Climate Week 2022: Celebrating Our Commitment to the Planet

Climate Week 2022: Celebrating Our Commitment to the Planet

As Climate Week NYC wraps up, we’ve been reflecting on what else we can do to help combat the climate crisis here at Beautycounter, as our mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone is now more important than ever.  

Protecting the health of the people and places we love is our number one priority—and that means committing to climate solutions that reduce our environmental impact. We know the window to act is small, and we’re committed to being a part of the solution through the following ways: 

  • Since day one, we’ve been a Certified B Corp dedicated to using our business power as a force for good. In 2021, we achieved our highest-ever B Corp score—97.7. 
  • We are committed to being carbon neutral by 2030
  • We conduct Life Cycle Assessments to guide decision-making for our packaging materials, and  we’ve also been piloting a tool from BlueBird Climate that gives us data and insight to strategically design low-carbon and low-waste products.  
  • We calculate our annual carbon footprint for all scopes across our business in alignment with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard
  • We partnered with the Pact Collective to provide a solution for our hard-to-recycle packaging.  
  • We’re actively participating in the B Corp Coalition, a coalition of more than 40+ beauty B Corps around the world who unite to share best practices, pioneer responsible innovation, and create transparency around outcomes in hopes of changing the beauty industry for the better.  
  • We’re a proud member of the Planet A Coalition—for the second year in a row, we’ve joined @ItsPlanetA and over 100 brand allies to pledge our continued commitment to climate action.  
  • Lastly, we’re working closely with our investors, the Carlyle Group, to help scale our work to develop decarbonization initiatives that can solve industry-specific challenges.  

In light of all this, we still have a ways to go. This is hard work, but we are committed to holding ourselves accountable to do better. For more information on our progress, look out for our annual Social Mission Report, and stay tuned as we plan to share more information on our climate goals before the end of the year. 

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month Through Safer Beauty

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month Through Safer Beauty

From September 15 through October 15 (and beyond), we at Beautycounter celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring the diversity of the Hispanic and Latinx communities. And part of honoring this community means uplifting through action. 

Our mission has always been to get safer products into the hands of everyone. The Latinx/Hispanic community among other BIPOC suffer from exposure to a disproportionally higher toxic load as it relates to beauty and personal-care products. Here are some ways we are taking action. 

With the help of our Science Advisory Council (our in-house team of academic researchers and scientists), we make sure we are considering vulnerable groups—including communities of color—when making decisions related to the safety of our products.  

  • A recent study1 that included 100 Latina teenagers, conducted by UC Berkeley’s Dr. Kim Harley (also a member of our Science Advisory Council), showed that when this group switched to cleaner cosmetics (without phthalates, parabens, triclosan, or oxybenzone) for just three days, they had a 25-45% drop in the levels of these four chemicals in their bodies.   
  • We helped pass the Cleaning Products Right to Know Act and the Safer Salon Bill, which protect salon professionals, hotel workers, and maintenance staff by providing them with information to make safer choices.   
  • We held two high-profile Congressional briefings, sponsored by the Congressional Hispanic and Black Caucuses, calling attention to the disparate effects of harmful ingredients on people of color.  
  • Beautycounter helped pass two bills in California that remove some of the most dangerous ingredients from personal-care products, and promote more transparency for fragrance ingredients, which can be linked to cancer and hormone disruption.   
  • Currently, Beautycounter is supporting federal legislation that requires the FDA to examine the effects of ingredients with a lens towards impact on vulnerable populations.   

DIVERSIFYING OUR COMMUNITY OF LEADERS IN CLEAN 

For us, education is fundamental for our #betterbeauty movement to succeed, and that’s why we prioritize Consultant programs that help raise awareness within their network and communities.   

We recognize that we have an opportunity to further diversify the 50,000+ strong Consultant base that supports us in our mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone. Through Mi Comunidad: Legacy Circle, one of our Consultant programs, we help develop leaders to be agents of change for the beauty industry. These programs include trainings, community webinars, newsletters and events held in English and Spanish, and the opportunity to engage on social media using our hashtag #Somosbeautycounter.   

“To be a Latina, for me, is to be passionate and resilient. To be loud about my values. To feel free to speak Spanish without hesitation. To bring Puerto Rican culture everywhere I go. My culture represents hard work and I celebrate it every day. I’m proud to have partnered with Beautycounter, because they are setting the bar in the beauty industry—of going beyond clean—and that means creating a safer future for all.”—Dhlama M., Sr. Manager Consultant 

EMPOWERING OUR HQ ASSOCIATES 

Over at HQ, our commitment to inclusivity goes beyond Hispanic Heritage Month. Last year we were excited to announce our partnership with Hispanic Association for Corporate Responsibility (HACR) Leadership Pipeline Program (LPP). This partnership was a two-day virtual experience for Hispanic/Latinx managers who aspire to accelerate into executive roles. We are always looking for opportunities to elevate and support our Associates.  

