For the past seven years, Beautycounter has led the fight for better beauty. And now, our collective work advocating for clean beauty is culminating in a hearing on cosmetic safety in the House—only the second in the past 40 years.
Titled “Building Consumer Confidence by
Empowering FDA to Improve Cosmetic Safety,” we’re excited and proud to have
Beautycounter Founder and CEO, Gregg Renfrew, testify as an expert witness
before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in Washington, D.C. This
testimony means three things:
Congress recognizes that clean beauty is here to stay.
Our voices are being heard.
Business can be a force for positive change.
This is a huge moment for the clean beauty space, and we are honored to be a part of these powerful conversations. Tune in here to catch Gregg live on Wednesday, December 4 at 10am EST. For those who cannot watch the live broadcast, we’ve got you covered. Follow us over on Instagram @beautycounter, where we will be sharing a detailed, play-by-play recap in the coming days.
As we take part in this profound step towards
changing the industry, we want to urge you to use your voices to show your
support from your hometown. Send a powerful message to Congress that their
constituents are concerned about the lack of FDA oversight of the products they
use every day. Text BETTERBEAUTY to 52886 and tell your Representatives that 81
years is too long to wait for better beauty laws.
We want to acknowledge that we couldn’t have done
this without tens of thousands of Beautycounter Consultants and Clients who
have helped us blaze this trail towards getting safer products into the hands
of everyone. Because—as we’ve said from the beginning—beauty should be good for
Step into a drugstore or department store today, and you’re greeted with aisle upon aisle of products. For the health-conscious consumer, the first step might be to look at the product label. Words like “natural,” “organic,” and “dermatologist approved,” along with various seals and certifications, abound as more and more companies are vying for a piece of the more than $60 billion domestic beauty market. But when it comes down to it, which products can you really trust when it comes to safety?
One certification stands above the rest: The Environmental Working Group (EWG). The EWG, one of the most respected voices in protecting consumer health, founded the EWG VERIFIED™ program* in 2015 to review products against the strictest safety standards. (Beautycounter is proud to be a founding member of the EWG VERIFIED ™ program.) So why is this particular mark of approval such an important tool for consumers?
First, the program drives companies to disclose ingredients like fragrance allergens that are rarely listed on product labels. It’s also the first third-party non-toxic certification for personal care products in the U.S. The EWG’s criteria for certification focuses on the safety of a product’s ingredients—for example, products must score “green” in EWG’s Skin Deep™ data base and cannot contain any ingredients with significant health, environmental, or contamination concerns. The program gets an additional credibility check because companies cannot influence the verification process. As one condition of participating, companies must agree that EWG has the right to perform random product verification to ensure that their products continue to meet the criteria for certification.
As a pioneering clean beauty brand, we take our commitment to ingredient transparency seriously. Certification is a rigorous process and in order to earn the EWG VERIFIED ™ stamp of approval for our products, we share every ingredient that goes into our formulations. Take our Countertime line: all six products are EWG VERIFIED ™ and our transparent approach extends to listing allergens that the EU requires—but the U.S. does not. Our hope is that by doing this, we set an example for other brands to similarly share these naturally occurring allergens, empowering consumers to choose safer, healthier products.
In the coming months, watch for more Beautycounter products to begin sporting the EWG VERIFIED ™ logo as we continue to submit products for verification. While some products (like acne treatment products and sunscreens) cannot go through the verification process because they are considered by the FDA to be an Over the Counter (OTC) drug and are therefore excluded from review, the majority of Beautycounter’s products will be EWG VERIFIED ™ by the end of 2020.
In the crowded personal care marketplace, a clean authority can be hard to find. Without a government-backed certification administered by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), the EWG VERIFIED ™ logo is a trusted mark for consumers denoting rigorous, independent verification done by EWG’s team of scientists. By participating, Beautycounter aims to empower our #betterbeauty community with the information they need to vote with their dollars and transform the beauty industry so that one day, all beauty is clean beauty.
