Why we believe in 100% ingredient transparency in cosmetics
- Mar 26, 2021
- Green Bee
Clean skincare is a hot buzzword at the moment. But what does it mean, really?
For us, it means putting only good things into our products, like plants. No fillers, artificial fragrance or colorants and definitely no expedient-but-bad-for-humans-and-the-planet ingredients.
For us it also means testing. All our products are tested and proven free of pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants commonly found in mainstream cosmetics.
One thing that concerns Bridget May, our founder and formulator, is that many companies, even the "good ones" like Dr. Hauschka, put "fragrance" on their ingredients list. This is often a way for a manufacturer to get around telling you about preservatives they use. Bridget would prefer they were more transparent about it. Using proper preservatives is essential, and we use preservatives in our products, but it's important to be open about it so the consumer can make their own choices, and to educate them on what's safe.
We are completely transparent about which ingredients we use and percentages of preservatives. We only use as much as we need to. For example, our Brightening Eye Cream currently uses a preservative called phenoxyethanol. But we use the least amount possible, way below the levels deemed perfectly safe by the European Union, whose safety guidelines are much more stringent than in the US, or California. In cosmetics alone, the EU has banned or restricted more than 1,300 chemicals while the US has outlawed or curbed just 11. According to the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety, phenoxyethanol is safe for all consumers – including children of all ages – when used as a preservative in cosmetic products at a maximum concentration of 1%. In Green Bee Botanicals emulsion formulas, we're currently using less than 0.25%.
Bridget is busy at work testing other potential preservatives, like radish root ferment, so we can phase out phenoxyethanol completely in the future. The reason for preservative is to keep the product safe. Water-based skincare products, like lotions, need preservatives because of the water content. The presence of water makes it possible for bacteria to grow in the product. A preservative prevents that.
We TEST every batch to prove it is free from microbial and fungal contamination, heavy metals, pesticides, residual solvents and other processing chemicals. Even organic ingredients can still contain pesticides and heavy metals like lead, unfortunately, so the only way to know is to test.
Very few other cosmetic companies test for these things. But we do. And we test every small batch for everything – every time.
We are a very small company and are still getting all our certifications on board, so for example, we can't say on our products that they are organic – but almost 100% of our ingredients are. Same with cruelty-free – we are working on getting our certifications done, but it requires paperwork all the way down to the farm, and from our manufacturer, so it is a long process.
The Good Face Project is on a mission to make cosmetic ingredient transparency a standard for the beauty industry. All of us as consumers need to demand safer and more efficacious products. Brands who value the health of their customers can apply for a Good Face Project Approved seal and comply with high standards of safety.
This standard includes not using 1,500+ toxic chemicals that impact long-term health and the environment and that are banned from cosmetics in the European Union and Canada, but are still present in the majority of personal care products Americans use today.