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We have some clean beauty swaps for you!

But what exactly is “clean beauty?”

There are a lot of opinions about that.

What Exactly Is Clean Beauty?

Clean beauty is not an official name. Clean beauty products are not regulated in any way, so there’s no proof that a product that claims it’s clean actually is.

In most cases, however, when beauty industry experts talk about clean beauty products, they’re talking about those that are made without ingredients that are harmful to human health or that may be irritating or toxic to sensitive skin.

Examples of these may include parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances. These chemicals may harm the skin or even the body when they are absorbed into the bloodstream.

Sometimes, clean beauty product manufacturers also claim that they have transparent labeling practices, meaning that all of the ingredients in their products are listed on the label.

This is important as sometimes not all the ingredients appear on the label. Several products list the word “fragrance” on the ingredient list, for example, but you don’t know what chemicals made up that fragrance—and there could be a lot of them.

That means you would be using something on your skin without knowing exactly what it is.

Clean beauty companies often claim to care about the environment, too, and to take steps during production and delivery to minimize their environmental impact. That may translate into more options for recycling, less waste, and more sustainable packaging.

Why Does Clean Beauty Matter?

Finding clean beauty products is a worthwhile endeavor because these products can affect your overall health.

Here are just a few facts to consider:

  • Fragrances are often made up of cocktails of chemicals that can damage sensitive skin, cause skin irritation, and potentially harm your overall health.
  • Other ingredients often included in skin care products have ties to allergic reactions, inflammation, hormone disruption, and even cancer.
  • Some ingredients listed on the label can release (off-gas) other dangerous ingredients when you use the product. Quaternium-15, DMD hydantoin, ureas, glyoxal, and others, for example, can release formaldehyde, which is a known human carcinogen.

Though each beauty product contains only a small amount of potentially toxic ingredients, the problem is we use these products every day of our lives—sometimes multiple times a day—which means they can have a cumulative effect on us.

It’s much safer to choose products without these dangerous ingredients.

Why All the Fear Mongering About Clean Beauty?

Here at CV Skinlabs, we’re all about using clean beauty products. But we don’t—as some companies and individuals do—believe in fear-mongering.

You’ve probably seen some examples of this. While you were scrolling through Instagram, browsing the Internet, or walking through your local pharmacy or whole-foods store, you may have seen wild claims that seek to frighten you.

“These products are made with antifreeze!” one post may warn.

“Use this and you’ll get cancer!” another says.

Most of the time, these types of extreme claims are unproven, at best, and plain fear-mongering, at worse. These companies or individuals are trying to sell you a product, so they figure they can do that best if they convince you to be afraid, very afraid, of all other products.

There’s science and then there’s pseudoscience. At CV Skinlabs, we have always believed in the former. We took years to research our formulas to make sure they would be suitable for even the most sensitive skin types.

But we think that scaring people is unethical and potentially dangerous, so you won’t find any of that here. Instead, we simply wish to inform you of your choices and help you make the ones that will best suit your overall health.

Our Clean Beauty Swap Suggestions for Your Beauty Routine

As mentioned above, there is currently no regulated standard for clean beauty. That means any manufacturer can claim to be devoted to clean beauty principles whether they really are or not.

You have to do your research. Read the labels. Educate yourself on which ingredients to avoid.

Then check your cabinets and swap out those not-so-good-for-you brands for those that are far superior when it comes to creating healthy, youthful-looking skin.

Clean Beauty Swap# 1: Petrolatum Balms OUT, Our Restorative Skin Balm IN

If you use products like Aquaphor or Vaseline, you may not know that they contain petrolatum and mineral oil, as well as silicones, parabens, and fragrances. Petrolatum and mineral oil are derived from crude oil.

You may have heard that these products can contain contaminants linked to cancer. That was a concern at one time, but most of today’s products are believed to be made from pure and refined sources.

That doesn’t mean petroleum and mineral oil are good for your skin, however. While petrolatum helps prevent the evaporation of moisture from the skin, it can also clog pores and prevent other nourishing ingredients from getting into the skin.

Our Clean Beauty Alternative: Restorative Skin Balm

Our Restorative Skin Balm works like petrolatum in that it locks in moisture, but it also provides nourishing ingredients to the skin. These are breathable, non-clogging ingredients that, unlike petrolatum, won’t increase acne breakouts.

Instead, our balm provides soothing relief for dry, flaky, chafed skin, as well as for those with eczema, psoriasis, and rashy, itchy skin. It also promotes healing and helps shore up the skin’s moisture barrier to protect it from environmental aggressors.

