Does a Product Need to Be All-Natural to Be Clean?

Written by: Megan O’Neill


Published on: September 13, 2022

Photo courtesy of Beth Studenberg/The Licensing Project

The short answer is no: An all-natural product can absolutely also be clean, but synthetic ingredients can be clean, too. And the phrase “all-natural” or “no synthetics” on a product doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily clean. (Both “natural” and “clean beauty” are terms that are currently unregulated by the government.)

What clean beauty means at goop is that the products we sell and report on contain no ingredients known or suspected to harm human health. Here, a short list of favorites and bestsellers—some purely botanical, others that brilliantly combine synthetics with pure plant oils and extracts.

  • 1

    The OMG Overnight Treatment

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

    Smooth this milky elixir on before bed and wake up with noticeably smoother, hydrated, practically poreless skin. The exfoliating alpha hydroxy acids are time-released, so they’re both powerful and beautifully gentle on skin.

  • 2

    The Chic Lip-Gloss-Meets-Balm

    Westman Atelier Squeaky Clean Lip Kit, $65

    This bestselling balmy gloss from makeup artist Gucci Westman cocoons lips in nourishing argan and almond oils and delivers sheer, gorgeous pigment that flatters just about every skin tone. You get the sexiest beige (Nana) and prettiest brick red (Pipsqueak).

  • 3

    The Face Oil People Rave About

    Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, $195

    Whether you’re dry, oily, or even sensitive, supercharge your skin with this famous complex of active organic botanicals, essential oils, nourishing phytonutrients, and fortifying antioxidants. It completely lives up to the hype.

  • 4

    Vitamin C for Next-Level Glow

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW 20% Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Glow Serum, $125/$112 with subscription

    Press this works-for-all-skin-types serum into your skin every morning for a change—smoother, brighter, more luminous skin—that’s really noticeable. The secret is L-ascorbic acid (the purest form of vitamin C) mixed with hydrating hyaluronic acid.

  • 5

    The Flutteriest Mascara

    ILIA Fullest Volumizing Mascara, $28

    For thicker, fringier, glossier, beautifully defined lashes, this inky vitamin B5– and arginine-infused formula strengthens as it wakes up your whole face.

  • 6

    The Secret-Ingredient Eye Cream

    Augustinus Bader The Eye Cream, $215

    TFC8, the same patented complex that took Dr. Augustinus Bader more than 30 years to create for his cult-hit face cream, also powers this silky blend that targets dark circles and puffiness, leaving the under-eye area calm, firm, and radiant.

  • 7

    The Ultimate Youth Boost

    goop Beauty GOOPGENES All-in-One Nourishing Face Cream, $98/$86 with subscription

    The clinical results on this cream are off the charts: It firms, smooths the look of wrinkles, and boosts glow with an intensely moisturizing infusion of peptides, ceramides, plant butters, and precious botanicals. Rich and melting enough to double as a night cream, it’s amazing on the plane, too.

  • 8

    The New Microderm Polish Made for Body

    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Body Polish, $48/$43 with subscription

    The luxurious whipped texture feels amazing against your skin as the mix of moisturizing oils and microexfoliating minerals gently buffs away roughness and dead cells. The vetiver-and-oakmoss-scented lather foams beautifully, leaving you with smooth, totally moisturized skin.

  • 9

    The Miracle Pink-Salt Shampoo

    goop Beauty G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo, $55/$38 with subscription

    Whether your texture is curly, wavy, kinky, or straight, this whipped salt-studded shampoo massages your scalp, sweeps away product buildup and oil, conditions with cold-pressed oils, and leaves hair silky.

  • 10

    The Wear-It-Everywhere Tinted Lip Balm

    goop Beauty GOOPGENES Clean Nourishing Lip Balm Trio, $48

    You get three cushiony balms (clear, sheer garnet, and subtle rose) that drench lips in moisture, smooth lines, and last day and night. The texture is beautiful—the OG clear balm took three years to formulate—and the subtle sheen is sexy and fresh.

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