EWG announces a verification seal for products made without ingredients of concern

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

EWG announces a verification seal for products made without ingredients of concern

Related tags Cosmetics Ewg

The nonprofit intends to increase consumer access to information about what’s in personal care, food, household cleaners, and other goods and is working with licensing and brand management company Healthy Lifestyle Brands to orchestrate the program. 

Late last week the Environmental Working Group announced its new EWG VERIFIED: For Your Health mark and named two companies as founding members of the initiative. MyChelle Dermaceuticals and Beautycounter are both already known for their safety-first, ingredient-transparency approach to personal care and beauty.

Early adopters

Those founding member brands advocate for clean beauty. “Beautycounter is mission-driven — we use a rigorous ingredient selection process to ensure we’re making safer, effective skin care and beauty products, while simultaneously working to move the market and policy toward cleaner, healthier ingredients,” ​says Gregg Renfrew, Beautycounter founder and CEO, in EWG’s statement to the press.

She adds, “early participation in the EWG VERIFIED™ program is in full alignment with who we are.”

MyChelle Dermaceuticals’ response to the initiative is similar: “For 15 years, [MyChelle has] focused on clean, conscious, and ethically sourced products with full transparency in ingredient labeling —complying with EWG’s strict standards and policies,” ​says Kimberly Heathman, CMO of MyChelle Dermaceuticals.

“As a part of this new initiative, we look forward to spreading this important message to consumers who look to EWG for information that empowers people to live healthier lives,” ​affirms Heathman.

Buyer beware

It’s a smart niche to be in these days. What Lucie Greene, worldwide director of JWT Intelligence, calls the “next generation of conscious consumer” ​has arrived. This consumer readily questions whether big brands and governments have their best interests in mind.

The new VERIFIED mark is “part of EWG’s mission to increase transparency in the marketplace and shine a spotlight on the many weak standards that govern consumer products,” ​explains the group in a statement to the press.

It’s a program the dovetails with the apprehensions of the conscious consumer: “For example, the U.S. government does not require safety testing of personal care items before they hit store shelves. Companies can use almost any ingredient – including potentially harmful ones – in their products,” ​the EWG statement reads.

Business ethics

With its new VERIFIED initiative, the EWG intends to aid consumers and motivate brands to make healthy choices. Products displaying the mark “must be free of substances on EWG’s ‘unacceptable’ list and meet limits outlined in EWG’s ‘restricted’ list,” ​according to the group’s statement.

“Items bearing the mark must score in the ‘green’ range in EWG’s Skin Deep cosmetics database and meet additional criteria set by EWG scientists.” ​Beyond that, for any product to warrant the mark, the company must list all ingredients on packaging and online as well as follow what the EWG calls good manufacturing practices.

“EWG VERIFIED™ will take awareness about chemicals in products to the next level by giving shoppers useful information from a team of scientists they have come to trust,” ​says Nneka Leiba, EWG deputy director of research. “We aim to spur the development of safer products in the marketplace.”

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