How do you define beauty? This is one of the questions we asked ourselves—and all of our models—in our fall campaign, Looking Good Is Only Half the Picture. We’ve always run counter to the traditional beauty industry, and by casting this campaign with an eye towards diversity, we strove to redefine outdated beauty definitions and standards. In hopes to shed more light on these issues, we sat down with French plus-size model and CEO of All Womxn Project, Clémentine Desseaux—one of the faces of our fall campaign. She opens up about body positivity, and how the beauty industry can do better.
Beautycounter: Where are you from? Clémentine Desseaux: I was born in Toulouse, in the South of France, where I spent all my summers growing up. I moved a bunch and spent my childhood in Alsace until college, then moved to the city of Lyon to study.
BC: How did you get into modeling? CD: I wasn’t camera shy. I first started in high school, as a hobby. I remember a small agency had just opened in Lyon and was offering to represent plus size; that was the very first in France, but after I signed with them at 17 years old, they closed down three months later, so nothing happened—but the rush of the possibility was inside of me. After that, I signed my first agency contract in Paris at 19 years old after sending some holiday pictures. My first jobs were for Kiabi and Gémo in France. I later signed with a German agent, then a UK agent, before I finally moved to Miami in 2011 to follow my dreams; and that’s when I started taking this a bit more seriously and signed with MUSE, my NYC agency in 2012!
BC: How did modeling fit into your upbringing? What was that experience like for you? CD: Modeling helped me through my self-love journey. At first, it showed me I, too, could be beautiful. Then, it empowered me in making a change in other women’s lives just by being me and being out there. It really gave me a voice and the independence I needed to be happy, and taught me how to be okay being alone—that was a hard one, but I am so glad I enjoy my alone time now.
BC: Can you describe the arc of your modeling career? CD: When I first started full-time about eight years ago, I was pretty green. It was before Instagram was a thing, before diversity was something fashion really cared or talked about. I used to be the cool, awkward freckled girl. I was edgy and considered a bit too “different” to book commercial jobs at first. That shows how fashion changes; trends and styles are always evolving and require the market to adapt. I feel like I naturally just grew into who I am today as a model. I am grateful to have a voice, thanks to the inner work I have done in addition to modeling. I couldn’t be a model without a voice—I’d be too frustrated!
BC: What led you to becoming a body positivity advocate? CD: My own struggles with body image as well as my calling to take care of people most likely created that need to become an advocate, as I struggled a lot growing up as a chubby freckled kid, and I hated my body and myself more often than not. I found some purpose in advocating and becoming an open, uncensored storyteller in order to help and empower others to hopefully save time and free themselves from society’s pressures to fit in.
BC: What kind of responses have you gotten from other models and girls whom you’ve reached via your advocacy? CD: I will always remember the day I decided to use my career to become an advocate. It was in 2011, I had just moved to Miami from Paris, and my first commercial aired on French TV. That day was filled with all kinds of messages from supporters and haters alike. I decided to focus on supporters and positive messages from women. I received touching messages from French girls telling me how much seeing someone that looked like me on their screen changed their whole outlook on themselves and how they see their bodies. I received tons of heartwarming, empowering messages and, that day, I understood the power of representation. Since that day, I have made it a point to make it a mission of mine to advocate for it.
BC: What are the greatest challenges you’ve faced being a female entrepreneur? CD: I think my greatest challenge is to deal with critics and expectations. As women, we are expected to be great at everything. I suffer from impostor syndrome and tend to feel overwhelmed by those feelings. This is part of the self-work I am doing for myself. My biggest fear is to be wasted potential—it’s not easy, but it’s a work in progress.
BC: What does being a body positivity advocate look like, day to day? CD: There are many ways of being one. For me, it starts with self. I am trying to work on my issues first so that I can help others. That means making myself a priority, listening to what I need and want, taking time off, cooking, working out, being in the sun…then it means giving back. Choosing to help and advance others daily by what you share, what you do, how you communicate. Being involved in my community, being part of events, panels, reforms that involve what I am working for…every day is different and takes different forms but most of all, it’s being raw, unfiltered, and true to who I am regardless of how flawed it can be.
