Your Top Beauty Recommendations from Social Dearest! | Greenwich Moms

My name is Emily Vickers, I’m a mother of two young daughters, I moved to Greenwich in 2020 from Boston and I’m the founder of Social Dearest! A website dedicated to clean living and beauty. I started my blog as a way to share what I was learning (discovering) about living and consuming products that are good for our bodies. Quick background: I have suffered from eczema all my life and for a long time didn’t realize the products I was using were actually making it worse. Thankfully, in my late 20’s the health and wellness craze was really in full swing. Women like myself became more educated consumers in what we ate and how we moved our bodies. During this time I also realized that what I put on my body was also equally as important. Afternall, your skin is your largest organ.

I started to talk with my friends about my findings and they were interested – many suffered from infertility, family history of cancer, allergic reactions and so I started following blogs I trusted, meeting founders of clean beauty companies at events in Boston and shopping at stores like Credo Beauty that I trusted due to their stringent standards on which ingredients are allowed in products they sell. Soon I began changing out my toxic products for clean ones and overnight my skin changed. Minimal breakouts, looked brighter, maybe even a few years younger?  🙂 By the time I had my first child I became simply obsessed with bringing the cleanest products into my household. I had this idea to create a blog that helps busy women feel more confident and educated about what they expose themselves and their families to.

Today in our beauty industry, there is minimal regulation so I want to provide tips on how to avoid greenwashing and common ingredients to avoid and why. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act has not updated the ingredients that they’ve banned since 1938 and the number of ingredients that they banned in cosmetic products at the time was 30.  For comparison, the EU (European Union) currently has 1,400 ingredients banned from cosmetics. This Act at the time, focused mainly on regulating misbrand products, or products that were falsely packaged. However, labeling products “natural” or “organic” does not qualify as misbranding. So anyone can put that on their box and even if it’s not true.


In case you’re not familiar, a hot topic today is Greenwashing. What is it?

Example: Organic: When you see a food product and it’s certified organic by the USDA, you know they’re following the strictest standards. It’s not like that in the beauty industry, the FDA has ultimate responsibility for cosmetic products and they stand firm on not legally defining anything as organic or natural. So those two words mean nothing on a cosmetic product.

Example: Hypoallergenic or Dermatologist tested. Hypoallergenic is a made up word. There’s no patch testing or extra testing done, anyone can use that word. Dermatologist tested: Highly unlikely a dermatologist went to a lab & tested this. Even if they are involved in the process, it’s usually just to sign their name to a report. It’s compelling to consumers, but doesn’t mean much.

Example: Natural: when it comes to natural beauty products, “there’s hardly any regulation as to what can be called natural or not.” But in essence, if a product is in fact natural, this means that the ingredients should only be comprised of plants, botanical extracts, and minerals.

Example: Cruelty-free & Vegan. The term ‘cruelty-free’ in the beauty industry refers most commonly to animal testing and not to ingredients. The term ‘vegan’ in the beauty industry often refers only to the ingredients, and not to animal testing. An example is a ‘vegan’ product sold in China, where animal testing is still mandatory for most categories of products.

Five Ingredients to Avoid

There are a lot of ingredients that I check to make sure they’re not in the products I buy but that can be overwhelming when you’re first starting out! Here are five ingredients that I urge you to move away from if they’re found in your current beauty products. It’s a great starting point on your clean beauty journey!

Fragrance/Parfum: An Engineered scent that usually contains dozens of (if not hundreds!) chemical ingredients used to create fragrances. Fragrance and flavor formulas are “trade secrets” and can therefore remain undisclosed. Exposure can use skin allergies and irritations, trigger asthma attacks, neurotoxicity, and endocrine disruption.

Formaldehyde: (look for: Diazolidinyl urea; Quaternium-15) A known carcinogen – exposure can cause cancer. Formaldehyde is a preservative and can be found in shampoo, body wash, bubble bath, nail polish.

Chemical Sunscreens: (look for: Avobenzone, Benzophenone, Oxybenzone, Octinoxate) These ingredients are used to filter UVA/UVB rays. Unfortunately, these ingredients can be absorbed into your bloodstream causing endocrine disruption and increased risk of cancer.

Talc: (Also known as Talcum Powder) Used in a large range of cosmetics like blush, foundation, concealer, eye shadow, face powder, mascara and lipsticks. The risk of asbestos contamination can cause very serious lung problems, including lung cancer.

Perfluorinated Compound (PFASs or PFCs): Used for oil-,stain-, and water-repellent properties. Compounds in this category do not break down in the environment, and have been linked to a variety of health issues including cancer, hormone disruption, liver toxicity, and obesity. These compounds can be found in cleaning products, personal care products like shampoo and dental floss and cosmetics like nail polish and eye makeup. Look for products with “perfluor” and “polyfluor” as part of their ingredients.

My Top Five Beauty Recommendations

1. Mascara: Ilia Limitless Lash Lengthening Mascara, $28 full size / $13 travel size

2. Deodorant: Beautycounter Clean Deo (4 scents & refillable), $31

3. Lips: Hurrah Lip Balm (tons of flavors), $12-16 two pack

4. Face: Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil, $36

5. Body wash/shower: Kosas Sport AHA + Enzyme Exfoliating Wash, $22


After years of testing and trying every clean beauty product on the market, I would like to introduce you to The Makeup Bag Makeover. A custom concierge service tailored to anyone looking to make the switch to clean beauty products.

The Makeup Bag Makeover will look at seven of your daily beauty products (you can choose a combination of makeup, skincare, personal care, and haircare). I’ll take care of recommending seven tried and true, nontoxic alternatives to your old standbys. A quick easy, and cost effective approach to clean beauty. Send me an email ([email protected]) to learn more!

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