I’ve used primarily natural skincare products for years but admittedly it wasn’t until recently that I started to think about where my beauty products were made. I’ve been checking all of my labels and I found that a lot of my products were made here… but some were made in surprising places. I wanted to learn more about the industry, so I did some research and spoke with two of my favorite skincare experts, Adina Grigore of S.W. Basics and Suzanne LeRoux of One Love Organics… what I learned is that American made beauty products may be the ideal, but numerous responsible options exist. Read on to learn more about what to consider when purchasing:
Beauty products are subject to similar regulation as other production processes in a country, so look to responsible producers such as the US, the EU, Australia, and Japan for your beauty products. The EU has the strictest regulation, which can explain why ingredient lists on European products seem much longer than on other products – there may not actually be more ingredients than other products, but companies are required to list more information. Some national brands will make an EU version of a product and a version for the rest of the world – if this is the case, the EU version is likely your best option.
Product Safety + Integrity.
Exotic ingredients are frequently used in beauty products – these products typically come from developing countries, where you are more likely to run the risk of human, labor, and environmental exploitation. Focus on supporting brands that utilize fair trade ingredients, which are closely regulated and help to empower individuals around the world.
Everyone has had a bad experience with a beauty product at some time or another – by purchasing products from smaller (non-mass) companies, you have a better opportunity to speak to the maker or the company itself to learn about the product and how it will benefit you, or to share your experience and prevent other people from a similar one.
Is the brand open about the products? Is there a way to access someone to ask questions? Most smaller American made beauty brands have become incredible pioneers in terms of product and ingredient transparency and are doing far more than they are technically required to do, thus raising the bar for all brands.
All products made in China must undergo animal testing.
Big companies have million dollar advertising budgets. The amount of money spent advertising the newest lipstick or face wash is incredible. But when you are purchasing a $3 lipstick/face wash/etc., you are paying as much for what is in the lipstick as the marketing itself, which is a little scary. Conversely, when you purchase a $20 product from a smaller brand, you are most likely just paying for the ingredients and labor in the product as these brands focus less attention on marketing and more on making amazing product.
For every $1 of goods produced in the USA, an additional $1.43 is generated for the economy. It can be really, really hard to produce in America, but it’s easier to create beauty products than some other products. The more we support domestic production, the more it will grow.