It is difficult to define precisely the emergence of Clean Beauty as it brings together elements that already exist, namely consumer demand for environmentally friendly products and the need for safe products that respond to the resurgence of sensitive skin. Between 2002 and 2017, according to Ecovia Intelligence, worldwide sales of natural and organic cosmetics have increased from almost nothing to 10.2 billion dollars. At the same time, more and more people consider having sensitive skin. According to the Bioderma brand, 1/3 of the adult population would be concerned. (1) Clean beauty can also be seen as an extension of the Clean Eating nutritional concept, which recommends eating fresh, seasonal, regional, natural, unprocessed and healthy products. In 2010, an American nutritionist, Tosca Reno, began writing several books, all of which have become best sellers on the “Eat-Clean Diet”, which has since become very popular in the United States and has been relayed by stars such as Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman. There are 42 million hashtag cleaneating (#cleaneating) on Instagram. Clean Beauty seems to follow this path since between 2016 and 2019 the hashtag cleanbeauty (#cleanbeauty) has increased by 623% in the USA (2).
The American distributors, spearhead of the Clean Beauty
The American distributors played an important role in the Clean Beauty concept creation by selecting the brands on their shelves according to their own lists of authorized ingredients. One of the first actors is Follain (3) which opened its first store in Seattle in 2013 and then in Boston, New York, Dallas. Its founder Tara Foley explains: « My quest for a healthy life has focused first and foremost on the consumption of appropriate food. At the same time, I have always thought about what I put on my face and body. Not satisfied with the answers I received, I decided to go for Clean Beauty ». In 2019, Follain opened 10 more stores. Their list of banned ingredients is made of about thirty substances. Another major player, the US-based Credo (4) launched in San Francisco in 2015, has now 8 shops and spas across the United States. In 2018, the “Clean at Sephora” label further democratize Clean Beauty, widely distributed, particularly in the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Very recently, the Carrefour group opened in Paris a beauty store, called Sources, dedicated to Clean Beauty, a sign that the trend is becoming established in Europe. Asia still seems to be little concerned by Clean Beauty, but not for long…
(2) Mintel US Clean Beauty 2019 & Deloitte Millenial Survey
Written by Régine FRICK