At Beautycounter, we are proud to honor and support our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community during AAPI Month (and throughout the year) through our continued commitment to advocating for beauty justice and fostering inclusivity across our business. The AAPI community is disproportionately affected by toxic chemical exposures found in personal-care products, which is why we advocate for stricter safety standards in the personal-care industry, especially for communities at higher risk.
Advocating for change is essential to support this community. That’s why we are proud to have supported the passing of The California Professional Cosmetics Labeling Requirements Act (AB2775) through our advocacy efforts back in 2018. This bill was a critical step in protecting salon workers, a professional community with significant representation from those who identify as Asian American, who are often disproportionately exposed to toxic chemicals in their workplace. The law demands greater transparency from the cosmetics industry by requiring product manufacturers to list ingredients on the labels of professional cosmetic products, enabling salon workers to make informed decisions about the products they use, day in and day out. This law is just one example of our advocacy efforts to help raise the standards of the beauty industry in hopes of positively impacting the AAPI community.
Additionally, Beautycounter has spent over a decade advocating for the ban and restriction of harmful chemicals in personal-care products. Used in skin-lightening creams marketed to Black women and women of South Asian descent, hydroquinone is associated with skin irritation and discoloration and has suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential. In 2020, a COVID response bill included an expedited process for the FDA to ban an ingredient when determined unsafe for consumer use—and hydroquinone was one of them. Though it is still available through prescription, over-the-counter products with the ingredient were removed from shelves by the end of 2020.
At Beautycounter, we are dedicated to supporting the AAPI community and fostering a more inclusive future for all. As we celebrate AAPI Month, we renew our commitment to this important work, and we are proud to have our Chief Impact Officer, Jen Lee, leading the way.
As a member of the AAPI community herself, Jen brings invaluable insights and perspective to our advocacy efforts. We are grateful for her leadership and the meaningful change she has helped drive within our organization and beyond. See below for a Q&A with Jen.
Q: What does AAPI Month mean to you? And why is it important for organizations to celebrate these heritage months?
A: I think it’s important to recognize the richness of the AAPI community’s diverse background, heritage, and contribution—but also a great way to take time to celebrate how diverse being an American or Canadian can look like. How exciting to celebrate our past, present, and future as an AAPI community!
Q: How will your new role at Beautycounter continue to help advance our advocacy efforts to support underrepresented communities?
A: I’m honored to be Beautycounter’s first Chief Impact Officer, and as an Asian woman of color in this role, it is absolutely my personal and professional passion to support DE&I and underrepresented communities in my work. It’s not a coincidence that Beautycounter’s mission and our advocacy work intersect—beauty justice and environmental justice will continue to be a top priority and I truly believe it will be a conversation in the industry as a whole.
Q: Why is it important to have AAPI representation in higher levels of leadership?
A: Strategic direction in any organization should come from a team that represents the community that they serve, and even simply having the visual representation of people that are like you (and look like you) can inspire and motivate a community. As an Asian/Korean American with a 1.5-gen immigrant background, I wouldn’t be who I am without my diverse set of mentors who fought to give me a seat at the table—all without asking me to compromise who I am.
To learn more about our commitment to advocacy for all and the positive change we are working toward, we invite you to check out our 2022 Social Mission Report.
And please join us in celebrating the AAPI community this month and beyond—let’s continue to work together toward a more equitable and inclusive future for everyone, together.
Join the Movement by participating in one of these upcoming opportunities:
- Join us May 11 in Vancouver, Canada, for an exploration into the Beauty of Inclusion with Beautycounter’s Chief Impact Officer, Jen Lee, and Sr. Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Jenny Aspinwall, alongside our esteemed local Beautycounter Consultants. RSVP here.
- Advocate for ongoing policy change and mobilize our community in support of clean beauty.
- If you live in the U.S., take action by texting RAISEUPBEAUTY TO 52886* to contact your Members of Congress and urge them to support and pass health-protective legislation.
- If you live in Canada, take action by visiting this link to contact your Members of Parliament and urge them to strengthen federal toxic laws.
*Standard data rates may apply.