An open letter from Beautycounter’s founder and CEO

RE: California must act to protect salon workers from harmful chemicals

Dear Members of the California State Legislature,

I write as the founder of Beautycounter, a company that is a leader in the safer skin care and cleaner cosmetics category. While today, our Consultants number more than 24,000 women sharing our message and products across the U.S., our origins are far more humble: my search for safer products for my family.

Similarly, Beautycounter’s advocacy grew organically, arising from our desire to serve not only our clients and customers but also to reform outdated cosmetics regulations. Over the past few months we have been at the forefront of supporting the Professional Cosmetics: Labeling Requirements bill (AB 1575), championed by Assemblymember Kalra—a measure which aims to provide transparency in products marketed and used by beauty professionals, as well as to make information on the health risks of ingredients more accessible to the public.

In short, the bill would give salon workers access to information about the ingredients they come into contact with every day that are linked to harmful health effects like asthma and reproductive harm.

Seems pretty basic, right? As a California company, Beautycounter supported this bipartisan bill and we were disappointed to see this important measure fail to gain a vote on the Senate Floor.

Transparency is a bedrock of Beautycounter and our formulations prohibit more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals on “The Never List™,” an industry-leading standard that embodies our commitment to a higher level of safety. Yet not all companies share the same attitude towards eliminating harmful ingredients from the products we put on our bodies and our children’s bodies.

In fact, products that are used by hairstylists and manicurists often include chemicals that have known risks to human health and disproportionately impact women of color. Currently, manufacturers are not required to list such ingredients on product labels.

Photo: Shutterstock

While there is momentum for a federal overhaul of cosmetic regulations spearheaded by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), AB 1575 represents an opportunity for California to position itself as a leader in groundbreaking cosmetics regulation and become the first state to require manufacturers to list ingredients on the labels of professional salon products.

Our company’s mission to transform the cosmetics industry has taken me to the corridors of Capitol Hill and the homes of our Consultants across the U.S. People often ask me, why does Beautycounter insist on such radical levels of transparency when the FDA does not require it and many of our competitors eschew it? For me, the answer is simple. Transparency informs everything that we do, from sourcing to the manufacturing process to the performance of our products. By disclosing the ingredients, we empower our customers and clients to make choices for themselves and for their families. We urge you to give the same choice to California consumers and beauty industry workers by taking on this important, widely supported issue in the next legislative session.


Gregg Renfrew

Founder and CEO, Beautycounter