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Sephora is defining clean beauty—and here’s how your skin can benefit


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As more and more skin-care enthusiasts gravitate toward the clean side of the beauty aisle, your options for complexion boosters and makeup with clean ingredients on virtual aisles are swelling.

You may find, though, that finding the right clean alternative for your fave cleanser or moisturizer can be difficult. That’s because a universal definition of “clean beauty” doesn’t exist—and terms like “natural” or “sustainable” can mean very different things (talk about confusing).

Sephora, your steady source of beauty-bag staples, has vowed to make the process way easier with its new “Clean at Sephora” seal. The result? A simplified definition of clean beauty.

“With so many buzzwords in the beauty space, Sephora has chosen the Clean at Sephora seal,” says Cindy Deily, senior director of skin care merchandising at Sephora. “The seal helps clients more easily identify brands that are formulating without many of the ingredients that they might be looking to avoid.”

“The most important clean-beauty swaps are products that are used daily or are leave-in.”

The curated picks leave out a long list of ingredients: sulfates (SLS and SLES), parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban, full stop. Sephora’s experts are doing the homework for you, vetting products and putting a (literal) stamp of approval to verify clean brands.

Where to start? “The most important clean-beauty swaps are products that are used daily or are leave-in (so they stay on our skin and are used on larger skin areas),” says Lena Korres, chemical engineer and co-founder of KORRES. So beginning your beauty-cabinet detox by swapping out your a.m. moisturizer, overnight serum, or cleanser is a smart place to start.

Can’t imagine saying goodbye to an old standby? That’s okay, too. “If you are struggling with giving up a favorite eye cream, try to replace everything else,” says Mathilde Thomas, founder of Caudalie. It’s all about baby steps.

Hover over the products below to learn more about Clean at Sephora—and shop our faves.

CLEAN BEAUTY 101

In partnership with Sephora

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