How Beautycounter Defines Vegan

For years, we’ve heard from Clients and Consultants that they are seeking products that are vegan. While Beautycounter is not a vegan brand, over the years, we’ve worked hard to increase our number of products containing non-animal-derived ingredients, by-products, and processing agents. Starting this month, we will have an even easier way for people to identify which products are vegan, as defined below, with the launch of the Beautycounter vegan badge.

A Beautycounter product is vegan if it does not contain, and is not processed with, animal- derived ingredients or by-products. You may ask, why aren’t all Beautycounter products vegan? Safety has always been our company’s North Star and, as the clean beauty leader, safety has always been our priority. Given how restrictive our Never List™ is, we sometimes need to choose animal-derived ingredients because they are the safer option to deliver the quality and performance we are looking for in a cosmetic or skin-care product.

Take our Peppermint and Calendula Lip Conditioners, for example. These products contain lanolin, a wax derived from sheep’s wool. Lanolin is boiled out of wool that has already been sheared and then filtered, causing no harm to the sheep during its production. Our safety team believes that lanolin is a safer ingredient than alternatives to achieve the hydration, texture, and feel of our Lip Conditioner, and we use high-quality lanolin from sheep in Australia and New Zealand.

Lastly, a little clarification: a product that is labeled “vegan” does not mean that it is “cruelty-free.” Good news: Beautycounter has never tested our products on animals, and last year, we became a part of the Leaping Bunny Program which certified our commitment.

To find Beautycounter products which have the vegan badge, please visit www.beautycounter.com/products/vegan to see the most up-to-date list of products with the vegan designation. Note that we cannot guarantee that our products are manufactured in a vegan facility, so we encourage those with allergies to animal-derived substances to consult a doctor prior to use.

Setting the Highest Bar in Clean Beauty

Our 23 Health and Environmental Endpoints

From moisturizers and serums to shampoos and conditioners, consumers have more clean beauty options than ever—and we love that fact. As a brand recognized for our leadership in this growing category, our in-house team of scientists works hard to stay up-to-date with the latest peer-reviewed scientific literature to ensure that our formulations are always 100% safe. 

One result of this research is our Never List™: an industry-leading list of over 1,800+ ingredients we never use in our product formulations. But what really makes us the leader in clean beauty is how we screen each and every ingredient in our formulas for 23 health and environmental endpoints. Examining these endpoints is part of our newly launched Blueprint for Clean, a roadmap that sets the highest bar for safety in the beauty industry. 

To examine the 23 health and safety endpoints, we rely on up to 17 unique databases, like the EU’s REACHProp 65, and EPA lists—data and research studies that have been peer-reviewed (the gold standard in the scientific research community). However, there are also lots of unstudied ingredients. We never assume that an ingredient is safe. Instead, for questionable ingredients we collaborate with leading academic institutions, like Tufts University, to close this data gap and publicly share our findings. 

Beautycounter invests in research and testing because we know that certain ingredients have proven potential dangers, like endocrine disruption, reproductive harm, or links to increased risks of cancer, as well as possible skin or eye irritation. We also devote a lot of time to researching the environmental impact of ingredients—like how ingredients in sunscreen worn at the beach could damage coral reefs, or how long an ingredient lasts in the soil before breaking down. 

The truth is that the beauty industry is largely unregulated, and companies often have to define what “clean” means for themselves. For us, clean beauty is about being transparent with our ingredient selection process, so customers can make an informed decision about what they put on their bodies every day. Because we believe beauty isn’t just about how you look, but how it makes you feel—from the inside out. 

Straight to the Source

Beautycounter is known for creating clean, effective products using the safest ingredients. But for us, “clean” is about more than what goes into a product. It’s about the entire process, from start to finish. That’s why we’ve worked hard to build a responsible sourcing program to address ingredients known to have environmental and human rights impacts. Here’s how we’re leveraging our purchasing power to help make people’s lives better. 

