Home Cosmetic Science Talk Cosmetic Industry Sephora Sued Over ‘Clean Beauty’ Claims

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    November 28, 2022 at 4:18 pm

    @MarkBroussard
    Thanks Mark.  I understand.
    One can preserve effectively without the traditional “unclean” preservatives.  However the numerous small guys at for example Sephora are the least capable both in formulation and making/packing to do so effectively.  I think retailers have an obligation to consumers - if compelling/encouraging alternative and obscure micro safety at the preservative level, they should assume some informed role in ensuring the end product is still safe.

  • microformulation

    Member
    November 28, 2022 at 4:26 pm
    I will weigh in since many of us have watched the evolution of the “Naturals” Market since the early 2000s.
    While these standards are imperfect, they are certainly better than the EWG-driven emotionally defined concept of “natural” which prevailed early on. R&D and the market were muddled due to a lack of standards. When speaking with new clients they would demand “natural” with no idea what it entailed. These standards at least provide an imperfect benchmark the client can use as Guidance.
    Preservation should never be compromised, but this can be achieved to some level of confidence with the guidelines through proper Formulation and testing.

  • markbroussard

    Member
    November 28, 2022 at 5:14 pm

    @Microformulation

    Mark, I am very curious who were the “experts” cited by the attorneys filing the lawsuit.  Do you have links to their websites?

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    November 28, 2022 at 5:23 pm

    I’d looked it up online - all I found was
    attorneys  https://www.sheehanlawyers.com/.
    The plaintiff is in Cleveland NY.

  • microformulation

    Member
    November 28, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    @Microformulation

    Mark, I am very curious who were the “experts” cited by the attorneys filing the lawsuit.  Do you have links to their websites?

    EWG

    Disregards CIR based upon “numerous dermatologists..”
    This Citation is difficult to run down. The best I could ascertain is that it is a small Spa. Please correct me if I am wrong.
    This is a scaremongering book that is interestingly out of print. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/toxic-beauty-samuel-s-epstein/1100409658
    From a Sales Site. There is inherent bias attached. https://www.naturesrepair.org/2021/01/13/dangers-of-sodium-benzoate/
    Here is the Citation. It is a Food Co-op’s Banned List. https://www.honestweight.coop/page/the-banned-list-335.html
    No Citation on Xanthan Gum.

  • microformulation

    Member
    November 28, 2022 at 6:43 pm
  • markbroussard

    Member
    November 28, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    @Microformulation

    Thanks, Mark … really appreciate you taking the time and effort to post this information

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    November 28, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    Thanks Mark

  • em88

    Member
    December 15, 2022 at 10:33 am

    Pharma said:

    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)!

    And if I’m not wrong, you are based in Switzerland, where most likely you earn 10 times as much as we pharmacists make in the EU   :smiley:

  • Joy

    Member
    December 16, 2022 at 5:37 am

    If we ignore Sephora’s own definition of clean, and take her’s of natural (and since when is clean = 100% natural? It was made to be a different term since most clean products are only partially natural) aren’t most of the ingredients from the screenshots posted here generally accepted as natural/naturally derived? They are accepted in organic cosmetics, cosmos, etc. Since when is xanthan gum or cetyl alcohol not considered natural for cosmetics by the general public and certification organizations?

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    December 17, 2022 at 12:37 am

    All ingredient are naturally derived.

  • Joy

    Member
    December 17, 2022 at 1:06 am

    PhilGeis said:

    All ingredient are naturally derived.

    Exactly. But for certified organic/cosmos/other “natural” certifications, they generally consider naturally derived to be those “more directly derived” I guess. Since obviously everything comes from something from the Earth (and even if from outerspace it would still be “natural” I guess, lol). But clean never meant fully natural anyways. I’m curious to see the result of this. But a lot of big companies simply settle, which while understandable, is a little frustrating because 1) it encourages more people to sue for a settlement and 2) we never see how a judge would actually judge the case.

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    December 17, 2022 at 1:35 am

    Clean is ad hype.  I doubt sephora will go down onetis but am interested in their defense. Would love to see “Puffery” but my bet is some pompous  posturing for consumer benefit.

  • markbroussard

    Member
    December 17, 2022 at 3:04 pm

    I suspect that Sephora’s defense will be simply that Clean signals to consumers that the products do not contain any of the ingredients on the list; that they never claimed any benefit to the consumer from the Clean designation other than ensuring consumers that those ingredients on the list are not in Clean designated products; and they never claimed, nor implied, that Clean means no synthetic ingredients are in the products, but specifically the ones on the list are not in the products.  That is exactly what Clean At Sephora means, nothing more.

    When you see our Clean seal, you can be assured that the product is formulated without specific ingredients that are known or suspected to be potentially harmful to human health and/or the environment.

  • markbroussard

    Member
    December 17, 2022 at 4:18 pm

    @Joy

    The correct definition is “naturally-derived from renewable, sustainable feedstocks’ in the context of the certification organizations

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    December 17, 2022 at 5:03 pm

    Certification organizations.   Have to admire the clever racket.  Redefine a meaningless term and charge folks for the use.
    Esp liked EWG - at least formerly, demanded a piece of the action

  • markbroussard

    Member
    December 17, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    Certification organizations … they do have their value.  I have a start-up client that was recently picked up by Walmart and Amazon Preferred specifically because the products were CleanCert and EWG verified.  The retailers sought out my client because they were specifically looking for products in her category with certifications.  Not a bad investment of $500 and time spent going through the certification process.   

  • PhilGeis

    Member
    December 17, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    Value?  Certainly - value to their certification  organizations and those selling the hype.

  • markbroussard

    Member
    December 17, 2022 at 9:28 pm

    Value?  Absolutely, my client would not necessarily have stood out and been noticed by either Walmart nor Amzaon had her products not gone through EWG and CleanCert certification.  They came knocking on her door.  Perhaps they perused the EWG & CleanCert websites for products that had been certified and hers caught their attention.  So, yes, the certifications helped her cut through the clutter of the thousands of products available on the market.

    The certifications can provide market segmentation.  EWG made $500 … my client may make $ millions.  So, yeah, it can be worth it.

  • oldperry

    Member
    December 19, 2022 at 12:34 am

    @MarkBroussard - Well, for every story like that I’m bet there are dozens (hundreds) of stories where people pay for certification and end up with a garage full of product they never sell. A couple people also make money through MLMs, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for most people.

    But I don’t really know. I’d be interested to see the data on how well EWG certified brands do. I suspect most consumers have never heard of the EWG.

  • markbroussard

    Member
    December 19, 2022 at 1:36 am

    @Perry

    EWG Certification is inexpensive and unless the products are well formulated and perform, EWG certification in and of itself won’t really do much for you.  Lots of people develop skin care products and fail because of ineffective marketing.

    I would not underestimate the impact of EWG, Clean At Sephora, Leaping Bunny certifications, etc. on some consumer purchase decisions.

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