Better Beauty: Setting a Higher Standard for the Cosmetics Industry

I don’t really like to talk politics. My views definitely don’t fall neatly into any particular “side” so I tend to avoid most political discussions. But I will say this: for the most part I tend to want LESS government regulation and involvement. Even in business. EXCEPT with regards to these two exceptions:

Corruption and Public Health.

Obviously, corrupt business practices are not cool and those business should face some sort of consequence. But the latter is a little more convoluted. 

On the one hand, the consumer needs to assume some responsiblity for their own health and what they choose to purchase related to their health. Sure. That’s fair. I don’t think it’s right to eat McDonald’s every day for years and then be dumbfounded when you’re overweight and unhealthy. Sure, McDonald’s as a business could choose to serve healthier food. But they’re not solely to blame in this scenario. It should be pretty obvious to the consumer that McDonald’s will not lead to optimal health and probably shouldn’t be consumed every day (if ever).

Sorry for bashing on you McDonald’s but… you’re gross.

But what about products that aren’t so obviously “unhealthy”? What about products that haven’t been thoroughly tested, over-time, to see what repercussions they may have on our health? What about products that, in very small amounts are ok, but combined with other, similar products on a daily basis can add up to more detrimental side effects?

What about cosmetics? 

And what responsiblity do cosmetics companies have to inform the consumer?

Because here’s the thing… Even in an age where we understand more about disease and the human body than ever before, we are still seeing an increase in cancer, hormone disruption, infertility, auto-immune disease, etc…

And we KNOW that environmental factors play a role in these issues. And we also know that certain ingredients in certain cosmetics can increase your risk. Yet cosmetics companies do not, and are not really required to, divulge the potential risk involved with their products. And sometimes, they’re not even required to divulge the ingredients. 

So how can the consumer make a truly informed decision about their health? Are they to assume that a product is safe simply because it’s allowed to be sold? Or should they just be more diligent in their research? But how can they research information that isn’t available?

It’s a tricky topic, but at Beautycounter, we’ve actually made it quite simple:

Don’t use questionable ingredients and be 100% transparent about the products we sell.

That’s it. 

And we do this without compulsory regulations. We do it because we believe it’s the right thing to do. And in a perfect world the rest of the industry see our business model and the success we’ve had and simply follow suit (and some companies have, thank goodness.) But this is not a perfect world and many companies are more concerned about profit and loss than your health and safety. Like it or not, that’s just how it is. 

So, we are hoping to change that through reasonable and responsible regulation. We, as a company, have written to and visited several legislatures in California, D.C. and elsewhere to ensure that consumer health is made a higher priority by the cosmetics industry. We are working on YOUR behalf so that, one day, you’ll be able to make truly informed decisions about what goes on your body. 

I love this picture because it’s such a great visual of the discrepancy between  the lengths that most consumers would hope a company would go to to ensure their safety and what is actually required. The thin binder you see on this gentleman’s lap is what the FDA requires for a new product to be sold. The GIANT binder in his hand is what Beautycounter requires for a single product to be approved for sale. 

If we have our way, someday, those binders will be a similar size.

But until then, what can you do as a consumer? What power do you have over your own health and safety related to cosmetics?

For one, you can choose to spend your money with companies that prioritize safety and transparency. While politicians and policies do help, true power is in the almighty dollar. If consumers aren’t purchasing a product, companies will change their ways. So, if a company doesn’t prioritize your health and safety, don’t buy their products.

You can personally contact your local politicians and make them aware of the issue. Their job is to speak on behalf of their constituents. But if they don’t think it’s important to you, it won’t be important to them. 

But if you really want to effect change and spread the word about better beauty, then join me! I joined Beautycounter not because I’m a great sales person, or because I’m super duper into beauty products… The opposite is actually more true. I did this because health and wellness are my passion. And I believe we can be the best versions of ourselves when we prioritize our own health. BUT we can’t fully do that when we don’t have all the information we need to make informed decisions. And I want my children and their children to live in a world where their safety is as much a priority as their business.

So, tell me what you think! Do you agree that the cosmetics industry needs to change?

Leave a comment or message me, brickfitlife@gmail.com

And for more information about Beautycounter, visit my site www.beautycounter.com/bethanyrickman