ClearForMe platform bridges ingredient transparency gap between cosmetic & PBC product manufacturers and consumers

By Cassandra Stern

- Last updated on GMT

“Brands and retailers that prioritize and effectively communicate their commitment to transparency will be better positioned to meet consumer expectations, build trust, and differentiate themselves in the market,” said Sabrina Noorani, ClearForMe CEO and Founder. © ClearForMe
“Brands and retailers that prioritize and effectively communicate their commitment to transparency will be better positioned to meet consumer expectations, build trust, and differentiate themselves in the market,” said Sabrina Noorani, ClearForMe CEO and Founder. © ClearForMe

Related tags transparency digital beauty tech

The company’s technology provides ‘personalized sales enablement’ to bring ingredient transparency directly to the consumer in a ‘consumable, easy, and actionable way’ which benefits manufacturers seeking to better reach consumers and directly address formulation and sourcing inquiries.

Founded in 2017, digital ingredient platform ClearForMe currently maintains a database of over 2 million cosmetic and personal care ingredients utilized in over 375 B2B brand products including rhode skin, Jane Iredale, e.l.f., Dr. Brandt, bareMinerals, and Versed. As detailed on the company’s website, the platform’s tools provide consumers with ingredient definitions on demand through their Clickable Ingredients option, allowing brands to educate consumers on ingredient sourcing backgrounds and more.

To learn more about the ClearForMe platform, including industry pain points the technology helps to solve, challenges that were overcome to launch and release these tools for consumer use, and plans for future platform expansion, CosmeticsDesign interviewed Sabrina Noorani, ClearForMe CEO and Founder for her insights.

CDU: Can you share some background information about the ClearForMe platform and its potential impact on manufacturers and suppliers to the cosmetics and personal beauty care product industries?​ 

Sabrina Noorani (SN): Years ago I developed skin allergies around my lips and discovered that I needed to avoid fragrance, which I learned has thirty-two different synonyms used in ingredient labels. I quickly realized that there was no standardization in ingredient labels, making it hard and confusing for consumers like me to find what we’re looking for.

This is true for every skin concern and benefit that customers are seeking such as acne, wrinkles or brightening. Ingredients are the common denominator of all products and the reason behind why a product is or isn’t effective. However, the journey to understand products and seek effective and personalized choices are so onerous and overwhelming to consumers and store associates that guide them.

That's where the idea came to build ClearForMe: I wanted to make it easier and personalized to help consumers make confident, informed product choices. 

ClearForMe’s technology does this by creating an opportunity for brands and retailers to present the value of the products they have and the unique traits of differentiation using fact-based information about the product ingredients. With unclear and fuzzy regulation standards, customers look to brands and retailers to not only set industry standards but more importantly, help them make smart and simple choices.

ClearForMe answers questions for customers, helps them search by concerns using ingredient backed filters, and navigate the different standards that retailers have.   

ClearForMe’s technology fosters trust between consumers and brands. By providing clear and accurate information about ingredients, companies can demonstrate their commitment to consumer safety and well-being. This can lead to stronger brand loyalty and positive consumer perceptions. 

ClearForMe lives where customers shop.  ClearForMe technology is on product pages of hundreds of brands like Krave Beauty, rhode by Hailey Bieber, Dieux, Farmacy, and Neutrogena. Our data enables the search and filter of the Conscious Beauty pillars for Ulta Beauty, both in-store and online and we support ingredient-based education for store associates in technology for store associates, like Beautyfluent by Landing International.  

The impact we deliver is helping brands and retailers attract and retain customers. Customers implicitly share with us the ingredients they care about when they buy a product. ClearForMe is the source of that data for brands and retailers to harness so they can bring more effective products to market instead of what was used in the past, generic marketing claims. When you prove ROI, both tangible and intangible, which ClearForMe has done, we know we are on the path to make effective change for the better in beauty.   

CDU: What are some pain points that the ClearForMe platform solves for cosmetics and personal care product manufacturers and suppliers?

SN: ClearForMe was founded with one mission: to empower retailers and brands with the ability to provide consumers the knowledge needed to make informed skin care choices in an overwhelmingly confusing sea of ingredients. The exponential adoption of our neutral, fact-based ingredient data is creating a new industry standard for Ingredient Transparency.

