How Brands Get Their Clean Beauty Messages Out

In this edition of Beauty Independent’s ongoing series posing questions to beauty entrepreneurs, we ask 10 founders and executives: How do you educate the public on using natural beauty products?

Deborah Burnes Founder, Sumbody 

I feel we are not about changing people's minds, telling them what to do or shaming them for what they use and love. We are about offering what we know so they can make informed choices that work for their personal beliefs. As long as they know the facts and are armed with information, I need to trust they can make choices that are right for them. Additionally, in my first book Look Great, Live Green, I coined the term 85%/15%. I have been saying this forever: 85% of the time I live what is my perfect healthy life, the sum, as in Sumbody, of what I put on and in my body and my thoughts and emotions, while 15% of the time I indulge in my version of vitamin J, junk, such as white sugar here and there or highlighting my hair.  The difference is I am in control. I am choosing my poison, not letting it choose me.

Christi​ ​Apodaca Founder, C​ ​&​ ​Co.

We believe in a multifaceted and transparent approach that focuses on the quality and the sustainability of the ingredients as well as the effectiveness of our formulations for all skin types. As a formulator, manufacturer and retailer, we are in a unique position to offer many perspectives when considering a new skincare product or regimen.  We provide insight behind the cost difference between plant-based ingredients and petrochemicals and share mounds of information about the relationship between skin as your largest organ and petrochemicals being carcinogenic and known endocrine disrupters. From seed to source and beyond, we emphasize the importance of knowing exactly what is in the product and how that product is impacting the world around us. We encourage self-education and offer a variety of tools for clients to explore including some of our favorites: EWG, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Linus Pauling Institute.

Cindy Luken Founder, lük beautifood

Our community education is embedded in weekly emails, where we communicate all the key facts around the wellness of beauty and on our website, which is not just a shop, but a hub for our blog, core content, recipes, beauty tips and tricks, and educational pieces around the product ingredients. Our social channels are really important, too. Here our community can share and be a part of a common thread of inspiration around the wellness category. We by no means advocate against mainstream products as every person should feel the freedom to feel beautiful in any which way they personally want. Being Australian made, certified toxic free  and Peta certified cruelty-free remain our focus.

Jené Roestorf Founder, Luxe Botanics

Our guiding philosophy is nature to nurture, so we play a proactive role in sharing our knowledge about the power of botanicals and how women can instill wellness as part of their daily skincare ritual. We're an avid contributor to clean beauty features, but also write our own fortnightly blog helping to decipher jargon in the natural skincare space as well sharing the science behind some of the most wholesome, nourishing ingredients we’ve come across. Often, we collaborate with like-minded eco- and socially-conscious allies from makeup artists to environmental vloggers. We're also part of an initiative called The Clean Ribbon funding research into the undesirable ingredients found in personal care products helping to increase awareness with our motto #keepitclean.

Romain Gaillard Founder, The Detox Market

Education has been our mission since day one. When we started the first Detox Market in 2010, green beauty was very new. The original idea was to create a two-month pop-up shop to share what we had learned and discovered, and to create a positive and meaningful experience about natural products. Our take was to focus on what was special and amazing about the brands we curated as opposed to concentrating on negative messaging about conventional beauty. We want to inspire, not create fear. We continue to work to clearly define our philosophy, and to collaborate with the most passionate brands and team members. I feel that education is about passion. We convey our green beauty message in stores with our Detox Ambassadors, with in-store events with brand founders and tutorials and through social media. We're also thrilled to have launched our super informative brand new blog, Detox Your Life, and our YouTube channel this year. These are all ways for people to get to know more about the benefits of going green, and to share the DNA of The Detox Market.

