Her name is Dana Murray and she is the founder of Babe + Beauty, one of the best skincare blogs on the internet right now. IF you ask me… and you know I am psycho about skincare!

Dana is a well-established Holistic Esthetician and does lots of work in product formulation– aka girl is SMART. #BrainIsTheNewAss

Dana truly gives back when it comes to skin knowledge because her blog and Instagram (@BabeAndBeauty) is FULLY DEDICATED to educating consumers and women on products and ingredients as well as give advice on what people can realistically expect when trying to enhance their skin.

She is SO HONEST and breaks things down in such a way that you leave feeling like you actually learned something you can remember.

Today we are discussing the differences between CLEAN BEAUTY, NATURAL BEAUTY, AND GREEN BEAUTY. I think as consumers, we need to be smart about what is being marketed towards us when it comes to what we are putting on our bodies.

Like really- it can get confusing. What IS the difference between clean and natural beauty? Is there something KEY there? We’re getting into it!!


Babe and beauty

VF: Tell us about Babe And Beauty and why you created it in the first place. Thousands of women come to you every day for advice on skincare. It’s so awesome to see!

Dana: Babe + Beauty is a place that I’ve created for people to receive professional skin care advice from an experienced holistic esthetician. There you will find beauty myths being busted with a scientific approach while diving deep into the physiology of the skin and chemistry of ingredients. Babe + Beauty also focuses on clean, green and cruelty-free product recommendations and living.

I love writing and with my years working as an esthetician in various capacities I had a ton of information to share. I didn’t want to just create another beauty blog and making one was something I thought about for a long time so with the encouragement of my husband I finally decided to go for it in 2015. I wanted to be a resource for people to find correct skin care advice or how to make the switch to clean beauty. When I write a post or recommend products I don’t just think of my own skin type. I think of all the scenarios of different skin types, conditions, medications someone may be using, the climate they live in etc. Also, I love helping women feel good about themselves so if that is through skin care advice then I think that is pretty amazing!

You add an element of education to your posts. You’re in product formulation. What specifically are you doing in the realm and what interests you the most?

An educational approach has always been my absolute passion since I love sharing knowledge with people. When I was working in resort spas my favorite part of performing facials was educating clients on their skin or ingredients or when I was a lead esthetician teaching other estheticians on techniques. When I moved into working for a skincare brand I was director of education which is teaching spas how to use our products in treatments. I now work in product development, I come up with concepts for products and with the help of our cosmetic chemists we bring them to life. It’s a super fun job! What interests me the most is ingredients and how they work with the skin and the body.

There’s a lot of marketing going on around “clean beauty”, “natural beauty”, “green beauty”, etc. Before we get into the differences, would it be fair to say that a lot of brands are being misleading when using these terms on their packaging? Kind of how the food industry uses the term “natural” but it doesn’t mean much…

Yes, that is fair to say. The beauty industry is highly unregulated and there is no official definition surrounding any of those terms. There is also a term called “greenwashing” which is when a company makes claims that their products are healthier or more environmentally friendly than they actually are. Again, while there is no official definition I will provide commonly used definitions- but even still the meaning may vary from brand to brand.

Let’s get into the differences and focus on why one would choose one over the other.

Clean Beauty
Products that are formulated to be safe for humans that do not cause skin inflammation/irritation, body system disruptions or ill effects. They can be nature-made or lab helped.

Natural Beauty
To some, this may simply mean from a plant. However, it’s actually a very subjective topic since some brands may only take a purist approach while others may consider any form of a plant-based ingredient as “natural.” In the world of product formulation, it’s broken down into four categories….

Naturally Occurring
This is a naturally occurring ingredient (typically plant based) that has maintained it’s original chemical shape and structure. Example: Oils that are cold pressed.

Naturally Derived
These are plant or microbial based ingredients that undergo chemical reactions. Example: Vegan hyaluronic acid that is synthesized through bacterial fermentation of sugars or yeast. (This method is also humane since hyaluronic acid can be made from animals.)

Nature Identical
Synthetically produced ingredients to mimic and be identical to naturally occurring ingredients. Example: Citric acid is an ingredient we assume will be derived from citrus fruits. However, since it’s a commonly used ingredient in foods and beauty the amount of citrus fruit we would need to maintain our usage would not be sustainable.

Synthetic Mimicking
These are plant/bacteria derived ingredients that are mimicking synthetic molecules. Example: Propylene glycol is petroleum-derived and used as a skin conditioning agent, solvent and helps products absorb into the skin better. There are now plant-based or bio-based propylene glycols on the market made from corn.

Green Beauty
Pretty much it’s good for the environment and brand may partake in one or several green initiatives. Examples of this may be using recycled boxes, biodegradable packing peanuts, planting trees for products sold etc.

Just a follow up– when it comes to “natural” beauty then, which type do you normally gravitate towards and which do you avoid?

In an ideal world, I would prefer naturally occurring or naturally derived. However, I take more of a pragmatic approach and as long as the ingredient isn’t harmful, inflammatory or system disrupting to the skin or body I am good with it. Especially, if it is more sustainable and humane. I like ingredients that are safe for humans, our animals and the mother earth.

Thank you so much, Dana! Where can we find you and what can we expect on your Instagram and blog?

You can find me on my blog, my Instagram and I am active in my Facebook group Babe + Beauties answering questions daily!

I request a lot of feedback from my followers because I write for them, not me! So per their requests, I plan to write skin care specific routines, clean beauty “babe on a budget” product recommendations, more acne recommendations and I will keep on giving tips and busting myths!


…. WHAT A GAL!!! Thank you, Dana!