Top 10 Clean Beauty Swaps
to Make in 2020
It’s 2020. Clean beauty is there. Even the harder-to-get-right clean categories—mascara, anyone? shampoo?—are at least as good if not better (more effective, more luxurious) than anything out there in the conventional beauty world. Whether you’re new to clean beauty or already totally into it, these are goop’s current, must-switch-now favorites. Good hair days; glowy, healthy skin; and transformative, mood-resetting showers await.
CLEAN BEAUTY FROM THE INSIDE OUT
At goop, we believe that the vitamins and nutrients we ingest impact our skin just as much as the serums and moisturizers we layer on morning and night. This new daily shot is made to give us that great I’m-in-the-middle-of-a-detox skin, even when bad eating habits, a few too many drinks, stress, and environmental toxins might otherwise cause our skin to spiral. It’s built around supporting the liver, which naturally does a large part of the body’s detoxifying. Milk thistle extract, selenium, zinc, magnesium, glycine, and pantothenic acid, along with the free-radical-fighting antioxidants resveratrol and vitamin C, combine to support the body’s own processes for detox to help keep skin fresh, radiant, and healthy.
This powerful skin refiner is a brilliant physical exfoliant (with a glycolic acid kicker) that leaves your skin so glowing and smooth, you’ll probably find you need less makeup when you use it regularly. We like to keep ours in the shower and use it two or three times a week; GP, it should be noted, likes to use it every day. In place of potentially toxic preservatives, texturizers, and fragrances, you get four different kinds of naturally exfoliating microcrystals and glycolic acid—only the good, powerful stuff, with none of the bad stuff and none of the fluff.
Hair care is a category of conventional beauty that’s particularly rife with potentially toxic ingredients (parabens, preservatives, and synthetic fragrance are included alongside ingredients like silicones and plastics that are designed to feel moisturizing but do very little for the actual health of your hair). This gorgeous-smelling, calendula- and camellia-seed-oil-infused shampoo from Sangre de Fruta cleanses like a dream and leaves hair soft, shiny, and healthy, with a subtle, imaginative cedar, sandalwood, and bergamot scent.
Each shade in the family of Kosas lip colors leaves behind a super flattering, hydrated tint—whether it’s a striking berry or a rosy hue that enhances everyone’s natural lip color. We even know makeup artists who like to dab on Kosas lipstick as a face-warming blush. It’s made without the petroleum, dyes, or plasticizers found in conventional lip products (which are particularly unappealing considering lip products are invariably ingested). Instead, the balmlike formulas are infused with nourishing mango butter and grape-seed extract for pure moisture to go with the gorgeous pigments.
If you make one switch this year, make all your SPF-containing products mineral rather than chemical. Chemical sunscreen works in a number of stealth, harmful ways: Oxybenzone and octinoxate, two of the most common ones, are both potential endocrine disruptors and toxic to coral reefs (their bleaching effect on coral has led to a recent ban on them in Hawaii). Chemical sunscreens, which work by absorbing UVA and UVB rays, are also some of the most powerful known skin irritants in the beauty industry. How to tell if a sunscreen is all-physical: The active ingredients should be only zinc oxide and/or titanium oxide (both are inert and sit on top of skin to physically block rays). This SPF 30 from Vive Sana blends in like a dream and feels and smells fantastic.
CLEAN SKIN TREATMENT
A consistent bestseller on goop since it hit our shelves, this serum goes on like an oil, and the results it delivers—for every type of skin, from breakout-prone to super dry—surpass what you’d get from the most powerful conventional skin treatments. It’s one of the best arguments for the idea that real luxury is access to the very best ingredients, period. Who needs compounds that are potentially toxic to you when your skin can look like this?
CLEAN BODY WASH
Body wash might seem easy to overlook in a clean beauty overhaul. You rinse it off—how much harm could it really do? Consider that it goes all over your body, when your skin is wet—and thus more absorptive—and that you inhale it with the steam of the shower. Many conventional forms are made with powerful fragrances, preservatives, texturizers, and detergents with the potential to disrupt hormones and both irritate and dry out skin. The burst of gingerroot, Japanese shiso leaf, and pink peppercorn in the G.Day wash floods the shower with pure plant-based aromatherapy to cleanse and energize both body and spirit. And the nourishing plant oils and adaptogenic extracts leave your skin soft and moisturized.
Perfume still contains some of the most potentially toxic ingredients in the entire beauty industry, and the word “fragrance” itself is still a legal “ingredient” in which to disguise ingredients the perfume maker doesn’t want consumers to see (if you see the word “fragrance” or “parfum” on an ingredient list, and the company won’t disclose what’s in that ingredient, don’t put it on your body). The ultimate luxury in perfume, beyond not having to wonder whether what’s in it might be harmful to your health, is an incredible scent made with natural elements that speak to the senses on multiple levels. Master natural perfumer Douglas Little’s scents are drop-dead gorgeous and wildly original, and this one—a sexy mix of citrus, black pepper, patchouli, and sandalwood—smells absolutely magical on warmed-up skin.
When you learn that conventional mascaras are commonly made with by-products of coal tar combustion and with microplastics and can even contain small amounts of mercury as a preservative, making the switch to clean mascara seems like an obvious choice. The new one from makeup artist Gucci Westman leaves lashes wide-awake and fluttery in a way that fully beats its conventional counterparts. Chicory root extract adds volume, while sunflower-seed oil prevents clumping and flaking. The nylon brush leaves lashes clean and defined, elongated, and inky black. (It’s GP’s favorite.)
CLEAN FACE CREAM
While conventional moisturizers use petroleum, propylene glycol (otherwise known as antifreeze), and silicones to create the feeling of hydration, clean alternatives get to root of skin health. This creamy supermoisturizer from Alpyn Beauty whips hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and bakuchiol—a plant-derived retinol alternative—together to plump skin, soften texture, and up glow instantly and over time.