of more than 20 clean, high-performance beauty
brands made its debut in Washington, D.C., in 2017,
led by Beautycounter founder and CEO Gregg
Renfrew. We’re thrilled to stand alongside some of the top leaders in our
industry to push for safer cosmetic ingredient laws. While many may balk at the
idea of working with “competitors,” we know that collaboration is key
to moving the beauty industry forward.
agree. “We are delighted by the work of the coalition and embrace working with
this alliance of brands who understand this critical moment in human and
environmental health,” says Kristine Keheley, co-founder and formulator at
Vapour Organic Beauty. Adds Jenefer Palmer, founder of OSEA: “Safe cosmetics
are a consumer’s right and our earth’s rightful due…we are thrilled to partner
with Beautycounter to create meaningful change.”
consumers, we assume our government is looking out for us and making sure that
the products sold in this country are non-toxic and safe for us and our
families,” says Johanna Peet, founder of Peet Rivko. “The time for this type of
smart regulation is long overdue.”
Counteract Coalition members will be
a unified front sharing the unique and important perspectives of the
rapidly growing safer and natural beauty industry. Our work will always
remain non-partisan—just like Beautycounter’s solo advocacy
efforts—since we realize that Americans from all political affiliations
want more health-protective laws regulating their personal-care products.
At the end of the day, we want to make it as easy as possible for safer personal-care brands to join the fight for ingredient reform, eventually bringing the U.S. in line with Europe and Canada. Clean skin care and cosmetics companies are outpacing traditional beauty brands in terms of growth—and if we work together on the legislative front, there’s no doubt we’ll be just as unstoppable.
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.
Ever stand over your trash can or recycling bin, holding a used Beautycounter product, thinking, “What do I do with this?”
Yeah, so do we.
There’s a reason it’s confusing: the infrastructure
that handles our recycling does not always capture small items (the technical
term is “Small Format Packaging”), even if they are made from recyclable
materials. This renders many bottles, jars, compacts, and other commonly used
personal-care packaging unrecoverable —regardless of the materials used.
But even if this infrastructure is optimized,
human behavior must change. In fact in 2016, only
14 percent of Americans reported recycling bathroom items at all1.
That’s why Beautycounter is
working towards innovative sustainable packaging: so our products
can be recycled more easily—and after their first use.
You may be curious as to why we have decided to transition to a new disposal labeling system now, and our answer is this: when we began using our past system, it was the best option available to us. The recycling industry is complicated and constantly evolving. It’s directly impacted by the specific recycling facility’s infrastructure, state and federal policies, and how much a material is worth for resale, which is always changing. We have partnered with How2Recycle® to better understand this landscape, as well as to help pass that knowledge on to our Consultants, Members, and Clients. We are constantly striving to evolve our sustainability practices, and will continue to share our journey because transparency is important to us. At the end of the day, progress and positive impact—not perfection—are our goals.
Being part of the solution:
For us, conserving natural resources is about
improving our ability to make better products, as well as protecting the places
we live and play in. That means addressing a few critical issues head-on.
Plastics are a key part of most consumer
goods packaging. They allow us to create, move, store, and use countless
things, but most of the plastics we interact with in our daily lives do not end
up getting recycled. It’s estimated that 95% of the value of plastic packaging
material is lost to the economy each year. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation
estimates that this lost value translates to $80-120 billion per year2—more
than the GDP of many nations. Here’s the good news: we are working hard to
figure out ways to help.
In the coming year, Beautycounter intends
to begin the shift towards putting more products in plastics that are widely
recycled, and also to
replace plastics with alternative materials—such as glass—wherever possible.
This is an evolving process, but we are committed to making great strides in
the coming year. In the meantime, one of our biggest challenges is ensuring
that as much of our packaging as possible makes it to recycling facilities.
One of our highest priorities is figuring out ways to minimize the environmental impacts of our products, packaging, and operations—and it starts with each one of us. That’s why we’ve partnered with How2Recycle®, a standardized labeling system that clearly and concisely communicates disposal instructions that everyone can understand.
By combining the most critical pieces of information
into one easy-to-interpret symbol, it makes recycling simple and precise.
