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[podcast] The Ugly Truth About Cosmetic Marketing

August 15, 2017 | Contact Author | By: Brooke Schleehauf
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Woman in lipstick and towel thinking

Keywords: cosmetic regulation | regulatory | cosmetic marketing | cosmetic claims | preservative controversy | makeup regulation | free from cosmetics | Rob Ross-Fichtner | cosmetic podcast | cosmetic misinformation | EWG | Environmental Working Group | junk science | parabens

Abstract: Paraben-free—a marketing term that helped to propel consumer fear of ingredients such as preservatives and sulfates. Rob Ross-Fichtner, of Focal Point Research Inc., shared in an exclusive interview how this movement toward misinformation started, how groups perpetuating consumer mistrust responded and where the industry goes from here.

The cosmetic industry has taken a few hits in a society where it is easier than ever to communicate. Consumer concern over health has translated to a growing movement focused on the safety of certain cosmetic ingredients—and since anybody with an internet connection can reach fellow consumers, this mistrust has sparked a wave of "free-from" marketing, forcing formulators and regulators to catch up.

Rob-Ross Fichtner, of Focal Point Research, Inc., shared his thoughts in an exclusive interview on how this movement has changed the cosmetic industry.

"I've often said that when I started in this industry, it was the scientists who dictated what went into formulas, and the regulators who could comment one way or the other," said Ross-Fichtner. "We have lost that control."

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The cosmetic industry has taken a few hits in a society where it is easier than ever to communicate. Consumer concern over health has translated to a growing movement focused on the safety of certain cosmetic ingredients—and since anybody with an internet connection can reach fellow consumers, this mistrust has sparked a wave of "free-from" marketing, forcing formulators and regulators to catch up.

Rob-Ross Fichtner, of Focal Point Research, Inc., shared his thoughts in an exclusive interview on how this movement has changed the cosmetic industry.

"I've often said that when I started in this industry, it was the scientists who dictated what went into formulas, and the regulators who could comment one way or the other," said Ross-Fichtner. "We have lost that control."

Listen below for Ross-Fichtner's take on:

"It is a brave new world, where I don't think there is a parallel [industry]," said Ross-Fichtner.

Correction: The app mentioned at 10:20 in this interview is named Skin Deep, not Think Dirty as previously reported. Skin Deep was recently added to the EWG's Healthy Living app.