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