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Published June 26, 2020
Published June 26, 2020
Foodism360 via Unsplash

The global natural cosmetics market is estimated to be worth $36bn in 2019 and is now predicted to grow to $54bn by 2027. According to NPD, prestige clean beauty is up 11 percent this year despite beauty’s 14 percent decline. “Clean beauty is about safety. And today, there is nothing people are more concerned about than safety,” said Larissa Jensen, NPD’s Vice President and beauty industry adviser.

However, the clean, green, and everything in between movement has made transparency a top priority—consumers are demanding it. While the clean beauty movement has been the driver of ingredient transparency, the industry has been historically secretive especially when it comes to the supply chain. There is little regulation when it comes to clean claims made by brands, and achieving transparency down to the source at the ingredient level can be a daunting and labor-intensive commitment.

Retailers have stepped in and filled the void by establishing their own clean standards to help consumers navigate brands, products, and claims. Sephora created the “Clean at Sephora” seal in 2018 in response to the overwhelming demand from ingredient-conscious consumers’ need for an easy way to shop products free of controversial ingredients. Through research and insights, Sephora uncovered that more than 60% of women read beauty product labels prior to purchase and that 54% claim it’s important for their skincare products to have a POV on clean.

Sephora is now taking its commitment to clean a step further. Sephora has partnered with Novi, an ingredient technology platform, to help brand partners implement Sephora’s public chemicals policy and capture the rapidly growing market of consumers looking for safe and sustainable products. Sephora’s public-facing chemicals policy was established in July 2019 with the goal of reducing the use of chemicals identified as high priority for reduction and elimination in the products it sells, and committing to work with its brands to replace these ingredients with safer alternatives.

Novi has developed an AI tech-enabled solution to bridge the gap between the consumer’s demand for greater supply chain transparency and the brand’s ability to deliver the information. Novi securely ingests and manages proprietary chemical data from ingredient suppliers at scale and conducts third-party assessments of each raw material. Novi’s platform is the one-stop-shop where brands get insights into the ingredients they need to replace in order to meet Sephora’s Public Chemicals Policy, and if interested, to achieve the “Clean at Sephora” seal. Brands get instant access to a vast network of safer alternative ingredients from pre-vetted ingredient suppliers that meet their standards for health, environment, and supply chain transparency—as well as efficacy and performance.

“Novi has been an incredible platform to showcase our leading-edge technologies for sustainable ingredients and safer alternatives in front of brands actively reformulating to meet consumer demands for safer alternatives,” says Lisa Gandolfi, Ph.D., Director of Marketing at INOLEX, one of the ingredient suppliers on the Novi platform.

As consumer expectations for product safety and improved product sustainability continue to rise, Novi is helping brands meet this consumer demand, quickly. “Novi is providing an innovative service to brands we’ve never seen before,” says Carley Klekas, Sephora’s Senior Manager of Product Sustainability. “The public chemicals policy is crucial to Sephora, showing clients we are prioritizing ingredient safety and sustainability, but it can be challenging for some brands to act on, which is why Novi is a game-changer in helping brands get more sustainable products into the hands of our clients.”


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