These definitions are backed by a specialized team of dermatologists, technologists, ingredient analysts, and database experts who are involved in building ClearForMe’s database and serve as advisors on our Ingredient Review Committee (IRC).  Our unbiased data lays the foundation to deliver a frictionless experience rooted in education and personalization for beauty brands and retailers.  

CDU: Were there any challenges to developing and launching the ClearForMe platform? If so, what were those challenges and what solutions were developed and implemented to address them? ​ 

SN: There are challenges every day in startup life! All jokes aside, yes we definitely faced challenges to developing and launching ClearForMe’s platform. One challenge when we signed our first few partners was getting their data on our platform.

It was challenging because there is no standard for how ingredients are listed and operationally, all brands and retailers use different systems to house their product data. It was a manual process at first, but we quickly realized that this was a challenge for both sides. This led ClearForMe to build an AI solution that allows our partners to give us their product data in any format that is best suited for them. 

We can then digest and split up the ingredient lists in all the various forms that ingredient lists are presented, and quickly standardize each ingredient top to bottom for every SKU and their variants (color, size, etc).  This allows ClearForMe to quickly implement its software on the e-commerce of brands and retailers of various sizes.   

CDU: What role does ingredient transparency play in product formulation? How do you anticipate this role will continue to expand as consumer awareness of ingredient sourcing continues to grow? ​ 

SN: The role ClearForMe plays is personalized sales enablement. ClearForMe bridges the gap between brands and their customers to bring the formulation story to shoppers in a consumable, easy, actionable way.

Ingredient transparency plays a crucial product in product formulation, showing ingredients and what they are needs to be a standard in the industry. Giving customers the ability to search by the concerns and impacts of ingredients that matter most, allows us to help customers find the product formulations that are the best fit for their values and health needs.  

Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of ingredients on their health, the environment, and social factors such as fair trade and labor practices. They are demanding more information about where ingredients come from, how they are produced, and their potential effects. 

In response to this growing demand, brands and retailers are likely to enhance their ingredient transparency efforts. They may provide more detailed labeling, including certifications and third-party verification, to assure consumers of the quality and ethical sourcing of their ingredients.

Brands might also invest in technologies and systems that enable greater traceability and supply chain visibility, allowing consumers to track the journey of ingredients from farm to shelf.  

Overall, as consumers become more knowledgeable and conscientious about ingredient sourcing, the role of ingredient transparency will continue to expand. Brands and retailers that prioritize and effectively communicate their commitment to transparency will be better positioned to meet consumer expectations, build trust, and differentiate themselves in the market. 

CDU: Are there any plans for further platform expansion in the future?​ 

SN: ClearForMe’s goal is to help brands and retailers serve their customers better, so every enhancement we make is geared towards connecting to customers.  The way we’ve done that recently was the launch of two innovative tech features including creating vertical List-Form Clickable Ingredients, which makes it much easier for customers to navigate ingredient lists on their phones, where they shop the most. 

A further enhancement to that is adding the search bar to our List-Form Clickable Ingredients so that customers can quickly search lists. Customers can search for specific ingredients and identify if the ingredient or any of its synonym related names are present in a product. This personalized search functionality revolutionizes the beauty shopping experience, empowering customers to make informed choices based on their preferences and needs. 

This is a game changer because customers are often unaware of how many ways an ingredient is described. Due to our powerful platform, we’re able to make complicated data delivered seamlessly through our Clickable Ingredient solution. 

The next iteration of our product is to offer customers recommendations tied to the concerns and benefits they care most about, and for the first time, using ingredients to support the recommendations.  The industry standard is that customers are shown products that are best for their skin concerns by un-vetted and self-reported marketing claims.  Our roadmap is anchored to helping customers make easy, informed, and personalized decisions. Trust is how you attract and retain customers and that is what ClearForMe strives to deliver every day.  

Future plans also include continuing to meet customers where they shop - online and in store.  We are expanding our offering to be a part of the tools beauty associates use to provide trusted recommendations to customers. 

A great example of how ClearForMe can scale and provide value is our partnership with Landing International, the largest innovative technology in the marketplace that is strictly for in-store associates who just signed an all-store rollout with JCPenney. We have some exciting things to come very soon on this front. 

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