Starting today, you’ll see the labels on applicable product web pages at
beautycounter.com, allowing you to check whether certain product packaging is
widely recycled, recycled only in certain communities, eligible for store
drop-off, or not yet recycled. And late this summer, we will begin phasing in
How2Recycle labels on the packaging of new product launches, as size allows. (Any
products too small to accommodate a legible label on their packaging will have
guidance on their respective product web pages.)
Each How2Recycle® label includes the following information:
to prepare the product for recycling (e.g., before recycling, empty, rinse, and
of recyclability (widely recycled, check locally, not yet recycled, or store
and its material (e.g., plastic tube, glass bottle, metal lid)
You’ll see that some products are not yet recyclable. This means that many recycling centers will not recover the material, often for one of three reasons: it’s too small (think: lipstick), it’s made of mixed materials, or there is not a big enough market for that material in its recycled form (like dark plastics). The whole beauty industry is challenged by these limitations, and Beautycounter is committed to being a leader in getting more products recycled and recovered. And a gentle reminder: it’s important to keep non-recyclables out of the recycling stream, so please read your labels carefully.
How2Recycle® labels give you all the information you need to responsibly dispose of your Beautycounter products, so they can have future lives as parts of other fantastic products. Working with How2Recycle® also allows all of us to play a part in a movement towards greater stewardship of our natural resources. Thank you for your role in our journey towards #betterbeauty. It’s not only what’s on the inside that counts, but also how we package change.
As a company founded in California, Beautycounter is proud
of the groundbreaking work our state legislators have done in the area of
personal-care safety. This year, we are honored to lend our voice in support of
two bills recently introduced into the California legislature, which will
further protect consumers from harmful ingredients in the products they use
Know What’s in
The first, the Toxic Fragrance Chemicals Right to Know Act (SB 574), requires companies to report any fragrance or flavor ingredients in their products to the Safer Cosmetics Program in California. This program then makes the information public.
This bill closes the “fragrance loophole” which allows
companies to hide the ingredients used for a particular scent within the words
“parfum” or “fragrance,” even when that scent may contain chemicals of concern.
At Beautycounter, our commitment to transparency means that
we fully disclose all fragrance ingredients, and we screen and assess the
safety of each ingredient in our products. Moreover, to fragrance our products,
we use essential oils, natural products extracted from plants that are often
also beneficial to skin.
We are proof that it is possible to make safer beauty that
contains a pleasant aroma without compromising health.
Ban the Worst
The California Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act (AB 495), introduced by Assembly Members Muratsuchi and Wicks, creates a list of 15 ingredients and classes of ingredients that may not be used in personal-care products sold in California.
These 15 ingredients have long been included on The Never List, of which Beautycounter has pledged never to use in our products. Given the fact that California is the fifth largest economy in the world, if passed, this bill would mean safer personal-care products across the U.S.
Both bills must move through their committees of jurisdiction before being brought to the Senate and House floors. In the meantime, if you are a California resident, you can show your support for these bills by emailing your California legislators.
Just text SAFERSCENT to 52886 to support SB 574, and TOXICFREE to 52886 to support AB 495. Live outside the state? Share the text actions with your friends and family who live within the state to make their voices heard, too. Beautycounter will keep you updated on both bills’ progress over the coming months.
When you pick up a Beautycounter product, you know that the ingredients in the moisturizer, lipstick, or shampoo you hold have been rigorously screened as part of our Five-Step Ingredient Selection Process. But did you know that your dollars are also contributing to cutting-edge research that will lead to even safer personal care products across the industry?
One of the things we’re proudest
of is our mission, because it goes beyond our company, our local community—and
even our industry. Making a positive impact on people and ecosystems across the
globe is incredibly important to us, and we couldn’t do it without some help.
So, what we are about to announce is a big deal.
At Beautycounter, we are dedicated to getting safer products into the hands of everyone. A large part of this effort involves partnering with cancer organizations. While treatments are mentally and physically taxing to cancer patients, they also tend to leave their skin incredibly dry.
If you didn’t already know, Beautycounter is a B Corp. “What’s that?” you ask? In a nutshell, being a B Corp means that we consider more than just the bottom line and a profit margin when making business decisions. We take a more comprehensive approach to business practices—also focusing our attention on people and the planet.
We pride ourselves in choosing the best organic, natural, sustainable, and synthetic ingredients that meet our better beauty standards. While we ultimately strive to create safer, high-performing products, it is also our priority to protect those who partner with us along our supply chain. Continue reading “Putting People First”→