Home › Cosmetic Science Talk › Cosmetic Industry › Sephora Sued Over ‘Clean Beauty’ Claims
Sephora Sued Over ‘Clean Beauty’ ClaimsPosted by Microformulation on November 26, 2022 at 8:30 pm“Plaintiff alleges formula contains potentially harmful synthetic ingredients, including xanthan gum and potassium sorbate.”Lots more misinformation was cited in the suit.MarkBroussard replied 5 months, 1 week ago 8 Members · 46 Replies
PhilGeisMemberNovember 26, 2022 at 9:20 pm
Sephora is full of it as is the “clean” BS, but Xanthan gum is synthetic? Mother of pearl!
PharmaMemberNovember 26, 2022 at 9:23 pm
What the heck… I’m speechless from all that stupidity (mostly because that lawyer, dumb as he/she might be, most likely earns 10 times as much as I do)!
MicroformulationProfessional Chemist / FormulatorNovember 26, 2022 at 9:28 pm
The Footnoted Citations of “Expert Opinions” are horrible. All three are websites that sell their own products and are biased due to their Marketing. I would expect better research and footnoting from a High School term paper.
PhilGeisMemberNovember 26, 2022 at 10:39 pm
I do get some pleasure seeing Sepharo getting burned by their own BS. Imagin e the management meeting - “How can they sue us over ‘Clean Beauty’ when nobody knows what it means?”
SquinnyMemberNovember 26, 2022 at 11:34 pm
37. The aggregate amount in controversy exceeds $5 million, including any statutory and
punitive damages, exclusive of interest and costs. - Wow only in America I reckon - this would not see the light of day in Australia - Our courts are far too busy with real crimes. The Judge would say “stop wasting the Courts time” - This person is just a gold digger IMHO. I would love to see how natural looking she is - why buy mascara etc. to begin with if you all about “Natural’ beauty. Sorry I find the lawsuit totally ridiculous. Maybe she bought a product and wasn’t happy with it and Sephora wouldn’t give her a refund and this is her revenge. Feel sorry for her current partner - when they break up watch out!
PhilGeisMemberNovember 27, 2022 at 12:20 am
A pox on both of them.
She’s no worse than Sephora and their BS unclean chemical list.
MarkBroussardProfessional Chemist / FormulatorNovember 27, 2022 at 12:40 am
This won’t go anywhere. Sephora has a specific list of ingredients that are excluded from being incorporated in products to get the Clean designation. The client is alleging that her understanding is that Clean At Sephora means a product does not contain any synthetic ingredients. Sephora is not responsible for her not reading what Clean At Sephora means and interpreting it as meaning something it does not.
PhilGeisMemberNovember 27, 2022 at 1:54 am
Agree it goes nowhere. But the question “What ingredients are Clean at Sephora products formulated without?” is not much of a definition. I hope it goes far enough that Sephora responds with m more - and why.
A pox on both houses.
MarkBroussardProfessional Chemist / FormulatorNovember 27, 2022 at 2:29 am
“What ingredients are Clean At Sephora products formulated without?” is followed by a list of specific ingredients - that’s the definition. The question is not the defnition in and of itself without also including the list of specific ingredients.
OldPerryProfessional Chemist / FormulatorNovember 27, 2022 at 2:53 pm
I agree this probably goes no where (and it shouldn’t) but it would be great if this prompted all of these “clean” brands/sites to disappear.
MarkBroussardProfessional Chemist / FormulatorNovember 27, 2022 at 3:07 pm
“Clean” is nothing more than a marketing shorthand to inform consumers that the products do not contain certain specific ingredients and the concept was developed in response to consumer demand for such products … what exactly is wrong with that?
PhilGeisMemberNovember 27, 2022 at 4:12 pm
No. “Clean ” is indeed a marketing claim but consumers generally have no idea what the banned ingredients are. It was not developed to consumer demand - it’s an extension of the scare mongering chemophobia.
Cosmetic marketing generally endeavors to tell what they want and see if they fall for the story.
MarkBroussardProfessional Chemist / FormulatorNovember 27, 2022 at 4:29 pm
You are assuming you know what consumers do and don’t know and what their desires are. Clean At Sephora is not scare mongering chemophobia … it’s providing a specialty section where consumers who don’t want certain ingredients in their skin care products a convenient way to shop for products without having to read the ingredient labels of thousands of random products. The demand for this comes from the consumers, not Sephora proactively trying to scare consumers into purchasing certain products.
You grossly underestimate the intellect and knowledge base of consumers who have done their research and know what they don’t want in their products. Sophisiticated companies like Sephora do extensive market research to understand their consumer’s wants and desires. “Push” marketing is generally ineffective and practiced by mass market brands who focus on consumers driven primarily by price. You’ll find those products at the supermarket, not in a specialty section at Sephora.
