Six Clean Beauty Products I’m Loving Right Now

by Meghan Yost

Last year I took a good hard look at my beauty products and the ingredients they contain.

After saying goodbye to ‘the pill’ for good (we’ve had an on again, off again relationship throughout my adult life), my skin went a little haywire (and by a little, I mean it was a train wreck).

I’ve dealt with hormonal cystic acne since I was 15, but it’s come and gone in spurts. It would usually linger for a few months and then clear up (typically, when I opted to go back ‘on’ birth control).

This time around, it stuck around like that annoying aunt you can’t seem to avoid (J/K! I love all of my aunts).

As an adult dealing with acne, it is embarrassing to say the least. As someone who appears on TV for a living, it’s even more disheartening … depressing even.

I mean, who deals with acne as an adult? –> This girl!

But on my quest to clear up my complexion, I realized a lot of the products I was using weren’t, to use the term widely used nowadays, ‘clean.’

If you’re a follower of Gwyneth Paltrow’s website GOOP, then you are already familiar with what defines clean beauty. If not, here’s the basic gist: Clean beauty products are free of toxic ingredients such as those that have been linked to cancer, or known to disrupt the endocrine system. They lack things like fragrance, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde … and the list goes on.

According to BeautyCounter’s website, “The United States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938.” (For those who don’t know, BeautyCounter is a leading producer of clean beauty products.)

Moreover, while the European Union has banned roughly 1,400 chemicals in personal care products and restricted the levels at which 250 others can be used, the United states has only partially banned 30.

Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to find clean beauty products, especially as brands respond to the demand of their customers. But to ensure I’m picking up a safe product, I often turn to the Environmental Working Group (EWP)’s ‘Healthy Living’ app while perusing a store or online.

You can use the app to scan a product’s bar code and see how it ranks in terms of safety. (Side note: You can also search EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database online by visiting

While some products are listed, others are not, so I’ve tried to familiarize myself with ingredients to avoid.

I will note, while my beauty routine is not yet 100 percent ‘clean,’ I make every effort to find and use safe products.

After a year-long quest for clean beauty, here are some of products that I’m loving right now, including how they rank by EWG (if listed).

#1 BeautyCounter’s No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil

This facial oil combines seven pure plant oils that nourish and brighten skin. The oils are derived from natural sources like avocado, grapes, orange, watermelon and more (sounds tasty!) It’s rich in vitamin C, which is said to boost collagen, reduce signs of aging, and even prevent and treat damage from UV rays (cheers to that!)

I was a little hesitant to try a facial oil, because I was worried it would feel heavy on my face, but this one by BeautyCounter absorbs nicely. I apply it under my serum and moisturizer to my face, neck, and chest.

EWG Ranking: 1 (low hazard)

Where to Buy:

#2 Belli Beauty’s Acne Control Spot Treatment

The Belli Beauty line is designed for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive. Their tagline is “Picky for a Purpose.” The husband and wife team behind the brand created Belli Beauty while expecting their first child and feeling discouraged trying to find safe and effective skincare.

The Acne Control Spot Cream combines colloidal sulfur, tea tree oil and chamomile. While other acne treatments often dry out my skin, this treatment does not, and I use it both morning and night. I also like the scent of the tea tree oil. It feels fresh and cooling.

While my acne is due more to hormones than anything else (and seems to have evened out on it’s own), I think this spot treatment has definitely helped.

Also, it may be a spot treatment, but I apply it to my whole face, concentrating on my chin, jawline, between my eyebrows, and inner cheeks.

EWG Ranking: Not listed

Where to Buy: or

#3 Physicians Formula InstaReady BB Cream 

While I don’t like wearing a lot of makeup when I’m not at work, I was finding that I couldn’t go without it (hello acne!). So during my search for a foundation that would offer smooth coverage without feeling too weighty, I discovered Physicians Formula InstaReady BB Cream.

I apply this to my entire face. It provides just the right coverage with a semi-matte finish, however, I do find I need a little powder to remove some of the shine.

It also contains SPF 30 to block out harmful UVA and UVB rays. And since it’s a BB cream, it provides moisture.

EWG Ranking: 2

Where to Buy: CVS or any other drug store

#4 Mineral Fusion Lipstick

I don’t know about you, but I have such a hard time picking out lipstick. I’ve got so many tubes of colors in my cabinet that I thought would look good on me in the store … but ended up looking horrendous when I got home and actually tried them on.

However, as luck would have it, the two colors I bought from Mineral Fusion are phenomenal and have since become my go-to lipsticks: Nude Chair and Crush Amourette.

And of course, the line behind the lipstick is dedicated to clean beauty. Mineral Fusion also says they formulate their products to leave skin in a better condition than before. Whether you’re looking for hair care, body care, makeup and more, they’ve got all the beauty products you need.

Mineral Fusion lipsticks are also EWG Top Scoring products, which means they avoid EWG’s ingredients of concern, provide full transparency and use good manufacturing practices.

EWG Ranking: “Top Scoring Product” (no number listed)

Where to Buy: or Whole Foods (in store)

#5 Alaffia Deodorant with Lavendar and Charcoal

If you are still using traditional deodorant, made with aluminum and other dangerous ingredients, you should stop now. (Read: 7 Reasons Why You Should Switch to a Safe Deodorant)

This non-toxic deodorant is made with soothing coconut, nourishing shea, lovely lavender, and charcoal to neutralize odor.

Alaffia’s deodorant is free from parabens, sulfates, propanediol, phthalates, Aluminum, mineral oil, propylene glycol, triclosan, synthetic fragrance, silicone, and animal testing.

Let me just say this: When I first switched to natural deodorant, I tried a couple of different brands and they didn’t get the job done. But this deodorant leave me smelling fresh throughout the day.

EWG Ranking: Not listed, but Alaffia’s other products range from 1-4

Where to Buy:, Amazon.comWhole Foods (in store)

#6 J.R. Liggett’s Old-Fashioned Shampoo Bar

After seeing a video on Facebook (see below) about how swapping out shampoo bars with traditional shampoo could potentially save 552 million plastic bottles from getting thrown out every year (yes, that’s how much we use!), I was enamored.

It was almost as if a lightbulb went off above my head: Why didn’t I think of that?

I am all about doing things to reduce my waste consumption and help the environment, and swapping out my typical hair wash with a bar seemed like an easy way to do that.

I found this shampoo bar at Whole Foods, and admittedly, it’s the first one I’ve ever bought. But since I started using it a week ago, so far, so good. It comes wrapped in paper and is made with all natural oils, no artificial colorants, no animal products or preservatives, etc.

And here’s the big kicker: When I started using this bar, I stopped using my conditioner. Anyone who has curly or textured hair knows it craves moisture. Hence, I’ve been addicted to conditioner for my entire life.

But honestly, my hair feels fine without it (albeit, it’s only been a week). J.R. Liggett’s actually offers a moisturizing shampoo bar, which I plan to try next.

I’m not sure if I will always go the shampoo bar route, but I am going to make every effort possible to stick with it.

Also, if you know of any natural conditioners, please leave me a comment below! I’d love to try out any suggestions.

EWG Ranking: Not listed

Where to Buy:,, Whole Foods (in store)

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