Wildly Free Beauty founder Jenn Brosch talks to us about current myths and controversies regarding the clean beauty industry, giving us the lowdown about what really counts as “clean” beauty and the truth about ingredients that are safe for your skin. Jenn tells us how she’s using her beauty brand as a way to help others navigate through the clean beauty industry and find products they can trust. 

Before starting Wildly Free, Jenn worked at several big-name beauty companies like Sephora and Too Faced Cosmetics. After years of working various roles in the industry, from being a personal beauty advisor to a brand ambassador for Andalou Naturals and Mineral Fusion, she decided she wanted to make her own products that represented her and her clients’ values. That’s when Wildly Free was born. 

Jenn made Wildly Free to be clean, sustainable, cruelty free, and vegan with the goal to make planet-and-people-loving products that are accessible to everyone, regardless of gender or any other association. Jenn strongly believes that beauty products can deliver beautiful results without having to harm animals or the planet. As a multicultural, queer woman, Jenn wants to create a brand that embraces all the values she knows people are looking for in their beauty products. Wildly Free’s first launch of products includes the Soapbox Brows, which is already receiving a ton of rave from beauty enthusiasts. Customers swear by the Soapbox Brows, saying it is the only product that can tame their unruly brows and give them the shape and definition they want. 

We also talked with Jenn about how clean beauty can be difficult to understand. Jenn’s a certified insider when it comes to the clean beauty scene, so we had to ask for her advice on how to navigate through the slew of new products claiming to be clean, animal-friendly beauty. She tells us it can be tricky. 

A large source of controversy within the clean beauty industry is that there is a lot of disagreement when it comes to how different brands define their products. What many don’t know is that there’s actually a difference between terms like “clean” beauty versus “natural” beauty and “cruelty free” versus “vegan.” Thankfully, Jenn cleared some things up for us. Get your pens and papers ready ladies; this stuff is important. 

Jenn explains that when a product is “cruelty free” it isn’t tested on animals, while “vegan” beauty contains no animal based products or by-products. On the other hand, “natural” beauty generally refers to products made with natural ingredients. Still, natural products can incorporate synthetic ingredients. So that means “natural” beauty doesn’t mean that the products automatically won’t cause allergies for certain people. Meanwhile, “clean” beauty generally refers to products with pure, non-synthetic ingredients, of which were sourced in a planet-friendly way. People can still be allergic to clean, non-synthetic ingredients, too. Either way, it’s important to realize that each brand may have different definitions or guidelines regarding what each of these terms means. 

Another current debate within the industry is about whether clean beauty or synthetic beauty is better for your skin. Many people have taken sides, claiming one or the other is best. Jenn debunks this debate explaining that it ultimately depends on the person and their skin.

Jenn tells us that while many have seen benefits from jumping on the clean, natural, do-it-yourself beauty trend, there are still so many people who have seen the results they desire from dermatological methods and synthetic ingredients. In fact, some clean beauty product consumers achieve the results they want from combining both dermatological ingredients with their clean ones. So whether a certain beauty method or ingredient is good or bad, or effective or ineffective, ultimately has to do with the person.

In creating Wildly Free, Jenn knew that she wanted her products to be more than just something you put on your face. She doesn’t want to be like other brands that don’t educate their customers on what’s in their products and where the products fit within the clean, sustainable beauty industry. Besides being transparently clean, sustainable, cruelty free, and vegan, Jenn wants her brand to both educate others and be inclusive in ways other brands aren’t.

Jenn’s also been busy using her place within the beauty industry to make changes beyond beauty. Currently, she’s using her products as a way to give back to an organization that helps women stay out of sex trafficking in Thailand, where her mother is from. Also, as an environmental initiative, Wildly Free customers have the option of planting a tree for just $1 when making a purchase on Wildly Free’s website, gowildlyfree.com. Jenn also recently organized a collaborative event that gathered over 20 small businesses like her own. Jenn raised over $700 at this event for Australia’s wildfire relief efforts! Using her brand to give back to suicide prevention is also in the works. Go Jenn! 

Finding products that work for you within the clean beauty industry can definitely be complicated and confusing. But don’t sweat it. At the end of the day, Jenn says we are all still learning about the industry and what’s best for our bodies. What’s most important is knowing your own skin and how it reacts to certain ingredients. Being aware of your own allergies is an important step in finding products that will be safe for your skin and body. Jenn says no one should feel judged from an industry that is supposed to make people feel more beautiful. So, don’t let all the terminologies and controversies within the clean beauty industry stress you out. Here’s what we suggest you do right now: dim the lights, light some candles, take a steamy bubble bath, and have a good, long heart-to-heart with your skin.