The beauty industry is slowly but surely shifting to clean, non-toxic products. As consumer awareness of cosmetic ingredients increases, the demand for clean beauty leads to greater supply.
Being in the clean beauty movement from its early stages is bittersweet. It can be scary to learn about the hidden toxins in our cosmetics and frustrating to wait for non-toxic alternatives. However, it’s extremely rewarding watching the clean beauty movement grow and evolve over the years.
2020 has a lot in store for clean beauty. The movement is growing exponentially, and it’s thanks to health-conscious consumers like you. Without the increased demand for non-toxic products, the market wouldn’t be where it is today and where it will be tomorrow.
Here’s what to expect of the clean beauty movement in 2020.
Just in case you’re new here, let’s cover the basics. We define clean beauty as following these two criteria:
The beauty industry is grossly unregulated. What if the food industry was unregulated? In that case, food companies could slap any labels they’d like — organic, vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, etc. — on products at their own discretion.
Without food regulation and safety procedures, there would be no way of knowing if companies were being honest. What would end up happening is brands would use these labels as marketing tactics to increase sales without living up to their promises. Consumers trust those labels and unknowingly purchase products that are the opposite of what they claim.
It’s the same in the beauty industry. Brands are free to use popular labels that consumers will pay more for — all-natural, organic, cruelty-free, vegan, clean, non-toxic, green, paraben-free, preservative-free, etc. The result is that the consumer is taken advantage of while businesses profit.
Here are some quick facts to further emphasize while clean beauty is much needed:
So, what is the point of all of this? First and foremost, it’s to keep you safe and healthy. We’re not saying that your beauty products are going to kill you, but the toxic ingredients in them have been linked to serious health complications. Don’t take our word for it — we provide scientific data on each ingredient.
The ultimate goal of clean beauty is for it to someday be the norm. We hope that one day cosmetics won’t be formulated with hazardous ingredients, so there will be no need to differentiate between toxic and non-toxic products.
Related: What is Clean Beauty in 2019?
“Clean beauty” is a phrase that’s still very much up to interpretation. We gave you our definition, and now we’re going to highlight some of the clean beauty trends we predict for 2020.
But first, a recap on the top 2019 clean beauty trends:
Products that are personalized and targeted to you.
Beauty customers don’t want any moisturizer. They want a moisturizer tailored to their specific concerns, such as sensitive skin, non-comedogenic, anti-aging, etc.
Brands like Curology and SkinCeuticals have changed the game with their personalized skincare products, especially consumers wanting to get to the root of their adult acne causes. Consumers got a taste of cosmetics created just for them, and they want more.
In 2020, we hope to see clean beauty brands hop on the bandwagon.
One of our most beloved brands, From Molly With Love, has some of the most minimalist ingredients lists we’ve seen in cosmetics. As consumers start paying attention to product ingredients, we anticipate we’ll see more simple formulations. Consumers want to be able to recognize and pronounce each and every ingredient, especially emerging ingredients like CBD oil.
The shift towards sustainable and eco-friendly products may also contribute to this trend. Fewer ingredients have less of an environmental impact.
Waterless skincare is a relatively new concept, but one that makes sense. With water being the beauty industry’s most commonly used ingredient, it makes sense that the industry takes a large toll on water consumption.
We have to give credit to Asian skincare trends for this one. Waterless skincare is new to America, but not to Asia. This Korean skincare trend uses botanical ingredients instead of water to hydrate skin. Consumers get more potent ingredients without adding to the water crisis.
As more men start using cosmetics — including clean ones — companies are responding to the demand with unisex products. We’ve seen this in moisturizers, cleansers, sunscreens, deodorants, and more. This clean beauty trend will only grow as brands want to be inclusive, not only of all ethnicities, but all genders.
You may have even heard of the pink tax, which is when women’s cosmetics cost more than men’s cosmetics (razors and shaving cream are prime examples). Introducing unisex products to the market is one way of saying that some cosmetics shouldn’t be gendered.
Related: Best Clean Cosmetics for Men
Inclusion and diversity.
Fenty Beauty set the standard for inclusion in beauty with their full range of 50 shades. One of the biggest critiques of new and existing makeup brands is the lack of diversity. This not only means having both ends of the skin color spectrum — light and dark — but representation in advertisements and media campaigns.