Mica 

You know how certain cosmetic powders, like highlighter and eyeshadow, give that pretty, shimmery glow? You can thank mica for that—but sourcing this mineral has its issues. Our in-depth mica documentary exposed the unethical practices prevalent in the industry, and showed how Beautycounter is transforming our supply chain to uphold the “responsible” part of our sourcing. By the end of 2020, we will have proudly audited 100 percent of our mica suppliers. 

Vanilla 

Mmmm—the sumptuous scent of vanilla is found in Beautycounter’s sheer lipsticks and lip glosses. But as sweet as it smells, the vanilla industry has a dark side that includes child labor. One of our 2020 goals is to fully trace our vanilla supply chain, and we’re doing that by conducting on-the-ground, third-party audits to fully understand where our vanilla is coming from and how workers are being treated. Stay tuned—we’ll share our progress later this year. 

Palm Oil 

Though palm oil’s unsustainable practices can be damaging to the environment, Beautycounter currently uses palm derivatives to create clean skin-care products. This is because alternative ingredients (like rapeseed and soybean) are potentially even more harmful. To address these issues, we joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which helps businesses source more environmentally friendly palm oil. Beautycounter has been working with all of our contract manufacturing partners to help them become RSPO-certified members. This way, the RSPO-Certified palm oil with which they formulate can be officially highlighted in Beautycounter’s claims. It’s our goal to push for all of our products to be RSPO-certified; a critical piece of that is ensuring that our partners go through the final paperwork and audit process. We are also a founding member of the Sustainable Chemistry Alliance which advocates for green chemistry legislation in DC, focused on funding research on innovative and more sustainable ingredients. 

Creating safer beauty products that benefit both your health and the earth—while protecting human rights—is hard work. But we believe that knowledge combined with transparency is the winning formula for creating an ethical and sustainable supply chain. We’ll always keep you informed, so check back for updates, and until then, read up on our responsible sourcing program

Meet the Experts Making Beauty Better

Introducing the Beautycounter Science Advisory Council.

Decades of peer-reviewed research show a link between daily exposure to certain harmful chemicals and negative health outcomes such as cancer, infertility, and hormone disruption. But, as we know, cause and effect are complex and dependent on a variety of factors. That is why we work with leading academic researchers and scientists across the country to do our best to reduce environmental exposure wherever possible.  We believe that using the best-available science is important to reduce exposure to harmful ingredients and we’ve hired an all-star, in-house team of scientists to help us do so. We also recruited some of the brightest minds within the independent scientific and medical community to serve as a sounding board for our approach to safety. 

Today, we’re excited to introduce these leading researchers, health professionals, and organizations as we launch the Beautycounter Science Advisory Council. This group of experts shares our passion for making informed and precautionary decisions when formulating products. Their research will help guide and inform us about ingredient safety, making sure we are always ahead of the curve. We are so honored to have this team on our side—together, we’re going to make better beauty for all.

It’s hard for us to describe the breadth and caliber of these leaders, so we will let their work speak for itself. Collectively this group has published nearly 500 peer-reviewed papers on topics ranging from the health impacts of endocrine-disrupting chemicals to the effects of inaction on our global economy.

Get to know our esteemed Science Advisory Council: 

Kim Harley, MPH PhD

Associate Professor of Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health, UC Berkeley School of Public Health

Dr. Harley is a reproductive epidemiologist whose research focuses on endocrine-disrupting chemicals and women’s health, including associations with fertility, birth outcomes, timing of puberty, and obesity. Her latest research investigates chemicals of concern in cosmetics and personal care products marketed towards minority women. Dr. Harley has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers on the health effects and exposure patterns of phthalates, parabens, BPA, flame retardants, pesticides, and other endocrine disruptors in our homes and daily lives.  

 Joe Laakso, PhD

Director, Science Policy at the Endocrine Society—the leading professional organization for endocrinologists, who are on a mission tounite, lead, and grow the endocrine community to accelerate scientific breakthroughs and improve health worldwide.

