Tired of trying to shuttle through the beautiful world again and again? We all feel the same. In a recent poll, more than 20000 enthusiastic beauty shoppers stressed the importance of transparency. With the growing demand for sustainable and effective beauty products, more and more brand marketing publicity is done. These statements are not always clear. From no abuse to vegetarianism, from recyclability to coral reef safety, the brand legislation is not as strict as you think. So, how can we make the purchase of beauty products more transparent? Enter the blockchain.

If you know bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrencies (does anyone know?!), you may have heard of blockchain. However, for convenience, we will continue to assume that, as we did this time last week, you have never heard anyone in your life say the term “blockchain” – let alone know what it is.

In short, it is a technical system that maintains records of all transactions in a cryptocurrency. That sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Most importantly, the blockchain is incorruptible – a bit like a digital ledger. Fortunately, we don’t need to know how technology works or how it completely changes the way we buy beauty products. We just need to know that this is a very reliable way to verify the brand and its supply chain information.

As a partner of online retailer cult beauty and technology platform origin, blockchain technology has been used for the first time to provide complete transparency proof during shopping. Alexia Inge, co-founder of cut beauty, said: “transparency has always been the core of cut beauty; in fact, all the reasons for our existence are a response to the pseudoscientific marketing fantasy that promoted the development of the beauty industry at that time. We have been looking for ways to let our customers get the information they need, rather than let them indulge in beauty management.”

So what exactly do these look like? It’s actually very simple. Origin uses a combination of blockchain and open data to share key product information. For example, if a brand claims that it is “vegan”, when buying the brand on the cult beauty website, a proof point of “vegan” will appear on the page with a click link showing the exact meaning of the statement and a supporting document. Such proof can come from the Warranty Statement of the origin itself, laboratory test results or official letters and documents, etc.

The availability of this information not only brings consumers a more transparent shopping experience, but also, crucially, it puts pressure on brands to ensure that their claims are supported by conclusive evidence. The existing certification points on the website include but are not limited to: vegetarian, no abuse, recyclable, coral reef safety, family business and supporting charity.

Alexia explained: “at present, 10 brands have signed up for the project on cut beauty, including oskia, SANA Jardin and Ren skincare. The list has been growing, and we have been trying to get new and existing brands into the list, as long as they can provide complete information.”

What’s so fishy about this? First, so far, cut beauty is the only beauty product retailer using origin blockchain technology. As more and more retailers join in, brands will face greater pressure to think twice when using misleading publicity on new products. Another possible problem is that it depends on the brand’s willingness to cooperate.

Although many brands are happy to hand over a complete ingredient list and welcome new certification points with open arms, some brands may be reluctant to cooperate. From this point of view, it is understandable that the complexity of obtaining claim evidence is not a direct problem, and it may be very time-consuming. At present, 10 brands of cult beauty have data-driven proof points. Although they plan to continue to launch these products in 2020, the industry still has a long way to go from complete transparency.

Step by step, because this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. In the short term, we hope these proof points can be used as the motivation for the brand to do better. Moreover, in the long run, we pray that with the help of evidence points supported by evidence, we can finally buy beauty products without doubt.

Responsible editor; zl

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