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Clean beauty, also known as natural skin care, is having a moment. From 2017 to 2018, the natural skin care market grew by 23% to 1.6 billion dollars, accounting for over 25% of the 5.6 billion dollars of annual skin care sales in 2018.1 Staunch warnings from influencers such as Gwyneth Paltrow, whose blog Goop warns readers “Do you want antifreeze (propylene glycol) in your moisturizer? We’re going to guess no,”2 have ignited fear in consumers who are now hungry for skincare that is safe and nontoxic. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has failed to define clean and natural, leaving these labels open to interpretation by nondermatologist retailers, bloggers, and celebrities who have set out to define clean beauty for themselves. While the clean beauty movement has demonized hundreds of compounds, in this Viewpoint, we argue that an arbitrary designation of clean or natural does not necessarily make products safer for consumers.
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Rubin CB, Brod B. Natural Does Not Mean Safe—The Dirt on Clean Beauty Products. JAMA Dermatol. 2019;155(12):1344–1345. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2019.2724
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