Dr. Laakso helps the world’s leading experts in the field of endocrinology to advance policies that accelerate scientific discovery and ensure that endocrine science is reflected in legislation and regulatory decision making. Dr. Laakso is passionate about the promise of research and the ability of governments to use scientific knowledge to advance effective, science-based policies. He uses his blend of scientific and policy expertise to distill and communicate complicated scientific issues to policymakers and other audiences.

Allyson Ocean, MD

Medical oncologist and attending physician in hematology and medical oncology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center; Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell and the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center.

Dr. Ocean is a principal investigator on clinical trials with novel therapeutics, radiolabeled therapies, antibody-drug conjugates, and targeted therapies. She is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and abstracts and is an active member of several professional societies, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Association for Cancer Research. Dr. Ocean also represents Stand Up to Cancer,  and is the co-founder of two nonprofits in the cancer space: Michael’s Mission and Let’s Win Pancreatic Cancer.

Lora Shahine, MD, FACOG

Reproductive endocrinologist at Pacific NW Fertility and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle specializing in infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss.  

Dr. Shahine is the accomplished author of three books that take an integrative approach to fertility care and recurrent miscarriage, including her best-selling book, Not Broken, as well as over 50 peer-reviewed clinical research papers. She is passionate about increasing awareness of the reproductive and overall health impact of environmental toxins and endocrine disruptors through legislative advocacy, speaking, writing, and an active social media presence.

Ana Soto, MD

Professor of Immunology, Tufts University School of Medicine. Blaise Pascal Chair 2013-15 and Fellow at the Centre Cavaillès, Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris.

Dr. Ana Soto is an internationally renowned leader in environmental health and a pioneer in the field of endocrine disruptors. Her research team discovered the deleterious effects of fetal exposure to bisphenol-A, a chemical often used in plastic products. She was instrumental in providing evidence that resulted in laws banning BPA from food-contacting materials in France. Together with Dr. Carlos Sonnenschein she authored the book The Society of Cells; published in 1999, it has become a classic of cancer biology. Dr Soto has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles both on experimental and theoretical biology. She and her team of scientists also work on identifying the endocrine effects of ingredients used in personal care products and plastic packaging. Dr. Soto was elected a member of the prestigious Collegium Ramazzini, Carpi, Italy in 2011, and is the recipient of several awards, including the Grand Vermeil Medal, the highest distinction from the City of Paris, for her pioneering role in the discovery of endocrine disruptors and her contributions to public health.

Leo Trasande, MD, MPP

Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Pediatrics; Chief, Division of Environmental Pediatrics; Professor of Environmental Medicine & Population Health, NYU School of Medicine

Dr. Trasande is an internationally renowned leader in children’s environmental health, a pediatrician, a prolific researcher, and the author of the best-selling book Sicker Fatter Poorer. His research focuses on identifying the role of environmental exposures in childhood obesity and cardiovascular risks. He examines the effects of chemicals like phthalates, bisphenols, organophosphate pesticides, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on fetal as well as postnatal growth and early cardiovascular and renal risks. Dr. Trasande leads one of 35 centers across the country as part of the National Institute of Health’s Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes program and is Principal Investigator on numerous NIH-funded projects. He is perhaps best known for a series of landmark studies that document disease costs due to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

 Sara Wordingham, MD, FAAHPM

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Center for Palliative Medicine, Mayo Clinic

Dr. Wordingham is an accomplished clinician and patient advocate who is passionate about medical ethics, whole-person care, and maximizing quality of life for patients and loved ones facing advanced illness. After watching her older sister become an advocate for clean beauty products, she began questioning if there were not safer ways to care for our bodies and exploring how physicians can help promote change. As someone who sees patients with advanced cancer and heart disease on a daily basis, she hopes to continue to innovate and advocate for safer environmental health practices.