BC: What other forms of activism are important to you? CD: Anything that makes sense to me, I support. That goes from environment to social justice and animal rights. Being an activist is being active, caring, and using our voice.
BC: What does clean beauty mean to you? CD: Clean beauty to me is a lifestyle. It means caring as much about what I put on my skin as what I eat. It means being conscious and very minimal in the way I use skin care and beauty products. I am simply a no-BS, clean beauty addict.
BC: What does joining the “clean revolution” mean to you? CD: I believe that clean beauty is closely related to self-love, and so I was so thrilled to work with a brand that truly cares on all levels. Using minimal, non-invasive beauty products to only highlight, not change, your features is key to me. It’s a beautiful way to learn to love your looks. Taking care of my face and body taught me how to actually love both better by bringing care and purpose to everything I apply on it.
BC: What ways of clean living do you pursue in your own life, day to day? CD: I am trying to be the best version of myself every day. Some days are more successful than others. I care about quality foods and products—growing up in France, that’s something that I was taught very early on. I grew up going to the market, choosing small local farm products, touching them, smelling them, bringing our own fabric bags (and reusing them). I am very respectful of everything I cook and eat. I also am very careful with what waste I generate and try to minimalize it, especially in a country that’s really pushing you to create more waste.
BC: What inspires you to continue being a voice for change? CD: I personally have evolved, so I understand the power of change. I am dedicated to keep working towards it and hope to inspire others along the way.
BC: How do you want to leave the planet for the next generation? CD: I’d love to leave a clean, conscious, and loving planet. That’s the biggest challenge of all.
BC: Why did you decide to start www.bonjourclem.com? CD: I was a model in NYC for six months when I started the blog. I was bored and needed more intellectual activity—something to open me up to the world around me. Modeling can be very lonely and self-centered, so I created my blog, Bonjour Clem.
BC: What makes you feel empowered? CD: I am empowered being able to empower other women. I am empowered seeing change, and I am empowered when I am able to create it.
Even in a newly awakened world, the expectations placed on women today, let alone female models, still require them to measure up to extreme standards that are often impossible—so how do female plus-size models stay empowered? According to Clémentine, the answer is self-love and advocating for positive change.
Feeling inspired? Learn more about what we’re advocating for here.
Our Ingredient Selection Process is an intense, lengthy one—and we take the fourth step, Responsible Sourcing very seriously. When we set out to make safer, high-performing color cosmetics, we started down a complex journey of finding responsibly sourced mica and have been learning a lot along the way.
Why mica? Because in the beauty industry, it’s widely used as a base for powder formulations and creates that shimmery glow we all know and love (highlighters, eyeshadows, pressed powders—we’re looking at you). Simply put, if you want high-performing color cosmetics, you need mica. But the mica industry can come with some alarming, unethical practices, including forced labor as well as child labor. Obviously, we won’t stand for that, so we recently took a deeper dive into our supply chain to confirm we, together with our suppliers, are upholding the “responsible” part of our sourcing.
It Starts with the Source
Mica is a globally sourced material, but our strong preference is to source domestically and sustainably from our supplier in Hartwell, Georgia. We work closely with this sourcing partner to ensure that they’re using the leading practices for sustainable mining and processing. (We’ve literally gone into their mines to trace our mica through to the manufacturing stages—when it comes to responsible sourcing, we’re not messing around.) We’re proud to be leading the way.
Of course, all mica is not created equal, and in order to create certain effects with some of our color cosmetics, we have to reach beyond our mica partners in Georgia. When it comes to our global sources, we’re committed to transforming the way the mica industry works and supporting the many people who help bring our products to market. We can’t do this alone, so we sought out two partnerships as we dove even deeper into our mica supply chain.