Clean Beauty Swap #2: Chemical-Laden Face Moisturizer OUT, Calming Moisture IN

Your moisturizer is one of the main beauty products that you leave on your skin. (You don’t rinse it off.) That means at least some of the ingredients absorb into your body every time you apply it.

If your moisturizer is full of potentially harmful chemicals, you’re giving those chemicals a chance to get into your body every day when you apply your moisturizer.

It’s best to ditch those brands that contain chemical fragrances, parabens, petroleum-based ingredients, formaldehyde-releasing ureas, and preservatives, and replace them with our Calming Moisture.

Our Clean Beauty Alternative: Calming Moisture for Face, Neck, and Scalp

This lovely moisturizer, like all of our products, is 100 percent toxin-free, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free. On the other hand, it’s full of plant-based antioxidants, plumping lipids, and natural extracts to help combat damage and delay aging while supporting natural healing and protecting the skin barrier.

Perfect for all skin types, Calming Moisture will leave your skin smooth, clear, radiant, and refreshed.

Clean Beauty Swap #3: Alcoholic Toner OUT, Our Rescue + Relief Spray IN

We highly recommend that you continue using a toner in your daily skincare routine. It can help pick up any dirt and grime that your cleansing left behind, while better preparing your skin to accept a moisturizer.

Unfortunately, many conventional toners contain alcohol, ureas, parabens, fragrances, and more that can disrupt your natural skin barrier and pH level, dry out your skin, cause irritation, and even create an imbalance in your skin’s microbiome.

Even some of those more “natural” micellar water or cooling spray products may contain these types of toxic ingredients.

Our Clean Beauty Alternative: Rescue + Relief Spray

We offer a much cleaner option for toning, cooling, and refreshing your skin. Our Rescue + Relief Spray is made without all those damaging ingredients yet it works great for toning, hydrating, and soothing acne-prone and irritated skin.

Clinically proven to relieve irritated skin and leave behind a radiant glow, this product is pH balanced and won’t clog your pores. It’s even won awards for its ability to provide hydrating moisture while minimizing redness and encouraging repair.

Clean Beauty Swap #4: Petrolatum/Silicone-Filled Body Lotion OUT – Our Body Repair Lotion IN

The skin on your body deserves a non-toxic product as much as the skin on your face. Perhaps even more so, as the skin on your body creates a much larger surface for absorbing ingredients than the small amount of skin on your face.

Unfortunately, many manufacturers fill conventional body creams with mineral oil, parabens, fragrances, preservatives, and other potentially harmful ingredients. Even some brands that advertise themselves as having “natural” ingredients will sometimes include these harsher chemicals. (Always read labels.)

Our Clean Beauty Alternative: Body Repair Lotion

Relieve dry, itchy, and even eczema-prone skin with this fragrance-free, deeply hydrating lotion. It replenishes and soothes dry skin while immediately restoring comfort and radiance.

Instead of absorbing chemicals, your body will soak in our Tri-Rescue Complex (a blend of turmeric, alpha-bisabolol, and reishi mushroom) to help tame inflammation and encourage repair.

You’ll also enjoy super moisturizing, collagen-boosting beta-glucan and St. John’s wort, as well as calming calendula and aloe. Your skin is left feeling soft and smooth with a radiant glow.

Have you made any clean beauty swaps lately?

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Not many people get to touch the precious locks of mega stars Miranda Kerr, Olivia Munn, and Ariana Grande, but when you’re a celebrity hairstylist like Josh Liu, it’s just another day at the office. From working in PR to assisting hair industry icons like Chris Appleton, to now styling some of the biggest names in fashion, Hollywood, and music, we caught up with Josh to let us in on his secrets to success and how he went from being a fan of Ariana Grande to styling her hair. 

How did you get started in the beauty industry? Did you always know you wanted to be a hairstylist?

It’s kind of a funny story—I actually went to Pepperdine University for public relations because I wanted to be a celebrity publicist or work in fashion publicity. So when I graduated from school, I started working as an assistant publicist at a celebrity PR firm. As an assistant publicist, you book hair, makeup, styling etc. for your clients, so I became exposed to the beauty industry through PR and started learning who the biggest artists in the industry were.

Demi Lovato, styled by Josh Liu

What was your “big break” as a celebrity hairstylist?

I don’t think there was ever really a “big break” perhaps in my career…it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to move forward in the industry. If I had to choose one pivotal moment, it would probably be when I had built up a rapport with the hairstylists that I was assisting at the time, that I would get referred to other jobs by them. You know you’ve reached your break, once you start getting referred jobs and clients and/or sharing clients with your mentors. It’s such a wonderful feeling and beautiful thing to see. I can’t wait to see my assistants have their big break. It’s a beautiful cycle, to be honest.

