To use Sephora’s words, “Clean is simple: the beauty you want, minus the ingredients you might not.” Brands considered “clean” by Sephora’s standards are formulated without sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban. Additionally, clean beauty products sold at Sephora contain less than one percent synthetic fragrances.
While the Clean Beauty Hub helps to aggregate the clean products sold at Sephora in one easy-to-navigate place. Makeup, skincare, and haircare products that meet the aforementioned requirements will be marked with the Sephora Clean Beauty seal across the site. Please see the below for what is shown on site when viewing a clean product from a brand.
Clean Beauty Brand, Drunk Elephant on Sephora.com
Notable skincare and makeup brands with clean products include: Farmacy, Origins, Tata Harper, Drunk Elephant, RMS Beauty, Ilia, and Antonym.
What isn’t clean beauty?
As you can likely tell from the above screenshot and brands mentioned, clean beauty is not the same as “all natural” or organic beauty. While it is possible for a brand to be both clean and natural, some of the brands considered clean at Sephora still use harsh chemicals such as AHAs, BHAs, and Glycolic Acid. However, unlike those chemicals in the “bad list” above, these chemicals are not widely considered to be harmful.
Also, clean beauty at Sephora is not synonymous with cruelty free beauty. Certain featured brands do test on animals where they are required by law in order to sell their products. For example, Origins currently tests products on animals in countries where testing is mandated on imported beauty products.
What is a clean fragrance?
Not only do clean fragrances need to be free of sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban, but they also need to be formulated without PTFE/PFOA, Styrene, Polyacrylamide / acrylamide, Acetaldehyde, Acetonitrile, Methylene chloride, Animal fats, oils, and musks, Benzalkonium chloride, Toluene, Resorcinol, Acetone, Butoxyethanol, Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, Methyl cellosolve, Methylisothiazolinone / methylchloroisothiazolinone, Mercury and mercury compounds (thimerosal), and Bisphenol A (BPA). Unlike clean makeup, skincare, and haircare, these fragrances must be cruelty free.
Why does Clean Beauty Matter?
Sephora is a major player in the beauty industry due to their massive retail distribution, in-store and online, constant innovation, and general ability to make or break beauty brands. For a long time, clean and sustainable beauty brands have been left to their own channels and retailers.
By introducing luxury beauty shoppers to clean beauty brands in an easy to understand and easy to navigate way, Sephora can help to educate consumers. Sephhora’s efforts can potentially influence change within the industry.
Also, Sephora’s clean stamp of approval helps to make the browsing and buying process easier for those of us who read labels religiously. I trust Sephora. I may not need to scour the ingredient lists of clean products as carefully as I would otherwise. Moreover, I can avoid brands that contain one or more of the previously mentioned harmful ingredients with minimal effort.