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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TCNJ chapter.

If you’re anything like me, the concept of clean beauty can be overwhelming. With new research in the field, it can be hard to understand everything that comes with creating a cleaner beauty routine. Being someone who has made an effort in the last couple of years to understand the ingredients in my products, as well as the harmful effects of some ingredients—I can confidently say that I understand most of it.

Some of the biggest topics within products like shampoos and body wash are parabens and sulfates. It’s best to find shampoos and body washes that say “paraben and sulfate-free” as there have been studies that show how these ingredients alter hormone production, specifically estrogen production. In some cases, a change in this production can lead to reproductive issues or breast cancer. Although some of these studies vary in results many believe that parabens and sulfates don’t actually have many beneficial effects so cutting them from products is the best option.

Additionally, silicone can be found in a lot of shampoos and conditioners. This ingredient not only is bad for hair and can cause problems with build-up but it also can lead to long-term damages with the hair by attracting dirt and other ingredients. 

When looking at makeup, its easy to feel overwhelmed and confused by what the concept of clean makeup actually entails. From what I’ve learned, the biggest topic within clean beauty is Talcum Powder use, “talc” for short. Talc can be found in a lot of foundations, powders, eye shadows, concealers, as well as some baby powders. There have been some studies that show links to cervical and ovarian cancer due to the use of talc, and thankfully many companies have made talc-free products in recent years. 

Finding a beauty routine you feel comfortable with can be hard. But with hard work and research, you can find products that you feel good about putting on your body. Some of my favorite clean beauty brands in recent months have been Glossier (talc-free), Maui Moisture (sulfate-free), and Dove (paraben and sulfate-free). I recommend taking the time to read about the products you are interested in and find out if they are the right fit for you.


Senior, Early Childhood/Special Education and English Major. 
President of HCTCNJ, Panhellenic Delegate for AXiD, Communications Major with Marketing/Management Minors!