What is the Clean 15?

Let’s get real: clean beauty has never been more confusing. There are no universally accepted definitions of “clean,” “green,” or “natural” in cosmetics. And just as often as conventional brands pack their products with hazardous ingredients while falsely advertising them as “clean and green”, “natural” companies utilize fear-mongering tactics to scare consumers into purchasing their products—even though many natural ingredients can be just as dangerous as synthetic ones. So what constitutes the Clean 15?

Enter: CLOVE + HALLOW’s Clean15™ formulation strategy. Developed to cut through the clutter, this standard serves as our formulating guidepost and guarantees that every product we create contains 15 or fewer safe ingredients per base formula. Clean 15 means that we commit to principles like no cheap fillers or unnecessary fluff. Just the good stuff.


Clean 15


Our Commitment to Clean 15 - Fewer Than 15 Ingredients  

Why Clean 15 or fewer ingredients?

We appreciate that you, our customer, are committed to being conscientious consumers—but we also understand that you have a life, too. Minimalist formulations protect against a laundry list of ingredients for you to sort through and ensure every formula is packed with impactful ingredients only. Formulating this way pushes us to be thoughtful and intentional, and provides our customers with peace of mind. 

How do we decide which ingredients make the cut for the Clean 15?

Well, when it comes to evaluating the safety of any ingredient—natural or otherwise—context is critical. Without paying attention to the full ingredient list, the concentration of each ingredient, the function of the ingredients (such as pigment, preservation, or performance), the application method, packaging, and more, it’s difficult to adequately assess the benefits and risks of a raw material.

That's why we refer to peer-reviewed studies, third party testing, and advice from experts such as cosmetic chemists and a variety of health professionals before rushing to label certain ingredients good or bad.


Clean 15

Once we decide to move forward with an ingredient, it is reviewed for safety and purity on its own, then again in the finished formula. Our commitment to Clean 15 means that we only release products that are compliant with our internal safety standards as well as stricter EU regulations (and, yes, we are  certified to sell in the EU). This process allows us to create high-performance, clean cosmetics that safely harness the power of active naturals and functional synthetics.

So, what ingredients aren’t allowed in the Clean 15?

Here are a few examples of what you won’t find in our products and that aren't allow in our Clean 15: parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrance and flavor, talc, PEG-s, formaldehyde-donors, and more than 1,500 other ingredients that do more harm than good.

Main Ingredients We Stay Away from in Our Clean 15 Rule

1. Parabens - Studies suggest that parabens may pose problems when it comes to our hormonal balance and even fertility. For example, parabens may mimic oestrogen and this may effect the oestrogen hormone to increase cell division in breasts leading to growth in tumors. They may also cause skin irritation. 

2. Phthalates - according to CDC, phthalates are a family of chemicals used to soften and make plastic more durable. They can be ingested through food or drink, but exposure can also occur when breathing them in. In our Clean 15 promise, we stay away from them because they can cause damage to the liver, reproductive system, kidneys, and lungs. 

3. Synthetic fragrance  and flavor - with our Clean 15 focus, we stay away synthetic fragrances or flavors due to their skin irritating properties. According to National Institute of Health, fragrance containing products can cause adverse health effects. 

4. Talc - even though some people can tolerate talc, we decided to make sure we avoid it as a part of our Clean 15 commitment. The mineral has been shown to have bad side effects especially if swallowed or inhaled accidentally. Additionally, it can also cause irritation and redness if it reaches your eyes. 

5. PEGs - although PEGs are often used in cosmetics as a binding, stabilizer, and an absorption agent, they are highly controversial. As a part of our Clean 15 philosophy, we stay away from them due their ability to penetrate skin and get absorbed into the body or help other chemicals do so. 

6. Formaldehyde-Donors - formaldehyde are often used in cosmetics although they have been shown to increase risk of an immune response upon initial exposure. According to the American Cancer Society, some studies suggest that use of formaldehyde can increase risk of a certain type of leukemia (myeloid leukemia). They can also cause eczema, itchy eyes, and trouble breathing. 


Clean 15

Other Harmful Ingredients We Avoid as a Part of our Clean 15 Rule 


1. Alcohol: as a part of our Clean 15 rule, we avoid alcohol in our cosmetics due to its effect on protective surface of our skin. It can break down our skin's ability to heal itself and speed up the aging process. 

2. Fragrance: we try to stay away from using fragrance in our cosmetics as it can cause eczema and other skin reactions. 

3. Mineral oil: as a part our Clean 15 rule, we avoid using mineral oil in our cosmetics due to its ability to clog pores and exacerbate acne problems. 

4. Artificial colourants: similarly to mineral oil, artificial colourants can increase chance of acne. These toxins can cause risk of irritation and sensitivity.

5. Hydroquinone: Hydroquinone is another ingredient that can cause skin to react by becoming dry, red, and sensitive.  

Ingredient Glossary and Clean 15

If you ever have a question about a specific ingredient, we encourage you to read more about it in our ingredient glossary, no PhD required. Still have questions about Clean 15? Contact our customer support team at cs@cloveandhallow.com. We’re here to help!