Beauty Store Business

MAY 2019

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beautystorebusiness.com | May 2019 43 oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban. All skincare, makeup and hair brands with the Clean seal have less than one percent synthetic fragrances." It should be noted that Sephora carries multiple brands and products that do not feature this "Sephora Clean Seal," thus letting the consumer decide what he/she wants, rather than mandating what is available in store. Ingredient Context While the beauty industry grapples to define the term "clean beauty," keep an eye on the following controversial ingredients. Sulfates. This is a family of ingredients that are commonly used in shampoos and cleansers as foaming agents. The controversy surrounding these ingredients is that some have been found to be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1-4 dioxane, which are carcinogens. The two most common members of the family are sodium-laureth sulfate and sodium-lauryl sulfate. The former is considered the more controversial of the two, the latter the more gentle of the two. Interestingly, retailers are split in their assessment of both. Credo, The Detox Market and Sephora Clean have chosen to ban products containing sodium-laureth sulfate. However, Credo allows products containing sodium-lauryl sulfate. Synthetic Fragrance and Phthalates. The controversy around fragrance in skincare products continue to run high and is sometimes muddled by the conversation about phthalates. Phthalates are compounds used in certain fragrances that give the category a bad name. Products containing these specific compounds are not carried at Credo, The Detox Market or benefit from the Sephora Clean seal. Opinions about synthetic fragrances are more diverse–and indeed, synthetic fragrances can be formulated without phthalates. The Detox Market does not carry any brand that contains synthetic fragrances. However, Credo and the Sephora Clean seal do allow formulations that contain phthalate-free synthetic fragrances ( as noted above, the Sephora Clean standard has a concentration threshold ) . Chemical Sunscreens. This is a group of fourteen compounds used in chemical sunscreens to absorb UVA and /or UVB rays, that diff erentiate them- selves from physical blocks ( such as titanium or zinc, which are generallly considered safe ) . The Detox Market and Credo have chosen to avoid products containing chemical screens. However, the Sephora Clean seal does allow these. It also should be noted that Hawaii recently banned a number of these ingredients ( specifically oxybenzone and octinoxate ) due to concerns for the waterways, but not the category as a whole. The beauty industry will no doubt continue the "clean beauty" conversation in order to come to a generally accepted defintion. For brands, the most important drivers of this conversation should be transparency and authenticity. For retailers, the goal should be to help educate consumers about the most egregious ingredients to watch for–and that not all natural ingredients are safe and not all synthetics are harmful. ■ Ada S. Polla is the president, CEO and co-creator of the skincare line Alchimie Forever of Switzerland.

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