Natural Beauty: A Credo to Believe in Brooklyn

Natural Beauty A Credo to Believe in Brooklyn

An oasis of natural beauty and cosmetics products, Credo is located on a retail-lined street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Last night, September 27, 2017 the store welcomed a panel of clean beauty entrepreneurs who spoke with New York Times beauty writer, Founder of Ellis Brooklyn, and author of the new book “Skin Deep” Bee Shapiro about their journeys and the evolving popularity of natural beauty products.

What is the Biggest Challenge You Faced Working in the Natural Beauty Space? What Implications Does the Growth of Natural Beauty Carry?

Heather K. Terry, Vice President of Sales at S.W. Basics

“My background is in the food industry and I have seen that the natural beauty industry has faced similar challenges. Manufacturers were comfortable and understood the process as it was. We had to convince them that making natural beauty products with 5 ingredients or less could really be that simple. It took constant dialogue and metrics to get them to buy in to the idea that clean beauty is not just a trend, it’s the future, and if they don’t adapt, their business will suffer. For example, getting ramped up for distributing S.W. Basics to Target was a huge challenge. HSN has become a big distributor to the United Arab Emirates where the demand for niche beauty brands from the U.S. is high. We’re at this tipping point where there’s so much demand for a product that is made from a limited pool of ingredients. As the market evolves, we will see a lot of problems – commoditized crops, massive amounts at the stabilized price, and costs rising for more obscure ingredients.”

Bee Shapiro, New York Times beauty writer, Founder of Ellis Brooklyn

“The natural space is not all about being glossy, it’s about farmers and the differences in quality you see from working with different farms. Perfumery is strongly tied to manufacturing. For Ellis Brooklyn, we work with one of the last family-owned farms to ensure high quality.

Anju Rupal, Founder of Abhati

“In the natural beauty industry it’s important to improve transparency around working with farmers, deal with the value chain, and ensure that the farm to product process is true. We were initially struggling with telling our story, but managed to get a team of renowned experts who work pro-bono because they want to give back.”

The Word “Natural” Can be Confusing to People – What Does “Natural” in the Beauty Industry mean to You?

Katharine L’Heureux, Founder and CEO of Kahina Giving Beauty

I love the term natural because it evokes that these ingredients are actually grown, that they are harvested from the Earth and they make a difference. I relate natural to clean and sustainable. In few cases Kahina Giving Beauty has a product that has 0.2% preservatives, but you can do so much by using anise and rosemary, which are natural preservatives. The key is to be transparent and let the customer decide for themselves.”

Essential elliss – Pro or Anti?

Katharine L’Heureux, Founder and CEO of Kahina Giving Beauty

“Essential oils have amazing benefits, but they are so powerful, you need to be careful. You need to know your specific reactions to essential oils, what you can handle.”

Bee Shapiro, New York Times beauty writer, Founder of Ellis Brooklyn

“All dermatologists that I know see patients who buy essential oils and put it directly on their skin. When I created my perfumery brand I found out that you need so much essential oil that sometimes it’s not the safest. The molecules that perfumeries came up in the 50s and 60s were safest. Chanel No. 5 and Guerlain created scents that contained no absolutes or phthalates; they used synthetics to give it that lift and so mass brands are anti essential oils.

Anju Rupal, Founder of Abhati

“I also have to address their phenomenon. At Abhati we have a clean, high-tech space to naturally isolate molecules from essential oils and use that to set the products. It’s an expensive process, but it’s the only way to make essential oils safe to use.”

What is One Product that People Who Want a Clean Beauty Routine Should Switch Out?

“Body care and deodorant, the last should be something like mascara” – Bee

“Shampoo” – Anju

What About Finding Natural Sunscreens?

Katharine L’Heureux, Founder and CEO of Kahina Giving Beauty

For those who don’t know nanoparticles are piece of a material that is so small it has to be measured in nanometers. Nanoparticles enter your bloodstream. Anju and I were in Australia and we discovered that they ban sunscreens with nanoparticles. Some good non-nano sunscreens are Hungarian brand Omorovicza and Skinceuticals Universal Tint. Also beware that products with oxybenzone dispensed out of a spray kills coral reefs.

The Beauty: The presence of natural beauty products is overwhelmingly online, which is a tough buy for tactile shoppers like me. Having both skincare and cosmetics into a space where I don’t have to worry about toxic chemicals or animal testing is a joy. Credo also has a program to give back called “Lipstick Angels” where they provide cosmetic services to seriously ill patients and other individuals.

The Bitch: The gift bags at the back of the store were only available with purchase of over $75. As someone coming to learn more about the clean beauty movement, I feel that they should have at least given out some samples.

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