While the natural and organic beauty industry is projected to reach $24 billion by 2024, finding your favorite clean brand—or discovering one that meets your nontoxic needs—at a mass retailer can still be an exercise in frustration. Now, your next trip to makeup mecca Sephora may find you leaving as one happy customer: On June 1, the chain launched a clean beauty section.
True to its roots, Sephora is utilizing its brilliant retail strategy to draw customers into its Clean at Sephora campaign. In stores, the new section will group clean products together, making it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for; online, pages will be labeled with a Clean at Sephora stickers to make perusing a breeze. And, in a quest to further engage its consumers, the Sephora app will include a “Clean” component.
While the natural beauty industry does not adhere to one set of ingredient standards, Sephora has set its own rules about what its clean products can contain, and which ingredients are forbidden. The major retailer chain’s Clean section eliminates ingredients that most naturals would never go near: no sulfates (SLS and SLES), parabens, formaldehydes and formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinylpalmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan and triclocarban.
Fragrances have stricter standards, but not all potentially hazardous ingredients are being whisked off Sephora’s shelves. Green, clean beauties in the know will notice synthetic ingredients, as well as a few ingredients that the cleanest of lines would avoid (phenoxyethanol, to name one), present in some Clean at Sephora brands. Still, with 50 brands and 2,000 products to choose from at launch, customers can shop Clean at Sephora according to their preferences, and begin make more informed choices when it comes to ingredients.
In addition to launching the Clean at Sephora section, Sephora is also looking to minimize its environmental impact. North American stores will be illuminated by LED lights; the Bay Area will see a zero-emissions delivery truck. And, as the plastics conundrum grows worldwide, the retail chain has launched its private label lipstick in a cardboard tube—proof that when conscious consumers vote with their wallets, shift happens.
Inspired to clean up your makeup routine? Discover this makeup artist’s must-have clean picks for warmer weather.