“Conscious Beauty. Clean Beauty. Green Beauty. Sustainable Packaging. Selfcare. Wellness. Health. Safety…”
These are key buzzwords for today’s conscious makeup and beauty consumer. The consumer strives to protect the environment, prevent animal testing, ensure healthy ingredients, guarantee fairness in manufacturing and labor, and support noble social causes — all while looking beautiful.
Now more than ever due to COVID-19, consumers are seriously looking at how and where their beauty products are sourced. They want safe, healthy, regulated, high-quality products, especially since cosmetics and creams can be quickly absorbed into the skin.
But did you know that many American beauty brands do not make their cosmetics in the U.S.? This became readily apparent during COVID, when many beauty brands experienced severe supply chain disruptions, due in large part to their sourcing and manufacturing locations. And when beauty products are not made in the U.S., there’s no guarantee about their ingredients, whether they test on animals, follow health and safety regulations, or practice quality control in manufacturing. Frankly, I was surprised to learn that some of America’s most iconic beauty brands were manufacturing abroad and still testing on animals.
Recently I had a beauty awakening. I realized that the largest consumers of beauty products in the world are right here in America. In fact, average consumer spending in the U.S. is $43 on one-time purchases, and $15,000 over a lifetime, making the American beauty market a $90 billion-dollar industry. What if I could create a beauty brand that was fully Made in America? A brand that could guarantee high-quality ingredients that were non-GMO, cruelty-free, and paraben-free? A brand that would create more jobs in America and help bolster the economy?
I had no idea how difficult it would be to source and manufacture beauty products in the U.S. My search was eye-opening, to say the least, and I admit I became very frustrated along the way. Many cosmetics manufacturers I contacted immediately dismissed the idea out of hand, noting that most beauty products are made in other countries due to cost savings. Some told me that they manufacture only half of their products domestically and the other half abroad. Others told me that they sourced their components and ingredients from five different countries — none of them from the U.S. But after spending eight months in an exhaustive search, I finally found my needle in a haystack buried deep in the heart of Texas. I found a company that believed in my vision of creating America’s Beauty Brand and could help me source all my ingredients in the U.S.
Some would argue that “Made in America” is a loaded phrase in the current political climate, but now that both presidential candidates have proclaimed the importance of stimulating the U.S. economy by shifting production back home, we can put politics aside.
Why aren’t more makeup brands manufactured in the U.S.? The number one reason is cost. It’s less expensive to manufacture abroad. Thus the ability to pass those savings on to consumers. However, a recent survey noted that 80 percent of Americans prefer products with the “Made in USA” tag. So much so, that 60 percent of those surveyed said they are willing to pay 10 percent more for Made in America goods. One of the reasons for this preference is quality. Sixty-six percent of Americans said they associate “Made in America” with higher quality. So if more beauty brands brought their manufacturing back to America, even with a slightly higher price point, they would likely maintain their customer base without sacrificing quality.
Especially now in the age of COVID, the conscious beauty consumer would be well served by beauty brands that strive to ensure quality, health, safety, and integrity in the manufacturing, labor, and testing environment. Bringing beauty manufacturing back to America makes smart business sense. But our health and safety may very well depend upon it.
Randa Fahmy, is the founder of Makeup America!, a new Made in America beauty brand reflecting the American Spirit of resiliency, independence, diversity, and beauty. Featured in Allure, Cosmopolitan, on Dancing With The Stars, Fox & Friends, and by the U.S. Olympic Committee. Makeup America’s empowering social purpose is reflected in the motto “Do Good, Look Great” in which they donate $1 from every product sold to help pay down the U.S. National Debt.