close-up beauty shot of a woman with dewy, clean girl makeup look and freckles on her face

The "clean girl aesthetic" has become incredibly popular in the world of beauty. It's been everywhere: from TikTok and Instagram feeds to lifestyle videos and even ads. One way to describe the clean girl aesthetic is to imagine a bright, sunny morning in a field of freshly blooming flowers. Everything looks so fresh and youthful on the one side, but a bit unrealistic on the other. As tasteful, as it might sound, the "clean girl" look may not be as low-key and affordable, as it looks.

The Origins of the "Clean Girl" Aesthetic

As with any other beauty trend, it is hard to determine when the term clean girl look or clean girl aesthetic first appeared. It is a relatively new trend that still needs and has not been widely studied. With the rise of natural, all-organic skincare and makeup products, sustainable beauty trends, and a minimalistic approach to makeup, the term "clean girl look" naturally emerged as a way to describe this trend.

It was noticed in the Sky Society article that the "clean girl aesthetic" first started appearing on TikTok around January 2022. Around the same time, a large number of beauty and lifestyle-related videos with the hashtag #cleangirlaesthetic started to spread. And thus the snowball effect started to work, recommending more and more videos with this trend.

close-up beauty shot of a zoe kravitz for rolling stone magazine
Photo: Zoe Kravitz

Youthful Look "a la naturelle" Has Always Been Trendy

As the old saying states “everything new is good to forget the old”.... And it is very accurate! A barely-there, minimal makeup look has always been trendy. Just like the clean girl look, a natural makeup look is characterized by a minimalistic, understated appearance that is focused on enhancing the wearer's natural beauty, rather than burying it under the layers of products. The goal of every look "a la naturelle" is to create a natural, glass skin complexion, not a heavily made-up appearance.

However, the clean girl concept goes beyond the classic minimal approach to makeup application. The clean girl look is part of a larger movement towards natural, non-toxic products that are free from harsh chemicals and synthetic ingredients. It is more than just a trend. "Clean Girl" is a lifestyle!

What are The Main Features of the "Clean Girl" Beauty Trend?

This trend is largely focused on using natural, organic beauty and makeup products that are free from harsh chemicals and synthetic ingredients. This means you'll want to avoid products that contain parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, and other potentially harmful ingredients if you are aiming for a similar look. Instead, look for skincare and makeup products that are made with natural, plant-based ingredients. They are generally more sustainable and gentler to the skin. 

The same concept may be applied to hair care, fashion, and overall health. The "clean girl aesthetic" is often associated with a focus on healthy living, including healthy eating and exercise habits.  Self-care is also an important aspect of the lifestyle, with a major accent on mental health and self-reflection.

fashion collage with clean girl aesthetic things: selfie of women with clean girl look skin care flatlay shots

How to Get the Trendy "Clean Girl" Look?

A clean girl's look is natural, fresh, and minimalistic. Generally, it is very approachable and versatile. However, even the most simplistic routine may involve many high-end skincare and makeup products and fashion pieces. Let's split up the look into four parts, and try to define them separately.

• Skin

When it comes to skincare, the clean girl look starts with a consistent routine that is focused on the main skincare steps with a few improvements. For cleansing, look for a natural, sulfate-free cleanser that will effectively remove dirt, oil, and makeup without stripping the skin of its natural oils. Consider using a natural toner, such as rose water or witch hazel, to help balance the pH of your skin. Moisturizing is also an essential step for a clean girl's look. Use a non-greasy moisturizer formulated with ingredients. Beauty oils will soothe and nourish your skin in addition to moisturizer.

In addition to your basic skincare routine, you may also want to consider using natural face masks and exfoliants to help boost the health and appearance of your skin. Face masks are a great way to give your skin a deep clean, while also providing it with a boost of nutrients and moisture. There are many different natural ingredients that you can use to create your own face masks at home, such as honey, turmeric, oatmeal, and avocado. 

close-up selfie of a woman with dewy, clean girl makeup look and freckles on her face
Photo: @izzysheaa

• Makeup

The clean girl makeup look is all about using natural products and tools. Mineral and plant-based ingredients, as well as non-allergic and organic components, are in priority. The lightweight foundation or bb-cream is regularly used instead of full-coverage products. Powder blushes are switched with creamy ones and heavy highlighters with shimmering body spray.

Instead of black and dark-gray colors use a neutral nude and brown palette to create your look. Bushy brows combed upwards are preferred over well-defined, blocky eyebrows. Lashes are circled and lightly covered with mascara.

• Hair

The hair look is my favorite thing about this beauty trend! All because of the concept – the simpler, the better! This includes hairstyles that are low-maintenance, easy to achieve, and enhance the natural texture of the hair. Minimum use of hair styling products is also welcomed.

Clean girls embrace the beauty of their could, curls, waves, and even frizz. The fewer products and hair styling techniques you will use to tame your hair, the more true to the concept you are. Natural hair color and white hair are also loved and celebrated.

fashion collage with four clean girl, minimal outfits

• Wardrobe

When it comes to fashion, this trend involves a minimalist, natural, and eco-friendly approach. This might include pieces made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton, linen, or hemp, as well as pieces that are timeless and versatile. A well-known concept of a capsule wardrobe fits with the "clean girl aesthetic" just perfectly.

Comfort and simplicity prevail over extravagance. You won't see a "clean girl" wearing tight-fitting clothing and screaming colors. Instead, they prefer wearing neutral-colored and loose-fitting, comfortable pieces. Accessories are often made of natural materials and pure metals. It is all about a cohesive, minimal, and sustainable wardrobe that reflects a natural, effortless beauty.

close-up selfie of a woman with dewy, clean girl makeup look and freckles on her face

Is This Trend Toxic?

While the "clean girl aesthetic" has gained popularity among many women, some have expressed skepticism about the trend. Praise of a perfect skin complexion excludes those who do not fit the aesthetic, including women with skin imperfections, plus-size women, and women with disabilities. I must say that the term itself doesn't sound too inclusive!

Others argue that the "clean girl aesthetic" is not a new concept. The signature slicked-back hair and gold hoop earrings were popularized by Latinx and Black women in the late 90s and early 2000s. In fact, the clean girl look has roots in these cultures, and the recent trend simply reflects a resurgence of these styles. 

Regardless of its origins, the clean girl aesthetic is a personal choice that should be inclusive and accessible to all women. When I imagine the "clean girl" look, the concept of flawless skin and a perfect athletic figure doesn't pop up in my mind. I imagine a stylish woman dressed minimalistic, who wears little to no makeup on her face. And what about you? Does it sound relatable to your lifestyle?

Lots of love,