Cosmetic

Is clean beauty under attack and what can be done about it?

Clean beauty has evolved on the back of consumer concerns over potentially toxic ingredients in the beauty and personal care products they buy, as well as the impact they many have on the environment. The movement is designed to help the growing band of conscious consumers identify products that are both good for their bodies and the environment.

But confusion over what clean beauty actually means is fueling a growing body of negative, and often inaccurate reporting on the subject that is throwing up a lot of questions. In this interview, Timmons reveals why this is happening, what can be done about it, and what the future might hold for clean beauty.

CDU: In your opinion, what is the whole intention of clean beauty?

GT: “Clean beauty” is like pornography – most people know it when they see it. While scientist may quibble about the vocabulary that consumers and retailers use, most of the players understand that consumers are searching for safer and more sustainable products and “clean” is an easy way to describe those two main criteria. That said, the criteria are in the category I like to call ‘continuing improvement’. We are all still learning a lot about what those criteria need to cover.

Do you think clean beauty is misunderstood? If so, how and why?

Consumers don’t misunderstand but many scientists do. Consumers are searching for solutions to their concerns. They are dealing with all sorts of problems in their lives and doctors are not really helping. A recent analysis of studies on the “Global Burden” of skin disease that covered 1990 to 2017 identified a 46.8% increase in skin diseases*. Acne at the top, eczema next, and on from there. We know we have increasing rates of cancer and kids with ADD and ADHD, all sorts of problems. Consumers see problems that they want to solve. The chemical industry and the personal care industry still seem a little disconnected from these concerns. Additionally, consumers are more aware of the sustainability issues around chemical production and the downstream effects. Chemists are comfortable with chemicals, but they frequently seem to treat them as separate from an integrated world. 


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