Peeling Back the Curtain: All About Heavy Metals in Color Cosmetics

Beauty marketing claims may lead consumers to believe that “natural” means “safe”—but that isn’t always the case, and heavy metals are a prime example. These naturally occurring elements (arsenic, cadmium, lead, etc.) are plentiful within the earth, but may be harmful to our health depending on various factors such as route of exposure and quantity—and unfortunately they may be present in color cosmetics.

That’s why Beautycounter is tackling this issue head-on. We believe that safer products are built on a foundation of transparency—and we’re using the launch of our very own in-house product testing laboratory as an opportunity to share our safety standards. In the first of a series of posts, “Transparency in Action” will show you how Beautycounter is leading industry efforts in this area.

How do heavy metals end up in color cosmetics in the first place?

Heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and mercury are not intentionally added to beauty products. These metals are often present in raw materials and naturally mined colors that eventually become ingredients in color cosmetics. In other words, they make their way into products by tagging along with other ingredients as contaminants.

Just like gold, heavy metals are distributed throughout the ground in highly variable and often unpredictable ways. That makes it pretty difficult to know where they will be found and in what concentrations (so it’s not as simple as finding a “clean” source, unfortunately). So, when other ingredients like colors are mined, unwanted heavy metals may be inadvertently pulled from the earth as well. This means that using only naturally derived colors doesn’t necessarily mean a product is inherently safer. 

What can we do about unwanted heavy metals in color cosmetics?

As with the safety and sustainability of our products, Beautycounter takes a leading approach to addressing this issue.

We use innovative formulas.

Our color cosmetics include a blend of rigorously screened, naturally derived and synthetic colorants. We found that this blend helps minimize the amount of unwanted heavy metals that can make their way into products, as we continue to strive for the safest formulas possible. Fun fact: the European Union allows 153 colorants in color cosmetics, the United States 65, and Beautycounter? We currently have only approved 18 colorants for use in our products.

We take product testing very seriously.

We test the ingredients used in our color cosmetics and finished cosmetic products obsessively—multiple times—before they go to market. We only use validated test methods and the most advanced laboratory equipment available (Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer, ICP-MS). This allows us to test for heavy metals at concentrations ten times lower than what is standard practice in the beauty industry (1 part per billion vs 10 parts per million).

To break this down a step further, we check for heavy metals in products at the lowest concentrations scientifically possible through at least a 1ppb detection limit, whereas some equipment has detection limits of 10 ppm. Under this scenario, anything less than 10 ppm would appear as “passing” (or, in scientific lingo, “non-detect”). It is common to use less precise testing, if testing is performed at all. This is why it’s critically important to understand how brands are testing for heavy metals, since catchy headlines don’t tell the full story.

We take action.

If our test results show heavy metals at concentrations that concern us, we immediately investigate and address potential contamination issues with our suppliers, sometimes halting the production or launch of a product. We have a state-of-the-art, in-house lab (allowing for nimble testing throughout the product development process, rather than a “one and done” approach) and we rely on third-party tests to validate our results throughout the year. Our third-party testing facility tests in “duplicates,” a scientific term to describe testing each product twice, to account for variability in how heavy metals may be distributed.

Curious to see some test results yourself? You can view recent test results here.

Beautycounter sets strict standards.

We use the best-available science to establish limits that reflect the specific characteristics of different heavy metal contaminants. Our team of scientists uses a variety of criteria to set our internal limits and we review these with external experts annually.

We fight for stronger regulations to help protect everyone.

We actively advocate for more stringent federal regulations to reduce heavy metal exposure across the industry (you can read an op-ed from our CEO on this topic here). Our CEO recently testified before the House of Representatives asking Congress for more regulations of beauty industry.

What do Beautycounter’s heavy metals test results reveal?

While some companies make claims to be “heavy metal free” or “lead free,” our testing shows such claims cannot be supported since heavy metals are naturally occurring contaminants in colorants. But that does not stop us from trying to bring a new level of rigor to the beauty industry.

