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Here's What Clean Beauty At mindbodygreen Means To Us: 8 Core Values You Can Expect

Alexandra Engler
April 18, 2021
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
By Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and
April 18, 2021

Here at mindbodygreen beauty, we've always believed beauty can be a powerful tool to fuel your connection to yourself and others. We've never believed in the superficiality of beauty. Beauty, when boiled down to its core values, has a purpose: And that purpose is to better your physical, emotional, environmental, cultural, and mental well-being—in ways simple and complex, big and small. Beauty at its best should be of service to you.

And as we thought about what this means in practice—how we carry and hold our purpose every day—we started seeing our north stars more clearly. And we thought it was time to share those guiding lights with you. A reminder: Your hair, skin, and body are not afterthoughts. They are you. And you are part of your community. And your community is part of this planet. Beauty, you see, is all around us. 


No product can replace the simple act of taking care of yourself.

The best skin care and beauty advice doesn't come on the back of a product label, in advertising or marketing verbiage, or require a shopping trip. It's actually the basic stuff: Get enough sleep; eat a balanced diet that works for you; move your body; get outdoors; keep stress under control as best you can; be mindful of your daily actions. These are the pillars for keeping your body—and, therefore, skin and hair—healthy. 

Of course, there are real, valid reasons someone reaches for a product. It can be because you have a skin condition that needs both topical and internal intervention. It can be because you are protecting your skin from environmental concerns, like photodamage. It can be because life gets in the way of perfectly healthy habits, and sometimes a brightening serum and highlighter are just enough to make you feel more put together. It can be because, well, you just enjoy beauty products (that alone is enough of a reason!). 

But ultimately, what we do for our overall health has the greatest impact on the long-term integrity of the skin and hair. A well-formulated serum can do wonders—but it can't replace basic acts of self-care.


High standards are earned. 

Having high standards for products comes from putting in the work: Trying formulas, doing the research, decoding the ingredient lists, talking with experts, talking with people who interact with beauty in a real way, and thinking about the "why" behind it all. There are no shortcuts to high standards. High standards are also not a destination: It's an ongoing process that evolves as innovations do. 

To do this, we stay up to date on research about the latest in ingredients: We want to offer and suggest products that are high-quality, effective, and safe—and that means knowing what the latest intel says. The data, innovations, and trends are always changing, and it's important we know what's happening so we can make informed recommendations. 

We also understand that seals and certifications can offer insights into a product's quality, but it won't always inform the whole picture. While we believe that third-party verification can be useful for some brands and websites, we don't believe that it's the be-all and end-all. Ultimately, we value brands that provide thoughtful, science-backed, honest messaging about their products—whether or not it comes with a certification. 

Finally, our standards aren't influenced by passing trends, monetary pressure, or outside incentives: What we write and recommend in our editorial content has been selected and vetted by our editors.


Don't make the perfect the enemy of the good. 

Sure, we just said we have high standards (and we do!), but we also know that setting unattainable bars can be just as damaging to progress. We are in pursuit of being better—not being perfect. So, yes, while we believe in using high-quality products and ingredients, we also know that when taken to the extreme, it makes clean beauty feel inaccessible. 

This is also true of the beauty industry writ large. There are a lot of areas we need to be better: Every company has work that can be done to make them more sustainable, clean, authentic, and transparent. Every editor and writer has areas of content they could be better educated on. And every consumer has gaps in which they could make more informed choices. 

The beauty industry is a work in progress—but ideally, it's progress toward the greater good. What we collectively value, understand, and produce should reflect our constant education and evolution. 


Cleaning up the industry means nothing if it's not accessible & inclusive. 

You cannot create a fair beauty industry that is not reflective of the many people, cultures, and traditions that influence it. But it's not just looking toward the past—the more ideas, backgrounds, and individuals we have to help guide us toward the future, the better. 

And clean should also be available to all who want it. A broader community is better for us, the planet, and so on. Everyone should be invited on this journey to do so. This is why it's valuable that we promote products at all price points. This is why we are encouraging when mass drugstore brands move toward cleaner formulas or more sustainable packaging. It's why we believe in lifting up promising brands that are just finding their footing—so that ideally, one day, they can become industry leaders.


Longevity consistently triumphs over trends. 

There will always be room to cover what's buzzy and exciting. Who doesn't love exploring what's in the zeitgeist? But what we find over and over again is that the principles we've known to be true for years—lifetimes even—are usually what remain the most meaningful and effective. So while we look to what's new, we also always value the ingredients, nutrients, and rituals that have stood the test of time and continue to sustain us.

Take, for example, the microbiome. Humans have had skin microbiomes since, well, ever. You, yourself, have had your own unique microbiome since the moment you were born. This microscopic, invisible shield of organisms protects us, nurtures us, and allows our skin to function normally. Without a diverse, flourishing flora, our internal and external bodies suffer. And as new, exciting research emerges about it, biome-friendly skin care is by all accounts "on trend." But it's more than that: It is one of the core aspects of your skin health that has supported and sustained you your whole life. I can't think of anything that symbolizes longevity more than that. 


Transparency is a pathway to better content and industry. 

For so long, the beauty industry operated behind a veil, offering information to the consumer as it deemed appropriate and beneficial to them. But we've entered a new era, one that requires consistent openness, being honest about choices, explaining the process, and being sincere about the ways in which we could be better. We believe that when you set out to do these things, it creates a better outcome. 

Although, I understand that transparency can feel radical and intimidating. Ultimately, it means trusting the audience and consumer: that they'll understand both the good and bad and be eager to join the journey. We hope you do. 


Beauty contains a spectrum of emotions — embrace them all. 

The act of beauty can be both joyful and serious, thoughtful and playful. We can create space for both in our content—and not one undermines nor is more important than the rest.

We do this in our service stories, which help you find the joy in routines and rituals, big and small. We do this through our science-backed explainers, which are serious about giving you the most up-to-date information available. We do this through trend reports, which aim to put our favorite beauty happenings in a thoughtful context. We do this through our playful tip stories, that find the fun and simple pleasures of a swipe of highlighter or facial massage.


Expect respect — from us to you. 

We believe in respect. Respect for the skin as a living, dynamic organ with important functions and purposes—not just as a means to an aesthetic end. Respect for our planet and the nature around us—not just because it's the right thing to do but because we are part of nature too. Respect for culture and traditions—and how beauty's past always influences beauty's future. We respect you, our reader. We respect your time, intelligence, and thoughtfulness. 

We know that there's a real human on the other side of our content: someone reading our stories, listening to our podcasts, taking our classes, trying our supplements. And we respect the person who came to us, and we don't want to let them—you—down.

If you're looking for more engaging beauty conversations, listen to our new beauty podcast, Clean Beauty School. Subscribe on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.

Alexandra Engler author page.
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director

Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.