The official guide to a correct beauty vocabulary: let’s talk proper beauty!
One of the (many) problems of modern-day people is that we have too many options, everywhere, in everything we do. Think about it: menus with 10 pages; endless aisles of cereals; a thousand different shades of nail polish at the nail salon: SO MANY OPTIONS. And skincare is no exception.
The buzz on buzzwords is real: clean, green, non-toxic, organic, sustainable, vegan-friendly. We are being overloaded with a bunch of different products every day, that state something different. But what do these labels actually mean?
I know it’s easy to get frustrated with all this terminology and just go “screw this” and give up on the skincare world altogether; but trust me, educating yourself about beauty terminology will help you make a much more conscious choice when it comes to providing valuable skincare products.
It’s worth it!
In case you didn’t know: your face absorbs up to 70% of what you put on it and that goes straight into your system; so I guess you might wanna be careful about what that actually is. Am I right?
In that case: let’s dig into this terminology and talk proper beauty once and for all!
Beauty terminology for dummies
Since it’s already such a mess out there, let’s try and make this as easy as possible. Here are the most common terms of the beauty lingo that you should be aware of when delivering skincare products:
Natural or All-Natural
A product is “natural” when it’s made with ingredients sourced from nature (be they plant, mineral or animal) that are minimally modified in a lab. However, very few ingredients are used pure, like momma Nature made them. Most importantly, you should be aware that “natural” doesn’t always mean healthier: some natural substances are actually harmful, such as talc, aluminum and lead.
This is a tricky one: it means that the natural ingredients contained in a product have undergone some kind of chemical processing. Aha! When you see this term, one way to help you understand what you’re looking at is to look for the exact percentage of those natural ingredients. If it’s very low, well there you have it.
Easy: a product is “organic” if all its natural ingredients are produced without the use of harmful pesticides.
Green or Sustainable
A product is “green” or “sustainable” (they go hand in hand) if it does no present or future harm to the environment. This is a very broad word and it covers every aspect of the product: from what’s in it, to how it’s made, packaged, distributed and disposed of. However, it’s kind of a wishy-washy term that is still used improperly for any product that claims to protect the planet’s resources.
“Clean” products are made of a solid base of naturally derived ingredients mixed up with synthetic ingredients (made in a lab) that both have been proven to be non-toxic, absolutely safe for human health and the environment. Before you start frowning, know that synthetic ingredients can actually be safer and even more effective than natural ones.
Fascinated by the clean beauty world? This article might be what you’re looking for:
A product is “vegan” if it doesn’t contain any ingredients sourced from animals. A very common non-vegan ingredient is beeswax, for example. Many people associate vegan with clean: wrong. A product can be vegan and still contain harmful chemicals.
A product is cruelty-free if it hasn’t been tested on animals. It can also mean that the process of getting animal-derived ingredients was not harmful to the animal’s wellbeing. Note that a beauty product can be cruelty-free but not vegan, and vice versa.
And just like that, your beauty vocabulary is all done! And this is really everything you need in order to navigate the skincare world with a good level of confidence and awareness. Use it wisely!