A Partnership to Be Proud Of
If the name Kailash Satyarthi sounds familiar, it’s because he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. He also was featured in a Participant Media documentary called The Price of Free (watch this ASAP—it’s free on YouTube). Kailash is one of the most credible leaders working to eradicate child and forced labor through the creation of child-friendly villages. We’re proud to be designing a custom program with the KSCF, to support children in the Jharkhand region of India (a hotspot for international mica mining) while also working with the local community to better understand the mica industry’s opportunities for change.
As an international buyer, we believe it’s critical that we listen to the needs of the communities impacted. Too often, international companies implement solutions that aren’t what communities want or need. As we ramp up our work on the ground, we’re listening closely to make sure we are helping find the right solutions on the ground.
Using Technology to Increase Transparency
You’d think most suppliers know where their mica comes from—but this isn’t necessarily the case. So we’ve also partnered with Sourcemap, a technology platform founded at MIT that is helping us map our entire supply chain to give us fuller visibility as to where our mica is sourced—mine by mine, day by day. The level of transparency we’re seeking in this industry is unprecedented, and in a super-secretive industry, this information isn’t easy to come by. With the help of Sourcemap and participation from our suppliers, we hope to share a traceable mica supply chain with you in the future. Eventually, we’ll be able to tell you exactly where the mica in your favorite eye shadow comes from. Literally, straight from the source.
Striving for an A+ in Auditing
All of this work is supported by our third-party audits of each and every mica supplier we work with. We started with obtaining certificates from our mica suppliers, noting child labor wasn’t used—and this is actually where many companies start and stop. But understanding the issues in the industry, we wanted to learn more. After all, a certificate is only the first step inside the complicated story of where products come from.
In the past year, we have audited 100% of our suppliers via phone—and taken it a step further. We enlisted the help of a well-respected third-party auditing firm and personally hopped onto planes, trains, and ferries around the world in order to be the first beauty brand to have implemented our rigorous responsible sourcing standards for on-the-ground audits of our mica supply chain. By the end of 2020, we will have conducted third-party traceability audits of all of our mica mine locations—a radical step towards transparency in the beauty industry.
Creating a Toolkit for Change
As we learn more about responsible sourcing, we want to share our best practices with other leaders in the beauty industry. Early next year, we will launch our public toolkit for beauty companies (and beyond) seeking to validate their supply chains.
We look forward to sharing our progress with you as our journey evolves. It would have been easier to just get a certificate from suppliers and call it a day. But real change takes hard work, and we don’t take the easy route.
Thank you for continuing to support a beauty brand that is doing everything in our capacity to have a vetted, responsible mica supply chain. You make us want to do beauty, better.
Between allergens and harmful chemicals, the term
‘fragrance’ can be frightening. In the personal care industry, companies can
use this umbrella term to hide the ingredients behind their scents, meaning the
public never has to know what is truly making up their favorite perfume. This
is known as the “fragrance loophole.”
The truth is, many fragrances may contain harmful
ingredients and chemicals—like those found on our Never List™. (Luckily, we put all our ingredients through our
rigorous ingredient selection process—so you can enjoy safer scents with plenty
of clean benefits.)
Here’s more good news: companies like
Beautycounter are moving the beauty industry forward by proactively listing our
fragrance ingredients on our product labels. For example, we fully disclose EU
allergens in our Countertime line, and we have always been fully transparent in
disclosing the essential oils and natural fragrances we use to scent our
Our Day in Sacramento
On August 14, Beautycounter, along with 15
Consultants, participated in a lobby day in Sacramento, CA, urging legislators
to support the Safer Fragrance bill (SB 574). This bill requires manufacturers
to disclose any fragrance ingredient in personal care products sold in
California if they are identified as harmful to health and present on one of 23
authoritative lists referenced in the bill (for example, Prop 65).
To give this bill its best shot at being passed,
more than 70 participants spent the day walking the halls of the California
state legislature, meeting with more than 80 member offices and asking them to
vote “yes” when the bill reaches the Assembly Floor.
Passing this bill would be huge.
SB 574 would be the first bill ever in the US to require the disclosure of fragrance ingredients. Consumers today are rightly demanding more transparency in the products they purchase for themselves and their families. The Safer Fragrance bill would empower consumers to make healthier choices and more informed decisions.
