There’s a lot that goes into clean beauty that works. And perhaps no one knows this better than Kevin Ewell, Director of Research & Innovation here at Honest. A chemist who’s worked in the personal care and beauty space for over ten years, he leads our team of chemists, clinical scientists and toxicologists in creating new formulas and innovating the products consumers use in safe and exciting ways.
Recently, we had the pleasure of sitting down with Kevin to learn more about how all the clean beauty magic happens.
What does clean beauty mean to you?
Clean beauty for me — and from a research perspective — is just about being thoughtful and really in-depth in the way that we formulate our products, the ingredients we use, and how we source them.
What role does transparency play in clean beauty?
Being able to understand and really know what’s going into your products is hugely important and it’s something we’re really trying to bring into the space. To us, transparency is all about educating the people who use our products on exactly why we choose to use an ingredient, and in a lot of cases why we choose not to.
What are some common misconceptions that you face?
I think one of the biggest things that we’re really up against is the idea that clean beauty just doesn't work — and that's something we're really trying to change. For Honest, clean beauty means no compromise: no compromise on safety, no compromise on how well something works, and no compromise on how good you feel when you use it.
How do you work to deliver performance — and clean beauty?
In the world of color cosmetics and beauty, we're so hyper-focused on the “right now”… How am I going to look tonight? What are the hottest colors? What are the newest trends? I think one of the things you can fall back on with clean beauty is that you’re always getting that underlying skin benefit…and that’s something that lasts, right? It’s about knowing that when you put on that great lipstick or eye shadow or that fantastic night cream, what you’re really doing is bringing out those skin benefits and letting that inner beauty shine through.
When we go into formulating a new product, we approach it from a place of no compromises.
So when we look at different competitors that we’re benchmarking ourselves against, we don't limit ourselves to the “clean competitors”. We look to the toughest competitors and what they're doing in terms of performance and work to match or exceed it using honest ingredients.
What is it like to work with Jessica?
I love working with Jessica — it’s great. This is her world, you know? She loves this. And she has a huge appreciation for the science and technicality that goes into it as well. So she’s always wanting to learn about how we’re doing our work, what’s going into the formulas and how we’re working in the lab. And I think that’s fantastic. It allows us to approach the products and the formulas we create with hyper-vigilance about what’s on the back of the box. Those ingredients that so many people ignore — it’s really important to her. And it helps validate the work we do in the lab.
What are the benefits of having an in-house lab?
A lot of brands don't have the benefit of having an in-house lab, so they’re always getting someone else’s interpretation of what clean beauty means to them. Here, we can keep true to the soul of our brand. When you walk into that lab it’s an open space for anyone in the organization to go and share their opinions. It’s a wonderful thing to have the ability to not separate yourself from something as important as the formulation.