At the beginning of the movement, definitions of clean beauty differed. Clean beauty means different things to different people, depending on the brands they use, where they live, and where they buy the products.
Fast forward to now, and the work of beauty retailers and brands to define what clean beauty means has done much to create a more coherent philosophy behind clean beauty.
Voesh was one of the pioneering clean beauty brands in the skincare category and has come to epitomize what the movement is all about. In this interview, Vera Oh, CEO of Voesh Corp, explains how the business is defined by philosophy and how it has helped her build a loyal consumer base.
CosmeticsDesign-USA: How has the skincare category changed over the last decade, and what did clean beauty look like when the brand was founded?
Vera Oh: Ten years ago, in 2013, we founded Voesh in New York as a hand and foot care business for the professional beauty industry. Before that, I worked in the electronics industry and didn’t know much about beauty products. I had to immerse myself in studying ingredients, formulas, cosmetic regulations and laws.
I distinctly remember being stunned by the lack of regulations and the widespread use of unknown and potentially harmful chemicals in skin care products, especially professional-grade products. At that time, the “clean eating” movement was gaining momentum and beginning to influence the beauty industry. This shift towards clean beauty involved removing harmful or questionable ingredients from formulations.
CDU: When did clean beauty become important and how did Voesh adapt its marketing to the movement?
VO: In late 2013, we took an important step by labeling our products “vegan” and educating our customers about the positive changes we were making. We have removed potentially harmful ingredients like Paraben, Benzophenone, Triclosan and more from our formulations. In addition, we made the bold decision to align our formulas with European Union (EU) regulations and increased transparency by disclosing perfume allergens on our labels. This was a bold move for a small company, especially a start-up business like ours, but we were determined to make it happen.
Today, we have removed more than 400 additional ingredients beyond the 1,680+ that are banned in the EU. Looking back, our customers appreciated our efforts but did not fully understand its importance. Our primary focus for the first 2-3 years was on training efforts for both technicians and end users with the overall goal of ensuring security.
CDU: What does clean beauty mean to Voesh?
VO: Clean beauty is the cornerstone of our brand’s identity. more than a simple marketing slogan. It embodies our commitment and is the fundamental reason for our existence. In our opinion, the concept of “clean” should not be static but constantly evolving. We remain steadfast in our commitment to providing beauty products that are clean, transparent, ethical and always animal-free. We approach this mission with an unwavering mindset of continuous improvement and progress.
UDC: How can brands prove their clean beauty claims?
VO: Verifying clean beauty claims involves a multifaceted process because there are no official rules or regulations. It is important to know that “clean beauty” is not regulated by official standards; Therefore, brands need to be transparent and honest. One way to support these claims is to fully list all ingredients, including perfume allergens, on product labels and a clear list of those not included in the formula.
Third-party testing such as the Cosmetic Product Safety Report (CPSR) and allergen testing by dermatologists increase reliability. Certifications such as the EWG seal can also increase trust. Because “clean beauty” can be subjective, it’s vital that brands educate customers and avoid misleading claims. Brands need to be open to new science and data in order to constantly produce better products.
UDC: Where can brands go wrong with clean beauty claims?
VO: Some brands use “clean beauty” as a marketing trend, even though their products aren’t actually clean. They may say “natural,” “organic,” or “clean” without proof. This may mislead customers.
UDC: How will Voesh continue her clean beauty philosophy?
VO: We believe that clean beauty is the future, not a passing fad or trend; More precisely, it is the future of the entire beauty industry. Over the past decade, we have continually evolved towards a state of cleaner formulation, ethical integrity, transparency and effectiveness. Our commitment is unwavering and drives us to push the boundaries in an era of cleaner and superior clean beauty. Three years ago, we began a journey to remarkable success: creating a patent-pending vegan probiotic ingredient by fermenting Napa cabbage. This ingredient will strengthen the skin’s natural defenses and improve overall skin health. It fits perfectly with our commitment to green chemistry and innovative approaches for the future.
Clean beauty is all about continuous learning and caring for people. No one is perfect when it comes to “clean beauty,” and the entire industry should invest time and effort into green chemistry while maintaining a daily improvement mindset.