Today, we’re announcing an increased commitment to change the status quo in the beauty industry. Many of you know my story of why I started cocokind - I dealt with a ton of skin issues and could not find a solution that worked for me. But what you might not know is that I toiled with the idea for years without doing anything because I felt like such an outsider to this industry. The beauty industry made me feel uncomfortable in my skin.
The reason why I ended up starting cocokind is that ultimately, I cared so much about creating a better underlying business and product than what currently existed. The things I cared about seemed unpopular: what was IN the bottle (not the bottle itself), sustainability, affordability, making customers feel GOOD, etc.
Fast forward five years later, it feels like the world has caught up to what I care about, which makes me so excited for the future. But while the industry is making improvements every year, unfortunately, we still have so many old and new problems to address. I’ve also noticed that as our industry grows, there seems to be increasing confusion on what is real progress and what is just an empty claim.
We’ve identified some of the current problems in the beauty industry:
- Using claims without transparency, substantiation, or third party regulation
- Acquiring customers through packaging, “wow factor” advertising, or aspirational images
- Selling elitism and exclusivity
- Using important messages (like skin positivity, sustainability, inclusivity, etc.) as marketing strategies without doing the actual work
The fact is: every beauty brand, including cocokind, has been guilty of one or the above, and we need to be better. Just like human beings, companies are not perfect entities and need to constantly evolve and self-reflect. I know that our consumers will give us the permission to learn and grow; and therefore, we have to humbly reflect on what we can do better in order to disrupt the status quo.
In doing this reflection, we realized that so much of how the beauty industry operates is based on things being “the way things are.” For instance, why do we not share more information around our formulas when this could be extremely helpful and empowering for the consumer? We can do so much better than this! We have nothing to hide and that should be the standard, not the exception. Honestly, the risk of a competitor using our formula information is less than the upside that our customers will experience with more transparency. Furthermore, while our ingredients might be “copy-able”, our supply chain, research, and sourcing of our supply chain are not.
Another thing we realized was that using claims like “clean” and “sustainable” no longer reflect all the work that we do. We can’t use these claims unless they are rooted in substance; this has become increasingly questionable as more products enter the market saying the same thing but not backing it up with actions.
We have no interest in hiding behind empty words and calling it a day. I’d much rather show you the work that we are doing, even if it’s “unfinished,” and bring you along for the journey. I strongly believe that it is the responsibility of brands to constantly improve and educate; this onus should not fall on consumers.
To that end, we figured out two solutions to bring more substance and transparency to our products. We’re so excited to roll this out on our packaging and website!
Formula and Sustainability Facts
As we roll out new packaging throughout this year, you’ll start to see a new panel called “Formula Facts.” This panel will show you how we build our ingredients lists based on the building blocks of skincare formulations. Skincare formulas often feel like a black box, but it doesn’t have to be this way! We can all understand what’s in our products more to make the most educated choices as possible.
While we’re on the subject of formulating, we think it’s important to spell out our current formulating standards. These include (but are not limited to):
- Active ingredients are added at effective levels as indicated by manufacturer clinical studies
- We heavily scrutinize each ingredient and the dosage used to ensure they are safe and ethically sourced
- We do not use unnecessary filler ingredients
- We order our ingredients list in descending order, including under the 1% line, even though that is not industry standard
- *UPDATED* We have never used any artificial fragrance but all essential oils are used at under 0.3% total in a formula (previously this amount was at 0.7%)
- We are cruelty-free; in no part of our supply chain do we or our vendors animal test our formula or ingredients
- All formulas are tested for no microbiological growth and stability over time to meet our strict specifications for product safety
- *NEW* All new products will undergo a consumer study with at least 100 participants
Another panel that we’ll be adding to our packaging is our Sustainability Facts panel. This is a longer work in progress (over the next 12 months) as we collect and extensively research the information we need to measure our carbon footprint.
You will see both of these roll out in our packaging throughout this year. As I mentioned above, this is not an end destination; we humbly accept that there is so much we don’t know yet about our carbon footprint, and we continuously evaluate our formulating standards. We might get things wrong along the way, but we are committed to being an example of a transparent, always learning, and more conscious beauty brand.
Read more about how we determine Sustainability Facts here.
We hope you’re as excited as we are to be a part of this movement in changing the status quo. You mean the world to us; we listen to you every day and are endlessly inspired by your values and actions. Thank you for continuing to support us as we evolve.
P, founder and CEO