We are also working with other like-minded
organizations we love, like Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Women’s Voices
for the Earth, Black Women for Wellness, as well as breast cancer survivors and
salon professionals. We came out in numbers and our presence was definitely
Friends, the work never stops. Here’s
what you can do.
Take our text action. Text SAFERSCENT to 52886 to
urge California legislators to close the fragrance loophole and support the
passing of the bill.
Follow our progress. Be sure to check out
@beautycounter on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for the latest on the bill!
As the leader in the clean beauty movement, we pride ourselves on caring about every single ingredient that goes into our products. Jojoba, green tea, avocado, apricot, beeswax—you’ll find many naturally derived ingredients in our #betterbeauty supply, as well as carefully crafted safer synthetics. We’ve even gone so far as to ban 1,500 ingredients that are known to be potentially harmful or questionable—we call this The Never List™.
But it doesn’t end there: we also care about the impact our products have on the environment. Bottom line: our packaging has high standards, too. Here are five ways our sustainable packaging initiatives are making clean beauty look even better.
Never List: Packaging Edition
Similar to our ingredient Never List™, we have certain materials we prohibit or restrict in our packaging. BPA is one of them, as it may leach into the products when heated, thus contaminating formulas. We also do not use vinyl, as it can release phthalates, which are known endocrine disruptors.
Here’s what else you won’t find in our packaging:
Styrene Butadiene Rubber
Styrene Butadiene Styrene
Plastic added phthalates
Just to name a few…
Reducing Our Footprint
If you are a long-time customer, you may start to notice a few things missing from your Beautycounter packages—such as plastic spatulas, overcaps, lid inserts, extra product literature, and cleansing cloth towels. By redesigning our packaging without additional plastic parts, we will eliminate an estimated 800,000 parts in the next year alone. *Pat on back*
We’ve also removed the secondary packaging (the box in which the product is placed) from the complete Countersun line, saving 450,000 cartons annually. Sun care never looked so good.
For the remaining secondary packaging, we use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified only. The FSC sets the gold standard for forest-sourced products and independently certifies that those standards have been met. Basically, FSC only uses materials from environmentally sound and socially responsible sources—and in an economically viable manner.
Let’s Hear it for Glass
Did you know glass is recycled more easily than plastic? Whether recycled or in a landfill, glass doesn’t release harmful toxins that contribute to greenhouse gases, and doesn’t run the risk of ending up in our waterways. We did the math and found that in terms of energy, water, and waste it was more sustainable to launch our new Countertime line in glass.
As we rethought our packaging, we also decided to move our Countertime glass supplier closer to home, saving an estimated 5,200 miles distance per product. We estimate that this transition will reduce Countertime’s fossil fuel use by nearly 35% and reduce the line’s greenhouse gas footprint by about 38%. Although glass is heavier and more expensive to ship than plastic, it is more likely to be reused—and recycled into another product—than end up in a landfill.
We’re Rethinking Recycling (as you may have heard)
Ever stand over your trash can or recycling bin, holding a used Beautycounter product and thinking, “What do I do with this?” Good news: in partnership with How2Recycle®, when you shop our products, you’ll now have clear instructions on how to recycle or dispose of them, too. Look out for How2Recycle labels on our product web pages at beautycounter.com.
We’ve developed a Packaging Scorecard that helps guide packaging design decision-making around sustainability, performance, and logistics. Unique to Beautycounter, the Packaging Scorecard was developed to enable us to simultaneously consider functionality, sustainability, cost, and aesthetic appeal. The tool incorporates indicators for energy use, water use, recoverability, emissions potential, supplier quality, and more. As we fine-tune this tool it will help us make better packaging decisions. Basically, if a packaging option doesn’t meet our standards, we aim higher.
Plus, we have two exciting initiatives in the works:
Can I get a refill?
