Revealing Your Brand’s Dirty Little Secrets

We’ve all seen it. The products packaged with messaging that claims what’s inside is natural, pure, eco –  and free of this and that. Add a leaf or two, and a cool shade of green and you think you are picking up a product that is good for you, your home and your family. Think again. Look past the clever creative and flip that bottle, package or tube over.

Why? Those buzzwords mentioned above are not regulated. The FDA is not required to regulate and approve beauty and skincare products. The biggest culprit? Fragrance. The fragrance industry is protected by patent/trade secret laws, which allows them to hide ingredients. Legally there can be a combination of nearly 3,000 ingredients under the one name “fragrance”.

This growing awareness of ingredients has led to the “clean beauty movement” – similar to the clean-eating movement, this trend pushes the consumer into the driver seat and empowers them to own their decisions. It also shakes up the creative for brands that have attempted to establish themselves as natural and healthy. We see you, Mrs. Meyers.

Today, with just a scan of a barcode, you can sort through the ingredients in your beauty, personal care and household products. For example, the Think Dirty® app is free and easy to use and gives you insight and alternatives to products that may feature toxins. Brands can no longer hide from the educated consumer.

Brands Getting It Right

The new clean beauty brands strive to be transparent about their ingredients and appeal to the consumers looking to know what’s going on their skin. Bestselling clean beauty brands for MECCA include “cult brands” such as Drunk Elephant (which is almost 100% vegan), Dr. Dennis Gross, Urban Decay, Chantecaille, Tarte and Edible Beauty.

What’s the takeaway from all this? Be honest in your marketing. Build brand relationships based on trust and transparency. Because no matter what, someone, some movement, will uncover something wrong. Do it right the first time.

Rebecca Wrenn

Director of Client Services and Operations

Rebecca joined Sweeney in 2014 as an account executive and subsequently shifted roles in 2016 to support the agency leadership team in successfully establishing a highly effective, full-service creative capability, including branding, design, and video production services. In 2020, she pivoted once again to take on a senior account leadership role while simultaneously leading agency operations. With nearly a decade of strategic marketing, communications and creative experience, Rebecca currently directs several agency account teams, while also managing critical aspects of agency’s operations. Her deep knowledge of the account management process and her high creative aptitude are an exceptional benefit to the agency and its clients.