The truth that shocked me into becoming an informed cosmetics consumer
One of the first things we learn to do on the journey to becoming better informed consumers and making better choices is to simply read a product’s label. We’ve become accustomed to reading the ingredients, knowing that the claims plastered across the front of supposed healthy products may be way off base when they are stacked against the actual list of what’s inside. I have become a label reading machine over the past few years, both of food labels and skincare products intended for external use.
But I’ve learned over the past ten years as a business owner in the nutritional supplement industry that simple label reading is not enough. All a label tells me is what the company decided to put on that label, and isn’t necessarily a full explanation of what is actually in the product I’m considering.
My husband Steve is a big fan of hot sauce, the hotter the better! He loves anything and everything that comes with a generous side of heat. When we learned that many hot sauce manufacturers add MSG to their products, we began to read labels carefully before we bought so that we could avoid that common additive.
On one grocery shopping trip, Steve excitedly pointed out the ingredient listing on a popular brand of hot sauce. “This one doesn’t say anything about MSG or natural flavors or anything else! It’s just got the basic simple ingredients!” He delightedly piled a few bottles into the cart and we brought them home, happy to have found a natural option for him.
Delighted with our discovery, we happily passed the news along to friends about this “clean ingredient hot sauce.” We mentioned it to a friend who had significantly more food sensitivities to contend with than we did, and who was also a more experienced veteran of seeking out healthy food options. She contacted the hot sauce manufacturer directly to ask if there were any other “unlisted” ingredients, and explained that she needed to know due to certain food sensitivities in her family.
The company replied to our friend that they would require a note from her doctor before they would tell her what other ingredients were in their hot sauce! Steve sadly resigned himself to never buying another bottle of their product, since the company refused to offer even a basic level of transparency to their customers.
This is just one of many examples that we have run into through the years as consumers ourselves, and why we are committed to providing a different experience for our Beeyoutiful friends.
Many companies reveal only the largest quantities of ingredients, while glossing over those ingredients that make up a tiny fraction (usually 2% or less) of the total product. But what if, like our friend, you have a food sensitivity and need to avoid one of those sneaky ingredients, even in minuscule amounts?
We’re committed to telling you exactly what’s in our foods, supplements, and skin care in even the smallest concentrations so that you can make the best decision based on complete information.
THAT’S FOOD. WHAT ABOUT SKIN CARE?
A monumental undertaking for our company happened just a few years ago, inspired by one of our all-time favorite product formulators. She approached us with the idea of launching a full-disclosure, all-natural, safe line of cosmetics.
In my ignorance, I flatly turned her down. We do nutritional supplements and healing-focused skin care, I thought. Why on earth would I want to enter the ridiculously competitive world of makeup? She persisted, though, and I decided to spend a few days digging into my friend’s concerns about makeup.
I was stunned to discover how naïve I had been. I’ve been a consumer of makeup since my teens, and my faith in both the safety and ethics of most cosmetics was absolutely destroyed.
You may be as disturbed as I was to know that most skincare and cosmetic companies not only do not support full disclosure of product ingredients, but actually have policies that actively work against disclosure. The FDA does not have authority to approve or disapprove the labeling of cosmetic products before they are placed on the market. It’s up to the manufacturer and/or distributor to ensure their products are labeled appropriately.
This means that, unless someone blows the whistle for mislabeling in a big enough way to attract the FDA’s attention, many companies will go for years without their products being tested and reviewed. The small amount of accountability offered by the FDA for cosmetics is loose and randomly enforced, at best.
I can’t find the words to describe how disturbing it was for me to learn that some of these protected ingredients, used by almost every cosmetic company out there, can contain cells from placentas, tissue from circumcisions, and, most sickening of all to me, cloned cells from aborted babies. These components are used in everything from makeup, creams, toners, and moisturizers to body washes and shampoos. They tend to show up the most in products advertised as “anti-aging,” prized by the industry because of their skin-healing, regenerative properties. All those things we appreciate and marvel at in a baby’s beautiful skin make these ingredients valuable to this industry.
By now, you can probably guess Beeyoutiful’s practice regarding full disclosure. It is my absolute joy and pleasure to introduce makeup that is made from nothing but minerals—minerals that are tested to avoid cross-contamination with heavy metals and certified to be heavy metal free. We include no fillers, not even “natural” ones. You’ll find each and every ingredient listed on each and every one of our labels, no matter how small the quantity.
HOW TO SEEK FULL DISCLOSURE FROM OTHER COMPANIES
We’ve adopted a few simple policies for ourselves as consumers and encourage you to do the same.
1) Ask any company you do business with if they are a full disclosure company. If they don’t know what that means, clarify it for them. Simply ask, “Is each and every ingredient used in your formulations included on your label? If not, would you be willing to send me a complete ingredient list so I can make an informed decision about your product?” If they keep ingredient information secret due to either policy or proprietary formulations, then you know for sure that you are not dealing with a full disclosure company.
2) If there’s a company that you like that doesn’t have a full disclosure policy, make sure to communicate with them clearly that you will not be able to purchase from them until their policies change. Smart companies listen to their customers, and if honest labeling is what customers want and continually request, then they will be far more willing to adopt better labeling policies and earn your business back.
3) Support companies that respect your rights as a consumer and enable you to make informed decisions about what is in the products that you buy. Let them know that you appreciate this about them; they value your positive feedback tremendously! And share these wonderful product options with your friends.
We are grateful for each and every Beeyoutiful friend that crosses our path, and we’re excited to be part of the grassroots activism and positive changes happening across the nation. The more consumers demand to be respected and fully informed, the more likely companies will be to accommodate, making the marketplace safer and happier for everyone.
We have had a lot of fun working with makeup that is, quite literally, made up by nature. But we haven’t stopped with absolute authenticity and full disclosure in the purity of the makeup: we also have a “No Photoshop” policy. The amazing women who have graciously paused from their regular lives to give our makeup the face it needs in our catalog, website, and user-friendly tutorial videos deserve to be presented to the world in their own glory. Whether our BeeyoutifulSkin models are aging with graceful beauty or still abloom with youthful glow, we love celebrating who they are from the inside out!
BeeyoutifulSkin Mineral Makeup was created by women, for women. Our wonderful BeeyoutifulSkin staff ladies work hard to create helpful information and user-friendly tips to make natural makeup as easy as possible to use. Whether you’re a casual dabbler or someone who loves to indulge in glamorous looks, we have the tools and colors for you!
Click here to join our blog community and see a new makeup tip every Monday from Rosanna, our very own makeup artist. And we’d love to send you a free full-color BeeyoutifulSkin makeup catalog. Shop our samples and find your perfect match here.
Wishing you truth and beauty,