Clean or Conscious Beauty – the latest buzz words to hit our shores for skin care. Is it a passing trend or the beauty movement of the century? What exactly makes the cut for products to get exclusively labelled as such? Is it the ingredients, or sustainable responsibility of the brand from its supply chain to its packaging?
In a nutshell, clean beauty, or green beauty as it is used interchangeably, is the rise of knowledgeable and savvier beauty consumers who are more conscious about the skincare products they are using. Clean beauty consumers are selectively more inclined toward non-toxic, natural or organic ingredients, eco-friendly initiatives as well as transparency in its labels.
Not to worry if you’ve no clue where to start, the Sift & Pick curators are here to help you navigate this whole green beauty world. Here’s a helpful beauty guide that runs the entire gamut of clean beauty principles – from vegan, all-natural or organic ingredients, to cruelty-free assurance.
Vegan - Not Just A Dietary Choice!
Apart from being a dietary option, veganism also applies to your skincare and cosmetics. On top of being better for sensitive skin and more potent, vegan products contain zero animal by-products like carmine (red colouring from crushed insects) or lanolin (moisturising ingredient made from the grease of sheep’s wool).
K-style beauty brand KEEP COOL prides itself for healthy cosmetics and skincare. Think vegan-friendly products with non-irritating formulas, manufactured under strict supervision in CGMP and ISO compliant facilities.
True to its name, South Korea’s luxury brand THE PURE LOTUS’ vegan line of beauty products have one common key ingredient – white lotus leaves, hailing from the pristine Jeju Island.
The excellent antioxidant properties of the white lotus leaves are further enhanced in its Botanical Tone Up Cream or the Jeju Lotus Leaf & Lemon Mist, to maintain and protect supple skin without irritation.
An award-winning brand from South Korea, phykology has an arsenal of skin boosting products made up of only vegan ingredients such as powerful marine plant extracts, known for its great anti-aging and nourishing properties. From Seaweed Bubble Clay Masks to protective Guardian Creams, phykology will not disappoint in terms of performance.
Another local vegan facial skincare brand? Iryasa has got your back. Priding itself on wholesome yet potent natural skincare blends that are edible, its bioactive formulations are promised to be both safe and effective.
Steadfastly committed to the power of nature-derived healthy ingredients, Korean brand Bonajour commits an average of 550 days in research and development for all their vegan certified products.
Chock full of plant-based ingredients, its Green Multi-vitamin Vital Nutrition Serum 35ml and Witch Hazel No Sebum Sun Shield, effectively help transform troubled skin into healthy, smooth complexion from the after-cleansing stages to sun care.
Cruelty-free: Do Good with Your Beauty Dollars
Animal lovers out there who are concerned for any furry friends – allay your concerns with the following cruelty-free brands which do not test on animals!
Get your skin glow on with UK vegan skincare brand – Bubu Skincare! Infused with diamond powder that encapsulates key actives within the advanced thermo-sensitive hydrogel mask base, it is then released upon application to face with skin’s temperature.
Specialising in innovative personal care goods, Spongellé offers 4-in-1 products that cleanse, moisturise, exfoliate and nourish.
Catering to all green consumers, the Body Wash Infused Buffers are multi-functional and multi-use ranging from 5+ to 30+ uses. Try a Beach Grass Boxed Flower for a short escape from the city during bath time, or a Brilliant Tuberose Shimmer Buffer for an invigorating exfoliation during showers.
From Singapore, Soul Good Project is all about self-love that starts by pampering your body with healthier choices. Delight at their cruelty-free range of botanical products such as the antioxidant-rich Blue Tansy Facial Oil for radiant skin, or a superfood aided detox with the Green Detox Face Mask.
Founded by dermatologist Dr. Setsuko Tsuda, Japanese brand Tsuda Cosmetics is proud to be formulated in a lab with processes that involve no animals!
A clinical brand with results, Dr. Tsuda tested the products on her own skin to ensure that the formulations are safe and effective. Give your skin a radiant boost with the Perfect C Essence, or protect your skin from harmful UV rays while covering any flaws with the UV Color Balm.
All-Natural: Try Not to Eat it!
Formulated with 100% natural ingredients, these brands have certainly provided people with sensitive skin woes much more options when it comes to skincare and beauty. Start experiencing nature’s raw and pure offerings!
Need to relieve stress or a pick-me-up? Dip your toe in the water with aromatherapy and teleport yourself to your mental safe space with Australian brand To Be Calm! Remember to take a break in your busy schedule with a portable Clear Mind Aromatherapy Roller Ball or a few dabs of Calm Essential Oil Blend on your wrists.
