What Does “Clean” Really Mean?

 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 created this process because scientific evidence told us we could make better beauty products. Noted medical organizations and academic institutions have highlighted the link between the chemicals found in our environment—including personal care products—and public health. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Endocrine Society all recognize the link between exposure to environmental agents and health and have endorsed the Personal Care Products Safety Act which empowers the FDA to begin reviewing ingredients used frequently in beauty products.  

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.  

Earning Our B: Inside Beautycounter’s Highest-Ever B Corp Rating

Earning Our B: Inside Beautycounter’s Highest-Ever B Corp Rating

The New Year excitement may be settling, but we’re still in celebration mode. Why? Not only was Beautycounter recently re-certified as a B Corporation, but we received a score of 95—our highest rating ever, and a 14-point jump from two years ago. Here’s how we did it, and why we’re so proud of this major achievement.

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8 ways you helped us make beauty (and the world) better in 2017

8 ways you helped us make beauty (and the world) better in 2017

When you support Beautycounter, you’re not just making your own personal care routine safer. You’re also fueling our fight to get safer products into the hands of everyone. In 2017, we reached many important milestones in our advocacy work, charitable giving, and corporate responsibility efforts, and we couldn’t have done it without our Consultants, Clients, HQ staff, and brand partners. Check out some ways that the better beauty movement advanced last year, thanks in part to your loyalty.

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Why we’re taking a stand against phthalates in Canada

Why we’re taking a stand against phthalates in Canada

If you’re familiar with The Never List™, you’ll know we never formulate our products with phthalates. (Scientific research shows these chemicals are linked to endocrine disruption and birth defects.) So when we learned the Canadian government recently deemed these chemicals safe for human exposure—despite much evidence to the contrary—we decided to take action.

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3 life-changing things our Consultants learned while campaigning on Capitol Hill

3 life-changing things our Consultants learned while campaigning on Capitol Hill

As part of our mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone, many Beautycounter Consultants actively campaign for safer beauty laws in their home states. This month, we had a chance to reward three leaders who’ve gone above and beyond in their lobbying efforts, bringing them to Washington D.C. to meet with members of Congress.

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Beautycounter endorses the Personal Care Products Safety Act

Beautycounter endorses the Personal Care Products Safety Act

We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating—the United States hasn’t passed a major law regulating cosmetic safety since 1938. Yes, this is shocking, but we’re continuing to fight for change. Our latest move: An official endorsement of the Personal Care Products Safety Act (S.1113).

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Beautycounter Gives Back: Good+ Foundation Halloween Bash

Beautycounter Gives Back: Good+ Foundation Halloween Bash

Here at Beautycounter HQ, we love a good excuse to put on our capes and crusade for great causes. For the second year in a row, we had the chance to do just that as sponsors of the GOOD+ Foundation Halloween Bash. Hosted by GOOD+ Foundation founder Jessica Seinfeld and her husband, Jerry Seinfeld, the party raised nearly $300,000 to help support Los Angeles families living in poverty. Check out our favorite photos from the event—with some serious Halloween costume inspiration in the mix.

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A major victory just took place in the crusade for safer cleaning products

A major victory just took place in the crusade for safer cleaning products

Beautycounter’s passion for safer products doesn’t stop with personal care—we want to see more ingredient transparency in everything we use at home and at work. That’s why we’re thrilled that the Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 (SB 258) was signed into California law on October 15, requiring manufacturers to disclose cleaning product ingredients for the first time ever.

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