Editor's Letter: Trust Issues, Telling All and Transparency

Claudia de Brito discusses the need for more honesty in the beauty industry


Claudia de Brito.
ITP Images

Our industry isn’t known for its transparency. In fact, certain beauty brands have turned the muddying of facts into an art form, skirting their way around listing product ingredients and being vague about sourcing.

According to a study conducted by the Fashion Institute of Technology, consumers have had enough.

After surveying 1,800 respondents, the findings from the survey weren’t very encouraging for cosmetics companies. A mere 30% of consumers felt that they had enough information on a product’s ingredients, 42% don’t think brands provide enough information on ingredient safety and more than 60% want brands to identify the sources of their ingredients. It’s this mistrust that has led to the rise of the clean beauty movement.

Natural products used to be sold primarily in health food stores and farmers markets with labels decorated with pictures of leaves. It was a very specific niche and not taken seriously by the beauty industry. But now sleek new millenial-friendly brands positioning themselves as cleaner alternatives to the mainstream.

Shiffa founder Dr Lamees Hamdan has built her brand on the trust of her clients saying: “Part of the reason I don’t do organic certification of my products is because it’s enough that the customer trusts me. I actually say the amount that is natural and the amount that is organic.”

It’s not just chemicals that are falling out of favour, brands exhibiting copycat behaviour are being called out too. Anonymous Instagram account Estee Laundry has gained popularity amongst beauty industry insiders and the general public with its merciless take downs of beauty brands partaking shady practises

If you don’t stay honest, someone else will do it for you.

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