4 recent highlights from the clean beauty movement

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (Prostock-Studio)
© Getty Images \ (Prostock-Studio)

Related tags clean beauty Sustainability transparency safety

Clean Beauty is here to stay. And every day there’s something new and exciting happening in this growing market sector. Here, Cosmetics Design considers a collection of noteworthy news from the Clean Beauty space.

Countless retailers and beauty brands, and more recently ingredient makers, have adopted a working definition of Clean Beauty; and while those definitions vary, what they (for the most part) have in common is a core focus on product safety, ingredient transparency, and pragmatic sustainability.

Some of the Clean Beauty news highlights included here showcase those defining aspect, others simply speak to the growth and future potential of the movement.

New Clean Beauty Brands

It’s becoming increasingly rare for any new cosmetics, personal care, or fragrance brand come to market and not align itself in some fashion with the Clean Beauty movement. But these two recent launches are instructive of how the movement is progressing.

In May, Venus Williams announced her sun care partnership with clean beauty retailer Credo. Not only does this highlight that the industry is seeing more ingredient technology and product formulations that make sun care more practical for more people, it is also important that Williams chose to develop and launch her brand—EleVen by Venus Williams—with Credo.

Speaking with Shammara Lawrence, writing for Allue.com​, Williams says, “Credo is the leader in clean beauty. It really was just the perfect partner for EleVen to launch a clean mineral sunscreen,”​ adding that, “I was already using so many of the brands that were on their website and in their stores. I came in as a fan [before] we started to partner together.”

And at the start of 2020, makers of the indie professional hair brand California Glam launched a consumer brand called Sustainable Glam.  The brand bills itself as “certified organic, vegan, cruelty free, [and packaged in] sustainable bottles made from sugarcane.”

Sustainable Glam trades on many of the branding identifiers of California Glam, with a similar font and brand name logo design. And the new brand caters to consumers looking for ingredient transparency, by listing out, for instance, 15 hero ingredients and their function/benefit on the back of  the brand’s 15 in 1 Leave-In Mask Detangler. Though at this time there is ‘fragrance’ in the formula; a fact that will deter some clean beauty consumers.   

Global Interest in Clean Beauty 

Thanks to Frédéric Fekkai, June 4 is National Clean Beauty Day here in the US. The hair industry entrepreneur launched his new clean hair brand FEKKAI in January and more recently announced the new annual day of celebration.

According to NationalDayCalendar.com​, “FEKKAI National Clean Beauty Day [was established] in 2020 to bring awareness to the current state of the industry, to educate so we can improve our clean beauty practices, and to join hands with like-minded brands to create a cleaner, more sustainable beauty world.”

In the UK, the health and wellness retailer Holland & Barrett just launched its own line of clean personal care products. In a recent post to LinkedIn Lloyd Cassar, Senior Category Manager at Holland & Barrett, introduced the Clean Me brand, writing, “…I'm really pleased to share Clean Me. An ethos compliant range of everyday toiletries at a great price point. I get regular feedback that customers are looking for more accessible clean beauty and that pricing can be a huge barrier to making a switch from the norm. It hasn't been easy but really happy to deliver some great formulations in 100% recycled bottles, FSC card boxes and green leaf tubes.”

Looking at the Asia market, Mintel data shows that 82% of consumers in urban China say that product safety is the most important purchase consideration. And while “Chinese consumers’ understanding of clean beauty is more focused on the characteristics related to product safety, such as no addition (66%), no pollution of raw materials (62%), and the use of organic ingredients (54%),” ​some 50% are never fully certain if a product marketed as Clean Beauty really meets that understanding of ‘clean’.

New Niches for Clean Beauty 

Clean Beauty isn’t just showing up in standard product categories like skin care and makeup. It’s proving to be significant in new niches as well.

Over the past year or so, cosmetics and personal care brands that acknowledge and cater to women over 40, over 50, over 60, etc. and those that openly market products for women in menopause have been gaining market share.

Ellie Bianca, a brand for women across generations with a mission to be Kind to Your Skin, Kind to the Earth, and Kind to Women, has a new product on the market called Natural Radiance Face Serum Squalane & Moringa.​ When asked why she chose to expand the brand with a product for women in menopause, Founder Evelyne Nyairo notes that, “Women's skin changes through their life cycle, from blemish prone and congested in our teens, to dry and sensitive as we approach menopause.”

“Hormones,” ​she says, “play a large role in how the skin behaves, and as estrogen decreases as we age, the skin tends to lose moisture and the supple radiance related to youth. Presently, there is a big marketing lacuna when it comes to managing mature or menopausal skin. Oftentimes women feel like they must go under the knife in order to look good.”

“However,” ​Nyairo tells Cosmetics Design, “we at Ellie Bianca are fiercely dedicated to formulating products that empower women of all ages to look and feel their best self. Our Squalane & Moringa Serum targets those issues thanks to moisture enhancing squalene, nutrient dense moringa, and ultra-hydrating marula.”

New Spaces for Clean Beauty 

With so many brands and so much consumer interest in the Clean Beauty movement, the product discovery and purchase journey has the potential to be overwhelming. And this is why entrepreneur, makeup artist, and host of the Clean Beauty Podcast Cassandra McClure has turned her in-person Clean Beauty Summits into the Clean Beauty Con virtual event series (at least for the duration of the Coronavirus crisis).

It’s a platform where consumers, influencers, and entrepreneurs can discover brands and learn from founders and leaders in the Clean Beauty movement. And in July, McClure has plans to launch The Clean Beauty Kit, “a first professional makeup artist – approved subscription box featuring clean products that are woman-owned and made in the USA,” ​according to CleanBeautyCon.com​.



 A leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement, Deanna Utroske currently serves as Editor of CosmeticsDesign.com​, where she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders.

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