Clean Beauty: What it is and What you Need to Know

Take a look at the word clean - this trendy buzz word has become the standard for what curlies expect from brands today and here's why! 

Now, you might ask yourself - what does clean really mean then? Who has the authority to give it meaning?  And how should it impact my decision making?  Bravo! All these are great questions and we are here to break it down, sharing different viewpoints so it can inform your curl care routine.  The concept of clean can be down-right confusing, crazy and convoluted (We love a good alliteration!). What may add to the confusion is that other countries in the world; such as Canada and several countries in Europe have rigorous standards that qualify ingredients on the basic of safe, toxic, and harmful.  The USA only has 11 ingredients that are specifically banned by the FDA as of February 2022. Although there are far more ingredients that various people consider toxic or unsafe. That said, if you are looking for guidance from the government, you'll need to dive a little deeper. In your quest for Clean, do remember that in the USA  it’s not a regulated term. It's all about perspective, let's review a few.

Cosmetic Scientists

When you hear the term clean, what ingredients would fall in the no fly zone? Probably sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicones, and synthetic ingredients, right? Well, scientists tell us that there’s more to it than just what’s considered “real” and not; because even natural or real ingredients can be just as harmful as not-so-real (man-made or synthetic) ingredients. To provide a clearer picture of what this means for you, let’s explore how the concept of clean has been categorized when used.


Natural is an unregulated term in the U.S. This word implies that ingredients in a product are made or sourced from nature. This could be plants, minerals, or even animals.   


Organic is a regulated term by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)… for food - not cosmetics or personal care products.  According to the USDA, organic means that the food or other agricultural products have been produced according to federal guidelines related to things like soil quality, additive use, and other factors. Specific requirements must be met before products can be labeled USDA organic. 

What you should know:

This organic regulation is for food and agricultural substances, not cosmetics, personal or body care products. There is no U.S. federal regulation or official authority on organic labeling for cosmetics, beauty, personal or body care products as long as they don't claim to meet the "USDA" organic standards.


Chemical-free is an unregulated term in the U.S. This term implies that products do not contain known harmful ingredients, such as toluene (smell associated with paint thinners), and formaldehyde (Brazilian blowouts and released with some relaxers).

What you should know:

Most everything you touch, love and enjoy is a chemical!


And more specifically… 

(Clip from 3:11-3:19 seconds)

With this evidence, you can trust that not all chemicals are created equal. Not all chemicals are bad, not all chemicals are good. 

But, what is more important is to look to avoid products that make specific claims about specific chemicals that are known to be harmful or toxic. 

Beauty Industry

Over the years, our industry’s definition of clean has evolved as more knowledge about harmful ingredients comes to light. Customers demand and deserve transparency.  The common "NO List" ingredients:
  • Parabens
  • Sulfates
  • Silicones
  • Phthalates
  • Artificial Coloring

What you should know:

TréLuxe is proud to share that our products check the box on all of these no ingredients!


Simple commonly refers to ingredients that are easier to say, spell, and are more frequently seen in everyday life. Many people often classify "simple" ingredients under the concept of Clean Beauty. This also includes simple formulation - products with less listed ingredients are more likely to be considered simple. 

Industry Standards

We believe in health first, hair second. Since there's no regulation on the term clean, we look to 3rd party standards of other leaders in this industry, such as the Body Quality Standards issued by Whole Foods Market, an industry leader in Clean Beauty. Whole Foods has banned over 180 ingredients they deem as unsafe. TréLuxe products meet Whole Foods Market's standards and are found in Whole Foods stores nationwide. We also consider international cosmetic standards, such as those in the EU and Canada, that are often more strict than U.S. standards.  

What We Believe

When it comes to clean beauty, at ​TréLuxe we believe that what you put in your hair should also be good for your body.  This belief drove us to do 2 years of research prior to developing any products - research that extends from ingredients to product shelf-life.

We believe that the safety of the product is just as important as the source of the product. Again, just because an ingredient is natural doesn’t mean it's safe (ever have an encounter with poison ivy?).

What you should know: 

We believe that when fragrance is listed as an ingredient, it should not contain ingredients that are known to be cancerous, or otherwise harmful to people. Our fragrances are phthalate and paraben free. 

We hope this article has shed some light on the controversial - and sometimes confusing - term of clean beauty. 

We empower you to decide what you believe. Share your thoughts below! 


Jun 17, 2022

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