Ivanna Yang - Beautycounter
Name: Ivanna Yang
Expertise: Advocating for personal care product safety
Job: Senior Manager of Advocacy, Beautycounter
Past Discussions: Myth Busting the Beauty Industry
How did you get your start in the clean beauty industry?
My journey to Beautycounter is a testament to the power of persistence. In 2013, I read an article in the New York Times about a new company called Beautycounter that was advocating for cosmetic reform. My childhood dream was to be a beauty editor and at the time, I was a lobbyist in DC. Perfect, I thought, this company combines my passion and skill-set, and I was ready to move to Los Angeles. Actually getting here, though, took four more years as I cycled through DC trade associations while emailing my now boss every few months or so to keep in touch.
Last summer, I went to LA on a whim and one thing led to another which ultimately resulted in my move cross-country. Good things are worth waiting for!
What’s something you’d like people to know about the clean beauty industry that they probably don’t?
The beauty business is a $62 billion industry domestically and safer beauty companies are the fastest growing segment within the industry. Consumers are becoming more sophisticated purchasers of personal care products, demanding to know what is in products and what effects the ingredients used in those products have on human health.
Consumers are right to be wary as the beauty industry is grossly under-regulated for products that we use on our skin – our largest organ – everyday. Moreover, the words “organic,” “botanical” and “natural” that we often see on product labels are frequently misleading as there is no FDA oversight of marketing claims for personal care products.
Tell Us About Beautycounter
Beautycounter is on a mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone. Our founder and CEO, Gregg Renfrew, launched the company when she couldn’t find personal care products that were high performing and safer to use. Five years later, we are the leader in the safer skin care and cleaner cosmetics category and we lead a movement for improved transparency and accountability in the beauty industry. We do this through advocating to update federal regulations that have stood largely unchanged since 1938.
Our direct retail model is composed of three channels: direct sales through our network of more than 34,000 Consultants, selling through e-commerce, pop-up stores and via strategic partnerships with retailers such as J. Crew, Target and Goop, among others. In particular, the direct sales model allows women and men the flexibility to balance work and family as well as empower thousands of people across the country and across North America to participate in the democratic process.
What are three clean beauty facts people can use as a conversation starter?
80 years. That’s how long it’s been since Congress passed a major law regulating the safety of ingredients used in personal care products.
Canada has banned or restricted 600 ingredients, the EU has banned or restrict 1,400 ingredients and the US? Just 30.
The FDA does not have the authority to recall products – even ones that have caused harm to consumers!
Drink of choice?
Natural wines, preferably a bubbly Pét-Nat.
House on the beach or log cabin in the woods?
The woods, always!
3 songs you can’t stop listening to ...
This One’s For You – Luke Combs (I’ve really gotten into country music since moving to LA…)
River – Leon Bridges (The most romantic song. Period.)
Just like Honey – The Jesus and Mary Chain (This song came on as I was sitting in a dive bar in Buffalo, after having just taken the NY bar exam. I knew everything was going to be ok when it came on…and it was, I passed!)