Who was the one key figure who jump started your growth into the celebrity hair world?

This is a difficult question to answer because it wasn’t just one person. In the world of hairstyling, you start off assisting many hairstylists to learn all the techniques, styles and tricks of the trade. I can’t give you one, but I’ve been so lucky to assist some of the most amazing hairstylists whose work range from celebrity to editorial to fashion in the hair industry from Chris Appleton, Teddy Charles, John Ruggiero, Ericka Verrett, Anna Cofone, Christian Wood, among many others. 

Olivia Munn, styled by Josh Liu

If I had any advice for an aspiring hairstylist who wants to get into celebrity styling, you should try to assist as many different hairstylists with different hairstyling techniques as much as possible so you can learn everything you possibly can. You can never stop learning, there are 100,000 ways to do the same thing in hair to accomplish the same or similar looks. For instance, I probably know about 35 different ways to do a ponytail with extensions. Once you’ve built trust and rapport with the hairstylists you assist, they’ll eventually refer you to clients and jobs.

What is the most challenging thing about your career? 

It would have to be traveling for long periods of time being away from family and friends, and also being a workaholic. I love working, because I love what I do. So I always find it hard to say no to jobs, and always try to stack up jobs and double book myself, even after days where I was working the day before.

What is the most rewarding thing?

Seeing the end result of my craft in photos, videos, red carpet, on-stage. Nothing feels better than seeing it in action!

Miranda Kerr, styled by Josh Liu

We just have to ask…what was your career progression that eventually led you to being Ariana Grande’s main hairstylist?

I was actually a fan of Ariana’s long before I even worked with her…like back in the Nickelodeon days! It’s always such an awesome feat to be able work with someone you’ve been a fan of. I was a hair assistant for a few of her music videos while assisting one of her hairstylists. Shortly after, her team had asked if I was available to go on tour with her. Of course, I said yes HAH!

What’s your favourite hair trend at the moment and how can those at home achieve the look?

I love a relaxed flirty flip (inward or outward), whether it’s on a ponytail or just down and flipped out. It’s super easy to achieve at home. You can easily use your extensions to help make your hair have more body/fullness. Use a 1.25 inch barrel (if your hair is short/doesn’t hold curls well) or 1.5 inch barrel (if your hair is long/your hair holds hair well) curling iron and roll the ends about halfway upwards horizontally on the barrel. After cooling, let it cool for about 2 minutes and brush it out. (See this look styled below.)

Who is your favourite person to collaborate with in the influencer world?

My favorite influencer to collaborate with is my friend Amber Scholl! She is my best friend from college and we’ve known each other for so long, and we’ve been in each others’ lives to see the beginnings of our careers to now. Also special shoutout to Roxette Arisa who is equally supportive and love collaborating with her too!

What’s your favourite way to use hair extensions? 

I love changing a look dramatically using hair extensions—going short to long. It’s kind of an organized puzzle—getting a lot of hair in there to make it look real!

SHOP LUXY HAIR EXTENSIONS

What’s your advice for someone who wants to start using hair extensions but doesn’t know where to start?

Don’t be afraid, just go for it! I always recommend easy to use pieces that involve little effort like a Halo for extra volume and little extra length. It’s the equivalent to training wheels for extensions! Once they get the hang of that, I recommend clip ins because they are a lot more customizable.

It’s also important to establish what you’re trying to accomplish: more volume? More length? Or both? If you want more volume AND more length, you’re going to need something with a lot of hair like the volume bundle clip ins. If you just want more volume, a classic bundle clip ins will suffice.

Can you give us a styling secret for those at home?

When in doubt, put it up or half up. 

It’s so much easier to look like you put more effort in your hair, if you put it up in a pony. Leave a bang piece out, give it some texture or sleek it back or flip the ends. 

When you put your hair up, it’s quick and easy to just curl the hair in your pony (I recommend using a 1 inch or 1.25 inch iron when curling a pony that’s already put up), instead of feeling like you have to curl your whole head.

SHOP PONYTAIL EXTENSIONS

As a hairstylist, you must receive so many hair products—what’s one product that you must have at all times in your kit?

This is a tough one! It’s hard to choose just one product. I’ll choose one product in each category:

Hot tools

T3 SINGLE PASS X—this is a wide 1.5 inch flat iron that I can do most styles with: straightening, waving and curling.

Hair spray

Got2B Glued Hairspray—extreme hold hair spray, but can be versatile if you lightly spritz it and brush it out.

Brushes

Sheila Stotts Application Brush—the best brush for detangling/brushing out styles.

 

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