What is Clean Beauty? Part 2
This is Part 2 where we talk about the future of the clean beauty industry and get into the nitty gritty of ingredients that were included and excluded from SAVE ME FROM Reboots. (By the way, we at SAVE ME FROM make an effort to be transparent about which ingredients we've chosen and why. If you like to read about ingredients, read our articles on caffeine, creatine, and fenugreek!)
Hope on the Horizon for Regulation
One can only imagine the number of cosmetic ingredients that have emerged since the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 passed. EWG estimates women expose themselves daily to 168 different chemicals from cosmetic products, most of which are unregulated. Public-health activists, environmental activists, and government representatives alike are now advocating for more regulation. Just last month, Amazon removed from their website several toxic skin lightening products that contained unsafe and illegal levels of mercury. This was done at the petition of activist groups BeautyWell Project and the Sierra Club who had gathered over 23,000 signatures. This year two proposed regulatory acts have emerged in hopes of eliminating greenwashing, promoting transparency, and solidifying consumer safety. The first is the Natural Cosmetics Act introduced by Sean Patrick Maloney which would set a legal definition for the words “natural” and “naturally-derived ingredient.”
Personal Care Products Safety Act
The second act is the bipartisan Personal Care Products Safety Act introduced by senators Dianna Feinstein and Susan Collins which would require much more FDA involvement in cosmetic manufacturing and ingredient safety assessment. It backed by companies such as Estee Lauder, Proctor & Gamble, Johnson and Johnson, and Environmental Working Group (EWG). The proposed act would require the FDA to issue regulations on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for personal care. Currently only OTC products are required to follow Good Manufacturing Practices, so some cosmetic products are manufactured in not so ideal conditions. Need I remind you of the Jacyln Hill lipstick fiasco. All SAVE ME FROM products are manufactured in the USA following GMP since quality is our priority. The Personal Care Products Safety Act would also require the FDA to evaluate a minimum of five ingredients found in personal care products per year to determine their safety and appropriate use. If the Natural Cosmetics Act and Personal Care Products Safety Act move forward, it would instill consumer trust and create a Clean Beauty market that is scientifically driven rather than emotionally driven by the consumer.
Rather than going the route of listing “free from” claims, (which by the way is banned in the EU), we listed our bio-alternative ingredients. We used numerous naturally derived ingredients as alternatives to blacklisted, unsafe, environmentally unfriendly, and synthetic ingredients.
Nature-Identical Preservatives vs. Parabens, Formaldehyde, and Formaldehyde Releasers
Cue Taylor Swift’s “Bad Reputation.” Everyone knows of these controversial preservatives that were once widely used. Propyl paraben, Formaldehyde, and Quaternium-15 (a formaldehyde releaser) happen to be three of the five proposed ingredients under the Personal Care Product Act to be reviewed first for safety and appropriate use. Parabens may be endocrine-disruptors and formaldehyde a carcinogen so it’s best to avoid these. Our hair masks contain a nature-identical compound found in cloudberry seeds which provides antioxidant and soothing benefits while protecting our formula’s integrity. We also used a blend of nature-derived and nature-identical ingredients sustainably from corn and sugar cane to boost preservation.
Plant Oils and Butter vs. Silicones
The EU has banned D4, cyclotetrasiloxane, and severely restricted use of D5, cyclopentasiloxane, in cosmetic products classifying these volatile silicones as persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic. There has been a lot of shade thrown about silicones, so we took the time to find botanical alternatives to silicones that are effective, biodegradable, and environmentally sustainable. We used coconut oil, linseed oil, babassu oil, murumuru butter, and fermented sugarcane to provide the sensory, conditioning, and shine enhancing benefits of silicones without being aggressive toward the environment or compromising consumer health.
Botanical UV protectant vs Organic Sunscreen Filters
Organic sunscreen filters pose a systemic absorption risk and are being reevaluated by the FDA for their safety. Instead of using an organic sunscreen filter to protect hair from solar damage, we used a combination of tannins from the tara tree and sunflower sprout extract to protect hair color and integrity with added heat protection through antioxidant mechanisms.
Earth-Harvested Colorants vs. Synthetic colorants
Colorants is the one category of cosmetic ingredients the FDA does evaluate. Historically, it was the cause of many illnesses due to high levels of heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic. Unfortunately, cosmetic colorants are still a safety issue today as evidenced by brands illegally using fluorescent pigments in eye shadow palettes for this year’s neon eyeshadow trend. We chose to use earth-harvested and safe ingredients to provide color such as pearl, henna extract, turmeric extract, neem extract, titanium dioxide, and mica. We also avoid talc in all our products. Since our mission at SAVE ME FROM is to save lives, we only use ethically sourced mica in our products. It is estimated that over 22,000 children are exploited in illegal mica mining. We at SAVE ME FROM know every life is important and take a stance against child labor.
Bio-based AND Sustainable
While bio-based ingredients are important, bio-based and sustainable ingredients are crucial. Sustainability and renewable resources are imperative as some brands are beginning to dabble in “wild harvesting” which is harvesting ingredients straight from their natural habitat (as opposed to harvested on a farm) which could pose sustainability issues and threaten natural species. Our SAVE ME FROM products are powered by our patent pending Fenugen® technology encapsulated with Ayurvedic Fenugreek sourced from organic, Fair Trade farms in India. We make traceability, sustainability, and the concept of “farm to face” (or "harvest to hair") a priority.
Celebrating “Bio” - Biofermented, Biomimetic, Biofunctional, Bioactive
The root word “bio-” means “life” which not only encompasses the clean beauty movement with its roots in plant derived ingredients but embodies our brand which celebrates life and advocates suicide prevention. Let’s delve into just a few of our “bio” ingredients.
Biofermented- We use a non-GMO biofermented sugarcane emollient as a sustainable alternative to silicones to provide heat, color, and frizz protection. It’s also biodegradable.
Biomimetic- We use a biomimetic keratin that matches the same amino acid sequences of the keratin proteins found in hair. Since this ingredient mimics natural hair keratin, it intelligently penetrates, conditions, and repairs damaged areas of hair.
Biofunctional- We utilize biofunctional peptides and amino acids from the carob tree to strengthen hair and repair damage caused by mechanical, thermal, and chemical stressors. It is incorporated into a sustained release system for long lasting hair exposure and protection.
Bioactive- We use rosebay extract and a polyphenol isolated from willow herb that acts biologically on the scalp to rebalance the scalp microbiome while reducing sebum and flaking.
We at SAVE ME FROM formulated our Ayurveda-inspired root-to-tip hair masks with a Clean Conscience, balancing every ingredient for purity, performance, and with your wellbeing in mind. Ayurveda emphasizes self-love, self-knowledge, and care for the earth that provides for us. This supports the Clean Beauty movement as well as this year’s top trend in the health and wellness category, “self-care.” By marrying the concept of “self-care” and Clean Beauty we created SAVE ME FROM. 
Krissie Gerrard is a biochemist and cosmetic formulator with a background in both research and development and product development. She partnered with leading contract manufacturers to develop skin and hair care brands including Bliss Color and Orlando Pita Play, directing both formulation and clinical testing. She worked as the senior formulation chemist at a contract manufacturer developing formulas for prestige brands found at Sephora and Ulta. She studied hair biology through the University of Cincinnati’s James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy and writes newsletter articles for the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.
Save Me From pushed her knowledge and expertise to the limit to formulate products with unique textures, specific hair concerns, new technology, and great clinical results.