Clean Beauty, what is your regulatory framework?

No definition, no label, no defined regulatory framework, how can consumers trust Clean Beauty?
An already demanding European regulation 

"Today, Clean beauty is not standardized yet. As there is no framework, no rules of formulation, customer expectations are varied, especially between the US and Europe where regulations are not the same" explains Anne Rutigliano, Marketing and Communication Director of Anjac Health & Beauty Group. In Europe, regulations are already very demanding with more than 1600 banned substances compared to what exists across the Atlantic. Nathalie Dessirier, Marketing Manager at MS BEAUTiLAB, points out "If we follow the European regulations, we are already on the right track to formulate products that comply with the Clean Beauty". Since July 1st, 2019, an additional constraint has appeared in the European regulatory landscape with the prohibition to use the "free" claim, which was a selection criterion for many consumers and a way for brands to highlight the clean character of their products. According to Mintel, the number of "free" claims had increased in all geographical areas in recent years, with a predominance in the western part of the world (USA, UK, Germany) but also to a lesser extent in Asian markets. For example, paraben-free had a growth of +10.9% between August 2017 and July 2018 in the UK, +6.9% in the US and +2% in Asia. Today, Brands have to do differently to promote their formulations. "This is a very important paradigm shift. The brands concerned will have to focus on claims based on the positive effects of ingredients rather than on the use of "free" claims that tend to denigrate certain categories of ingredients," explains Lucile Manteau, Senior Manager Regulatory Affairs at Symrise. 

The power given to distributors and to products deciphering apps

Distributors who have contributed to the diffusion of Clean Beauty are more and more becoming referents. Some of them, such as Sephora, apply internal labels such as "Clean at Sephora" which validates a selection of products free of 54 ingredients that the brand has judged negatively. In France at the end of 2019, Carrefour opened in the Marais in Paris the store Sources dedicated to Clean Beauty. "We have banned 75 controversial ingredients from the market in the products we offer to consumers," explains Valentine Fournier from Carrefour Group Purchasing. "Basically Sources aims at reassuring consumers" adds Pascal Clouzard, Executive Director for France. Product decoding applications also play this role and even become prescribers. According to the "Women's Facial Skincare Consumer Report" by the NPD group (1): in the USA, 50% of women surveyed seek information online before buying a product in store. Mustela with #legrandscan (2) will not say the opposite: the iconic baby brand that celebrates its 70th anniversary highlights the scores given by applications (Yuka, INCI Beauty, QuelCosmetic, Clean Beauty) to praise the benefits of its formulas. This is certainly a way to modernize its image but also to recognize and validate the power taken by these applications. In the long term, could these apps replace a regulatory framework that is being settled too slowly? 

 (1) Women’s Facial Skincare Consumer Report 2019, NPD Group, Inc. Sur la base de l’analyse de comportements d’Américaines interrogées du 24 avril au 28 mai 2019, le rapport indique où celles-ci obtiennent des informations sur les soins de la peau, ainsi que sur le lieu où elles effectuent leurs achats et les facteurs qui sont importants lors de la prise de décision 

Written by Régine FRICK