Recent test results from Beautycounter product testing can be viewed here. For extra credit, you can also view our talc test results here.

Table 1. Average Heavy Metals Concentrations and Limits (ppm) from 2019 color cosmetic products testing data

Heavy Metal Average Beautycounter Concentrations (ppm)1   FDA Regulatory Limits (ppm)2,3
Arsenic 0.1 3.0
Antimony 0.2 None
Cadmium 0.02 None
Lead (lip) 0.2 10.0 (all products)
Lead (non-lip) 0.6   10.0 (all products)
Mercury 0.01 1.0

1 Based on third-party testing data for Beautycounter color cosmetic products made and tested in 2019.

2FDA Regulatory Limits shown are for concentrations in raw ingredients.

3 The FDA also has limits established for heavy metal impurities in color additives as ingredients, which are not shown. Source: https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/potential-contaminants-cosmetics/fdas-testing-cosmetics-arsenic-cadmium-chromium-cobalt-lead-mercury-and-nickel-content#limits

As you can see, these average concentrations are also well below FDA limits.

Not surprisingly, given the challenges in the sourcing of colors described above, we may detect concentrations of heavy metals in batches of products that exceed our own internal limits. These situations are more rare than frequent and are also unpredictable. Even samples taken from the same product but in different spots can yield different levels of heavy metals when tested. For example, taking samples from opposite corners of an eyeshadow pan can give you different concentrations when heavy metals are present.

If our testing reveals a product that exceeds our internal limits, we prevent it from being sold (even if it meets all relevant regulatory limits).

How do Beautycounter’s heavy metals limits compare to common industry practice?

You may notice that heavy metal concentrations and limits for other brands of color cosmetics are missing from the table above. It is not industry practice to publicly disclose test results or publish heavy metal concentrations allowed in most brands’ products. In some cases, we understand that brands may simply be relying on guarantees from ingredient suppliers instead of conducting testing on their own products.


Looking ahead

Beautycounter is doing everything possible to reduce heavy metals exposure from color cosmetics—and we will continue to improve our efforts. Most importantly, we want you to be in the know about everything we do, because understanding the “whys” and “hows” helps you make the best decisions for yourself and your family. This is the power of transparency.


 

 

Sharing, and Protecting, Information

Here at Beautycounter, we feel as though one of our primary responsibilities is to protect our consumers.  As you know, we do this every day by creating high-performing products utilizing industry-leading safety standards, while advocating for enhanced legislation to protect all consumers, not just Beautycounter’s.   And we protect through education, sharing information so that others can make the most informed choices for themselves.  There are also moments when we protect by not sharing information, as in the case of your personal information.  It is our duty to safeguard your information and prevent its unwanted use or access.  We do this by engaging in continuous efforts to enhance data security practices.

With those commitments in mind, we wanted to update you on a specific incident that was recently brought to our attention.  Recently, an anonymous individual contacted our company claiming to have stolen personal information from our online environment.  The individual demanded money to ensure that the stolen data was deleted.

Beautycounter immediately began a cyberforensic investigation of the individual’s claims and determined the extent of the unauthorized intrusion so it could be immediately contained and addressed.  Beautycounter also began to work with law enforcement to investigate the anonymous individual and prevent further criminal activity.

Our investigation continues, in close coordination with law enforcement, but we do have some information to share from the investigation to-date:  current findings indicate that the incident does not involve information sufficient to commit a fraudulent transaction or otherwise wrongfully access online accounts.  When Beautycounter became aware of the potential issue, we immediately acted to follow up on the claims and initiate containment protocols.  We found no indication that anything was exposed regarding our Consultants, Clients, and Associates other than certain names, email addresses, the last four digits of credit card numbers, and/or card expiration date information (this partial information does not permit an individual to access or use the corresponding account). 

