What is Clean Beauty?

‘Clean beauty’ is one of those terms that can be interpreted very differently from person to person, so in this blog we’re going to look at:
  • What does ‘clean beauty’ mean
  • What is ‘natural’ in skincare
  • What is ‘organic’ in skincare
  • What assurances do certifications give
  • COSMOS Organic and COSMOS Natural
  • Vegan Society
  • Cruelty Free International (Leaping Bunny)

Clean Beauty

The word ‘clean’ is commonly used to describe brands that have done something to ensure they are doing good and have made conscious decisions around their formulations and choice of ingredients.

This could be from using natural ingredients to being organic or simply using less packaging, being certified vegan or cruelty free. It might be that you can track the supply chain. Ultimately, as long as the brand has shown a conscious effort to ‘do good’ then it could be considered ‘clean’.  

What does natural mean in skincare?

Natural can apply to any ingredients from plants or nature that haven’t been grown in a lab and haven’t gone through a processing method. Natural tends to be when something hasn’t been refined or processed in any way. However, a lot of people will use ingredients that have been derived from a natural substance but that might have been processed in some way. This is when the word ‘natural’ can be challenged, as what is natural for some might not be natural for others.


Credit to David Loftus

What does organic mean in skincare?

Being organic goes that one step further than just being natural. Organic skincare products means they are made with non-GMO ingredients and have been grown without pesticides and chemical treatments. It is a very grey area in beauty and one that isn’t regulated or governed by anyone – a product can claim to be organic when it can contain virtually no organic ingredients in it at all.

The assurances given by certifications

For a product to have a professional certification, as attested by the relevant logo, it means the product has undergone rigorous inspection, from its ingredients to its packaging.

Certifications from professional, independent third-party organisations are important to us as they prove to you the quality of our products, and that we are transparent in all that we do.

We work closely with the Soil Association, Vegan Society and Cruelty Free International (Leaping Bunny), and though this can be a lengthy process, sometimes delaying the launch of a new product, we believe it’s worth it to ensure the products not only tick every box associated with ‘clean beauty’ but they surpass it too. Additionally, this is audited each year so you can be sure these high standards are maintained.

COSMOS Organic and COSMOS Natural by the Soil Association

This gives our customers the reassurance that what they are buying has been independently reviewed to include the source of ingredients, the formulation, as well as packaging, and that the product has been produced in the most sustainable way.

To carry the COSMOS Organic logo:

  • For leave on products (i.e. face cream), 95% of all physically processed agro-ingredients must be organic and at least 20% of the total ingredients must be organic.
  • For rinse off products (i.e. cleanser), 95% of all physically processed agro-ingredients must be organic and at least 10% of the total ingredients must be organic.

Agro-ingredients are any plant, animal or microbial product derived from agriculture, aquaculture or wild collection/harvest.

COSMOS Natural:

We use organic ingredients where possible and to carry the COSMOS Natural logo is assurance from Soil Association that, “those ingredients which cannot be organic are made using green chemistry principles, which means no toxins and no nasties.”


All products with the Soil Association COSMOS logo guarantee:

  • No animal testing
  • No GM ingredients
  • No controversial chemicals
  • No parabens and phthalates
  • No synthetic colours, dyes or fragrances


The certification says yes to:

  • Sustainably sourced organic ingredients
  • Using natural colours and fragrances from plants and flowers
  • Transparent manufacturing processes
  • Biodegradable ingredients
  • Minimal packaging with maximum recycled content
  • Protecting wildlife and biodiversity

We would always recommend taking a look at the ingredients and ask the company what their organic percentage is. They shouldn’t have anything to hide if they actually are organic. 


Controversial Substances

Controversial substances are a very popular topic in clean beauty and another that can be open to interpretation. Having said that, something has been done about this and new legislations were passed in July 2019 to stop brands from labelling products as ‘free from’ certain substances such as parabens and silicones. 

In some cases, chemicals that were being picked out as ‘free from’ weren’t necessarily bad for you or harmful. The free from claims inevitably made people believe that the products they were choosing were better than others when in fact this wasn’t always the case. Essentially, if the ingredient is legally allowed to be used, then you cannot claim the product is free from it.

Lucy Bee made the decision to eliminate the following substances from our skincare range:

  • Palm oil, including any derivatives of palm oil
  • Petroleum
  • Silicones
  • Formaldehyde
  • PEGs
  • Sulphates
  • Artificial dyes
  • Soy
  • Gluten

If you want to read more about the Soil Association COSMOS Organic and COSMOS Natural certifications then you can here.


Vegan Society

A product with the Vegan Society logo promises you that the manufacture and/or development of the product, and where applicable its ingredients, do not involve, or have involved, the use of any animal product, by-product or derivative.

Our entire range is certified Vegan from skincare, to soaps, to tanning products.


Cruelty Free International
Did you know that products may claim to be ‘cruelty free’ or ‘not tested on animals’ but their claims may only refer to the finished product. A lot of animal testing actually occurs at the ingredient level. Similarly, some companies state ‘we do not test on animals’ when in fact they merely contract other companies to do the testing for them. 

Products with the Cruelty Free International logo guarantees that not only is the finished product not tested on animals but nor are the ingredients used to formulate the product. This is a global programme which requires cruelty free standards over and above legal requirements.

Our entire range is certified Cruelty Free from skincare, to soaps, to tanning products.


In conclusion

If it’s clean beauty that you’re looking for then the Lucy Bee range is the one for you because not only do we make a conscious effort to ‘do good’ but we can back this up by accreditations from independent bodies, by ensuring our products are palm oil free and free from any of its derivatives, certified Cruelty Free and Vegan, as well as COSMOS Organic or Natural where possible.

Ethics and sustainability are at the forefront of what we do, by putting the care back into skincare, not only for us, but also the environment. Clean beauty at its best.


Lucy Bee is a lifestyle brand selling food, skincare and soap products all completely free from palm oil and with minimal use of plastic. Lucy Bee is concerned with Fair Trade, organic, ethical and sustainable living, recycling and empowering people to make informed choices and select quality, natural products for their food and their skin. 

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