There are than 80,000 chemicals in personal-care products on the market today. BeautyCounter is addressing this issue by working toward eliminating formulas that are harmful to our bodies. Since 1938, the United States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal-care products.
The European Union has already banned or partially restricted over 1,400 ingredients from personal-care products, and Canada has banned less than 600. Meanwhile, the U.S. has only banned 30 of these ingredients.
BeautyCounter’s initiative began in 2013 and, since then, it has been providing products that do not include any harmful chemicals.
Julia Muro, a junior business administration major, started working as a consultant for BeautyCounter after a family friend introduced her to its products.
She tried a few of the products offered by her friend and then was asked to join the team as a junior consultant, Muro said. She enjoys finding products that work for her clients and fit their skin type, she said, especially because she knows what they’re using is good for their skin too.
Caroline Jones, senior, was introduced to BeautyCounter through a family friend. Jones has chemical allergies to personal-care products and can only use certain brands, she said.
She thought that BeautyCounter’s mission statement was important and really enjoyed being able to use their products, so she became a consultant to promote them, Jones said. People, and women especially, should be aware of what they’re putting on their skin, she said.
Jones worked with BeautyCounter during her freshman and sophomore year as a student at Richmond, and may return to its team after graduation, she said. Muro is still a consultant with BeautyCounter and is planning on becoming more involved on its team, she said.
Muro said she has always been interested in health and wellness, and BeautyCounter had allowed her to encourage that interest in a new, up-and-coming market.
“It’s unique to see the action that BeautyCounter takes to Capitol Hill and that they do actually lobby for amendments to the U.S.’s current Food and Drug Association policies,” Muro said.
While the prices for BeautyCounter’s products are higher than some other beauty brands, Jones believes that women would be willing to pay more if they were well educated on the risks of chemicals in other brands.
Both Muro and Jones hope that bringing this mission to campus will allow other students to become aware of the risks as well, they said.
BeautyCounter offers a “Never List” of chemicals that it has promised will never appear in the products it offers. In addition, the Environmental Working Group has an online resource called “Skin Deep” that ranks personal-care brands and products, explaining what’s harmful in each.
The app “Think Dirty” also provides a mobile option to learn about potentially toxic ingredients in personal products while shopping. A barcode scanner provides information on the product and tracks the toxic ingredients, while offering cleaner options.
“BeautyCounter stands for more than just selling products to its customers,” Muro said. “It’s purpose overtime could have a great effect on our industry and provide more knowledge nationwide.”
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