“As a proud Latina and lead of Voces, our Latinx/Hispanic Associate Resource Group, I love that Beautycounter is invested in DE&I (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and the future Leadership development of our Associates. It’s important that we continue to stay committed to this very important work and ever-evolving DE&I journey.” —Jenny A., Senior Director of DE&I 

1 https://cerch.berkeley.edu/research-programs/hermosa-study 

Transparency In Action: More About Heavy Metals in Color Cosmetics

Transparency In Action: More About Heavy Metals in Color Cosmetics

As we’ve previously shared, the raw materials we use in our formulations continue to be a cornerstone of our precautionary approach to formulating safer, high-performance products.

Heavy metals are naturally occurring elements (arsenic, cadmium, lead, etc.). They are plentiful within the earth and can sometimes mix with raw materials that are used in color cosmetics, like clays and micas.

Heavy metals can be potentially harmful to our health depending on various factors, such as the extent and timing of exposure, in addition to other factors. Unfortunately, they can appear in beauty products like color cosmetics that can contain mined ingredients—like mica, iron oxides, and titanium dioxide—to help define shades. 

We tackle this issue head-on with a combined approach with our state-of-the art, in-house lab, and third-party validation of various results during the year. Here are our 2021 third-party testing results for some of our most popular products. Stay tuned for our 2022 results!

Table 1. Average Heavy Metals Concentrations and Limits (ppm)

Heavy MetalAverage Beautycounter Concentrations (2020) (ppm)[1]Average Beautycounter Concentrations (2021) (ppm)[2]FDA Regulatory Cosmetic Product Limits (ppm)[3]
Arsenic0.10.016None
Antimony0.20.152None
Cadmium0.020.003None
Lead (lip)0.20.02510.0 (all products)
Lead (non-lip)0.60.23710.0 (all products)
Mercury0.01[4]1.0

Beautycounter takes its commitment to clean seriously and is proud of our leadership in the beauty and personal care sector. To learn more about what clean means to Beautycounter, please visit our Blueprint for Clean.


[1] Based on third-party testing data for Beautycounter color cosmetic products made and tested in 2020.

[2] Based on third-party testing data for Beautycounter color cosmetic products made and tested in 2021.

[3] See here: https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/potential-contaminants-cosmetics/fdas-testing-cosmetics-arsenic-cadmium-chromium-cobalt-lead-mercury-and-nickel-content

[4] All third-party testing resulted in “non-detect” findings for mercury except for one product that yielded a value of 0.001 ppm.

Our Founder Gregg Renfrew’s Letter to Congress Regarding the FDASLA Bill

Our Founder Gregg Renfrew’s Letter to Congress Regarding the FDASLA Bill

Today, an important Senate committee voted on a piece of legislation that would comprehensively update the FDA’s regulation of cosmetic and personal-care products for the first time since 1938. It’s an important step in the right direction—and we’re proposing some changes we believe need to happen before it becomes a law. Read Beautycounter Founder Gregg Renfrew’s letter in full below:

 
June 6, 2022 

Dear Chair Murray and Ranking Member Burr,  

Beautycounter, the industry-leading clean beauty brand, and our tens of thousands of consultants across the country commend the Chair and Ranking Member for your bipartisan leadership seeking to modernize Food and Drug Administration regulations in the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements Act (FDASLA) of 2022.  

We appreciate your recognition of this urgent need; however, there are several areas in which we hope you will strengthen the bill to protect consumers, raise standards in the beauty industry, and recognize the rights of states to guard their citizens’ health and safety.  

Beautycounter is a skincare and cosmetics company leading a movement to a future where all beauty is clean beauty. Since the company’s founding in 2011, Beautycounter’s mission has been to get safer personal care products into the hands of everyone. We go above and beyond to screen and assess every ingredient we use against our strict safety standards, which includes 1,800 questionable ingredients we never use in our formulations. Beautycounter is also a Certified B Corporation, a business dedicated to using its profits for positive change, leading the charge in the beauty industry through advocacy work. 

Beautycounter recommends the FDASLA be strengthened to bring us closer to ensuring that all cosmetics and personal care products are free from harmful chemicals. We urge the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions to make changes to the FDASLA that address the scope of federal preemption, create a more robust safety standard, and ban the use of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAs) in cosmetics. Below, we outline these recommendations in detail.  

