."
Mindful and skincare-savvy consumers are demanding eco-friendly products that have "formulated without" philosophies, but are powered by sustainably produced biotech ingredients and clinically-proven results. Consumers no longer have to choose between safety and science.
It comes at the perfect time; green-washing is rife with many brands labelling their products as “natural,” “organic,” “clean,” and “non-toxic," all of which have no legal definition or regulation that guarantee quality and safety. Cleanical skincare is the solution that ticks customer satisfaction for environmental and social impact, while giving great skin results.
To help with some of the labels within sustainability, we've rounded up the most common labels associated with cleanical skincare brands, and done the research fr you to help you navigate what's what.
Carbon Neutral: When a company has measured and reduced its emissions to zero using offsetting and reduction methods.
Reduced Carbon Footprint: A product's total greenhouse gas emissions and has achieved a reduction in emissions through mitigation practices.
Compostable: When a product's packaging is capable of decomposing naturally in a home compost or in an industrial compost environment, in a way that is not harmful to the environment and produces compost.
Recycled Packaging: When all or parts of a product's packaging are made from waste materials that have been recovered, reprocessed and converted into new materials.
Recyclable Packaging: When all or parts of a product's packaging is curbside collected and can be broken down into raw materials and repurposed so it can be used again. This does not guarantee that it will be recycled – always check locally.
Reusable Packaging: When a product's packaging is designed to be reused for the same use case. It's capable of being used repeatedly without impairing its protective function.
Upcycled: Some or all of the parts or ingredients of a product were converted from materials that would have otherwise been discarded. The existing materials or ingredients are reworked into new products.
Plastic-Free: When a product and its packaging do not contain plastic. The packaging must be manufactured from compostable materials, or other materials such as glass, wood or metal. Compostable bioplastics are not considered plastic.
Coral Reef Safe: When a product does not contain oxybenzone, octinoxate or nano-particles as they are known to be damaging to coral reefs and can lead to coral bleaching.
Organic Ingredients: A product contains some certified organic ingredients but is not certified as organic.
Vegan: The product contains no animal products – or derivatives of animal products – and none were involved in the production process.
Cosmos Standard Natural: Made from naturally sourced ingredients ingredients. Cannot contain: Animal testing, GM ingredients, Parabens and Phthalates, Synthetic colours, dyes or fragrances. They do not need to contain any organic ingredients.
Cosmos Standard Organic: 95% of the plant-based ingredients are organic. At least 20% of organic ingredients are present in the total formula (10% for rinse-off products). Cannot contain: Animal testing, GM ingredients, Parabens and Phthalates, Synthetic colours, dyes or fragrances. Manufacturing practices respect the organic standard
Cruelty-Free: The brand has signed statement that they or their suppliers don’t conduct, commission, pay for, or allow any tests on animals for ingredients, formulations, or finished products and won’t do so in the future. The brand has agreements in place with their suppliers that no animal testing is done at any stage
FSC-Certified: Forest Stewardship Council. FSC certification allows businesses and consumers to identify, purchase and use wood, paper, and other forest products made with materials from well-managed forests and/or recycled sources. Products come from a well-managed forest. All actors in the supply chain must hold Chain of Custody certification
Leaping Bunny: This gold standard gives you assurance that a company has made a genuine commitment to help end ending animal testing. Brands must meet rigorous criteria which apply globally and extend over and above laws governing animal testing and include ongoing independent audits. Only then can they display the Leaping Bunny logo.
Natrue Natural: NATRUE works for better regulation of natural and organic cosmetic products and advocates for an official definition of natural and organic cosmetics. If Palm oil is present it should be from a certified supply chain (RSPO or similar). At least 75% of a brand’s full product range should be certified. Products are free from ingredients of petrochemical origin. Products are free from GMOs. Products are free from synthetic perfumes and parabens. Products are free from microplastics – both solid microbeads and liquid polymers
Natrue Organic: NATRUE works for better regulation of natural and organic cosmetic products and advocates for an official definition of natural and organic cosmetics. 95% of natural ingredients or naturally derived ingredients must be certified organic. If Palm oil is present it should be from a certified supply chain (RSPO or similar). At least 75% of a brand’s full product range should be certified. Products are free from ingredients of petrochemical origin. Products are free from GMOs. Products are free from synthetic perfumes and parabens. Products are free from microplastics – both solid microbeads and liquid polymers.
Rainforest Alliance: The Rainforest Alliance certification seal indicates that a farm, forest, or tourism enterprise has been audited to meet environmental and social standards. Products such as paper and cardboard packaging are sourced from forests certified to the standard of the Forest Stewardship Council® and the business applying the seal is a member of the Forest Allies Initiative.
Soil Association Organic: Soil Association Certification offer assurance that a product has met strict organic or natural standards. Products must legally comply with the EU Organic Regulation. Meet any additional Soil Association standards based on industry. All actors of the supply chain must adhere to standards. For beauty products: at least 70% of (non-water) ingredients are certified organic.
B Corporation: B Corporation is a certification offered by B Lab, an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation. The certification assessed a company's social and environmental performance, from supply chain and input materials to charitable giving and employee benefits. B Corp certification signals a business's intention to keep purpose at the core of the company.
Fairtrade: The certification's social and economic standards are set by Fairtrade International for both businesses and producers.
Clinically Tested: This product was independently tested on humans in a clinical setting to ensure safety and performance. The product should have undergone a clinical trial in a controlled laboratory environment. The test should be supervised by a dermatologist.
1% For the Planet: 1% for the Planet is a global movement inspiring businesses and individuals to support environmental solutions through annual membership and everyday actions. Donate the equivalent of 1% of sales. Support approved environmental nonprofit partners.
The Butterfly Mark: The Butterfly Mark was created by Positive Luxury in 2011 to help businesses assess how they are targeting material risks in their industry. The assessment includes the following type of impact: climate, waste, animal welfare, community involvement, and biodiversity. Businesses are assessed against the Positive Luxury ESG+ Framework. Businesses should score at least 50% in each category (Environmental, Social, Governance, and Innovation).