You may or may not be familiar with the term toxicant-free. It’s a term I frequently use over on Inside Outer Beauty Market’s IG story and feed. One that I prefer to use over “clean beauty.” I’ll explain why later in the post.
Let’s start with toxicants, which are synthetics that can cause harm to organisms or the environment. For example parabens, phthalates, sulfates, etc. Keep in mind, not every synthetic ingredient is a toxicant. Another example is pesticides, which are man-made and introduced into the environment to harm biological organisms.
Toxins on the other hand are produced by organisms, living things (plants, animals) . For example, a snake makes venom, a toxin for self-defense that can be deadly to other organisms. Similarly, the liver metabolizes proteins, and in the process creates a toxic by product called ammonia. The liver then converts to a less toxic product called urea to be excreted from the body. Environmental toxins include naturally occurring compounds like lead, mercury, cadmium, radon, etc.
*Toxin is commonly used to refer to both toxicants and toxins. However, they are very different.
Clean beauty is the term used to categorize products that do not contain certain, potentially and known harmful ingredients. Currently, clean “standards” are not governed by any authorizing agency ie. FDA. In addition, manufacturers standards differ for various reasons. So you will see different standards of clean beauty across the manufacturers spectrum.
Why I prefer The Term Toxicant-free Beauty
Which leads me to why I prefer to use the term toxicant-free. I assume that it was never the intention for the term clean beauty to be offensive to anyone. However, the reality is, some people feel offended.
I support awareness and the right for people to obtain information so they can make informed purchasing decisions. I do not however, support anyone feeling less than.
As a result, I feel that the term toxicant-free is a more sensitive term so we incorporate it into our messaging. Truth be told, we still use the term “clean beauty” in hashtags and in language on social media. It’s what many people are familiar with, and sometimes you simply have to meet folks where they are.
Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a biological science educator, health and wellbeing consultant and Qigong instructor. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Oprah Mag, SELF, Yahoo and more. She is the founder of Inside Outer Beauty Market, a multi-cultutal retailer curating and creating products to support the body inside and out. Visit the site at www.iobeautymarket.com