Beautycounter specifically recommends the following modifications to the FDASLA language: 

  1. Address the scope of federal preemption to ensure that states can legislate to strengthen personal care product safety (Sec. 614). Beautycounter urges the committee to protect states’ ability to enact their own laws and regulations that protect the health and wellness of their residents by not preempting any state cosmetic safety legislation. Dozens of states across the country have passed state-level protections that limit exposure to harmful chemicals. FDASLA must ensure that states can continue to legislate to strengthen personal care product safety.  
  1. Create a more robust safety standard based on a “reasonable certainty of no harm” (Sec. 608). Beautycounter also urges the committee to include language that requires companies to consider the long-term health effects of ingredient use, including links to cancer, reproductive and developmental harm, and other health conditions. This would push companies beyond only considering acute reactions.  
  1. Ban the use of PFAs in cosmetics (Sec. 806). Beautycounter urges the committee to replace the proposed “assessment” of PFAs in cosmetics with  a ban on the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from raw materials and packaging used in personal care products. Current peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that exposure to certain levels of PFAS may lead to a host of adverse health effects, including increased risk of cancers, interference with the body’s natural hormones, and developmental effects or delay in children. Curbing the use of these “forever chemicals” has attracted broad bipartisan interest and Congressional and state-level action in recent years. Existing bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate (H.R. 3990 and S.2047, the No PFAS in Cosmetics Act) would require the issuance of a rule to ban the use of intentionally added PFAS in cosmetics.

The use of harmful chemicals in personal-care products affects the daily lives of all Americans, who deserve to have access to safe products. A regulatory framework that prioritizes the safety and transparency of cosmetic products will ultimately protect consumers and make the American cosmetics industry more competitive, both domestically and internationally.  

We appreciate your consideration of these requested changes. We look forward to continuing to work with you as this legislation moves forward.  
Sincerely,

Gregg Renfrew

Executive Chair and Founder
Beautycounter

CC: Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee members

Honoring Our LGBTQ+ Community All Year Long

Honoring Our LGBTQ+ Community All Year Long

Our mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone, and we’re proud to be a company—and community—that is inclusive, open, and welcoming to all, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity. 

Here, we explore how members of our HQ and Consultant community are celebrating Pride Month, examining the intersection between pride, allyship, and inclusivity for all.  

Adriana V. (pronouns: she/her), Associate Manager, Account Executive Team

What does this month mean to you? 

“Pride Month is a time that connects me to the physical feeling of liberation that the Queer Rights Movement is all about. In this month of celebration and representation for the LGBTQ+ community, I feel seen. I feel heard. I feel loved. And I feel PROUD.” 

What can allies do to support your community, in this month and beyond? 

“During Pride Month, allies should join in on our joy and celebrations and also take a moment to educate themselves on one thing they didn’t know a year prior. Beyond Pride Month, allies can be looking at who has a seat at the table in their life experiences—and more importantly, who may not. They shouldn’t be afraid of challenging conversations, calling people IN rather than out, and helping to bridge the divide.” 

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your community? 

“We are just like you. We are parents, spouses, siblings, friends, artists, athletes; we are human, and we are worthy to exist happily in this world with you.” 

Kaitlyn H. (pronouns: they/them), Software Engineer  


What can allies do to support your community, in this month and beyond? 

“I highly recommend the podcast Allyship is a Verb. The host interviews members of the community about different ways we all can show up for others in the community. 

A quick allyship action would be to—if you are comfortable doing so—start a practice of always sharing your pronouns when you share your name. Being mindful of the fact that pronouns can mean different things to different people; some folks might be hesitant to share their pronouns as it relates to their own safety. Pronouns and gender are flexible and can flow and change, remembering to honor how others want to be recognized in this world can help to establish safety to simply be for others.” 


What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your community? 

“That we have always been here; we’ve been present through the ages. Our queer ancestors have always been a part of the greater society. Though we have seen many attempts to oppress and erase us, we continue to persist.” 

Madison S. (pronouns: she/they); Beautycounter Consultant and Impact Scholarship Recipient        

What does this month mean to you? 

“Pride Month, to me, is a combination of celebration, visibility, and activism. A celebration of how far we’ve come since Stonewall, a month of increased visibility to show how big our community really is, and a call to action for all of us to stand up to injustices. This year is my first Pride since coming out full-time as transgender and I’m excited to participate in the festivities!” 

What can allies do to support your community this month and beyond? 

“Write to your elected officials! In the past few years, we have seen a dramatic uptick in the number of anti-transgender laws being introduced in state legislatures across the U.S. These proposed laws hurt transgender people—especially children. From town council to U.S. Congress, make it clear that discriminatory and harmful laws have no place in your community, state, or nation.” 

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your community? 

