Why the Beauty Business
I got into the beauty business for one reason: I needed a product no one made; but in the process I realized that meant someone needed to say the king has no clothes and while I was at it .... someone needed to correct the people who spread wrong information....
The product I needed was an anti aging moisturizer with SPF 30 - one that proved it worked and felt beautiful so I would want to use it. You would think this would be easy to find.....it wasn't. It took three and half years with partnerships crossing the globe to bring this to fruition. However, it was in my quest to unsuccessfully find this product that I stumbled upon reason #2 - the industry needed an outsiders voice....the king has no clothes.... it frustrated me that it was almost impossible to compare products.
Read more: FDA Regulation Means an Even Playing Field
Many of the claims in anti aging were ad hoc opinions and not facts at all; and some marketing campaigns were cloaked with scientific formulas to make them seem more impressive with no explanation to the buyer. Is the American consumer that gullible to think if you write some random chemical formula that means it works? I actually took offense to it. Here's the deal, I get that the FDA regulates what you can say - but if you're going to make a huge statement or claim you better be able to support it. The beauty industry seems to have a lot of players who either think they are untouchable and would rather make outlandish claims and deal with the possible slap on the wrist by the FDA or they are small and have not invested the time or resources to understand the rules so they break them out of complete ignorance. Both are wrong.
Read more: The Myth of Parabens
As I continued down the path of product development I found reason #3 - to help correct the people who continue to pontificate on facts that have been scientifically proven to be incorrect. When it comes to ingredients and formulations for product development I listen to 3 groups: our cosmetic chemist; our regulatory scientist and the FDA. The number of people who assume roles of authority in this industry and spread disinformation on the internet is rampant, irresponsible and reckless. In a number of debates I have sided with the society of cosmetic chemists to help support and correct misnomers but unfortunately there is and always will be someone who believes the world is flat.
Read more: The Case for Retail
In the 1800s, there were snake oil salesmen and unfortunately the cosmetics industry today faces the same risk of comparison. With minimal legislation and self regulation this industry allows almost anyone to create products in their kitchen sink and sell them. I went to a trade show where they mixed ingredients in a household blender and slapped it in a jar. You can't sell food on the street without a license but you can create products that go on your face and body without one.... It is only recently that the FDA has started to exercise it's authority to reign in companies and their claims.
I welcomed when the FDA regulated sunscreen - finally, there was a benchmark that companies needed to meet, everyone would be on a level playing field and outlandish claims were abolished. The industry balked and didn't meet the new guidelines and the FDA was left to push the compliance date out 6 more months. But guess what - starting next month, the American consumer is the winner. I have yet to see an industry where self regulation makes sense = and it is only a matter of time before the cosmetics industry is fully regulated. It is very exciting to be part of an industry that is on the precipice of moving into the next generation.