With the transition to glass, we are also exploring refillables. We are aware that one of the biggest issues facing the beauty industry is the lack of recyclability of small products, such as lipsticks and eyeshadows. Refillables could simplify your vanity, ensure freshness of product, and reduce carbon emissions. Stay tuned!
Cleaning Up Our Oceans
Get this: we’ve begun exploring the use of ocean waste and recycled plastics for potential packaging solutions. Ocean waste plastic (OWP) represents an opportunity not only to recycle previously used material, but also to help remove plastic pollution from our beloved oceans and waterways. There are still questions about the sourcing and safety of this material so we’re carefully considering our brand safety standards during our research process. Throughout this exploration we’ve had the pleasure to partner with some incredible industry leaders and academic groups who are leading the charge in plastic solutions—including Algalita and Bureo. Both companies are on a mission to protect our oceans and to educate future generations to take a stand against plastic pollution.
We are also proud to put our advocacy efforts to good work in our sunny Santa Monica hometown. Last year, we supported an ordinance that required the city’s food establishments to use marine-degradable silverware. Plastics (#1-6), and bioplastic (#7) are prohibited under this ordinance. What does this mean exactly? Plastic utensils will no longer be entering our waterways or setting up shop on our beaches. This ordinance is one of the most progressive in the country, and we’re happy that Santa Monica is leading the charge in policy protections for our beaches and oceans. Want in on the movement? Opt out of single use food utensils and bring your own. We love 5 Gyres’s ToGoWare Set.
Smell is one of our most powerful senses. One whiff of a perfume
or cologne can instantly transport us to another time and place: our
grandmother’s house, a childhood vacation, or a first date. Unfortunately, many
fragrances may also contain ingredients that have been linked to allergies, and
are on our Never List™.
The Fragrance Loophole
Believe it or not, it’s still industry standard to keep fragrance ingredients secret. This is known as the “fragrance loophole”, and it allows companies to shield their ingredients from the public, under the guise of trade secrets. At Beautycounter, we are committed to creating high-performance products that are also enjoyable to use, which is why many of our moisturizers, lotions, and cleansers are lightly scented with fragrances. But our commitment to transparency means we disclose all of our fragrance ingredients, so you know exactly what is in our products.
Following the EU’s Example
Beautycounter has long paved the way for transparency and disclosure. Not only do we disclose our fragrance ingredients, we are stepping up our game to list allergens that the EU mandates brands disclose. Although this type of disclosure has long been available to consumers in the EU, U.S. consumers have not enjoyed similar transparency. We are proud to be trailblazers in the U.S. beauty industry by providing this important information to our Clients.
Essential Oils and Natural Fragrances
The fragrance issue is complicated. We feel confident that the essential oils and natural fragrances we use in our products are safer than synthetic fragrances. However, some essential oils and natural fragrances contain naturally-occurring allergens. What this means is that we carefully screen our fragrances for allergens, knowing they are impossible to avoid completely. Moving forward we use only the safest essential oils and natural fragrances.
Our commitment to fragrance disclosure extends beyond our
products. Beautycounter has been a leading business voice advocating for the
passage of SB 574, the Safer
Fragrance bill in California. SB 574 requires manufacturers to
disclose any fragrance ingredient in personal-care products that is linked to
harmful health consequences. This would be the first major step towards closing
the “fragrance loophole.”
A pleasant scent should be enjoyed, but never undermine your health, or the health of your loved ones. That is why Beautycounter will continue to lead in transparently sharing each ingredient in our products. Safety and transparency will always be Beautycounter’s North Star, and we will continue to advocate and empower our Clients and Consultants to choose safer, healthier products.
past Tuesday was the 81st anniversary
of the passing of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act—the last major
legislation governing personal-care products.
The legislation is long overdue of an update, and the good news is that Congress is motivated to create comprehensive cosmetics reform. To help build momentum and continue to educate Members of Congress and their staff on this important issue, members of our HQ and Consultant teams—along with some esteemed members of the clean beauty movement—paid a visit to the Capitol to meet with key Members and hold a Congressional Briefing.
