My Journey to Clean Beauty

This is a post that’s been in the works for a while. My journey to clean beauty… I want to say it’s been about a year (probably less), where I have been learning about clean beauty. What the ingredients mean, why they matter, how harmful they can be, and if it even works.

Let me start by first saying two things; I am merely sharing my journey, I by no means claim that I know it all. In fact, I know very, very little. And that I am not at the point of being 100% clean. I still love my MAC lipsticks (so bad, I know).

TBH- clean beauty is a bit overwhelming. There is SO much information out there. But, little by little, I have been making small changes. I once didn’t even think the small changes mattered, but I am here to say that they do.

Today I wanted to kick off my clean beauty series and share why I think switching to cleaner beauty matters and some helpful articles that have helped me.

Houston lifestyle blogger Elly Brown opens up about her journey to Clean Beauty. Why she's doing and what she's learned along the way!

What does clean beauty mean?

Simple. Clean Beauty is defined by products that are created and produced without any proven or suspected toxic ingredients. The ingredients are ethically sourced and are made with the health of our bodies and the environment in mind.

What are some clean beauty brands?

There are SO many out there, but here are a few that I have personally tried and love.

Beauty Counter
Bite Beauty

**Note- I will update this list as I try different brands!

Houston lifestyle blogger Elly Brown opens up about her journey to Clean Beauty. Why she's doing and what she's learned along the way!

Why does clean beauty matter?

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. What you put on your skin is being absorbed into your body and your bloodstream. When your body is taking in these toxins from certain ingredients, it can cause all sorts of things like endocrine disruption. And that’s just one side effect.

Some of the research out there is mind-blowing. It’s going to take time and diligence to read and do your research, but once you find the products that work for you, you won’t ever look back! I can attest to that too. 

Is clean beauty worth it?

It depends on who you ask, I guess. If you asked me a year ago, my answer would have been no. But today, absolutely. We only get one body, and we need to treat it well.

What are some toxic ingredients I should stay away from?

This is a shortlist, but some of the most common toxic ingredients and an excellent place to start if you ask me. Also, check out this site for more, and of course, The Never List from Beauty Counter.

Synthetic flavor or fragrance

An engineered scent or flavoring agent that may contain any combination of 3,000-plus stock chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens. Fragrance formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets and therefore, can remain undisclosed. Found in: all types of cosmetics.


Used as a preservative in cosmetics. A known carcinogen that is also linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity. Present where quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), and several other preservatives are listed. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath.

Parabens (methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl- and others)

A class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Parabens are endocrine (or hormone) disruptors, which may alter important hormone mechanisms in our bodies. Found in: shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, body lotion, foundation.

Phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP, and others)

A class of plasticizing chemicals used to make products more pliable or to make fragrances stick to skin. Phthalates disrupt the endocrine system and may cause birth defects. Found in: synthetic fragrance, nail polish, hairspray, and plastic materials.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES)

SLS and SLES are surfactants that can cause skin irritation or trigger allergies. SLES is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a byproduct of a petrochemical process called ethoxylation, which is used to process other chemicals in order to make them less harsh. Found in: shampoo, body wash, bubble bath.

-via the Beauty Counter The Never List

Houston lifestyle blogger Elly Brown opens up about her journey to Clean Beauty. Why she's doing and what she's learned along the way!

Before you leave, I wanted to leave you with a few alarming stats. If these don’t make you cringe, then I don’t know what will!

  • The U.S. has not passed a major federal law governing the cosmetics industry since 1938.
  • There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today. Many do not have any safety data.
  • The FDA does not have the authority to remove harmful ingredients from the products we put on our bodies every day.
  • The European Union has banned or restricted 1,400 ingredients from personal care products. The U.S. has banned or restricted 30.


As you can see, there is a lot to clean beauty, and it can seem overwhelming. But I am here to say that you can make the switch. It doesn’t have to be overnight, but it can be done. I am living proof of that! And stay tuned as I share more on my Clean Beauty series as I share more about the brands I find, how I’m making the switch, and more!


Thank you so much for stopping by. I would love to hear from you, are you into clean beauty? What has the journey been like? Comment below!


Here are other resources on clean beauty:

Myths on Cosmetics Safety
Top Tips For Safer Products
The Dirty on Getting Clean
Beauty Counter Blog

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Thanks for all the recommendations! I’m dabbling in clean beauty myself, so this is a great reference! 🙂

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog