Beauty products positioned as clean and sustainable are now the norm.  Consumers want products that are not only safe for them, but also safe for the planet. And, they’re more willing and interested to shop at retailers that stock these items. According to research from Mintel, 64 percent of U.S. beauty consumers would like to see more innovative sustainability ideas from beauty brands. Even before the pandemic, brands began touting everything from sustainable packaging to better-for-you formulas. Retailers, too, have carved out clean sections within their stores to help guide consumers towards brands with the formulas they’re looking for.  Here, Annie Jackson, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of clean beauty pioneer Credo Beauty, discusses what the retailer is doing to move the needle for sustainability, and also what’s selling in Credo Beauty stores. To learn more about the leading sustainable beauty brands, make sure to attend CEW’s July 13 event, CEW’s 2021 Beauty Creators Finalists Reveal.

CEW Beauty News: What sustainability efforts are trending for brands and retailers?
Annie Jackson: After emerging from 2020, we learned that customer sentiment was really focused on product safety, of course, but also how their purchases and a product’s end of life ultimately impacts the environment.  Less plastic has been probably the loudest consumer demand we’ve heard consistently.

BN: What initiatives has Credo created to foster sustainability?
AJ: This year, we launched Credo’s Sustainable Packaging Guidelines and set a high bar for action in the beauty industry. Our prohibition of single use products and sample packets will prevent 3,000 pounds of waste from going to the trash.  Perhaps more importantly, we’re asking brands, retailers and consumers to join us in saying: No More Single Use!  Single use plastic is made to be used for minutes, but the negative impacts can last for hundreds of years—and we don’t really even need it. So, we just have to unite to say no to this. It is an important, huge starting point. Credo also just co-founded Pact Collective, a new nonprofit organization for beauty, by beauty. Pact works with diverse stakeholders to take responsibility for packaging in our space, and to design more sustainably moving forward.

BN: What is meant by green beauty and blue beauty?
AJ: These terms—like almost every term used in consumer products industries—don’t have an official definition. But green is largely understood to mean better for the planet, or sustainable. Blue is meant to impart that the product is not harmful to waterways, and/or is inspired by the ocean (e.g., contains seaweed derived ingredients). Of course, the ocean is a major part of the planet, and negative effects to the land can also affect the oceans, so there is inherently a connection between the two.

BN: Within anti-aging skin care, what trends did you see?
AJ: Within skin care we see moisturizers as the most productive category with strong supporting hero ingredients. Retinol, niacinamide and bakuchiol continue to be wildly successful drivers in purchasing decisions.  The best anti-aging product ever created – sunscreen – is having its moment in clean beauty with highly efficacious mineral sunscreen brands that shatter the misconception that mineral sunscreens can’t absorb quickly and be easy-to-use modern formulas.  Those days are over. Also, clean beauty in makeup is really strong – contrary to what we are hearing in conventional makeup, which is interesting.  Multi-use products are having a moment again, and newness continues to be a big driver.  And very exciting, lip is coming back with a vengeance. 

BN: What about skin care tools? What were some of the biggest trends you saw here?
AJ: The art of Gua Sha continues to be really popular for both customer education and events.  With people being at home more, we’ve learned our customer really likes to learn about these ancient arts and how she can introduce them into her skin care routine.

Please join the beauty industry on July 13 at CEW’s 2021 Beauty Creators Finalists Reveal, where for the first time an entire (virtual) event will be dedicated to sharing this year’s CEW Beauty Awards Finalists. In addition to hearing the Finalists in Sustainability and Skincare and 27 other categories, you’ll also learn from dozens of experts on topics from trending dermatological services to indie beauty. Learn more by clicking here.