To help you stay on top of clean beauty trends, we’ve compiled highlighted articles from this month you can bookmark for your commute or coffee break.
February 2019 Clean Beauty Highlights
Welcome to the February Clean Beauty Roundup. Let’s cut through the content clutter and get you this month’s trending pieces in the clean beauty space.
Do You Know What’s in Your Cosmetics?
The New York Times Editorial Board makes the case for strong federal regulations in cosmetics. Lack of strong federal cosmetics regulation is causing several problems for the industry. Consumers are becoming increasingly ‘chemophobic’ and distrustful of brands, ingredients, and formulations. Companies are struggling to use the right ingredients and language in order to appeal to shifting consumer tastes. Individual US states are creating their own laws to address consumer safety concerns. In sum, the status quo isn’t working. We need an increased mandate and budget for the FDA to commission independent cosmetic product reviews and recall tainted products.
Why This Matters
As the debate about regulations continues, consumers will continue to demand products that reflect their values. Some of the fastest growing skincare brands like Biossance lead on their own by developing banned lists and genuinely engaging around issues such as sustainability as a matter of mission, not of marketing. Bryan Pearson outlines a clear approach in this Forbes article saying “above all, brands should not forget the most essential ingredient to authenticity, which is truth. If merchants are to successfully embrace clean beauty, they’ve got to provide credibility the oxygen to survive.” With or without regulations, brands can lead today.
Is Clean Beauty a Skincare Revolution – or a Pointless Indulgence?
This Guardian UK opinion piece asks ‘Is clean beauty mostly marketing vs. being based in actual science? Clean beauty is a very positive trend overall. But some of its claims are based on weak or non-existent science. Consumers might start to pushback or disengage if they begin to feel misled by clean beauty brands. Brands and formulators should be transparent and empirically-backed with their claims.
Why This Matters
Science should be at the heart of consumer safety and product performance. That’s why the effort to develop a clear definition of Clean can learn from the term “Sustainable.” Today, “Sustainable” has come to encompass a broad set of common understandings. We generally accept that manufacturing processes pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere or using only virgin packaging are not sustainable. “Clean” is undergoing a similar definition phase. If new product launches start to “clean” wash, then we’ve lost a major opportunity to meet consumer values within a single term.
Beautycounter Launches a Clean Beauty Line Designed for Men
BeautyCounter is one of the fastest growing clean beauty brands (they were one of the most searched-for brands in the space according to Google Trends). This short interview piece with BeautyCounter’s Michael McGeever explores their development of a clean beauty line for men. BeautyCounter is famous for its NeverList of ingredients to avoid and advocates for the Personal Care Products Safety Act, sponsored by California Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Why This Matters
BeautyCounter isn’t alone, but they are a visible leader building a comprehensive view of Clean. A Men’s line built on clean will be yet another bellwether of the success of Clean launches.
Sarah Meadows, the head buyer at the beauty chain Space NK, wasn’t wrong when she said in the above Guardian article “Whether it is about sustainability, whether it is vegan, conscious living, free-from … playing into any of those would make you a clean brand. It can be fairly confusing for the customer.”
Clean Beauty deserves a more comprehensive definition so that brands can market not one, but a set of claims, aligned with consumer’s values.