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CVS to phase out chemicals of concern in store brand beauty and personal care

By Deanna Utroske

20-Apr-2017
Last updated on 20-Apr-2017 at 17:09 GMT2017-04-20T17:09:42Z

CVS to phase out chemicals of concern in store brand beauty and personal care

The retail pharmacy chain announced plans this week to remove select ingredients from four of its own cosmetics and personal care brands, calling the move “a natural step in the evolution of our comprehensive approach to chemical safety.”

According to CVS, the decision to stop formulating with parabens, phthalates, and what the retailer is describing as “the most prevalent formaldehyde donors” comes in response to consumer demand.

“Our consumers expect both transparency and quality when it comes to ingredients in the products they use,” Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president of CSR and philanthropy at CVS Health, says in a media release about the new policy. “This is an important step, and we look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders to address additional chemicals of consumer concern and focus on more product categories in the future.”

Progress

The policy change will affect nearly 600 different personal care and cosmetic products, but newly formulated product won’t be on store shelves for some time. “CVS Pharmacy will stop shipping store brand products that don’t meet these standards to distribution centers by the end of 2019,” notes the release.

Though already, the CVS brand Promise Organic meets the new standard. And, by the 2019 deadline so will the company’s CVS Health, Beauty 360, Essence of Beauty, and Blade brands.

Explaining the company’s decision to change its product formulations, Cia Tucci, vice president of store brands and quality assurance at CVS Health, says “We are committed to providing our customers with the safe, efficacious products that they are looking for.”

“We listened when customers voiced their desire for products that still provide the benefits they need with fewer ingredients of concern,” she adds.

Precedent

More and more retailers are setting their own standards for what amount to safe beauty. Whole Foods was an early player in this space and early this year the discount store Target announced plans to phase chemicals of concern out of personal care products sold in the store as well as out of products in other categories.

For advocacy groups like Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, the move by CVS to phase out parabens, phthalates, and the most prevalent formaldehyde donors is a good sign. “This announcement is an exciting milestone not only for CVS Health, but for retailers and the role they play in driving change toward safer consumer products,” Mike Schade, a campaign director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, is quoted as saying in the CVS media release about the change. “We applaud CVS Health for the action it is taking today and we look forward to continued collaboration ahead,” says Schade, adding that, “We hope other retailers will follow suit.”

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