PhilGeisMemberNovember 27, 2022 at 7:27 pm
Between my former employer and industry organizations, I had data regarding what consumers said they knew - not an assumption. Don;t have recent data. Curious - your source of data? Inside Sephora stuff? My bet - if anything, it’s more to how well does the concept sell.
The industry challenged retailer priority lists a decade ago and heard they knew next to nothing of the chemicals other than they were targeted by EWG et al. (aka scare mongers) and were not compliant with the growing green trends.
Clean Beauty is anything but. The inadequate, sometimes ridiculous preservative systems combined with the lack of executional depth of their typical suppliers no doubt have contamination common in use. I’ve served as expert on market contamination issues with products of this type..
PhilGeisMemberNovember 27, 2022 at 7:48 pm
My anger at this concept is not the consumer snow job - that’s the business we’re in. My issue is safety compromise, esp. for micro. That Clean Beauty implies safety while ignoring everything but many ingredients whose sole purpose is to maintain safety and are safe and the most effective in that regard.
MarkBroussardProfessional Chemist / FormulatorNovember 27, 2022 at 7:59 pm
The data is plentiful on what consumer’s purchase preferences are and is available from numerous sources. Sephora and Ulta have each approximately 40 million unique customers and they slice and dice the purchase data every which way to understand consumer preferences and buying behaviour. But, outside of the major chain retailers, you can get data on consumer searchs on Amazon, for instance. For one of my clients we developed their entire line of products based on top Amazon searches and it is a very successful line because we gained insight into what consumer were searching for and actually purchasing.
There’s nothing really unique about the Clean At Sephora “banned” ingredients list … it’s pretty much the same list everyone uses. Very little has changed in that regard since the evolution of the concept of Clean Beauty.
The greater emphasis is now focused on understanding what consumers want as opposed to what they don’t want since what most consumers of Clean At Sephora products already know what they don’t want. That’s why they purchase Clean At Sephora brands.
OldPerryProfessional Chemist / FormulatorNovember 27, 2022 at 9:20 pm
In my view “clean” is a dubious marketing story (scam) used to dupe consumers into thinking that products labeled “clean” are safer than products not labeled “clean.”
It’s not really a surprise that marketers have been successful with clean beauty marketing. Fear mongering persists because it is effective. When you have no performance difference to talk about, you tell consumers that your product is not as dangerous as your competitor’s. Consumers are easily fooled into thinking that after they’ve looked something up on the Internet they now have “done their research” and are now ingredient experts.
Consumers aren’t picking ingredients to avoid. They have been trained by marketers and are simply following their programing. They purchase Clean at Sephora because they (incorrectly) believe the products are safer.
MarkBroussardProfessional Chemist / FormulatorNovember 27, 2022 at 9:41 pm
Clean At Sephora is only a starting point. Sephora has made it easier for consumers to pick products that do not contain ingredients that they don’t want on their skin. If the product does not perform, Clean At Sephora does not do that much for you.
It is very easy to develop high-performance products that comply with Clean At Sephora or any of these standards. As a product developer/marketer, I’d much rather be in a defined market segment such as Clean At Sephora as opposed to having to try to gain consumer’s attention without any defined market segmentation.
The consumer purchase decision is my more involved than just buy Clean At Sephora as there are multiple options in the same product category for consumers to choose from within Clean At Sephora.
PhilGeisMemberNovember 28, 2022 at 11:39 am
Sephora has made it easier for microorganisms.
Clean Beauty does nothing for safety, as the message implies - just facilitates crap preservative systems.
MarkBroussardProfessional Chemist / FormulatorNovember 28, 2022 at 2:57 pm
Anyone have any actual data on how many products in the Clean At Sephora store have had recalls due to contamination issues?
PhilGeisMemberNovember 28, 2022 at 3:11 pm
Since the manufacturer recalls, retailer names are not typically associated. Here’s a connection to a recall by Benefit -https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5058475/Contaminated-eye-make-recalled-Myer-Sephora.html
PhilGeisMemberNovember 28, 2022 at 3:18 pm
Mark - you’re involved with Clean at Sephora.
What can you say about their oversight for micro quality in the nontraditional clean context? If you are free to say - what is in-house expertise regarding preservative? I’ve seen some pretty silly systems that may pass USP 51 but are nothing in the real world.
MarkBroussardProfessional Chemist / FormulatorNovember 28, 2022 at 3:57 pm
Phil, I am one step removed from that process of Sephora qualifying products that it intends to carry in the Clean At Sephora shop.