Oct 11, 2019
Most people might not find the idea of a glossary terribly exciting, but to me, providing this information on our ingredients is passing the torch of knowledge from the company to the consumer. This is part of our movement from a place of ‘no’ to a place of ‘yes’ where we explain what we are using, what it does, and why. I hope you visit the glossary and feel equipped and empowered to make better beauty choices in your life. Sarah Creal
Reading ingredient labels feels like the act of decoding another language. There are strings of multisyllabic words ending in -oxide and -ethyl that even the most in-the-know would struggle to pronounce correctly—let alone understand what’s actually going onto their skin. Whether labeled clean beauty or otherwise, ingredient transparency is hard to come by for brands. Beauty lovers alike are left to continually question, is this safe? What is this actually doing? And with the launch of Victoria Beckham Beauty, also came the launch of the Ingredient Glossary.
It's a detailed index of every ingredient from every formulation, the what and why, from A-Z. Anything that you want to know about the products you’re using, laid out in the open. If an eyeshadow glides smoothly across the lids, the reason why can be traced back to a key ingredient in the glossary—where one can find descriptions of skincare benefits and performance factors. (In the case of silky-to-the-touch eyeshadow, you’d be looking for Hyaluronic Acid Powder Complex.) Peptides and polymers, colorants and quartz can be found in the glossary and identified by their function, whether it's improving texture, preserving the formula, or imparting a brilliant sheen. Every ingredient is brought to light with its clearly stated intent, no longer a mystery.
Collaboration between product development with the research and development teams led to this long-awaited resource, with the promise of expansion for future products. Victoria Beckham Beauty’s Head of Product Innovation, Cierra Sherwin notes “It goes to show that everything is serving a purpose.” The process began with a review of ingredient lists. Materials are defined and labeled based on information gathered from suppliers and professional cosmetic databases. It was then compiled into a glossary for anyone to read and learn from, an idea that stems from the brand’s foundational commitment to education. “Victoria wanted to educate herself, and everyone else, by arming us all with information in order for customers to make a well-informed decision.” says Cierra. Inspired by Victoria’s visit to a luxury department store beauty counter where associates struggled to explain what each product’s ingredients really did, ingredient transparency was a priority from the very beginning.
But, not only is it vital to highlight what products are formulated with, but without. The Excluded Ingredient List states the 40 ingredients vetoed from the product line-up and that the brand remains conscious of. Throughout the product development process, standards were raised to meet the EU’s more closely regulated cosmetics laws (with 1000+ ingredients banned, compared to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s mere 11). Victoria Beckham Beauty took a step further by eliminating more ingredients with inconclusive data. Keri Biddiscombe, a Victoria Beckham Beauty research & development collaborator, spoke to the challenges and the importance of this effort, and a commitment to moving cosmetic chemistry forward. “There are a lot more options [for raw materials] then there were 10 years ago, and there’s no excuse not to provide customers with something clean and luxurious.” The goal is a clear balance between clean and efficacious. Cierra says, “sacrificing performance is never an option, and we don’t believe we have to.”
If you’ve ever wondered what makes an eyeliner so blendable, or what types of alcohol can help or harm a formula, there’s a glossary entry for that. More importantly, it’s widely available for all to reference. As consumers and fans of beauty, knowing what we’re using and why it works instead of having blind faith can be incredibly empowering. Plus, once no longer lost in translation, ingredients can be fun to say. Hya-lu-ro-nic.