5 Myths about Clean Beauty

Written by: Matigan King


Published on: September 8, 2022

Photo courtesy of Angela Marklew/The Licensing Project

Hormone disruptors in your shampoo? Coal-tar-production by-products in your mascara? At goop, we question the “luxury” of beauty products made with ingredients known (or even suspected) to be toxic. While there’s no legal definition for “clean,” what it means for us is clear: no ingredients that might harm our health. Misperceptions around clean beauty persist, though. Here are five, handily debunked.


MYTH 1: Clean beauty products aren’t as effective.

goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Dark Spot Exfoliating Sleep Milk, goop, $98/$89 with subscription

Made without the texturizers, artificial fragrances, and filler ingredients common in conventional beauty products, a clean product can often deliver more active ingredients than its conventional counterpart. And clinical and consumer studies—conducted as rigorously as they are for conventional products—prove powerful results.


MYTH 2: Clean pigments aren’t as chic.

Westman Atelier Squeaky Clean Lip Kit, goop, $65

The tech in clean makeup has gotten so good that there are no compromises to be made in terms of color or texture. These two lip balm-glosses—there’s a sexy, pink-kissed beige and a deep, sophisticated brick red—are a perfect example.


MYTH 3: Clean products have to be all-natural.

The Maker Libertine Eau de Parfum, goop, $125

While there are brands that stick to only natural ingredients, many synthetic ingredients are as safe as—or safer than—their natural counterparts; they can also be more sustainable. This fresh-sexy scent combines natural and synthetic ingredients to all-out gorgeous effect.


MYTH 4: “Clean” is a legal term.

goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator, goop, $125/$112 with subscription

Disappointingly, there’s no legal definition for “clean” (or “natural,” or “green,” etc.). What clean means at goop: We make our products without ingredients known or suspected to harm health. Our all-time bestseller—this ultrapolishing exfoliator that leaves skin baby-soft—is a case in point.


MYTH 5: Clean beauty isn’t safe for sensitive skin.

Tower 28 Beauty SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray, goop, $28

Many clean brands, like National Eczema Association–approved Tower 28 Beauty, formulate products specifically for sensitive skin, with superingredients like gentle hypochlorous acid, found in this pH-balancing spray. Clean, mineral sunscreen ingredients soothe skin, while chemical sunscreens contain some of the most skin-irritating chemicals in the beauty industry.