Chemicals and You
front of an audience of Hill staff, Drs. Ami Zota of George Washington
University, Tamarra James-Todd of Harvard, and Leo Trasande of NYU made the
connection between endocrine-disruptive chemicals and public health as well as
their impacts to the U.S. economy. These chemicals include phthalates, parabens,
and formaldehyde which are found across consumer goods, including personal-care
products. Moreover, certain populations are especially vulnerable to the
adverse health effects of these chemicals including children, teens, pregnant
women, and people of color.
example, 25% of pregnancies today experience one of four complications such as
infertility, preterm birth, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes. These four outcomes can all
be traced to higher exposures to phthalates and BPA, chemicals found in
different types of plastics.
the prevalence of endocrine disruptors in everyday life, the panelists noted
that there are easy ways to protect ourselves and our families such as refusing
receipts which are typically coated with BPA and using cast-iron or stainless-steel
cookware rather than non-stick pans. Changes in public policy are also critical
to protecting public health as well as saving the U.S. economy billions in lost
productivity due to illnesses resulting from exposure to endocrine disruptors.
Consultants Hit the Hill
the Beautycounter advocacy HQ team in Washington were five Consultants who earned the
trip by building their businesses. Audrey Vargas, Jenn Torres, Morgan
Rasmussen, Nicole Christensen, and Dawn Parry each hosted one or more Pop-ups
this past March with an advocacy focus to earn the opportunity to come to D.C.
and meet with their Members of Congress. Beautycounter’s advocacy is built on
the collective voices of our more than 40,000 Consultants
across North America, and these five women made a significant impact by sharing
their personal stories with both Members and staff.
Next for Cosmetics Reform
Over the past six years, Beautycounter’s on-the-ground advocacy for better beauty laws has resulted in more environmentally friendly sunscreens, safer children’s products, and healthier work environments for salon professionals and customers. This year, we are working on 12 bills with significant impacts on public health.
the Safer Fragrance bill (SB 574) has passed the Senate floor, and we expect
the bill to reach the Assembly floor in August. If passed, the bill would be
the first of its kind in the U.S. to require the disclosure of fragrance
federal level, Beautycounter continues to work with Senators Feinstein and
Collins on moving forward S.726, the Personal Care Products Safety Act. We also expect a similar
bipartisan bill to be introduced in the House this year, granting the FDA the
ability to better regulate personal-care products. Last year’s passage of the Safer Sunscreen bill in Hawaii is also spurring federal
action as H.R. 1834, the Marine Sanctuaries Act, was introduced this year,
prohibiting the use of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate in the 13
national marine sanctuaries across the U.S. and its territories.
Want to be up to speed on #betterbeauty laws? Be sure to follow Beautycounter
on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to
learn about the latest developments and how you can play a role in advancing
our mission to get safer products
into the hands of everyone.
 Pre-eclampsia and assisted reproductive technologies: consequences of advanced maternal age, interbirth intervals new partner and smoking habits (Tandberg et al)
 Trimester-specific phthalate concentrations and glucose levels among women from a fertility clinic (James-Todd et al)
Most dads wouldn’t pull their nine-year-old out of school for an impromptu camping trip in Mexico. But Jack Rose isn’t most dads. His son Jon, now 40, remembers “sleeping on the beach, just totally winging it and having no plan…it’s not surprising that I created a very similar lifestyle as an adult.” That nine-year-old grew up to lead a nomadic life as a pro surfer, crisscrossing the globe in pursuit of the best waves.
In 2009, Jon was hunting swells in Sumatra when a 7.6 earthquake struck, decimating the coast of Indonesia. It was by chance that Jon had brought along the vague idea for a charity—called Waves For Water—as well as ten ceramic water filters. Watching those filters in action at the Red Cross, Jon found his life’s purpose.
Before the earthquake, Jon had lived what he described as an aimless, “very self-indulgent lifestyle,” and his father had encouraged him to try giving back. Jack’s fatherly advice wasn’t idle talk: he’s a carpenter who had built rain-catchment systems in Uganda and Kenya. His passion and dedication are at the root of Waves For Water, where he works today and which helps communities in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Haiti, Brazil, Indonesia, and Africa.