It is important to note that Beautycounter does not store full credit card numbers on its systems.  Like many other companies conducting ecommerce business, we receive reports of potentially fraudulent charges at various times, often which occur using information that does not originate from Beautycounter.  However, based on information from our investigation to date, there is no indication that any instances of fraudulent charges or activity could be related to this isolated incident.

The safety of Beautycounter’s community is of the utmost importance to us, in all aspects of our business.  We foster trust through transparency, and reinforce our commitment to providing you with information, while protecting yours.   If you become aware of any indication that your account or identity may have been compromised, please let us know immediately at questions@beautycounter.com.  As always, we also encourage our community members to engage in good general digital “hygiene” as well, including regularly updating passwords, voiding using the same password for all of your accounts, etc.  Thank you for all that you do to support the safety of our community.

Leading By Example

Beautycounter’s commitment to safety is widely-known, from our approach to our ingredients and product formulations to our revolutionary work around consumer safety regulation.  As we have always said, safety is only as good as the transparency accompanying it, and it is this unwavering combination that made us the industry leader we are today.  We lead by example, and will continue to by transparently communicating our successes and challenges to help educate others trying to be better.  So, true to character, we want to notify you about an issue with one shade of our brow gel.

We are voluntarily issuing a recall of one shade (Soft Black) of our Brilliant Brow Gel, after being notified of an isolated issue with that shade.  While this issue does not affect any other Beautycounter products, or other shades of the brow gel, we take every potential situation seriously, no matter how small or isolated.

Our Periodic Monitoring Program (the Beautycounter testing program designed to monitor the quality of products in the market on an on-going basis) alerted us to a potential issue, and we immediately stopped selling the Soft Black shade.  Simultaneously, we initiated confirmatory testing protocols to understand if the issue was real (vs. a testing error or anomaly), and our manufacturing partner also launched an internal investigation at their facility. 

All investigations concluded, and we have confirmed the presence of a common mold, Penicillium spp., in the Soft Black shade of the brow gel.  Results of our manufacturing partner’s investigation also identified the cause of the incident: an isolated, storage condition at their facility.  When our partner identified the cause, they immediately addressed the issue to prevent this situation going forward.

Penicillium is a group (Genus) of molds commonly found in the environment and can be introduced into a manufacturing facility from various sources, such as raw materials, water, and equipment.  It is considered to be an opportunistic pathogen.  This means that individuals with weakened immune systems, those who suffer from a pre-existing health condition, or who belong to another particularly-sensitive group may be at risk of allergic reactions and related symptoms.  If it is introduced into the eye, eye infections may occur.  

You can determine if you have an affected product by looking at the lot number (lots: #999224670 and #999210861) inked on the side of the brow gel.  If you have a product with these two lot numbers, please discontinue use and throw them away immediately.  If you gave or sold this product to anyone, please tell them about the recall and that they should also discard the applicable product. 

We are of course disappointed any time that our high standards are not met, but we recognize that this challenge also presents us with an opportunity to reinforce our commitment to transparency and progress.  Whether through educational, recap discussions with our manufacturing partner, discussions with the FDA, this blog post, or testifying before Congress, it is our responsibility to lead by example and show the industry how to be better.   We invite you to visit our Health & Safety page if you would like to know more about how we are leading by example.

Mener par l’exemple

L’engagement de Beautycounter envers la sûreté est bien connu : de notre façon de sélectionner nos ingrédients à la composition de nos formules, en passant par notre travail révolutionnaire visant à faire évoluer la réglementation assurant la sécurité des consommateurs. Comme nous l’avons toujours dit, la sûreté n’est véritable que si la transparence qui l’accompagne l’est aussi, et c’est cette combinaison inébranlable qui a fait de nous les chefs de file que nous sommes aujourd’hui. Nous donnons l’exemple et continuerons de le faire en communiquant de manière transparente nos succès et nos défis en vue d’inspirer les autres à faire mieux. Ainsi, fidèles à notre nature, nous souhaitons vous informer d’un problème concernant l’une des nuances de notre gel à sourcils.

