While the spa industry and indie beauty market have been at the forefront of leading the natural beauty charge, mass market retailers are also jumping on the bandwagon with more natural products and responding to consumer demand for more transparency in the beauty products they sell. Both CVS Pharmacy and Target have recently launched initiatives to remove certain chemicals from their beauty offerings. “In recent years, our guests have prioritized wellness in the beauty space, and we pride ourselves in giving our 30 million guests access to high-performing natural beauty at a great price,” says Target spokesperson Courtney Foster. “Earlier this year, we implemented a new chemical strategy—one of the most comprehensive chemical policies in U.S. retail—because it’s the right thing to do for our guests. This policy promotes ingredient transparency and bans certain chemicals in beauty, baby, personal care, and household cleaning product categories by 2020.”
CVS Pharmacy is also committed to becoming a health and beauty destination for consumers. “Our recent decision to remove parabens, phthalates, and the most prevalent formaldehyde donors from 600 products across our beauty and personal-care store brands portfolio was made based on our customers’ desire for products that provide the benefits they want with fewer ingredients of concern,” says Maly Bernstein, vice president of Beauty and Personal Care at CVS Pharmacy. The demand for more natural products is also proving to be a boon to such retailers. “In fact, almost 100 percent of our growth over the past several years has come from new or smaller beauty brands, many of which are natural, and this trend will certainly continue to grow as we bring in additional natural products to more CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide,” says Bernstein.
Not surprisingly, these mass market retailers are giving natural products their due. For example, Macy’s purchased Bluemercury, a popular beauty retailer that launched its own clean beauty initiative last year, and opened outposts in several of its stores. Natural beauty is now front and center in many stores, including Target. “This year, we launched a new beauty experience in about 75 stores and will continue to roll the experience out across the U.S., increasing to just over 400 stores by the end of 2018,” says Foster. “The elevated experience gives natural beauty products prominent placement near the center of the beauty department alongside fixtures of trial beauty products for guests to test in store.”
Nordstrom also announced it would open natural beauty outposts in 46 of its stores. The retailer also has a section for natural beauty products on its website, as does Sephora and Ulta Beauty. Another indication of this paradigm shift is the purchase of Whole Foods by Amazon. Consumers will now be able to buy natural and organic beauty products under the Whole Foods brand through Amazon’s website. While the word “natural” may mean different things to different people, it’s typically used to describe products that avoid controversial ingredients, such as parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.
As the natural beauty movement continues to grow, consumers will find it increasingly easier to find safe products that they can feel good about using. Says Foster, “Our guests continue to prioritize wellness in the beauty space, and we are committed to making these options more approachable and affordable at mass.”