Cheat Sheet for Formulating with Clean Cosmetic Ingredients


 April 30, 2020

Cheat Sheet for Formulating with Clean Cosmetic Ingredients

The definition of clean cosmetic ingredients varies. A generally accepted description states that clean beauty products are safe and non-toxic. For some, clean cosmetics also include the characteristics of being ethically-sourced, environmentally safe, and include minimal ingredients. But no governing body enforces that.

Although the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) lightly regulates cosmetic products, it does not regulate terms like “clean,” “non-toxic,” or “natural.” This lack of guidance makes it challenging for companies and customers to follow.

As a result, our cheat sheet of clean cosmetic ingredients terms will not be found on the FDA website. Rather, the below distinctions are formed by our in-house experts, based on vast industry experience formulating clean cosmetic products.

Clean Cosmetic Ingredients: Cheat Sheet of Terms

The formulation of clean cosmetics can be challenging sometimes, especially when it comes to staying on trend and maintaining product integrity. Knowing the difference between certain terms and standards is an important consideration to formulate accordingly.

Clean vs Dirty Cosmetics

In general, clean beauty means that consumers can use your product without risking their health. The brand is transparent on the label and the product must only contain safe, non-toxic ingredients and be free-from known or suspected toxins, like parabens.

Read More: The Dirty Dozen vs Clean Cosmetic Ingredients >>
Read More: Why Brands Should Care About Clean Beauty >>

It’s important to note that clean is not always synonymous with “all-natural” or “organic.” It can be, but not always.

Synthetic vs Natural Cosmetic Ingredients

Clean cosmetic ingredients can include both synthetic and natural ingredients. To some, it may come as a surprise that not all natural cosmetic ingredients are safe, and not all synthetic cosmetic ingredients are harmful. When it comes to clean beauty, brands should focus on formulating with ingredients that are safe and effective.

Read More: MADE SAFE Certification: What Does it Mean for Cosmetic Brands | Cosmetic Formulations >>

Cruelty-Free vs Vegan

Cruelty-free and vegan are often used synonymously but don’t always mean the same thing, which can be confusing. Vegan refers to a product that is free of animal products and by-products; cruelty-free refers to the product being free of animal testing. Some products can be cruelty-free, but not vegan and vice versa.

Read More: Vegan Color Cosmetics – A Look Behind the Label >>

Organic vs Natural

The term “natural” is not regulated but indicates to many consumers that it contains plant-based ingredients. The words, “clean,” “green,” and everything in between are often used interchangeably which can cause confusion among consumers.

“Organic” is one of the few cosmetic ingredients regulated by the FDA; however, it can be tricky. Surprise! Ultimately, making the claim that a product is “made with organic ingredients,” depends on the percentage of USDA organic ingredients in a product. To make it more confusing, this can vary from state to state.

Read More: Understanding the 4 COSMOS-Standard Certifications >>
Read More: NSF/ANSI 305: “Contains Organic Ingredients” Standard: What Brands Need to Know >>

Find Clean Cosmetic Ingredients at Kinetik

Discover our large selection of raw materials and clean cosmetic ingredients. From our products page, simply choose ‘advanced search’ and from there you can filter by ‘certifications’ such as Allergy-Free, Biobased, COSMOS, Ecocert, Gluten-Free, Naturally-Derived, and Vegan.

At Kinetik, we don’t just supply clean cosmetic ingredients, we also help brands to create the formulation they need to gain trust from consumers and get ahead of the competition. Combining innovation with environmental protection and social responsibility, our team strives to support the success of our customers worldwide.

Kinetik is headquartered in the USA, but we work with clients and represent suppliers worldwide. Contact us at (732) 335-5775 to speak with one of our sales representatives about the raw, natural ingredients to support your personal skin care and cosmetic formulations today.