Tag: laws

Clean Beauty…or Dirty Business?

The “clean” beauty movement is picking up steam. Health-conscious consumers are paying more attention to ingredients applied to their bodies and are looking for products made without harmful chemicals. In response to the demand, some popular cosmetics companies are now offering so-called, “clean” beauty lines. Companies considering joining this trend should take into account the substantial legal risks.

A look at the food industry’s use of the adjectives like “natural”, “clean”, “simple,” and “wholesome” illustrates the kinds of risks the beauty industry may face. When consumers began paying more attention to ingredients, companies began marketing their products with these health driven adjectives. However, this led to a barrage of class action lawsuits for false advertising under state consumer protection laws as plaintiffs lawyers argued that the claims made on the front of the label did not match the ingredients on the back of the label.

The food industry started to use the word “clean” after the use of “natural” resulted in a barrage of consumer lawsuits. As it turned out, however, the alternative claim also resulted in consumer class action lawsuits. The theory behind these suits is that “clean” is just a synonym of “all-natural” and signifies to consumers the absence of any synthetic chemicals. Similarly, it is argued that “wholesome” and “simple” are misleading consumers as to the real nutritional value of food products. This is at best an idiosyncratic view, not backed by legitimate consumer evidence. However, merely making the allegation is sometimes sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss, where the court must consider whether “no reasonable consumer” could share the plaintiff’s alleged interpretation.

Adding to the complexity is the difficulty of placing a sufficiently prominent and clear explanation, or definition, for such adjectives in an unavoidable location where the plaintiff cannot reasonably allege she failed to notice it. Courts have sometimes held that consumers need not be expected to turn around the bottle or package to read textual information on the back label before purchase.

We have seen false advertising claims creeping into the skincare industry as well, and this, coupled with the history of the food industry, should put the beauty industry on notice of the legal risks. For example, just last month, a lawsuit was filed in California State Court against the makers of Coppertone sunscreen. Prescott, et al. v. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 5:20-cv-00102 (N.D. Cal. filed Jan. 3, 2020). The suit alleges that Coppertone deceived consumers by labeling certain sunscreens as “mineral-based” when in fact chemicals make up a significant portion of its active ingredients. The plaintiff’s theory is that the headline “mineral-based” claim suggests to consumers that the product protects skin from sun damage exclusively with minerals.

In the “all-or-nothing” world of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, any ingredient call-out or characterization creates legal peril by negative implication. If the label says “clean,” the product can contain no synthetic substances. If the label says “plant-based,” the product should not have any synthetic or animal components – even if trivial in amount. Plaintiffs are routinely sending products to labs for rote chromatographic analysis, and the tiniest detectable amounts of disfavored chemicals can trigger lawsuits. In California, the consumer protection laws include California’s Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising law, and the Consumer Remedies Act. Companies making sales in California also need to be mindful of Proposition 65 which requires warning labels on products that contain any enumerated chemicals identified by the State to cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm.

Since there are no regulations mandating the definition of such descriptive terms on cosmetic labels, these definitions (e.g., “clean”) can vary from company to company. The beauty industry should heed caution when using “clean” beauty claims. In order to avoid consumer confusion— and ultimately litigation— companies should define “clean” in a way that they can, and do, meet, and that definition should be available at the point of sale.

GIB LLC, aka Brazilian Blowout Slapped on the hands by the Feds!

 

Here is the settlement!!!!!  Of course in my beauty industry you wont see this in a trade magazine, or posted by the any so-called industry website! Because it’s all about money. Advertising dollars are what sustain beauty industry publications, and independently owned websites. Behindthechair.com is owned by Loreal, and Hairbrained.me is an independently owned website. Advertising dollars are what sustain these entity’s. Modern Salon is owned by Vance Publishing Corp, and it goes on and on. Why would they write anything negative or truthful about the industry when they can potentially get the money from a manufacturer to have them buy future advertisement in their magazines or websites. It’s not about protecting you as a professional or informing you in a neutral way. It’s all about the coporate dollar, Not your health! The professional beauty industry preys on the non-educated, just like the cosmetic industry preys on the non-educated consumer.

The settlement requires GIB, LLC, which does business under the name Brazilian Blowout, to cease deceptive advertising that describes two of its popular products as formaldehyde-free and safe. The company must also make significant changes to its website and pay $600,000 in fees, penalties and costs.

“California laws protect consumers and workers and give them fair notice about the health risks associated with the products they use,” said Attorney General Harris. “This settlement requires the company to disclose any hazard so that Californians can make more informed decisions.”

Today’s settlement is the first government enforceable action in the United States to address the exposures to formaldehyde gas associated with Brazilian Blowout products. It is also the first law enforcement action under California’s Safe Cosmetics Act, a right-to-know law enacted in 2005.

In November 2010, the Attorney General’s office filed suit against GIB, LLC for violating five state laws, including deceptive advertising and failure to provide consumers with warnings about the presence of a carcinogen in its products.

The settlement covers two products used in a popular salon hair straightening process, the “Brazilian Blowout Acai Smoothing Solution” and the “Brazilian Blowout Professional Smoothing Solution”.

The complaint alleged the two products contained formaldehyde but were labeled “formaldehyde free.”
Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about certain exposures to chemicals in the products they purchase. Formaldehyde is on the Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer.

