Company News

EWG Expands Cosmetics Science and Certification Programs

New focus on ingredients, scientific collaboration aims to take ‘clean beauty’ deeper into supply chains.

EWG aims to dramatically extend its influence across the personal care market with a new initiative that will, for the first time, enable cosmetics ingredient manufacturers to earn the coveted EWG VERIFIED: For Your Health certification for individual ingredients and ingredient compositions. 
 
EWG will also launch to the full personal care industry a program it has piloted with leading cosmetics companies, in which EWG scientists collaborate directly with their counterparts at cosmetics brands and with formulators to improve scores in the Skin Deep cosmetics database and evaluate products to earn the EWG VERIFIED mark. 

The new programs build on Skin Deep, the popular web- and app-based consumer guide that draws more than 8 million people a year to its health ratings for 76,000 products and 9,135 ingredients. They also expand the rigorous third-party health and safety certification program for personal care products, EWG VERIFIED, a mark now found on more than 1,800 products sold by almost 300 companies.

These programs also further EWG’s mission to educate consumers on the health and safety of the products they use every day.
 
Certification for Individual Ingredients and Compositions

“As EWG’s Skin Deep has revolutionized consumer awareness about cosmetics safety and EWG VERIFIED has become the premier mark for clean beauty products in recent years, cosmetics ingredient makers and formulators from around the world have asked if their ingredients and proprietary mixtures can qualify for our VERIFIED certification,” said EWG President Ken Cook. 
“EWG is ready to make that happen. The goal of EWG VERIFIED Ingredients is to improve the market for clean personal care earlier in the product formulation process and deeper in the global cosmetics supply chain.”

“Products will still have to meet the EWG VERIFIED standard to carry our mark, which applies to all of a product’s ingredients. But our VERIFIED mark will make clean ingredients easier to source and help drive innovation in key problem areas, like the need for safer options in cosmetics preservatives,” Cook added.
 
Cosmetics Science Collaboration Program

At the same time, EWG will open to all interested personal care companies the cosmetics science collaboration program the organization has pressure-tested for more than three years through contracts with a select group of leading firms in hair care, skin care, fine fragrance and other categories.

Through EWG Reviewed for Science, private sector scientists and formulators work directly with EWG counterparts to improve product scores in Skin Deep or to develop product formulations that can meet the rigorous criteria to earn the EWG VERIFIED mark. 

“The pilot phase of EWG Reviewed for Science made very clear that leading scientists, perfumers and formulators in the private sector are eager to have deeper, direct collaboration with EWG to keep abreast of our Skin Deep ratings system, or to expedite scientific review of products that can ultimately carry the EWG VERIFIED mark into the marketplace,” Cook said.

“At the same time, EWG’s staff have gained enormous insight from private sector experts into cosmetics ingredients and the process of formulating finished, clean beauty products,” he added.
 
Expanded Staff

The organization will dedicate an expanded cosmetics science staff and two new leadership positions to oversee the new initiatives. EWG scientist Carla Burns, who brings years of experience with EWG VERIFIED, will become senior director of Cosmetic Science, with lead responsibility for EWG VERIFIED Cosmetics and Ingredients. Kali Rauhe has been named director of Cosmetic Science and will build on her experience with the program to lead EWG Reviewed for Cosmetics.

According to Rauhe, “One of the keys to a healthier product is to engage with companies before they formulate, not after. The building block for EWG Reviewed is EWG’s proprietary Formulator Assistance Tool, or FaST.”

With FaST reports, formulators receive an in-depth analysis of their product and its ingredient scores. Companies can then make changes to a formula during product development, to improve scores in EWG’s Skin Deep database or meet the uncompromising standards that make EWG VERIFIED the industry’s gold standard.

“In 2020, our team of researchers reviewed the ingredients of more than 23,000 products for inclusion in our various consumer databases,” said Rauhe. “Each week, hundreds of products are submitted from companies that want them rated and added to our databases. And as of today, more than 1,800 products have earned our EWG VERIFIED mark.”  

In addition to new staff positions EWG will add to assist Burns and Rauhe, both the VERIFIED and Reviewed cosmetics programs will continue to be supported by an in-house team of senior scientists – including toxicologists and chemists – to scrutinize every ingredient in each product.

EWG VERIFIED and Reviewed programs are also available for diapers and cleaning products.

Keep up with the story. Subscribe to the Happi free daily
newsletter

Related Breaking News