If clean beauty is about consumer safety and environmental awareness, then it stands to reason that the founder of Made Safe would announce the Nontoxic Certified Ingredient Solutions program at a sustainability event. (Read more about the 2019 Raise the Green Bar sustainability summit here on CosmeitcsDesign.com.)
The new program “is for anyone who’s interested in understanding the full ecosystem impact [of their products or ingredients]” Amy Ziff, founder and executive director of Made Safe and now Nontoxic Certified, tells Cosmetics Design.
“But it’s of more value for people dealing in raw materials,” she says, noting that the new seal can be used by cosmetics and personal care industry suppliers to market ingredients as well as by the manufacturers and brands working with those suppliers, in which case the seal “gives them measurement tools,” to effectively gauge an ingredient’s impact on human and planetary wellbeing.
Like so many trendy terms and marketing phrases, ‘clean beauty’ lacks a cohesive definition across brands, retailers, and markets. The new Nontoxic Certified Ingredient Solutions program aims to be the third-party that changes all that.
Evaluating the beauty ingredient lifecycle from the consumer forward
The Nontoxic Certified Ingredient Solutions program is not just for cosmetics and personal care ingredients. It’s meant for inputs and products in bed, bath, beauty, sexual health, and fem care.
And the ultimate goal of the ingredient evaluation program is not unlike the goal of Made Safe itself “to change the way products are made in this country,” according to the organization’s site.
Each ingredient is appraised on “how [well] they stand up in an ecosystem approach,” Ziff tells Cosmetics Design. “We are going to evaluate the bioaccumulation; environmental degradation; look at soil, sediment, air, and water toxicity; and evaluate harm to aquatic life and to terrestrial life,” she says, adding that an ingredient can be scored on any or all or those criteria. And for each, the ingredient will either have met the criteria or not; if not, the program will let the company know why an ingredient hasn’t passed.
To determine the impact of any given ingredient, Ziff explains that her team will “look at bioaccumulation studies and information on how it behaves as well as what its chemical cousins are known to do.” They’ll be looking to determine if “there was [ever] a prob with human end points.”
In some cases, explains Ziff, an ingredient won’t pass simply because there is not enough data to gauge its full ecosystem impact. These ingredients will be deemed ‘unknown’ by the program. And Ziff hopes such a designation will encourage ingredient makers and beauty manufacturers to do testing that yields meaningful data and eventually a favorable Nontoxic Certified evaluation.
This article was updated on 30-Oct-2019 to clarify that Nontoxic Certified is an ingredient evaluation program rather than a certification as initially reported.
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.