In some ways, having a choice is a good thing. In others, it can be overwhelming. There are more and more seemingly “green” products on store shelves which show that demand is increasing. But for the average consumer, labels can be tricky or misleading.
There are a number of great programs and initiatives out there working to help us navigate the waters and I recently learned of another: CertClean. It is the latest in clean beauty certification. I wanted to learn more about the program, so I gave Toronto-based founder Jenise Lee a call.
Read on to learn more about the latest, made-in-Canada, clean beauty certification program.
An Interview With CertClean Founder
What is CertClean?
CertClean is North America's largest certification for safer skincare. You'll find well over 1000 safer personal care products bearing the CertClean certification. We're committed to making it easy for shoppers to discover safer skincare and our vision is to have clean beauty products in every home.
How are products certified?
When a product is submitted for certification, CertClean reviews ingredient lists and certifies personal care products which comply with our Standards. CertClean certified products do not contain over 1400 prohibited chemicals consisting of carcinogens, neurotoxins and more. The products must also follow standard ingredient naming guidelines and must disclose all ingredients on product labels. So, umbrella terms like “fragrance”, “parfum”, or “proprietary blends of essential oils” are not eligible for certification.
How did CertClean come up with the list of 1400 prohibited ingredients in your Standards?
Determined in conjunction with experts in toxics, environmental issues, and certification protocols, the Standards were based on public data, journals by not-for-profit and governmental agencies. We also conducted a several month long public consultation before finalizing the Standards.
There is so much greenwashing out there, how does CertClean help shoppers navigate labels?
When all it takes is one organic ingredient for a beauty product to be labeled organic, there is indeed a lot of greenwashing going on! One way to reduce greenwashing is to truly distinguish the safer products from conventional beauty products.
Shoppers can look for the CertClean certification mark on products and online. In early 2017, it will be really easy for shoppers to browse through certified products AND read product reviews from real people.
Then, much like the ‘organic' portions in grocery stores, shoppers will find sections marked with CertClean in Pharmasaves, salon, and other retail outlets! This way, at a glance, shoppers can instantly know what is certified and what isn't. We're making our mark – pun kinda intended!
There are other certifications and rating systems out there already that many of us are familiar with. What makes CertClean different?
You can see that we are very customer-centric. As for the certification process itself, CertClean’s process is binary – the product either complies or it doesn’t. Rating systems can be confusing as a scale or range is open to interpretation. The review website is something that doesn’t exist yet and we’re really excited to provide consumers with that tool.
How will the review site work?
Imagine a Trip Advisor site exclusively for personal care products already certified by CertClean. This way, to find their ideal clean beauty product, shoppers can search through product reviews made by real users! CertClean's site will be perfect for those who care about clean beauty products' function as well as the formulation.
We’re currently in the development phase for the review site. As part of this initiative, we’ve curated clean beauty boxes to show you how great these products really are. Proceeds will help fund the development of the non-toxic beauty review site – the campaign ends November 22nd. You can learn more here.