Sephora’s Class Action Clean Beauty Lawsuit

For the past 18 months, Sephora has been fighting a class-action lawsuit regarding its ‘Clean at Sephora’ cosmetics label. (This isn’t the first class-action litigation that Sephora has faced; others were settled out of court.) This lawsuit, however, was closely watched by the clean-beauty industry, to see what would happen.

On Friday, March 15th, 2024, Sephora finally ‘won’ the judge’s ruling… but may have lost a greater battle.

Booming Business

As a category, ‘clean beauty’ has skyrocketed to become the fastest-growing segment of the $6.7 Billion U.S. cosmetics industry. 1 in every 4 cosmetics are now marketed as ‘clean’, and Sephora (has) positioned itself to be a leader in that space. Thousands of products now fall under the ‘Clean at Sephora’ banner, as well as some of the company’s own cosmetics.

But what is ‘clean’? Well, as we’ve previously reported, the FDA has yet to say, and without government oversight, many brands are simply marketing whatever they feel like, making ‘clean’ ambiguous. 

Which begs the question: has the clean-beauty industry done enough to police itself and protect consumers? Brands and supporters say yes, but consumer advocates and doctors say no.

Fuzzy Facts

At the heart of the lawsuit? Whether or not Sephora’s ‘clean’ marketing was deceptive to consumers. Sephora stood by its wide definition of ‘clean’ as merely the exclusion of certain chemicals, like parabens, sulfates SLS and SLES, phthalates, mineral oil, formaldehyde. The company insisted that it never implied that any of its clean products were actually all-natural or free of all potentially harmful ingredients. 😱

Those who sued Sephora argued that, based on the brand’s marketing, its ‘Clean at Sephora’ products should be all-natural and/or free of all potentially harmful ingredients. 

The judge ruled in Sephora’s favor, stating that the fact that Sephora’s definition of clean beauty is different than the plaintiffs’ is not a crime

Many clean-beauty brands saw this as a ‘win’ for unregulated markets, and for their way of interpreting ‘clean’ (however they want); but, is it really? 

All consumers have learned is that Sephora’s ‘Clean at Sephora’ branding actually sets a very low bar that almost any brand can cross. 

Ready for some good news? Our bar for clean beauty is ridiculously high. 

Our whipped butters and body oils contain no water, filler or synthetic chemicals, and all have fewer than 10 ingredients. Our essential oil-free products are so clean you could literally eat them! And all of our products, whether they contain essential oil or not, are safe for skin, hair, nails, lips, and beards.

Our products are made *by us, for us* — we use them every day, and our parents, spouses and children do too.

Experience true clean beauty today. Shop now.


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Michael Hull

Michael Hull is an aspiring author, historian, and Gladiator without the suit. His passions include Star Trek 🖖 and sci-fi; as well as ships, boats, and anything that floats! ⛵️ He's also an old-school tech geek, from K6-III to the M3. A snowbird and sun bear by nature, he hopes someday to live on his own yacht.
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