“I would love for people to start viewing the transgender community as complete, complex people. We are PEOPLE first and foremost, we just happen to be trans, just like some people happen to have green eyes. As for something about me, there are tons of things I could say, but I think the most incredible thing I’ve learned is this: Once you start living your life authentically, on your own terms, and you learn to check in with yourself emotionally and physically, life gets a whole lot more beautiful.” 

c/o Lindsay Hite Photography

briana S. (pronouns: she/they); Beautycounter Sr. Consultant and Impact Scholarship mentor to Madison S.  

What does this month mean to you?  

“This month means an opportunity to celebrate all of who I am. The month also lets me honor the struggles, the victories, the many losses of life, and the gains of beautiful humans who are able to be their fuller selves. There has been so much that has happened to get us to today, so it is celebration, but it is also remembrance of how we got here and the work we have left to do to be fully, equally human. It is also a reminder that much like Beautycounter focuses on education and advocacy, “the first Pride was a riot” of people fighting for their rights and lives—so this month is about teaching, learning, and continuing to advocate for changing hearts, minds, and laws.” 

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your community?  

“Pride and sharing my queer identity is not about who or how I love, rather it is about having the freedom to be fully, completely myself. The queer community is a diverse place with many identities, perspectives, and experiences that is made more beautiful by the intersectionality of all of who we are. Queer people are educators, healthcare professionals, lawyers, artists, politicians, activists, students, and more, who are also parents, children, partners, friends, and—above all—human beings.” 

MAKING AN IMPACT  

Getting safer products into the hands of everyone begins with diversifying our #betterbeauty community. To further that effort, we’ve launched a program designed to support our equity efforts and expand our presence in underrepresented communities, called the Impact Scholarship. To date, we have welcomed more than 250+ Consultants from the following communities: BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and individuals who identify with having a disability. To learn more and get involved, visit beautycounter.com/impact-scholarship

BC GIVES BACK  

Our commitment to inclusivity goes beyond Pride Month. We’re proud to uphold and continue our partnership with Out & Equal, the premier organization working exclusively on LGBTQ+ workplace equality, which will offer Beautycounter employees training on allyship, education, awareness, and more.  

On May 24, Beautycounter hosted a “Fostering LGBTQ Allyship at Work,” a live 90-minute webinar facilitated by Out & Equal. This training focused on LGBTQ+ allies and ensured participants left with a concrete understanding of “allyship,” along with the basic tools needed to support and advocate for their LGBTQ+ colleagues.  

Within HQ, we’ll be launching a pronoun pins project. Wearing and sharing your pronouns is an important act of solidarity. Pronouns are one way that we ensure gender identities are recognized and respected – not only for ourselves but also those around us. We also pledge to continue to foster a culture of belonging for our Associates, Consumers, and Consultants, and to stand up for equality when it comes to a safer future for all. 

IMPACT YOUR COMMUNITY  

Interested in getting involved? Look for registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that serve and raise awareness for LGBTQ+ members in your community. And lastly, we believe that one of the most effective ways to create meaningful and lasting change is by voting. We’ll continue encouraging our employees to use their voice in a way that makes a positive impact for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Honoring our Black Community All Year Long

Honoring our Black Community All Year Long

Beautycounter is proud to work toward change by advocating for regulation of the personal-care industry, helping to reduce toxic exposures that disproportionately affect communities of color. As we continue our journey of getting safer products into the hands of everyone, we pursue a holistic commitment to equity and inclusion among our Associates, Consultants, and the diverse communities we serve. 

Unequal exposure, unequal harm 

Research1,2 shows that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) suffer from a much higher incidence of chronic disease linked to toxic chemical exposure, which can manifest through beauty and personal-care products. This presents a unique opportunity for prevention. Over the past eight years, Beautycounter has made significant progress toward stronger regulation and systemic change through our product formulations, unique approach to ingredient sourcing, and advocacy—but we know that the work has only just begun.  

Through Beautycounter’s safety program we are able to provide all communities, especially those who are at higher risk, a broad lineup of safe and effective makeup, skin care, and body-care products. And to ensure our makeup products authentically serve diverse skin tones, we continue to expand our shade range options.  

We also continue to actively advocate to address racial disparities. We’ve helped to pass two laws: the Cleaning Products Right to Know Act and the Safer Salon bill protecting vulnerable populations like domestic professionals, hotel workers, and salon professionals by arming them with information to make safer choices. These professions are dominated by women (often women of color) who are exposed to dangerous chemicals for long periods of time in poorly ventilated areas.[1][2] 

We’ve also held two high-profile Congressional briefings, highlighting the disparate impacts of harmful ingredients on people of color for Members of Congress and their staff. The briefings were sponsored by leaders of the Congressional Hispanic and Black Caucuses, who recognize the importance of these issues to communities of color. Most recently, Beautycounter helped pass two bills in California that remove some of the worst offenders from personal-care products as well as promote greater transparency for fragrance ingredients, often linked to cancer and hormone disruption.   

