Podcast 176: Why the word ‘cleanical’ needs to go

Abolish cleanical

Just when you thought the beauty industry had exhausted its lexicon, along comes “cleanical”. At first glance, cleanical seems innocent enough and quite easy to decipher; it’s a mash-up of “clean” and “clinical,” and it aims to describe formulations that are both clean beauty formulations and clinically proven. What’s the harm in using it on labels, social media, or in the beauty media? For a start, cleanical should be seen as controversial as it has no scientific basis.

To explain why, Lorraine Dallmeier, the host of Green Beauty Conversations and CEO of Formula Botanica, unpacks the term and presents her view on the use of “cleanical” in the beauty industry. In this episode, she argues why this buzzword should be abolished from our vocabulary and how it is yet another term that perpetuates misconceptions about clean beauty.

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The beauty business has added cleanical to its lexicon. @FormulaBotanica podcast argues it's a marketing ploy, is not backed by science, and has no reason to exist. #cleanical #cleanbeauty #greenwashing Click To Tweet

 

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Lorraine questions the need for such a term and highlights several key points to support her stance.

Firstly, the term implies that clean beauty is not based on science-backed and proven results – this is nonsense. Clean beauty formulations can, and do, embrace science in order to create effective products. Regardless of whether they use plant-based or synthetic ingredients good formulations should be based on solid scientific principles, and aim to deliver results.

In fact, as we heard in our guest episode with 9th generation master herbologist Dr Jenelle Kim, many natural ingredients have a long history of traditional use, and possess scientifically-proven properties of cosmetic benefit.

Lorraine draws a parallel with the term “safe beauty,” which emerged during the pandemic and is also nonsensical. All beauty should be safe, irrespective of the ingredient origins. In most parts of the world, cosmetics, whether of plant or synthetic origin ingredients or both, must undergo safety testing before being allowed onto the market.

Lorraine argues that “cleanical” is an unnecessary term devised solely for marketing reasons. The beauty industry does not need another definition for clinically-proven, plant-based formulations that are beneficial for our skin and the environment. Instead, Lorraine urges us to reject the term, avoid marketing jargon, and celebrate the efficacy of natural formulations supported by scientific evidence.


If you enjoyed this thought-provoking opinion, listen in to our other Green Beauty Conversations on similar topics:

Podcast 44: What is clean beauty? A redefinition
Episode 54: What is blue beauty?
Episode 83: How waterless beauty greenwashed the world

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed listening, please share, subscribe and review this episode on iTunes, Spotify or Youtube so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Lorraine Dallmeier

Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.

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