Brandless on Tuesday announced the expansion of its "Clean Beauty & Personal Care" line, which bans more than 400 potentially harmful ingredients, including sulfates, parabens, phthalates, polypropylene, formaldehyde and synthetic fragrances and are 100% cruelty free, (never tested on animals).
New "clean" items include facial toner, facial scrub, night cream, foot cream, coconut body butter, coconut lip balm and new scents green apple, grapefruit, coconut and mint, according to a company press release emailed to Retail Dive.
The consumer products e-retailer, which prices all items at $3, has also introduced its first beauty and grooming tools, including a carbon steel eyelash curler, cuticle nipper, nail clipper, nail files, tweezers and a double-ended sharpener.
That Brandless has a line dedicated to a "clean" approach to beauty and personal care is a testament to the difficulty of developing such products. That is, the toxins that Brandless has eschewed for this assortment are what make such products easier to use, more palatable or even more effective, and remain in other products it sells.
It's a challenge because such chemicals help lotions feel and smell better or extend their shelf life. Indeed, without many of the chemicals on Brandless's list of 400, it can be hard to maintain a product’s appeal or effectiveness — a conundrum demonstrated by Honest Co.’s struggles a few years ago, when customers complained that its sunscreen allowed severe sunburns, and advocates and journalists found that the brand's laundry detergent contained a chemical that the company had forsworn (and that co-founder Jessica Alba had insisted is a toxin to avoid).
Despite such confusion, spurred in part by a lot of inscrutable chemical names, shoppers in general are increasingly interested in cleaner products, and more retailers and manufacturers are responding to the demand.
Target, for example, last year unveiled a sweeping new chemical strategy, promising increased transparency and healthier, more natural products and operations, which consumer advocates called a "game changer." That effort includes a pledge to list each ingredient in all owned and national brand products — including generics in the fragrance, beauty, baby care, personal care and household cleaning categories — by 2020, a goal that will be supported by an investment of some $5 million in green chemistry innovation by 2022.
Target also said that it has new chemical management goals for 2020 that include formulating beauty, baby care, personal care and household cleaning products without phthalates, propylparaben, butyl-paraben, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-donors or nonylphenol ethoxylates, and by 2022, producing textiles without adding perfluorinated chemicals or flame retardants that are potential carcinogens or pose harm to guests, workers or communities.
Brandless' mission is to eliminate the "brand tax" through a direct to consumer model and products that meet ingredient standards increasingly demanded by today's shoppers seeking cleaner ingredients. The company launched in July 2017 and has been increasing product assortment at a rapid clip and even opened a pop-up shop in Los Angeles in April.