Representation matters 

At Beautycounter, we’ve made an internal commitment to ensure our HQ employee base represents the diversity of the world around us, and we are committed to achieving US population parity at every level in the company by 2027. We’re working on a number of initiatives to help accomplish that goal and look forward to sharing updates on our progress in our 2022 Social Mission Report, which will go live this spring.  

Powered by people 

We recognize that we have an opportunity to diversify the 50,000+ strong Consultant base that supports us in our mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone, so we’ve created a program specifically designed to grow our Black Consultant base. Lifting as We Climb: Black Legacy Circle provides our Consultant leaders with an opportunity to pave the way for a more diverse Beautycounter that can help champion our efforts to change beauty for good.

“All skin types deserve access to clean beauty and entrepreneurship opportunities. I’m grateful to be able to lend my voice to the Beautycounter mission and to be a change agent for my BIPOC  community.”  

Karyn Farmer, Director, Beautycounter Consultant 

Helpful resources 

Join us in supporting the Black community and creating a more equitable world for all:  

  • By working with mission-aligned organizations and supporting Black-led companies. 
  • By advocating for ongoing policy change and mobilizing our community in support of clean beauty. Take action by texting BETTERBEAUTY TO 52886 in the U.S. to add your voice in celebration this month. 
  • By shopping Black-owned brands—we’ve rounded up some of our favorites, including those in the realm of beauty. 

[1] Pestano, Leiba, Hawkins. (2016, December 6). Big Market for Black Cosmetics, But Less-Hazardous Choices Limited. https://www.Ewg.Org/. https://www.ewg.org/research/big-market-black-cosmetics-less-hazardous-choices-limited#ref20&nbsp

[2] Maningding E, Dall’Era M, Trupin L, Murphy LB, Yazdany J. Racial/Ethnic Differences in Prevalence of and Time to Onset of SLE Manifestations: The California Lupus Surveillance Project (CLSP). Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/acr.23887&nbsp

6 Ways To Step Up Your Winter Skin-Care Routine

6 Ways To Step Up Your Winter Skin-Care Routine

Cold temps. Dry air. Indoor heaters. (Help!) Winter is in full effect, and if we had to guess, your skin needs a little extra support in the hydration department. Fear not—we’ve got just the things to boost your winter routine and radiance with everything from a seriously soothing face cream to a non-stripping cleansing balm. Ready to glow? 

  1. A Hydrating Cleanser 

First things first—a thorough cleanse. Let moisturizers, serums, and oils really work their magic by starting with a clean canvas. But don’t reach for just any cleanser. Look for a non-stripping formula that hydrates while it removes makeup and impurities, like our Counter+ Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm. It soothes and de-stresses skin with lotus extract, jojoba seed oil, and avocado seed oil—the perfect concoction for your skin, post-holiday events.  

  1. A Transformative Treatment (or Two) 

Our Clean Dreams Set is the secret to better beauty sleep, working all night to reveal smoother, softer skin with an AHA/beta hydroxy acid peel (Counter+ Overnight Resurfacing Peel) and the cream of all creams (Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream). Editor’s note: This set of minis will only be around for the holidays, but you can shop both products separately (and in full size) anytime. Shop Counter+ Overnight Resurfacing Peel here, and Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream here

  1. A Feel-Good Detox 

If December’s indulgences are starting to show up on your skin, let us introduce you to our Detox and Done Duo. Treat yourself to a little TLC by applying a smoothing, soothing layer of our nutrient-rich Counter+ Charcoal Mask using our brand-new 3-in-1 Facial Tool. Not only does it feel like your very own trip to the spa, but it also purifies and balances skin while drawing out impurities. 

  1. A Brightening Oil 

Just a few drops of Counter+ No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil, and you’ll be looking oh-so luminous. This lightweight blend goes on silky-smooth with avocado oil for intense hydration, vitamin C to help visibly brighten skin, and black currant oil to support with healthy skin barrier function. Pro tip: For an extra radiant makeup look, tap this oil into your skin before you apply foundation. 

  1. A Helping Hand 

Going somewhere this season? It’s more important than ever to sanitize—the clean way. Just like most, we’re not into the notoriously drying effects of traditional hand sanitizers, which is why we stick with Hand Savior Radiance Boosting Serum + Hand Sanitizer*. It’s a skin-reviving, radiance-boosting blend of hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and organic sugar-derived alcohol that’s clinically tested to kill 99.99% of bacteria—so you can stay soft, smooth, and safe wherever you are.  

*Available in US only.