Kristi Blustein Founder, KHUS+KHUS  

I use Instagram as a platform to talk about the importance of plants in your daily life and how they actually work within the body. Our approach has always been about educating on how plants work on the person as a whole. Not only do they create healthy skin, but how do they work within the body to manifest healthy skin. KHUS+KHUS has always been an extension of my Ayurvedic and herbalism education. I look at my line of products as plant medicine in a bottle, created to assist in the development of daily self-care practices and assist the body and mind in healing. This message, which I feel is part of a holistic lifestyle, is very different than what the mainstream idea is about skincare products, which looks at things from a topical perspective generally.

Amy Regan CEO, Skinfix Inc.

Education is always a challenge when you are a small brand with limited resources. We approach education a variety of ways, but one of the most important conduits of education are dermatologists. Historically, dermatologists have not been fans of natural products because they are not always thoroughly safety tested on compromised skin, have not been clinically proven following the strict requirements of the medical community, and often contain essential oils that are considered skin irritants. Derms are seeing patients with skin concerns, so safety and efficacy are paramount in their selection of a product to recommend. We attend dermatologist conferences to educate these experts one-on-one about our formulas and efficacy. We also work with the American Dermatology Association and have a dermatologist advisory board with whom we consult on our clinical study protocols. We work with them to publish information regarding the safety and efficacy of our products and to help educate the broader dermatologist community. In turn, dermatologists educate their patients. Consumers are increasingly searching for natural alternatives to daily skin care and prescription medications. However, they are often reticent to use a product to treat a skin concern without the endorsement of a dermatologist or healthcare professional. We also use our clinical data and efficacy story to educate beauty editors and consumers directly about the safety and efficacy of Skinfix products at treating a broad spectrum of skin concerns. Beauty editorial coverage, social media and direct sales via QVC are key ways that we reach consumers with our message that Skinfix is a natural, clinically-proven and dermatologist-recommended brand. In addition, we educate consumers about what ingredients we use to treat specific skin concerns and what nasties we avoid.

Rachel Nye Founder, BOTANē Skin Actives

I believe our public is approaching a mindfulness movement. Mindfulness in what they wash their dishes with, what they put down the drain, and what they put on their skin and into their bodies. Intentional. Educated. Aware. Mainstream is just that, mainstream. The natural health and beauty industry offers a unique yet diverse variety for everyday health and mindful living.  Our mantra is: Clean, Potent and Transformative. We promote minimalism, balance and health without compromising our body or the environment. Our line's foundation is based on the pillars of ancient herbalism, optimising the immunologic power of the human body through Chinese, Ayurvedic and botanical compounds. We see it as a synergistic symphony of natural compounds working together for skin health, integratively, taking practices of ancient wisdom and applying modern science for optimal skin health outcomes.

Lane Edwards Founder, Pura Botanicals

I'm not one to call out other brands. I just think it's important to focus on what we are doing, and share the healthy and clean lifestyle and culture we love to live to inspire others to use natural products. We also focus on visual storytelling and sharing behind-the-scenes in our open production lab to showcase how we make our products and the labour of love that goes into sourcing our ingredients and handcrafting all of our plant-based potions. We are really passionate about sharing the specific and unique benefits of our natural, organic and wild-crafted ingredients, and how they can elevate not only your sense of natural beauty, but why they are intentionally added to our specific formulas depending on the purpose of the product.

Tammy Fender Founder, Tammy Fender

Over the past decade, so many mainstream brands have realized consumers’ depth of interest in wellness, and their wish for more healthful and natural products in general, and they’ve targeted marketing to include buzzwords like organic, natural, eco or green. Instead, I suggest that rather than trusting marketing claims, clients focus on the ingredients list found on the products they use. If something contains ingredients that sound un-natural, then that’s probably the case. I also like to emphasize that whatever we put onto our skin, our largest organ, is just as important as what we eat. We all know this intuitively, but it’s important to clarify that point. The food movement has helped us all become so much more conscious of the importance of the quality in what we eat. We’re also becoming aware of how much the skin absorbs, for better and for worse, when we treat it either chemically or with healing, rich plant-based nutrients.

If you have a question you’d like Beauty Independent to ask beauty entrepreneurs, please send it to editor@beautyindependent.com.