Dare to go Bare: Understanding the “Natural” Beauty Business

Whether you are the minimal type or a more is More type of girl, you have probably come across products that seem a bit overwhelming, due to all of the unknown ingredients. That’s why we here at The V Word have done some research for you, because when it comes to our skin it is VERY important to have an idea of what we are using, because it could be creating more issues😕. That's why we believe in knowing the ingredients inside your fave products by understanding the labels, and understanding what ‘clean ’beauty really means, because knowledge is power!  

So this is safe...right?!?

Check the side eye, because some products are quick to preach its benefits, while masking it’s possible agitators. Since we are in the business of information, we wanted to take a look inside two key products: your moisturizer and cleaner. Provide you the ingredients you want to look for, the all-stars 🤩.

The Effective Cleanser Ingredients:

For normal skin

The best ingredients for normal skin in cleansers are retinol, salicylic acid, vitamin C, and chemical exfoliants. All of these encourage skin cell turnover, increase hydration, and soften the skin to keep it healthy.

For oily skin

To reduce oil, shine, and prevent breakouts, look for a face cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid as these clear out and remove excess oil from your pores. Tea tree oil is also a natural ingredient that dissolves oils and kills bacteria. If you are struggling with acne, the previously mentioned ingredients also work to clear out blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.

For dry skin

If you have dry skin, you should be using a cleanser that hydrates and moisturizes your skin. Ingredients to look for are lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and natural oils like avocado and jojoba. Also, avoid ingredients that those with oily skin should be using. Cleansers with salicylic or glycolic acids work to reduce oil and will further dry out the skin creating more irritation, cracking, and redness.

For combination/sensitive skin

Both combination and sensitive skin types should use ultra-gentle cleansers. Do not use physical scrubs or washes with microbeads as these can cause tears and further irritation in the skin. Use cleansers that are fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, paraben-free, and soap-free to ensure that you are not going to irritate your skin while washing.

The Effective Moisturizing Ingredients

There are tons of ingredients in moisturizers that have benefits for the skin. These ingredients are split up by four main categories that focus on the look, feel, hydration, and protection of your skin. 

The ingredient categories:


One of the biggest contributors to dry skin is the damage caused by sun exposure and other environmental factors. Over time, this damage inhibits the skin’s ability to renew itself. Look for potent, stable antioxidants to protect the skin’s surface from this damage.

**Some of our favorites: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Green Tea Extract, Ferulic Acid


These ingredients drench the skin with hydration so that  it looks smooth and plump

**Some of our favorites: Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides, Silicones


Once you’ve gotten the hydration into your skin, it’s important to keep it there!  That makes it key to prevent the loss of moisture. These ingredients lubricate and help to prevent water loss from the skin.

**Some of our favorites: Shea butter, Coconut Oil, Fatty acids


Continue to defend against sun exposure to prevent the damage done to the skin’s outer protective layer. This is the layer that helps keep the moisture in! Look for something non-comedogenic, broad-spectrum  and 30+

**Some of our favorites: Clear Choice Sport Shield SPF 45

The “CLEAN” of it all!

So what’s the difference between CLEAN, GREEN, and ORGANIC??? 🤔🤨…If you look at the current marketplace, it appears that the terms are interchangeable, but it’s not quite that simple. The terms “Green”, “Clean” , and “Natural'' are all unregulated terms, which means there’s no federal regulations for companies using the terms in their marketing, so your “natural” products could have unnatural ingredients. That’s why we need to have a good understanding of what these terms strive for. 

Understanding the terms:


Choosing to go green is a loose term, and really comes down to making conscious choices on the sustainability of your products. Understanding the company’s philosophy will help you weed through these products.


While this term is not regulated, many beauty brands have established clean standards of their own with published blacklists  (See below).


Doesn’t always mean safe, just like synthetic doesn’t always mean unsafe! Sometimes synthetic is more effective. “Clean” lists will help you make the distinction.


Since we don’t eat skincare (In the future🤔) we don’t need to aim for the same standard as foods. While USDA Organic is a regulated label, we don’t necessarily need our skincare to be 95% organic and above. Instead, look for NSF standards which are targeted towards beauty standards at 70% and above, or just look through your ingredient list to ensure that the majority of the ingredients are organic.


Since we have covered what to look for on the inside of the package, we figured it would be helpful to show you what to look for on the outside. Most ingredients are sensitive to air and light, which means packaging matters! Packaging with the least exposure to air and light maintains the products integrity. 

Type of packaging to look for: 

  • Air-Restricting (Ex. a pump, rather than a jar you open)
  • Bacteria Protection (Ex. doesn’t require you to dip your fingers in)
  • Opaque (blocks sunlight from getting in)

Don’t forget to pay attention to expiration!!! If you were ‘this years old’ when you learned beauty products have expiration dates, then you are welcome, we just fixed 80% of your skin issues. The date indicated on the label is printed to make sure your ingredients are still effective when used within that time frame. Look for the date (see image below) symbol on  your labels, the number represents the number of months since opening that the product is good for.

No More drama in my life 🙅‍♀️

We know this is why you here lol, the naughty list. Of course always consult with a medical professional for any medical concerns, but after that, take a look at these little tricksters, make sure they’re not hiding in any of your current products!

The majority of these ingredients are banned as they are potentially harmful to our bodies and/or the environment, like: Skin Irritants, Carcinogens, Hormone Disruptors


Key Violaters:

  • Parabens
  • Fragrances
  • Aluminum Compounds
  • Ethoxylated Agents
  • Formaldehyde
  • Refined Petroleum
  • Hydroquinone
  • Talc
  • Triclosan
  • Silica
  • Oxybenzone

For a full list, we recommend referencing Credo’s dirty list, which has banned over 2700 ingredients. Also, take a look into brands like Sephora and Paula’s Choice who have developed their own blacklists.

Who’s the barest of them all?

Whether you go bare on the reg or you prefer to try-on lewks, look for products that are non-carcinogenic, and not packed with “fillers”. Being mindful of what you are using and researching the ingredients, will only help you live your best skin life!




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