Nous émettons volontairement un rappel de la nuance Soft Black de notre gel à sourcils Brilliant Brow, après avoir été informés d’un problème isolé avec cette nuance. Bien que ce problème n’affecte aucun autre produit Beautycounter, ni aucune autre teinte du gel à sourcils, nous prenons chaque risque potentiel au sérieux, aussi petit ou isolé soit-il.

Notre programme de surveillance périodique (le programme de vérifications de Beautycounter conçu pour surveiller la qualité des produits sur le marché sur une base continue) nous a alertés d’un problème potentiel, et nous avons immédiatement cessé de vendre la nuance Soft Black. Simultanément, nous avons lancé des protocoles de tests de confirmation pour comprendre si le problème était réel (par rapport à une erreur de test ou à une anomalie), tandis que notre partenaire de fabrication a également entrepris une enquête interne dans son usine.

Toutes ces vérifications maintenant terminées, nous pouvons confirmer la présence d’une moisissure courante, le pénicillium, dans la teinte Soft Black du gel à sourcils. Les résultats de l’enquête de notre partenaire de fabrication ont également identifié la cause de l’incident : une condition isolée dans leur usine. Lorsque notre partenaire a identifié la cause, il a immédiatement résolu le problème pour éviter que cette situation ne se reproduise.

Le pénicillium est un groupe (genre) de moisissures que l’on retrouve couramment dans l’environnement et qui peut être introduit dans une usine de fabrication à partir de diverses sources, telles que les matières premières, l’eau et l’équipement. Il est considéré comme un pathogène opportuniste. Cela signifie que les personnes dont le système immunitaire est affaibli, qui souffrent d’un problème de santé préexistant ou qui appartiennent à un autre groupe plus vulnérable peuvent être particulièrement susceptibles de développer une réaction allergique ou d’autres symptômes qui y sont associés. Si le pathogène est introduit dans l’œil, des infections oculaires peuvent survenir.

Vous pouvez savoir si vous possédez un produit concerné par le rappel en vérifiant le numéro de lot (lots no 999224670 et no 999210861) inscrit sur le côté du contenant du gel à sourcils. Si vous possédez un produit avec l’un de ces deux numéros de lot, veuillez en cesser l’utilisation et le jeter immédiatement. Si vous avez offert ou vendu ce produit à quelqu’un, veuillez lui faire part du rappel afin que le produit soit jeté également.

Nous sommes bien sûr déçus chaque fois que nos normes élevées ne sont pas respectées, mais nous reconnaissons que ce défi nous offre également la possibilité de renforcer notre engagement en matière de transparence et de progrès. Que ce soit au moyen de discussions instructives récapitulatives avec notre partenaire de fabrication, de discussions avec la FDA, de ce billet de blogue ou de témoignages devant le Congrès, il nous appartient de montrer l’exemple et de montrer à l’industrie comment faire mieux. Nous vous invitons à visiter https://www.beautycounter.com/fr-ca/health-and-safety si vous souhaitez en savoir plus sur la façon dont nous menons par l’exemple.

The Best Beauty Mark

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. 

Beauty Comes Clean: The Truth About Mica

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.  

Credit: BASF Colors & Effects

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.  

Want to Stay in the Know?  

Be sure to follow along as we share our responsible sourcing journey.  

A Conversation on Brows with Kristie Streicher

With the launch of our new Brilliant Brow Gel, we’ve got brows on the mind and wanted to go straight to the guru, Kristie Streicher. Kristie is a co-founder of STRIIIKE, a cult-favorite beauty salon in Beverly Hills that she runs with her sisters, Jenn and Ashley, who specialize in makeup and hair, respectively. (Talk about triple threat!) Having worked with countless celebrities, Kristie has achieved brow-guru status—she’s best known for her feathered brow and believes in the power of the hair you leave, rather than the hair you tweeze (read: waxing is a no-no in her book).   

Continue reading “A Conversation on Brows with Kristie Streicher”