Clean beauty brands are often some of the least diverse when it comes to their shade range. Beautycounter is one of the world’s largest clean beauty brands, yet their foundation only has 10 shades. Their tinted moisture contains even fewer shades at just five.
We expect that in 2020 we will see more representation and fuller shade ranges. We may even see custom foundation matches.
Highly pigmented makeup.
If you’ve been tuned in to the beauty community on YouTube for five seconds, you’ll notice a common theme: Bright, bold makeup. Every beauty guru and their mom came out with a beauty brand or product in 2019. They share more than just toxic ingredients, though. They’re all highly pigmented and empower the beholder to create colorful, dramatic makeup looks.
Take a look at the James Charles x Morphe eyeshadow palette or one of Jeffree Star’s many liquid lipsticks. Now look at the clean beauty alternatives, which are usually nude, natural-looking, and toned down. Non-toxic eyeshadows and lipsticks tend to be more muted, but we think this will change soon.
SPF finishing spray.
The most common yet most underrated piece of beauty advice is to use sunscreen every day. However, this is easier said than done. SPF only lasts for up to 90 minutes, and they often leave a white cast on your skin. Plus, applying sunscreen over makeup is a hassle.
Fortunately, SPF sprays that can be applied over makeup are now a thing. We’ve seen sunscreen mists from several brands: Seriously FAB, COOLA, and Supergoop are just a few. As people realize the importance of using mineral SPF instead of chemical SPF, we hope to see non-toxic finishing sprays by next summer.
Perfumes are often the last products that people think about when switching to clean beauty products. However, we encourage you to check your fragrance products for toxic ingredients immediately. Specifically, perfumes often contain phthalates, which are toxic to the reproductive and endocrine systems.
There are several phthalate-free perfumes on the market currently, but this product category will be booming once clean beauty steps in. There is definitely a need for non-toxic perfumes. It’s only a matter of time before supply meets the demand.
Related: Clean Wedding Makeup Looks
It seems like the clean beauty movement is growing exponentially. New clean beauty brands are popping up left and right, but what’s even more noticeable is that existing brands are shifting to non-toxic formulations. We’re seeing more and more big brands using the words “clean beauty” on their platforms, packaging, and campaigns.
In July 2019, national retailer Target launched a clean icon for compliant cosmetics. This makes it easier when shopping at Target locations to spot and purchase clean products. Sephora launched a similar icon called Clean at Sephora in 2018.
Note: Keep in mind that Target and Sephora may have a different definition of “clean beauty.” You can double check those products in our Clean Beauty Index.
Even if the largest cosmetic brands in the world don’t switch to 100% clean formulations, they will have to acknowledge the market shift sooner or later. We anticipate that more brands and retailers will make clean adjustments in 2020.
Drunk Elephant, Beautycounter, and Goop are some of the biggest names in clean beauty. How are they leading the clean beauty revolution?
First, don’t take everything they say and do at face value. Always do your own research because even these brands aren’t 100% clean. However, we hope that they weed out the last toxic ingredients in some of their formulations.
Drunk Elephant is an especially noteworthy brand. They have taken social media by storm as a clean beauty brand that combines natural ingredients with synthetic ingredients. Their skincare products hone in on some of the most coveted active ingredients like retinol, vitamin c, ceramides, peptides, and more. There is debate about whether the brand is truly non-toxic, but they’re making more effort than most beauty brands.
Related: Drunk Elephant Safety Review
The Clean Beauty Index is our database filled with thousands of the most popular cosmetic products. We have extensively reviewed a wide variety of products, including makeup, skincare, body care, fragrance, and more. Every product is broken down into its ingredients list, where each ingredient is individually assessed for safety, toxicity, and effectiveness.
Many people want to switch to clean beauty products as part of their 2020 resolutions. Let this be the first thing you cross off your resolutions list. Simply search our Clean Beauty Index with your current favorites or do a general search for the type of product you’re looking for (i.e. face wash, tinted moisturizer, lip liner, etc.).
If you ever want to know if a cosmetic product is non-toxic, the Clean Beauty Index should be the first place you check.
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