The Crackdown on Chemicals: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly | Olika Skip to content
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January 24, 2022 2 min read

The clean beauty movement has inspired more and more consumers to research the ingredients in their favorite products and think critically about what substances they want going in and on their bodies. 

Unfortunately, a lot of clean beauty messaging is rooted in fear. Fear of chemicals, fear of confusing ingredient names, and fear of the unknown. As a clean hygiene brand, we know a thing or two about safe formulas and effective ingredients. We hate to burst your bubble, but not all chemicals are bad!

When you think of “chemicals” you probably picture a mad scientist looming over a vat of bubbling toxic sludge, loosely resembling that neon green Nickelodeon slime. On the contrary, many chemical elements are naturally occurring, like the hydrogen and oxygen making up the air we breathe. See? We need chemicals to survive. 

Natural vs. Synthetic

While it’s true that naturally occurring ingredients like aloe, argan oil, and vitamin C make for quality, effective skincare products, natural is not always best for your skin and our environment.

In terms of efficacy and sustainability, synthetic, man-made ingredients offer environmentally responsible, clean ingredients that don’t deplete nature. Take squalene for example:

Squalene is a natural oil often used in vaccines and skincare products. Traditionally, squalene is harvested from deep-sea shark livers, devastating shark populations with long-lasting ecological consequences. A cutting-edge sugarcane-derived squalene, formulated by OLIKA's innovative parent company Amyris, has helped offset the environmental impact of traditional shark-derived squalene. For the everyday consumer, this man-made squalene is molecularly identical and higher purity than its naturally occurring counterpart. A win for your skincare routine and for our environment! 

Natural is good, but synthetic can be even better. 

Parabens, Phthalates, Sulfates.. Oh My!

Over the years, the cosmetic industry has pinpointed popular ingredients that may be doing your body more harm than good. If you’re a clean beauty junkie, you’ve likely heard of infamous parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. Once popular additives in shampoos and conditioners, these ingredients of concern have been eliminated by most manufacturers thanks to an educated movement of ingredient-focused consumers.

In our own arena, just this year we learned that many mass-produced hand sanitizers actually contain benzene, a chemical known to cause cancer. While our hydrating hand sanitizerformula was not of concern, this news exemplified how important it is for consumers to shop from reputable, transparent companies like OLIKA. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how OLIKA is doing things differently, listen to our recent episode of Skincare Anarchy where we dive deep on the clean beauty industry and our dedication to creating safe, effective products. 


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