The Dermatologist's Take on Clean Beauty
Dermatologist Deborah Jaliman, MD, interprets the trend to mean natural and organic. "Anything that helps keep us healthy, whether it be via consuming foods or applying products, is a winner in my book," Dr. Jaliman said. "Natural doesn't always mean it's 100 percent clean, though, and not all products labeled natural are safe."
While Jaliman understands that natural products are great, it's not always practical to exclusively use them. "It's not always cost efficient," she said. "I say do your best and always read labels and try to know what ingredients are in your products."
She's also another expert who feels preservatives have been given an unfair reputation. "The truth is that if products don't have some sort of preservative, they will not last too long without losing their efficacy," Jaliman said. "That doesn't mean all products must have a preservative, but if you want it to have a longer shelf life, then a preservative is likely necessary."
However, there are ingredients she advises you stay away from. "Sodium lauryl sulfate can be found in some foundations and has shown to cause or contribute to skin irritation and disruptions of skin's natural oil balance," she said.
She's also not a fan of fragrance, like many of our other experts. "[You should avoid] certain fragrances in cosmetics if your skin is sensitive and gets easily irritated," she said. "I'd rather have a product with no scent or a bland-smelling product on my face than one that smells like candy and has synthetic fragrances added."
As for the highly contested essential oils, Jaliman had a few things to say. "Some essential oils are added to products for fragrance, but this is completely safe," she said. "[However,] some people can have reactions to these natural oils."