By: Brittney Strickland

What is the Clean Beauty Movement

While searching the #CleanBeauty hashtag on Instagram, I found there’s an astonishing 1.7M post associated with it.  In fact, #CleanBeauty has more post than #OrganicBeauty. Well, what exactly does Clean Beauty mean? The definition of Clean Beauty differs from company to company. However, the consensus is Clean Beauty is the offering of products that are non-toxic, safe and efficacious. This includes offering consumers ingredient transparency and ensuring product safety.  This doesn’t mean that a product is all natural or organic, but rather proven to be safe for use.  According to Statista, this segment of the beauty industry is expected to reach 22 Billion Dollars by 2024 and is growing at a 9% CAGR.1

Evolution of Transparency

There’s a popular misconception that the Beauty Industry isn’t regulated.  While industry professionals know this is a fallacy, consumers often believe this misconception. In recent years, this has grown, and consumers have become skeptical of certain ingredients in personal care products.

Organizations such as EWG, USDA Organic, Whole Foods Market Premium Body Care and NON GMO Project have benefited from this movement by offering their seal of approval on bottles and packaging.2

The TODAY Show spoke with a representative from the Personal Care Products Council about questionable ingredients and here’s their response, “Personal care products remain one of the safest product categories regulated by the FDA. The industry takes its responsibility for product safety very seriously. Consumers can continue to use the personal care products they have trusted and relied on for more than 100 years.”2   

Even still, there’s a heightened consumer demand for transparency and it looks like it’s here to stay.

How to Keep Transparency and Integrity

The Clean Beauty movement isn’t focused on natural ingredients and this is important to keep in mind when developing Clean products.

Creating a list and policy of ingredients you aim to not include in formulations and why is key.  Consumers are researching ingredients more now than ever and are calling for increased transparency.

Major retailers have adopted their own Clean Beauty standard.  In June 2018, Sephora announced their “Clean at Sephora” seal and their website states, “This seal means formulated without parabens, sulfates SLS and SLES, phthalates, mineral oils, formaldehyde, and more (www.sephora.com). This allows consumers to easily identify clean products in-store and on their website.

In March 2019, Target launched their Clean Icon for Personal Care products.  Their icon represents products that are formulated without certain ingredients.  Target’s Clean Icon consist of products formulated without propyl-parabens, butyl-parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-donors, nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), Oxybenzone, SLES, retinyl palmitate, hydroquinone, triclosan, triclocarban, BHA or BHT (www.Target.com).

It’s safe to say #CleanBeauty is morphing into the new standard of beauty.  It will no longer be an option, but rather an obligation.



  1. Statista Research Department (2016). Forecasted market size of the natural and organic beauty industry in 2016 and 2024 (in billion U.S. dollars)
  2. Thomas, B. (2018). What is ‘clean beauty’? Here’s what you need to know


Continue reading

Cooking with Chemistry: Vegan Baking

Article by Sarah Snow. Featured in the Q4 Newsletter of The Cosmetic Summit.

Cosmetic Chemists have had a push for natural products, but now there is a trend for vegan or vegan friendly products. Vegan can mean a few different things, but the overall need is the removal of all animal derived products. The major ingredients this affects in cosmetics are things like lanolin, collagen, beeswax, and albumin from eggs. The trend for plant-based or vegan options has already been felt by the food industry, and we can use some of their tricks to make consumer satisfying formulas.

The largest challenge in vegan baking is the replacement of eggs. Eggs have lecithin in the yolk so they are a natural choice as an emulsifier for the water-soluble and fat soluble ingredients. The egg white helps baked goods gel providing a denser crumb to cakes. The egg white can also form a unique foam providing air into baked goods. Food makers have already come up with tons of vegan replacement to eggs due to the fat-free craze of the 1990’s, but foam creation is the hardest to find a replacement for.

Is there a vegan option for foams? Aquafaba, the reduced liquid left over from canned chickpeas. That’s right don’t throw away the beany goodness after straining from the beans. Simply reduce the liquid over medium to low heat until 1/2rd of the liquid is boiled off, and then allow to chill.

Once chilled add to a large bowl and use an electric whisk to whip up the aquafaba. Aquafaba can be easier to create foam than egg whites because it’s not as sensitive to impurities and the structure is carbohydrate based rather than protein based like egg.

You may have seen more places selling a treat called a macaron. Macarons are visually striking and make great gifts. They are light and airy wafer like cookies with cream or jam in the middle and notoriously had to make, requiring a meringue (egg foam) for their structure. Using aquafaba you can create macarons as a great gift to the vegans in your life.

McVean, A. (2019, June 18). What is Aquafaba? Retrieved November 9, 2019, from https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/ nutrition-you-asked/what-aquafaba. 

Pink Vegan Macarons with Raspberry Buttercream (ala “Live Kindly”)



250 grams aquafaba (water from a can of chickpeas — roughly 2 cans)

40 grams caster sugar (extra fine granulated sugar)

100 grams almond flour

200 grams pure powdered sugar (Check for bone char, not vegan)

1-3 drops vegan red food coloring (Carmine color is not vegan)

A few drops vanilla extract

Raspberry Buttercream:

125 grams vegan butter

55 grams powdered sugar

A few drops vanilla extract

A few drops vegan red food coloring (or beetroot juice)

2 tablespoons raspberry jam


Pour aquafaba into a pot and reduce over a low heat to 110 grams.

Refrigerate aquafaba overnight or pop it in the freezer for 15 mins.

Preheat oven to 250° Fahrenheit (120° Celsius).

Place almond flour and icing sugar in a food processor and blend for 1 minute.

Add the chilled aquafaba to another bowl and mix on high until soft peaks begin to form.

Sift caster sugar and almond meal/powder sugar mixture into the whipped aquafaba, and gently fold ingredients together. The mixture should be silky and shiny.

Transfer the batter to a piping bag and pipe rounds directly onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Allow pipped rounds to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or until a hard shell forms.

Bake for 25- 30 minutes. Once finished, turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 15 minutes, then slightly open the oven door for another 10 minutes. Then take the macarons out to completely cool. This process allows them to set up properly and not shrink or crack.

Place the buttercream ingredients into a food processor and mix until smooth.

Pipe the raspberry buttercream onto half of the macarons, then sandwich with the remaining macarons.

Refrigerate macarons for another 2 hours before serving.

If giving as a gift, package in a box but keep refrigerated until ready to consume. Other filling flavors can be made, the sky is the limit!

Recipe adapted from: Vegan Soulicious. (2018, October 30). Perfectly Pink Egg-Free Aquafaba Macarons. Retrieved November 11, 2019, from https://www.livekindly.co/ vegan-aquafaba-french-macarons-high-tea/.