What makes a product "clean"?

America’s cosmetic regulations for safe products is 81 years old and while the European Union has banned more than 1,000 chemicals common in personal care products, the United States has banned just 11. In California, legislation to improve upon the federal regulation, including the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act (AB 495) has stalled in legislation this year but hopefully will see more support next year.

These days many beauty and personal care products boast being “clean” or “non-toxic”, but what does that really mean? Well, there is no technical definition as the beauty industry is self-regulated (meaning anyone can make a “clean beauty” claim with no oversight). However, there is a general consensus on what it means in the industry and we can tell you what it means to us.

Clean products are safe for people and the planet, clean means that a product should have considered human and environmental health, using a nontoxic element as a baseline and plant-based ingredients for active results.


When a product is labeled nontoxic, it means that the ingredients have not been shown to cause adverse health effects at the levels found inside the formula and for the intended use. Of course, once again this term is not regulated but given that a manufacturer follows the FDA regulations (albeit already loose), then all products available in the US should technically be “non-toxic”. Committed brands go above and beyond this level of non-toxic and will exclude the use of any level of any ingredient that has been shown to cause adverse effects. The best way to tell how strict a company might be limiting potentially harmful ingredients is via third party ratings such as those posted by the Environmental Working Group. The EWG is a great resource and their library of consumer products grows daily, all with ratings that are easy to understand.  


If you are new on your journey to using clean or non-toxic products, it can seem overwhelming to completely ditch all of your favorite go-to products. The best way to start is by prioritizing products that meet these three criteria: 

1. Products that once placed on the body and are not washed or rinsed off 

2. Products that are used daily, and

3. Products that are applied to a large surface area. 


For most people, it makes sense to start with things like lotions and deodorants. Instead of learning all the names of the chemicals, you are trying to avoid, when starting it can be easier to find a brand, store, or app that you can trust to do the hard work for you, like us!


At Remedy, we are committed to screening products for you so that you can feel confident about the products you purchase here. Unfortunately, we can not yet claim that all of our products meet even our own standard of “clean”. While all of our personal care products do, the idea of clean products has not yet caught on in the pharmaceutical industry, and so for prescriptions and many over-the-counter meds, it is not yet possible for us to source “clean” versions. The good news is that with our compounding lab, we can take out many of the preservatives and added chemicals that can pose health risks. We understand that it is not always feasible to do a compound every time you need a short course of a med. For example, basic hydrocortisone cream- great for a really itchy rash, and typically used for a few days at most. It is extremely effective, yet, it does have some additives that if you used every day might cause some concern. So we still stock products like that because it is our opinion that in that case, the benefit outweighs the risk.


In terms of our personal care products, we are proud to be selective and only bring you the best of the best! Here is a list of some of our favorites for each of your basic necessities:


  • Deodorant: Agent Nateur, Regular and Sensitive

  • Sunscreen: Coola (mineral line)

  • Face lotion: Josh Rosebrook, Nutrient Day Cream (with SPF 30!)

  • Body Lotion: Grown Alchemist (coming soon!), BKIND, Derma-E

  • Body Oil: Rowsie Vain 

  • Face Wash: Josh Rosebrook

  • Toothpaste: David’s Natural Toothpaste

  • Shampoo and Conditioner: The Mailroom Barber and Josh Rosebrook

  • Dry Shampoo: Pantry Products

  • Nail Polish and Nail Polish Remover: BKIND 

  • Lip Balm: Wild Botanicals


If you are looking to replace some of your old products with some new cleaner alternatives please stop in today! Remember that our loyalty program is free to sign up and offers 5% off all of the above products to show our appreciation to our loyal regulars!