  1. A Luxurious Body Balm 

If lightweight lotion isn’t doing the trick, it’s time to bring in backup. Enter Melting Body Balm, a unique blend of argan and avocado oils that softens, hydrates, and conditions skin. After a warm bath or shower, there’s no better feeling—or scent. Plus, it doubles as a clean skin-care treatment for cuticles, elbows, and other dry spots.  

So, are you ready to win at winter skin? Check out all of these hydrating heroes and more.  

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month Through Education and Advocacy

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month Through Education and Advocacy

At Beautycounter, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by honoring the diversity of the Hispanic and Latinx communities in the United States. We acknowledge the powerful presence of this multifaceted group—the Hispanic/Latinx population was 62.1 million in 2020, and continues to be the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, according to Census data—and praise their endless contributions to the evolution of our country. 

“Hispanic Heritage Month is not only a time where we come together and celebrate this community for their incredible contributions; but also, an opportunity where we can amplify the message that harmful ingredients in personal-care products disproportionately affect people of color,” says Beautycounter’s Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Jenny Aspinwall. “As a Hispanic/Latinx woman and a mother, I am honored to be a part of an organization that is advocating for stronger regulations and systemic change.” 

La historia del Hispanic Heritage Month 

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed every year in the U.S. from September 15 to October 15. It’s a time to appreciate the contributions of Hispanic-Americans and Latin-Americans—those whose ancestors came from Central and South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Spain.  

The holiday was first introduced in 1968 by California Congressman George E. Brown, Jr. and made official by President Lyndon B. Johnson that same year, calling upon all people of the U.S. to celebrate the role of these communities in American history. 

Manos a la obra: Advocating for the Latinx/Hispanic community 

Beautycounter’s mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone, and that means todas y todos. While advocating for federal cosmetic reform, we also must acknowledge that Hispanic and Latinx consumers, along with other communities of color, may have been disproportionately exposed to potentially harmful ingredients within the beauty industry for many years. This segment of the population has a strong cultural foundation for beauty and, according to research, spend more than the average consumer on beauty and personal care.1  

A recent study2 which included 100 Latina teenagers, conducted by UC Berkeley’s Dr. Kim Harley (who is also a member of our Science Advisory Council), showed that when this group switched to cleaner cosmetics (without phthalates, parabens, triclosan, or oxybenzone) for just three days, they had a 25 – 45% drop in the levels of these four chemicals in their bodies.  

With the help of our Science Advisory Council, our in-house team of academic researchers and scientists, we make sure we are taking into account vulnerable groups—including communities of color—when making decisions as it relates to the safety of our products. 

Our advocacy efforts over the past years have focused on the disparate impacts of personal-care products for people of color and vulnerable communities. Our education of policymakers on this important issue has resulted in several legislative wins with national impact: 

  • We helped pass the Cleaning Products Right to Know Act and the Safer Salon bill, which protect salon professionals, hotel workers, and maintenance staff by providing them with information to make safer choices.  
  • We held two high-profile Congressional briefings, sponsored by the Congressional Hispanic and Black caucuses, calling attention to the disparate effects of harmful ingredients on people of color. 
  • Beautycounter helped pass two bills in California that remove some of the most dangerous ingredients from personal-care products, as well as promote more transparency for fragrance ingredients, which can be linked to cancer and hormone disruption.  
  • Currently, Beautycounter is supporting federal legislation that requires the FDA to examine the effects of ingredients with a lens towards impact on vulnerable populations.  

¡Sí se puede! Empowering Consultants to be the change within their communities 

For us, education is fundamental for our #betterbeauty movement, and that’s why we prioritize Consultant programs that help raise awareness within their network and communities.  

Through Mi Comunidad: Legacy Leaders Circleone of our field programs, we help develop leaders inspiring change in the beauty industry. These programs include trainings and webinars, newsletters and events held in English and Spanish, and the opportunity to engage on social media using our hashtag #Somosbeautycounter.  

We recently highlighted one of our Consultants, Karla Vazquez, in our BCWorks video series. Watch it here, and below, read about how she expresses the pride she takes in being Hispanic in the U.S.:  

“To me, being Hispanic means: to love passionately and talk loudly. Hug and kiss without hesitation. Dance when I hear my Spanish music. Celebrate every event with delicious food.” –Karla Vazquez, Senior Manager, Mi Comunidad: Legacy Leaders 

On our @beautycounter and @leadersinclean social channels, we’ll be celebrating #hispanicheritagemonth by featuring Hispanic and Latinx leaders and influencers in the clean beauty arena, social media takeovers, HQ spotlights, and much more. Follow along to take part in the conversation. 

As we join our hermanas and hermanos during this important celebration, we reaffirm our efforts of education and advocacy towards a safer and cleaner future for all. Text BETTERBEAUTY to 52886 in the U.S. or 70734 in Canada to add your voice in celebration of this important month.  

