Cleanliness is subjective. Just ask any kid under 10 who pronounces their room tidy after leaving their dirty socks next to the hamper or shoving a years’ worth of homework into a single desk drawer.
And “clean” beauty is no exception. Though the buzzword has been floating around the industry for years, there’s still no universally agreed-upon criteria for what makes a product “clean,” “green,” “natural,” or “eco-friendly.” (And yes, the quotation marks around all those terms are very much intentional.)
For us at Allure, it’s about what’s not on the ingredient list: Products that meet our definition of “clean” do not contain parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, cyclic silicones, polyethylene or polypropylene (microbeads), aluminum salts, formaldehyde, hydroquinone, PEGs, triclosan, talc, mineral oil, petrolatum, formaldehyde, or toluene. (If you’re curious, you can always read more about how we landed on the Allure Clean Standard.)
Sure, scanning ingredient lists until your eyes bug out isn’t exactly the sexiest part of the job, but it was worth it to yield this list of high-performing products you, dear reader, can feel extra good about. This year, our Best of Beauty “Clean” winners include a tinted balm that looks equally ethereal on cheeks, lips, and lids, a no-budge mascara, and a body scrub that will turn your shower into a spa.
Thanks to months upon months of testing, we know there’s not a dud among the 22 products you’re about to scroll through. And we think you’ll be just as impressed with each and every one of our 2021 Best of Beauty winners — so be sure to check out the full list when you’re done. —Dianna Mazzone