While some fill their precious Insta-bio with strings of emojis, beauty influencer Alba Ramos uses hers to tout her dedication to using clean products. Because “clean” beauty isn’t government-regulated just yet, there isn’t one official definition for it. So on her blog and virtual grid, Ramos strives to sift through the noise surrounding the topic, and chronicles how she personally navigates the space.
To help the rest of us figure out how to get a more conscious beauty lineup (knowing where to start is half the battle, right?), we asked Ramos what shopping clean means to her, what standards she uses to choose products, and her ride-or-die favorites (like Weleda’s Skin Food Lip Butter, which she uses in the most unexpected way). Read on to get a few steps closer to a cleaner routine.
How She Evaluates Beauty Products
Whatever prompts you to want to try a cleaner approach to beauty, Ramos’ best advice is to start by familiarizing yourself with the ingredients commonly found in skincare, haircare, and makeup products.
For her, any personal-care item she uses has to be free of the “bad stuff,” i.e. potentially problematic chemicals or questionable man-made substances. She carefully examines product labels to make sure they’re free of specific ingredients such as parabens (which have been linked to endocrine system disruption), sulfates (which can be harsh on hair), synthetic preservatives, and synthetic fragrances.
To that end, she values brands that are transparent about their ethics, standards, and values. “Many times, a ‘clean’ brand will have one or two products that are made organically with great ingredients, but then they have other products that are not made so naturally,” she says. “I take that as a red flag, because they might be doing that [just] so they can benefit from the movement.”
Where She Sources the Best Selection
Ramos simplifies this product-vetting process by shopping through trusted sources that are known for having thoughtful curation standards. She typically browses products online—particularly on Roven, a retailer that upholds a high clean-beauty threshold with the help of a pro team including a board-certified dermatologist, a veteran beauty editor, and, most recently, Ramos herself. She explains that the company “really digs into the ingredients in all the brands it sells,” so conscientious customers can be assured that the store’s inventory aligns with their personal values.
And whether you choose Roven or another clean-leaning online beauty retailer, shopping digitally à la Ramos means you can compare different formulas and ingredients—and simultaneously do any side research you like—without having to physically juggle and examine possible purchases from store to store.
Her Go-To Product Picks
When it comes to skincare, Ramos says the Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream has been in her arsenal for years and is a staple in her carry-on. “It’s deeply moisturizing,” she says, explaining how flying zaps moisture from her already dry skin. She also picks up a tube for when she wants to pare back on makeup. “I tell everyone it doubles as a highlight,” she says. “It adds a glow to my face that is so easy when I want a little pick-me-up.”
Ramos says Weleda’s transparency about what exactly is in its formulas, as well as how the company strives to source its ingredients responsibly, embodies what she looks for when choosing products. It makes sense that she has added the brand’s body products—particularly, its Skin Food Body Butter—into her routine. Ramos explains that she uses the airy cream on the “rough areas” on her knees and elbows. “The hydration it provides to my dry skin type is long lasting,” she says.
When it comes to makeup, Ramos likes to keep it simple for her day-to-day look, only wearing a thin layer of the RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up Cream Foundation and the brand’s Lip2Cheek Tint in Promise on her nose and cheeks. She’s also “obsessed” with sweeping the 100 Percent Pure Fruit Pigmented Cocoa Butter Matte Lipstick in warm-mauve Savanna across her lips.
On days Ramos is on the go, she edits her clutch to hold only her most hardworking essentials. She notes that one of the key products she brought with her to this season’s New York Fashion Week events—like the Elle Lounge—was Weleda’s Skin Food Lip Butter, which she used on her lips, as a natural-looking highlighter, and to touch up her hair. “I’ll use a little bit of lip balm because it has just enough hold to control the flyaway,” she reveals. A product that’s clean and multitasks, too? Sounds like a win-win.
Ready to start your own clean beauty routine? Do your research, find products you love, and spread the word. You’d be surprised what a difference it can make for your skin—and the world.