Eric Fisher Academy

Natural, Organic, Cruelty-Free, Oh My! Clean Beauty 101 Natural, Organic, Cruelty-Free, Oh My! Clean Beauty 101

How to Identify Clean Products When You Become a Cosmetologist

There are a lot of beauty buzzwords flying around the salon and internet lately, but what do they mean and how can you be sure the products you’re using are really the best? Don’t worry, because we have the clean beauty glossary you’ve been looking for! Look at these quick tips on how to choose the right product for the right client.

Knowing Your Beauty Products Is Important When You Become a Cosmetologist

When you enroll in cosmetology training, your number one priority is your client. This means that you need to know what products are right for their hair and skin type. Some clients may tolerate concentrated hair care products and others might be a little more sensitive.

You might also have clients who are vegan and prefer to use plant-based, cruelty-free products. The only way you can accurately stay true to their preferences is by knowing the products in your salon, inside and out.

So, What Is Clean Beauty?

Clean beauty is a term used by a lot of cosmetic companies to advertise they use products that won’t harm or irritate your skin. However, because the cosmetics industry is unregulated by the FDA, the term “clean” can be interpreted in many ways.

Clean beauty means a product does not use any chemicals or color additives that can harm you or the environment. This usually includes cosmetics that are plant-based and cruelty-free.

It should be noted that each cosmetic brand comes up with their own individual standard for clean beauty. So, you may find some ingredients in one product line that may not be included in another.

Companies that use terms like “green,” “clean,” and “organic” while continuing to use harmful ingredients in their products are greenwashing their labels. Therefore, you need to seek the advice of a professional who has extensive cosmetology training, if you’re having trouble finding truly clean beauty products.

What Are Organic Beauty Products?

Unlike the words “clean” and “natural,” the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the term “organic”. Though a company can use the word “organic” on their labels by only containing a single organic ingredient, they can’t use it on the front of their products or in the product name if it’s certified at least 95% organic by the USDA.

Beware of products that claim to be made with organic ingredients, but aren’t certified organic by the USDA or the NSF. Check out the USDA Organic Integrity Database to double check your products.

So, What’s the Difference Between Fair Trade and Cruelty-Free?

Fair trade means the ingredients, like coconut oil and argan oil, in your cosmetic products were bought at a fair price. The interest in fair trade started because the cosmetic industry and many other industries have traditionally taken advantage of small-scale farmers who grow the crops that are essential for making our favorite products.

When you buy a fair trade product, you’re supporting community projects that provide things like clean drinking water, better healthcare, and sustainable wages.

Cruelty-free products are cosmetic products that have been developed without testing or experimenting on animals. The U.S. doesn’t regulate testing on animals, and companies can still claim to be cruelty free even though they outsource ingredients from a manufacturer that tests on animals.

The only way to be sure you have a certified cruelty-free product is by checking the label for agencies like Leaping Bunny or Caring Consumer, which both use the symbol of a rabbit. Be on the lookout for fraudulent labels. If you’re not sure about the label on your hair or cosmetic product, ask your cosmetology school any questions you may have.

What Are Some Ingredients in Cosmetic Products That Can Be Harmful to My Clients?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate beauty products, which means there can be chemicals in your cosmetics that may be dangerous for your health and the environment.

Your skin absorbs chemicals, which can then enter the bloodstream, you can inhale powders into your lungs, or you can ingest certain cosmetics like lipsticks. Take a look at some of the common ingredients found in cosmetics that can cause harm to your health:


Parabens are normally used as a preservative, and is probably one of the most common ingredients in many cosmetic products. You can find parabens in makeup and hair products like moisturizers, shaving creams, conditioners, and foundations. Parabens can be absorbed by your skin and mimic estrogen, which could lead to breast cancer.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate

You can find sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) in many shampoos, body washes, and hand soaps. It’s used to cause foam and bubbles when you lather. SLS uses palm oil, which is one of the world’s most widely used vegetable oils. Harvesting palm has led to the deforestation of the Sumatran Rainforest. Plus, SLS is a known carcinogen and can cause skin irritation.


This chemical is added to soaps, toothpastes, and some cosmetics to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination. However, triclosan might also affect your thyroid and contribute to antibiotic resistance. It’s currently banned from cosmetic products sold in many U.S. drugstores and grocery stores, like Whole Foods.

Become a Cosmetologist at Eric Fisher Academy and Learn the Latest Techniques With the Best Products

There are a lot of details that set Eric Fisher Academy apart from all the other cosmetology schools, but one of the most important differences is our fully stocked inventory of high-quality hair and skin care products. Get cosmetology training with MUD cosmetics, and professional discounts on brands like Dermalogica, MAC cosmetics, Redken, and more!

Searching for a “cosmetology school near me?” Then contact Eric Fisher Academy online or call our admissions department at (316) 440-4782 today to schedule an appointment for enrollment. Don’t forget to check out our student salon and spa services, too!