Market Shift: Hundreds of Cosmetics Companies Fulfill Safe Products Pledge

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, November 30, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO; Nov. 30, 2011 -- The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics announced today that 321 cosmetics companies have met the goals of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, the Campaign’s voluntary pledge to avoid chemicals banned by health agencies outside the U.S. and to fully disclose product ingredients – a pioneering practice in the cosmetics industry. An additional 111 companies made significant progress toward those goals.

“These companies have truly broken the mold. They are leading the cosmetics industry toward safety, showing it’s possible to make products with full transparency and without using hazardous chemicals,” said Janet Nudelman, program director of the Breast Cancer Fund, a founding member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

The new report released today, “Market Shift: The story of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and the growth in demand for safe cosmetics,” describes the seven-year project during which the nonprofit organizations that make up the Campaign worked with companies in a unique partnership to raise the bar for safer personal care products.

More than 1,500 companies signed the Compact from its inception in 2004 until August 2011, when the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics closed the Compact project. The research team at Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep® database developed tools for tracking each company’s compliance with the goals of the Compact. Through these tools, the Campaign determined that 321 companies achieved “Champion” status by fulfilling the goals of the Compact, and an additional 111 companies reached “Innovator” status by getting most of the way there.

The report describes how these companies – from small mom-and-pop businesses to some of the largest businesses in the natural products sector – are setting a new high-bar standard for personal care products. The Champions are demonstrating best practices by:

• Making effective products without using ingredients prohibited for use in cosmetics in other countries.

• Disclosing all their ingredients, including those that make up “fragrance,” showing that it’s not necessary to hide these ingredients from the public.

• Working together with nonprofit health groups to increase market demand for safe, sustainable products and practices.

“Congratulations to all the Champions and Innovators. Their ability and willingness to work toward the Compact requirements shows not only that it is possible to make products that far exceed current safety standards in the United States, but also that making safe personal care products can be part of a successful business model,” said Mia Davis, organizing director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and coordinator of the new Safe Cosmetics Business Network.

“Due to consumer demand for products made without hazardous chemicals, natural and safe cosmetics are now the fastest-growing segment of the $50 billion cosmetics industry.”

"These companies have taken the extra step to divulge all the ingredients in their products, a practice that is usually avoided in the cosmetics industry but one that is essential for consumers when trying to choose safer products for themselves and their families," said EWG senior Vice President for Research, Jane Houlihan who is responsible for the development of the Skin Deep® database.

Although the Compact project is completed, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics will continue to advocate for safe, healthy products for all consumers by working with a broad range of companies in the new Safe Cosmetics Business Network and by working with voters and Congressional leaders to pass the Safe Cosmetics Act, which will update the 1938 cosmetics regulations that are failing to protect health.

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The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a coalition of more than 150 nonprofit organizations working to protect the health of consumers and workers by eliminating dangerous chemicals from cosmetics. Core members include: Clean Water Action, the Breast Cancer Fund, Commonweal, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition and Women’s Voices for the Earth.