Local brand The Bath Theory offers delightful cafe scents when it comes to your beauty and pampering sessions! Detox your skin while enjoying the scent of your favourite Japanese tea with the Matcha It Up! Face Mask included in the Glow Getter Kit. Get luscious lips while you’re at it with their Nutella Lip Polish – just be sure to resist the urge to lick your lips!
Be at ease that your skin is getting the extra TLC that it deserves with Neneq & JE Java Essentials and its array of Javanese and Balinese beauty treatments with only premium ingredients.
A Korean brand that prides itself on its transparency, I’M FROM lists all its ingredients as well as its origin to ensure you know where your skin goodness is from.
offgray provides natural scents based on oriental medicine for a relaxing state of mind. Using 100% natural ingredients, take a deep breath to enjoy the pleasant scent as well as a peace of mind.
Japanese brand SASS has created transgeneration products that are beneficial for all skin types, young to old – with all-natural ingredients to boot!
Make heads turn as their tantalising scrubs such as the Coffee & Cocoa Scrub, or Matcha & Sakura Scrub sloughs off dead skin while also making you smell oh-so-good. Check out their Sugar Scrubalm to achieve that plump and smooth lips!
UK men’s grooming care brand Hawkins & Brimble is definitely a crowd pleaser with its suitability for even the most sensitive skin or scalp and eco-friendly packaging. Do away with break-outs or razor burns with their Shaving cream and After Shave Balm.
Slick back hair with the brand’s Water Pomade to avoid pimples or inflammation on scalp too. Now you’re looking all set to hit the streets!
Safe & Green
Hands down – we all love an honest skincare brand with ingredient transparency. Seek out the following brands with disclosure of product ingredients which are safe, non-toxic and natural, just how we like our skin to be treated.
Popular Korean drugstore brand COSRX is a hit globally but going an extra step further, it has also created a blacklist of ingredients that it promises to never use.
It’s no wonder their products are best sellers such as their Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser which gently removes excess sebum and impurities. Their Acne Pimple Master Patch is also a hot favourite in eliminating pimple effectively and quickly while protecting the wound site.
A brand that focuses on preserving one’s youth through natural and safe ingredients, Have a refreshing change with ISNTREE‘s award winning Spot Saver Mugwort Powder Wash – a powdered enzyme cleanser to remove dead skin build-up and micro-dust residue on your complexion.
Follow after with its Hyaluronic Acid Toner Plus, that is formulated with 5 types of Hyaluronic Acid to plump up parched skin!
An ode to farmers, THANK YOU FARMER wants to remain true to its ethos of not taking shortcuts and using honest, good ingredients.
Get yourself protected from harsh sun rays with its well-known Sun protection products – such as the Safe Sun Fluid Age to deeply hydrate and protect your skin, or the Sun Project Shimmer Sun Essence which gives your complexion a dewy sheen.
Priding itself on safe formulations, By Wishtrend promises to exclude toxic ingredients such as Paraben, Phenoxyethanol, mineral oils and artificial colouring.
Be sure to try their Sulfur 3% Clean Gel if you’re having a tough time with acne as it helps to treat zits while preventing new ones. Also, reach out for the Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum, specifically designed for intense hydration boost.
The latest news to hit our K-style radar would be the Madagascar Centella Skincare range from SKIN1004! Free from harmful or harsh ingredients such as alcohol, sulfates or silicone, the brand’s Madagascar Centella Cream or Madagascar Centella Asiatica Ampoule are calming, hydrating and fungal acne safe as well.
Homegrown artisanal lifestyle brand The Verdant Lab is paving the way for the new eco-warrior business – with its zero waste practices and natural, safe ingredients usage.
Indulge in a guilt-free bath with the Verdant Black Cold Process Soap, a cleansing bar free from essential oils, colourants and additives. Thereafter, lock in your skin’s moisture with the Pure Second Skin Body Lotion, made from nourishing sunflower oil and green tea extract to alleviate dry skin and blemishes.
Dislike pesticides? Fret not, just turn your attention to the following brands that are organic and safe. Pamper yourself with the knowledge that no synthetic materials are being applied or ingested, and that pollution is also lessened.
Beauty starts from the inside – yes, it’s true! Petale Tea specialises in organic teas that provide health and beauty benefits.
Produced in France, each Huygens product is made with carefully sourced and selected organic ingredients. Leading the new generation of cruelty-free and clean beauty products, treat yourself to its Les Roses Gift Set for your daily to-go with its beautifully scented fragrance products. Also, be sure to end off with Temple Body Wash 250ml for a gentle cleanse and to ease tensions away.
Spoilt for choice yet? Start small by adding in a few beauty skincare products from above to try a natural or organic alternative.
Explore further with the Sift & Pick gift guide here, you never know – you may be one clean beauty product away from glowing skin!