1 https://nielseniq.com/global/en/insights/analysis/2021/multicultural-consumers-are-set-to-drive-beauty-growth-amid-continued-category-shifts-in-2021/ 

2 https://cerch.berkeley.edu/research-programs/hermosa-study 

Fall Makeup Haul: 4 Clean Products To Try

Fall Makeup Haul: 4 Clean Products To Try

Getting into the spirit of fall can be fun, from cozying up in chunky sweaters to ordering pumpkin-spiced everything. But it’s also a great time to shake up your beauty routine and give some new clean makeup products a try.  

Each season brings the perfect opportunity to try new shades, products, and methods that capture the spirit of change. We’ve rounded up some of our top clean makeup essentials to work into your lineup, just in time for that fall refresh.  

Think Big All-In-One Mascara  

Fall brings the perfect weather to play with bold makeup looks—and big, voluminous lashes are essential to that. With a true black pigment that delivers rich color without the use of carbon black or PFAS ingredients, Think Big All-In-One Mascara is a safe choice any day. Pair it with Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer – SPF 20 and Sheer Genius Conditioning Lipstick for a simple everyday look. 

Glow First Priming Serum  

Imagine the dewy glow you’d get on a tropical vacation…well, this is something like that in a bottle (without the flight). Glow First Priming Serum is a skin-care and makeup prep hybrid that will give your skin a hydrating boost—and help your makeup last even longer. No need to wait for that summer vacation when your fall glow is just as good. 

Lid Glow Cream Shadow  

Gloomy fall days call for a little extra shimmer, and Lid Glow Cream Shadow delivers just that. This buildable formula is perfect for fall cocktail parties or afternoon strolls; simply apply your favorite shade with your fingers, and you’re good to glow.  

Beyond Gloss  

Shorter days and longer nights call for a gloss that delivers high-impact shine and a range of colors to choose from—and Beyond Gloss is it. Go bold in the shade Black Plum on a night out with friends, or keep it classic with the shade Quartz Shimmer on a weekend coffee date. Fun fact: Beyond Gloss is made with responsibly sourced, ECOCERT-certified organic vanilla from Madagascar.  

New season, new you. And if you haven’t yet, now is the time to fall for clean. Our products are carefully formulated and tested to give you the best results—without harmful ingredients. Sounds like someone’s beauty cabinet might just be turning over a new leaf.  

The Truth About PFAS and Fluorinated Compounds

The Truth About PFAS and Fluorinated Compounds

Here’s the thing about bringing clean beauty products to the market: if you’re doing the real work, it’s really, really hard. As we’ve said for years, clean beauty is not just about banning ingredients—and our most recent journey into PFAS and fluorinated compounds is the perfect example of just how hard this work is. 

In the spirit of transparency, we want to bring you along on this journey (just like we have done with child labor in the mica industry, heavy metals in color cosmetics and phthalates in manufacturing equipment), because our work is always about progress over perfection. Each day we show up, aiming to take on the conventional ways of doing beauty, challenging the status quo. 

Here is a quick primer on PFAS ingredients, which are part of a class of fluorinated compounds. These ingredients are used in a variety of applications but are specifically used in the beauty industry to create products like long-lasting lipstick, longwear foundation, and waterproof mascara. Beautycounter bans PFAS ingredients from our formulations as part of the The Never List™.  The issue is that fluorinated compounds are also used in the beauty industry supply chain, which is very difficult to control, including cleaners used on manufacturing equipment, undisclosed treatments on packaging and raw materials, and coatings for plastic totes that ship raw materials overseas, and they even contaminate water supplies. 

These supply chain complexities are part of the reason we advocate for more regulation and have openly shared the issue with trace contaminants with consumers. Case in point, while all of our ingredients are sourced with a higher standard of safety and quality in mind, it is well recognized—and accepted by regulatory authorities around the world—that incidental, trace levels of a chemical may inadvertently be introduced in a cosmetic product due to the complexities of the supply chain and manufacturing process. At Beautycounter, we work incredibly hard to minimize—but unfortunately, can’t eliminate—the potential that a product may contain trace levels of a chemical from The Never List™ due to this inadvertent contamination.

This work is ongoing, and it brings us back to what we can control: our product development process. Knowing the desire for longwear finishes for makeup, we have spent years improving our formulas to have this desired effect without using PFAS ingredients. Select makeup products were tested for 23 commonly used PFAS ingredients in cosmetics and all the test results were “non-detect,” which is a scientific way of saying the chemicals we tested for are not detectable (for the discerning eye out there, the detection limit was less than 3 ppb). 

We also wanted to take things a step further and we sent select makeup products to a different lab that tests for fluorine generally (rather than just select PFAS ingredients). We selected high-risk makeup products, produced by three different manufacturers. 

