Today's post is by Pure Beauty Contributor Emily Davis! Emily is an avid photographer, foodie, and fashion blogger with a contagious passion for life. She believes in kindness for all (people and animals alike), and loves discovering new ways to live out and promote these values as both a conscious consumer and a creative influencer in the beauty and fashion space. You can follow her adventures over at Epicurean Emily!
How the Beauty Industry is Changing for the Better
If you’re a clean beauty advocate or supporter, then you’ve probably been excited to see all of the positive changes that have been turning the beauty industry on its head lately. From celebrities starting their own clean companies, transparency initiatives by major corporations, FDA regulations and bans, to multiplying “natural” offerings at some of the most popular cosmetics retailers, clean, green beauty is breaking out into the mainstream as our culture gains awareness of harmful toxins lurking in the ingredient lists of their everyday products.
While the days of celebrity (and now social influencer) endorsements and beauty campaigns are far from over, there are a handful of women willing to trade in a six figure contract upon principle. During her Beauty & The Beast press tour, Emma Watson not only donned environmentally sustainable gowns, but also rocked red carpets around the world with a glow achieved exclusively from green cosmetics. As if we needed another reason to love her, right?! Ultimate #GirlCrush. Hollywood moms Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba felt so passionate about pursuing clean beauty for their families that they started their own companies. Paltrow initially took the reigns as the Creative Director for organic skincare brand Juice Beauty before creating her own line for the brand, known as “goop”, after the name of her lifestyle website. While pregnant with her first child, Jessica Alba washed the first load of her unborn baby’s clothes and shortly after broke out in hives, prompting her to begin researching common household ingredients and ultimately co-founding the recently $1.7 billion valuated Honest Company.
Individuals aren’t the only ones taking responsibility for their health. One of the largest consumer goods companies in the world, Unilever, announced in February that they are working toward a game-changing initiative to provide detailed fragrance ingredient information on their thousands of personal care products, putting the pressure on other companies and brands to follow suit in the race toward fragrance disclosure and, ultimately, consumer transparency. While the FDA is largely absent from the practices and regulation of the personal care and cosmetics industries, its’ recent ban of hormone disrupting chemical, Triclosan, from liquid hand-soaps was a step in the right direction toward industry oversight.
If you’ve shopped for cosmetics at your local mall lately, you may have noticed an increase in selections of “natural” products, as major beauty retailers such as Sephora and Nordstrom are making an effort to accommodate this new industry “trend”. Although their efforts are valiant, it is important to note that not all brands and products in these curations are actually clean and natural and their advertising and product placement errs on the side of deceptive and confusing to consumers. Remember that reviewing ingredient labels is always necessary.
Even though we’ve seen so many wins toward industry reform and consumer transparency in the last few years, there is still a long way to go in the fight toward safe personal care products and cosmetics here in the U.S. Here are a few practical ways you can make a positive impact to advance the cause;
- Use the Think Dirty app and Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database to research all ingredients prior to making purchases. It can be overwhelming at first, but start small. Replace your dirty products with clean, non-toxic alternatives when you find yourself needing to repurchase. Vote with your dollar.
- Always do your OWN research. Just because a certain celebrity, influencer, retailer, or company is endorsing a product as natural, even if it’s someone you admire or trust, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe enough for your high standards as a Pure Beauty. It’s important now more than ever to stand strong in the face of greenwashing and not allow phony “clean” brands to pull the bag over our eyes the minute we let our guards down.
- While voting with your dollars is one of the most impactful ways to bring about industry reform (as we’ve seen in the major rise of organic food and farming), it is equally as important to voice your concern for cosmetic safety to your local representatives. I know, I know, you’re thinking, “I don’t trust the government to get anything done”. But if all of us who were fighting for stricter FDA oversight, for clean water, and for ethical and sustainable food sources were voicing those concerns to our collective House of Representatives, it would be hard for them to ignore and these important issues would eventually have to be addressed. Find your local representatives here.
I know first-hand how exhausting and disheartening the fight for safe products can be. It’s tough to live day in and day out wondering about chemical exposure everywhere you turn. While there is still much change to be made in the industry, I’m choosing to celebrate all of these small victories because they are the foundation to something much bigger. I can’t wait for the day when we don’t have to worry about toxins hiding in our everyday products that are tearing apart our families with health concerns such as cancer, infertility, and hormone disruption. Little do the industry and government know now, but clean, green beauty is so much more than just a trend. It is a movement that is going to completely revitalize our collective health, wellness, and integrity.