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>> "Market Shift" Report FAQs


For more information, please see Market Shift: The story of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics and the growth in demand for safe cosmetics (2011)

What was the goal of the Compact?

Why did the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics close the Compact for Safe Cosmetics?

How many companies signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics?

The Market Shift report highlights 432 of the Compact Signers. What did these “Champion” and “Innovator” companies do?

What is the difference between a Champion and an Innovator?

Does this mean that these Champions’ and Innovators’ products are totally safe?

How do I purchase products from Champion and Innovator companies?

Will companies and consumers still be able to use EWG's Skin Deep database to research safer ingredients and products?

Is the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics going away?

How do business owners engage with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics now that the Compact is closed to new signers?

What about the other companies that signed the Compact but did not reach Champion or Innovator status, or companies that never signed the Compact? 

Q: What was the goal of the Compact?

A: The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics created the Compact for Safe Cosmetics to raise the bar in the cosmetics industry with respect to the safety of cosmetics and personal care products. Specifically, the Compact was a tool to reward cosmetic companies that fully disclose their ingredients and do not use chemicals that are banned by health agencies in other countries.

Q: Why did the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics close the Compact for Safe Cosmetics?

A: In August 2011, the Campaign brought the Compact project to a close. We were amazed by the number companies that signed the Compact, and it was challenging for us – a coalition of nonprofit organizations – to manage the volume of data and communication required to publicly reflect company efforts to meet this pledge. The Compact resulted in many significant relationships and proved that making safer products is not only doable but also great for business. Although we’ve closed the Compact project, the Campaign is still thriving and we will continue our work to move the cosmetics industry away from harmful chemicals.

Q: How many companies signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics?

A: More than 1,500 companies signed the compact over its seven-year existence.

Q: The Market Shift report highlights 432 of the Compact Signers. What did these “Champion” and “Innovator” companies do?

A: These companies have truly broken the mold: 322 of the companies achieved Champion status by meeting the goals of the Compact. An additional 110 companies achieved Innovator status, indicating that these companies made significant progress toward meeting the goals. Please see the full report for more information. The list of these companies is available on our website and in the report appendix.

Q: What is the difference between a Champion and an Innovator?

A: In order to get the highest status of Champion, companies had to fulfill the tenets of the Compact, which include:

  • Comply with the European Union’s Cosmetics Directive, widely considered the global gold standard of cosmetics safety regulation;
  • Disclose all ingredients, including ingredients in “fragrance,” which in the United States can be claimed as “trade secrets,” even when they contain hormone disruptors, carcinogens and other harmful chemicals;
  • Publish and regularly update product information in EWG’s Skin Deep cosmetics database;
  • Comply with any additional ingredient prohibitions and restrictions under the Compact and substitute ingredients of concern with safer alternatives; and
  • Participate in the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Innovators made meaningful progress, but did not reach full Compact compliance. These companies entered at least 75% of their products into Skin Deep, participated in the Campaign within one calendar year of March 15, 2011, and may or may not have fully disclosed all constituents of proprietary ingredients.

Q: Does this mean that these Champions’ and Innovators’ products are totally safe?

A: The Campaign wants to underscore that in the absence of adequate government oversight of the cosmetics industry, consumers must remain vigilant about researching product safety and asking companies questions about ingredients and transparency. As always, we recommend that consumers read ingredient labels, avoid undisclosed “fragrance” and other proprietary ingredients, and check the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep database—the world’s largest personal care product safety guide—for safety scores on particular products and brands.

Q: How do I purchase products from Champion and Innovator companies?

A: Click here to search a list of the companies that achieved Champion and Innovator status. We link to each company's website (if they have one), where you can find information about purchasing products. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a nonprofit coalition and does not sell or recommend particular products.

Q: Will companies and consumers still be able to use EWG's Skin Deep database to research safer ingredients and products?

A: EWG’s Skin Deep database will still be available for researching the safety of ingredients and products. Companies looking to enter new products into Skin Deep (or update products already in the database) can contact EWG directly at SkinDeep@ewg.org. (Thank you in advance for your patience; the Skin Deep technicians receive a large volume of emails.)

Q: Is the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics going away?

A: No, not at all! We will continue to advocate for safe personal care products for everyone through our work with businesses, policy makers, communities and individuals. Closing the Compact will actually free up more Campaign time for research and report-writing, education and outreach, and working closely with businesses committed to safety and sustainability via the Safe Cosmetics Business Network.

Q: How do business owners engage with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics now that the Compact is closed to new signers?

A: Through the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Business Network. The Business Network is an alliance of businesses that helps to educate others in the industry, consumers and policymakers about the need for a safer, stronger, greener market. Members of the Safe Cosmetics Business Network agree to do their part to:

  • stimulate the innovation of safe, non-toxic personal care products;
  • protect consumers, workers and the environment from exposure to chemicals linked to cancer, reproductive harm and other adverse health impacts; and
  • ensure everyone in the U.S. has access to safe personal care products, regardless of geography or income.

Q: What about the other companies that signed the Compact but did not reach Champion or Innovator status, or companies that never signed the Compact?

A: Many of the Compact signing companies that did not reach Champion or Innovator status are making cosmetics with safer ingredients than conventional cosmetics companies. And, many newer companies that are making safe products did not get a chance to participate in the Compact since we did not accept new signers after early 2011.

We cannot say if these or other companies that do not appear on the list of Champions or Innovators are using only safe ingredients and being fully transparent. And on the other hand, if a product is marketed as “natural,” “organic” or “free of” a certain ingredient, it is not necessarily safe. This ambiguity is yet another reason why consumers need to read labels, use the Skin Deep database, and ultimately, why we need to pass the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act.