So why test for fluorine? By way of background, the overarching family of chemicals called fluorinated compounds consists of over 9,000 different chemicals (PFAS are some of them and many are hard to test for), but they all break down into fluorine. Which is why we tested certain finished products for fluorine to see if there were other exposure points we should know about. 

The results for most of the products we tested showed non-detectable levels and other products we tested had minimal fluorine contamination found (at varying detectable levels).  We weren’t surprised by these results given the widely shared understanding that fluorine is a widespread environmental and supply chain contaminant (like heavy metals and phthalates as we have addressed previously). While we feel confident in the safety of our products, the testing inspired a complex journey to understand where the select contamination could be entering our supply chain. 

Here is an overview of our current approach to this issue and what we are finding along the way. Please stick with us until the end because we have a call to action that will help us address this issue in meaningful ways. 

1. We ban PFAS ingredients outright. 

We do not formulate with fluorinated compounds. They were added to our Never List years ago.

2. We ask raw material suppliers for certain high-risk products and packaging suppliers to verify, in writing, that they do not use fluorine treatments in our products and packaging. 

PFAS can sneak their way into products without companies knowing in a variety of ways, one of which is through the treatments of pigments on packaging. Pigments (also known as colorants) are sometimes treated with PFAS to help the color have lasting power. Oftentimes brands don’t know about these treatments and therefore, they don’t make their way onto product labels (legally treatments like these don’t need to be included on product labels). In addition, packaging suppliers may use fluorine treatments for packaging—specifically, certain plastics like high-density polyethylene (HDPE)—without necessarily disclosing this to brands. 

For certain high-risk products (makeup products mentioned earlier like foundation, mascara, and lip products) Beautycounter has requested in writing that raw material and packaging suppliers confirm that they do not use any fluorinated treatments in our products and packaging. Moving forward, this documentation will be requested for all new products and packaging (not just those identified as high-risk). Without federal legislation, we are taking suppliers at their word. Which is why we take things even a step further. 

3. We periodically test high-risk products for PFAS and fluorine. 

We recently tested certain high-risk products like mascara, foundation, lipstick, and lip gloss for 23 PFAS chemicals and the test results were “non-detect.” We also went further and tested certain high-risk products for fluorine, where the results were mostly non-detect, but minimal contamination was detected in some, which pushed us to continue on this journey.

4. We audit and press manufacturing partners for certain high-risk makeup products. 

The presence of fluorine without PFAS raises important questions as to the potential root causes of the issue. Fluorinated compounds are known to be highly effective cleaners in industrial settings. So, we promptly asked our manufacturing partners of high-risk products to confirm if they use any fluorinated cleaners, agents, or treatments anywhere in their facilities. Some of our manufacturers noted they didn’t use fluorinated compounds and others transparently shared how some fluorinated compounds are used in the manufacturing equipment. We are working with them to address the use of fluorinated compounds in their facilities. And as you might expect, given the persistence of fluorinated compounds, simply washing equipment doesn’t make them “go away.” (We are even going so far as to test water samples from three of our manufacturing partners. This testing is underway.)

5. Raw material and packaging testing

Fluorinated compounds can also sneak into products since they may often be used to treat the barrels that raw materials are sent in (even at the very beginning of the supply chain), where brands don’t have any visibility. Talk about a wild goose chase, right? 

In order to understand this, we initiated independent fluorine testing of all raw materials for select makeup products and the empty finished good packaging, so we could learn more about these as potential sources.  This testing is underway and will help us pinpoint and further inform future development and packaging selection.  

6. Advocate, advocate, advocate

Like we have discussed with other contaminants (heavy metals, phthalates, benzene), we believe getting to the bottom of a clean supply chain is virtually impossible without federal regulations that hold our manufacturing and raw material suppliers accountable. Beautycounter has been the most outspoken brand on Capitol Hill asking for supply-chain transparency measures to be included in federal legislation, including the recently introduced PFAS language (because banning PFAS outright is not enough). Please join us and demand that Congress and Parliament take immediate action to hold the entire beauty supply chain accountable. Without new oversight, it is hard for companies like Beautycounter to truly make meaningful change. 

We value transparency; it’s painted on the walls of our office. And to us, that’s not lip service, it’s the truth. We hope you value being brought along on this journey with us, because doing the real work to bring clean beauty products to the market does not start and stop with banning ingredients. 

It takes long and painful investigations. It takes pressuring raw material, packaging, and manufacturing partners. And it takes intentionally asking Congress to better regulate our industry. 

We will continue to keep you up to date on this important work and in the meantime, we need your help. Please support our efforts and text BANPFAS to 52886 to ask Congress for change.