The term “clean beauty” gets thrown around quite a bit, but few people know what the phrase actually means. Which is understandable: The FDA has not come up with a concrete definition for it, so it’s mostly up to beauty companies to decide what does or doesn’t qualify as “natural.” In order to get a better sense of what exactly clean beauty is, I asked a handful of aestheticians, dermatologists, and my own Instagram followers for their definition, along with a couple of clean products they trust and like.

The general consensus is that while any product can be marked “clean,” a true clean product avoids the use of ingredients like parabens, sulfates, silicones, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances. While picking products that don’t have parabens (which are known to disrupt hormone function) and phthalates (an industrial chemical that can damage the liver, lungs, and reproductive system) seems like an obvious choice, there are a lot of people who remain reluctant and fearful that “clean” products won’t combat acne and other skin issues. In order to test the efficacy of the clean beauty products recommended to me, I’ve recently been using them during my time of the month — a week during which my skin is, without fail, a mess. I’m happy to say that many of the products I put to the test both met and even exceeded my expectations. Below, a few of my favorite clean beauty products that really got the job done.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask


$62


at Sephora

Tata Harper is an effective and splurge-worthy beauty brand that uses 100 percent nontoxic ingredients. This exfoliating mask is gentle yet wildly helpful at combating any kind of dark spots or overall dullness on your skin. It’s perfect for when you want to give your skin a boost after a long, tough, sweaty summer day, and just as effective at brightening and softening your skin before makeup. A true staple!


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