In celebration of Father’s Day, this radical duo reflects on their love for adventure and their unshakeable bond.
Beautycounter: Jack, what’s the best Father’s Day gift you’ve ever received? Jack: The best Father’s Day [gift] I ever received was catching my son Jon when he was born at home. It was like catching a football; I crossed the finish line.
BC: What do you admire most about each other? Jack: What I most admire about Jon is his consistency and his integrity, and how strong he is for standing for what he believes. But not in a showy way. It’s more behind the scenes. It’s like the root of a tree, where it’s there, it’s solid, but he’s not trying to get any attention.
Jon: It’s really hard for me to say what I admire most about my dad because there’s a lot of things, but I think the key piece since I’ve been a kid is just to really stay adventurous. At a very young age, he was showing me a lot of unorthodox adventures and experiences. I look back now, and I can see that they were really different choices for a parent to make. I’ve carved a different path for myself as a result, and when I have a family, I will probably do the same for them.
BC: Tell us a little about your father-son work dynamic. Jack: If we have a really big decision to make in our life, we run it by each other. We don’t ask for an immediate response. It’s just like, meditate on that. We totally trust each other, so it’s great to get that reflection and feedback that perhaps is better than you can do for yourself.
Jon: Our transparency is so deep-rooted and embedded that we don’t even have a conscious system, it’s just the way we are. Like he said, we run every big decision by each other. We are partners in crime, you know—we have been forever. And that goes across the board, heavy times, light times, we’re just there to keep each other honest.
BC: Jon, what makes your dad a Counterman? Jon: My dad is definitely a Counterman. Counterculture in the best way. He has carved his own path since day one. He’s got a very special way of looking at things. It’s very creative. Very expansive. And I’ve learned a lot from that.
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At Beautycounter, we believe beauty should be good for you, and the ingredients we choose to use in our products back up this belief—they are clean, safe, and never harmful to your body. However, we do occasionally get asked: “Does it really matter?”
It’s a good question—and we get it. There’s a lot of information out there, and it’s hard to know who and what to trust. When you walk into a drugstore, you probably see a ton of claims on shampoos, lotions, and makeup: “clean,” “natural,” “paraben-free,” “non-toxic,” just to name a few. It’s important to understand that the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) actually has little regulatory authority to oversee personal care products and their marketing claims. So, you’re right to feel a little suspicious.
However, we never use safety as a marketing tactic, because we know personal care products can have a meaningful impact on our health. That’s why science-backed research is so important to us. Our Never List contains over 1,500 questionable ingredients that are never used in our formulas—this is our definition of clean beauty. In addition, we rely on our five-step ingredient selection process to inform each ingredient that we choose to include in our formulations.
We rely on the research that institutions such as Mount Sinai and UCSF have published describing the endocrine-disruptive (a.k.a. hormone-disruptive) effects of chemicals found in the environment, including personal care products, cleaning products, and other consumer goods. These chemicals have been shown to increase the risks of disease later in life as well as negatively affect the human reproductive system.
Lastly, government bodies (a.k.a. organizations affiliated with the government) have proven the disparate impacts of personal care products on people of color. One of the studies also shows, however, that making a few changes can have an immediate beneficial health impact.
For example, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that women have higher levels of parabens in their bodies than men and that African-Americans have been tested to have the highest levels of parabens. The HERMOSA study, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), found that switching to personal care products with lower levels of endocrine-disrupting ingredients can lead to dramatic reductions in the levels of harmful chemicals in teen girls.
So, to answer the question: “Does it really matter?” Yes, it does. We believe that everyone deserves safer personal care products and we’ll always turn to science to verify safety. If we’ve peaked your interest and you want to learn more, we recommend reading Sicker, Fatter, Poorer by Dr. Leo Trasande, a noted leader in children’s environmental health.
Follow us on social media @Beautycounter for more resources on how to limit your environmental exposure.