The #BetterBeauty Advocacy Update: Summer 2020

It’s been a summer of working to help keep our communities safe, but Beautycounter’s advocacy for #betterbeauty laws hasn’t stopped—in fact, we’re making some big strides. From legislation that empowers consumers to choose safer products to taking steps to ban dangerous ingredients, we’re excited to share the progress we’ve made.

California Bills Signal Nationwide Change

As a clean beauty brand founded in Santa Monica, we’ve always been proud of our Southern California roots. This summer, we have two more reasons to be happily headquartered in California: the passage of the Safer Fragrance bill (SB 312) and the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act (AB 2762).

The Safer Fragrance bill takes a significant step towards closing the “fragrance loophole” which allows companies to keep their fragrance ingredients a secret. Under the new law, companies are required to disclose fragrance allergens to the California Department of Public Health who must then create a publicly accessible database. We believe in the power of transparency and advocate for consumers to have the right to look up—and more importantly, avoid—ingredients that could be problematic to their health.

The Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act also protects consumers by prohibiting the use of 12 ingredients in personal-care products sold in the state of California. These ingredients, such as formaldehyde, parabens, and mercury, have long been a part of Beautycounter’s The Never List, as peer-reviewed research links them to negative health consequences.

Even though these are California laws, they affect more than just its residents. California has the largest consumer market in the U.S. and the fifth-largest economy in the world, which means its policies have a major impact on the behavior of companies everywhere. With the passage of these two laws, companies will not want to make two versions of the same product  (like one with formaldehyde and one without) and thus will most likely default to producing the version that is allowed in California, resulting in safer products in all fifty states.

Want to help us keep the momentum going? Text SAFERSCENT to 52886 to support the Safer Fragrance bill and TOXICFREE to 52886 to support the Toxic Free Cosmetics Act. With your support, we can encourage Governor Newsom to sign these bills into law later this year.

Federal Legislation Spurs Ingredient Innovation

While lawmakers in D.C. have been focused on the pandemic response, they’ve also been supporting legislation that promotes safer personal-care products. For three years, Beautycounter has worked closely with the Sustainable Chemistry Alliance to advocate for the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act. This bill provides federal funding for research and coordination of green chemistry initiatives which will bring safer and more sustainable ingredients to market. For Beautycounter, this means that we will have a wider array of safer ingredients to choose from, which means more innovative products for you.

A problematic beauty ingredient—hydroquinone—has also recently been under scrutiny. Used in skin-lightening creams marketed to Black women and women of South Asian descent, hydroquinone is linked to health concerns ranging from skin irritation to long-lasting damage. The March 2020 COVID response bill included an expedited process for the FDA to ban an ingredient when determined unsafe for consumer use—and hydroquinone was one of them. Though it is still available through prescription, over-the-counter products with the ingredient must be removed from the market by the end of September 2020.

Believe us: advocacy works, and our dedication is paying off. We’re changing the beauty industry for the better, but we can’t do it without you. Text BETTERBEAUTY to 52886 to join our movement.