The complaint alleged that that GIB – the manufacturer of the Brazilian Blowout products – did not inform customers or workers that formaldehyde gas was being released during a Brazilian Blowout treatment, and therefore product users did not take steps to reduce their exposure, such as increasing ventilation. Under the terms of the settlement, GIB is required to:

– Produce a complete and accurate safety information sheet on the two products that includes a Proposition 65 cancer warning; distribute this information to recent product purchasers who may still have product on hand; and distribute it with all future product shipments. The revised safety information sheet — known as a “Material Safety Data Sheet,” or MSDS — will be posted on the company’s web site.

– Affix “CAUTION” stickers to the bottles of the two products to inform stylists of the emission of formaldehyde gas and the need for precautionary measures, including adequate ventilation.

– Cease deceptive advertising of the products as formaldehyde-free and safe; engage in substantial corrective advertising, including honest communications to sales staff regarding product risks; and change numerous aspects of Brazilian Blowout’s web site content.

– Retest the two products for total smog-forming chemicals (volatile organic compounds) at two Department of Justice-approved laboratories, and work with DOJ and the Air Resources Board to ensure that those products comply with state air quality regulations.

– Report the presence of formaldehyde in its products to the Safe Cosmetics Program at the Department of Public Health.

– Disclose refund policies to consumers before the products are purchased.

– Require proof of professional licensing before selling “salon use only” products to stylists.

GIB will also pay $300,000 in Proposition 65 civil penalties, and $300,000 to reimburse the Attorney General’s office fees and costs.

THE REAL HAIR TRUTH.

There comes a time when enough is enough especially for my industry. I have been in this lovely profession for twenty-three years plus! I am tired of the manufacturer’s depleting the industry, distributorships being bought up by manufacturer’s. Salon owners not treating their employee’s as employee’s. Salons not holding up to the standards of education. And also hairdresser’s not SPEAKING UP!. When the time comes you will be quite surprised at the non participation of the professionals, and then it will be too late. Change must come and the change must come from you also. I can make all the Films I possibly want to but not having the participation of the industry for added support the gain will be futile. Crazy as it may sound the industry is taking away from the professional. And the “CIRCLE MUST BE BROKE”. Website’s that started as informational are now online stores.

Hard times are upon us and I also feel the constraints of this era, no longer will it be affordable for you to open up a salon and progress as a small business owner. Distributorship will increase their costs, you will also have to. Schools will just manufacture students, and some industry schools tuitions are as high as $19.000 dollars. Now hairdressing is not rocket science it is an art, $19,000 is way to much. And these large manufacturers are spitting out these schools at a rate of 2-3 a month and also worldwide!.

The laws of Cosmetology renewals are a laugh a booklet for nothing, 30-40 questions of imbecilic knowledge will not keep our cosmetologists on a path of higher education.  It only defeats the purpose and insults the professional. This is done on a state-wide level to meet a very short detailed requirement of generalship. THATS ALL!!

It is up to the license professional to take matters in there own hands and lift their industry out of the nickel and dime era we are in. To stop the political enviroment plaguing our hair show, and professional organizations. Is any professional cosmetology organizations doing anything for you, I went on a well known site and the links did’nt even work.  I don’t see anything. Is the online industry website’s providing you with information that is New! That is a big NADA, only trying to sell you crap, crap. And emailing you constantly will holiday bargains, or promoting there “CIRCLE” It is all to comforting for them to stay in this, since they are getting your money. And to show off anything NEW would be a financial, and risky endeavor for them. So don’t expect anything to change with them. They play it safe. But enclose themselves in a hollow shell. SAD! But let me give them a word of advice. Its all about ART,  and CONTENT!

Is the price of your salon supplys decreasing and is the distributorships offering you anything other than product knowledge class’s. I use Goldwell hair color and since last May I have not even received a brochure from the distributorship (EVOLUTION SALON SUPPLYS – JACKONSVILLE, FLORIDA).  Not one form of educational venue  is offered in a structured  form from my distributor. I have not seen my sales consultant in over 6 months. And when I do its to sell me something, a bargain package of goods. Or to let me know someone from the “CIRCLE” has just started there own retail line.

Look I have been there and I know what it is to be a salon Employee, Salon owner, Booth renter. I know how hard it is to scrimp and save, to train someone and see them go out the door, to rent a booth and see the salon owner abuse my space and also work around alcoholics, drug users, etc/ I HAVE BEEN THERE. But I cannot change or try to implement change without the help of the community. It is not hard to speak up for yourself and defend you craft. I love my work and my profession, I have had many, many ups and downs. Highs and lows and I must accept then with a grain of salt. But if you are bothered by what is happening in our community of hairdressing then you must WAKE UP! And speak you mind. Let people know your beliefs, and also take the responsiblity of your professional success. Nothing will come to you easily. You will learn to embrace the quality of hard times and the successions of perseverance. That is how you will succeed. But you will not change the industry with your own success singularly. It must be done as a whole and as a simple step towards the cleansing of the profession that it  needs. To stand-alone will gain you defeat but to instil a facet of unity and togetherness then the ball will roll.

AND ROLL IT WILL !!!!

Joseph Kellner