Style & Beauty

What is ‘clean beauty’? Caudalie’s co-founder tells us why it should matter and how to get started

The French brand is a pioneer in this area of beauty, having started its foray into clean skincare in 2005. “Nobody cared at that time, honestly – neither the customers, nor the retailers. But we decided that we will do what we think is right and what we want to stand for as a brand. The competition out there hated us because of that… all the other brands were saying that we are discrediting traditional skincare additives likes parabens, which are used widely in the industry,” he added. Fast-forward to today, and things are looking very different from back then in the beauty scene. It is now evident that Caudalie has gone on the right track by going clean. While clean beauty is already booming in areas like Europe and the United States, Thomas noted that it seems to be just gaining momentum in Asia. But growth is sure to come quickly with the arrival of more clean beauty brands, as well as rising levels of awareness of how beauty ingredients can impact skin health and even the planet.

Bertrand Thomas from the French clean skincare brand shares the basics to know about cleaning up your skincare routine.

Initially a trend some years ago, clean beauty is now considered a movement pushing both big and small industry players to make their skincare formulas more environmentally friendly and skin-friendly over time.

With skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema on the rise and climate change in the spotlight, it’s hardly surprising why more and more people are interested in what exactly goes into the skincare products they use every day and whether they also negatively impact the planet. Since this demand is growing rapidly, beauty companies are eager to meet it.

However, it is not easy – neither for consumers nor skincare companies. For the former, it’s about navigating the often confusing concept of clean beauty and finding the appropriate products that will meet their unique skincare needs. To make existing formulas clean, it takes a lot of time and effort.

In his experience, Bertrand Thomas, co-founder of Caudalie, knows this well. “All of these ingredients that we are using to create clean skincare are more expensive. Going clean is a slow process – reformulating your products takes a lot of time, and there are extra costs,” he said.

In 2005, the French brand began its foray into clean skincare.

“Nobody cared then, honestly – neither the customers nor the retailers. However, we decided that we would do what we believed was right and what we wanted to be known for as a brand. Because of that, our competition hated us… They were claiming that we were discrediting the use of traditional skincare additives like parabens, which are widely used,” he said.

Fast-forward to now and it’s clear Caudalie made the right decision to go clean. Clean beauty is already popular in Europe and the United States, but seems to be just getting started in Asia. However, with more brands expanding into the clean beauty space and a growing awareness of how beauty products can affect the skin and environment, there’s sure to be rapid growth in no time.


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