How CVS is cutting back on chemicals in cosmetics

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

As vice president of store brands and quality assurance at CVS Health, I spend a lot of time thinking about one big question: What do our customers want?

Every decision our team makes is driven by customer trends and insights, gleaned through research, external data and consumer testing. When it comes to our store brand beauty and personal care products, we’ve heard our customers loud and clear. They want products that work, with all the benefits they’re accustomed to, but with fewer ingredients of concern.

Last month we announced a major step forward with respect to “free-from” products: We will remove parabens, phthalates and the most prevalent formaldehyde donors (preservative ingredients that can release formaldehyde over time) across nearly 600 of our beauty and personal care products from our CVS Health, Beauty 360, Essence of Beauty and Blade store brands.

We will begin rolling out products that do not contain these ingredients to our stores in the coming months, and we plan to stop shipping products that don’t meet these standards to our distribution centers by the end of 2019.

We have been working on this important initiative for the last couple of years. We started with extensive customer research, including surveys, focus groups, analysis of social chatter, customer service channels and more.

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