Deceptively Clean

A lot of companies are starting to make ‘clean’ products now, but I hate to break it to you, but they are not all completely clean, which can be misleading to the shopper (myself included). I’ve learned you can’t even trust if something is sold at Whole Foods, or under Sephora’s Clean Beauty section; don’t get me wrong, they still limit ingredients and are considered clean to some, but they are just not as clean as I like!

Before I started researching and learning more about products, I had used Mario Badescu because I thought it was healthy. It’s always been advertised as having “simple, gentle, fresh-botanical-based ingredients.” Well, that could not be more wrong.

Mario Badescu’s products contain Glycols, which can be irritating to the skin and cause redness. It’s also found in antifreeze, paint, and plastic, so I don’t think you want that going onto your face.

It also contains Polysorbate 20, which is another skin irritant and it has a possible contamination with 1,4 dioxane. 1,4 dioxane has been linked to birth defects, organ toxicity, and is a carcinogen.

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask - I saw this on Sephora’s Clean Beauty list, and I’d seen a lot of hype about the product being cruelty free, free of artificial fragrances, and sulfate free, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’d read that founder, Lauren used it while pregnant because it’s so clean, so I ordered it.  I got it in the mail, and then looked closely at the packaging. It has PEG’s, which are an Ethoxylated ingredient used for thickening and softening the product but could potentially be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, which are known as carcinogens. The mask also contains phenoxyethanol, which is used to preserve the product and can be a skin irritant and can also disrupt the nervous system. It can also interfere with getting pregnant. Yikes.

I took the mask a step farther, just to see how my skin would react, because I have only used non-toxic products for a while now. I also wanted to be able to review it for your lovely people and I am a risk taker ;-)

Well, it wasn’t good; as soon as I put it on, my skin burned, so I had to take it off immediately. It is said to “deeply moisturize” the skin but it left my skin feeling dryer for a couple of days.

I wrote to Summer Fridays customer service to let them know what happened and they wouldn’t offer a return because the item had been used. They also didn’t offer any sort of refund, which is terrible customer service in my opinion, especially after paying $55 for a face mask…beware!

A great replacement is the Naturopathica Kombucha Bio-Cellulose face mask. It’s made from the probiotic culture of Kombucha and is said to increase pH levels to help radiate the skin! I loved it and I didn’t have any burning or tingling. My skin felt like a baby’s bottom after I used it and I definitely plan to buy more.


If you’ve taken anything away from this, it’s that you really need to know what to look for and dive deeper into everything, even if it’s labeled as being ‘clean.’ Packaging and marketing can be very misleading and that’s why I am here to do the research and navigating for you, so you don’t have to spend hours researching yourself!

The good news is there are plenty of clean options out there that work well, really well, even better than the mainstream products. I promise!

BeautyLauren Young