As a newbie to green beauty, I wanted to get to know some of the people curating green beauty to find out what drew them to this and what their passions are. I had the opportunity to interview Angela Dubia, owner of Safe & Chic, about her business and passions. Our interview follows.
Melissa (M): Where did your interest in green beauty originate, and why are you passionate about it?
Angela Dubia (AD): I started out working for companies such as YSL, Givenchy, Oscar De La Renta, and many others in the fragrance and cosmetic industry from the very beginning. There was never even a whisper of ingredients being unsafe or toxic or animal testing etc. during these times. I never had a customer or friend ask me about the ingredients and their safety, and I just assumed that they were safe, since we lived in the USA with so many regulations and laws. Plus, how could anyone even think of selling anything harmful and especially at these prices?
Then a few years ago, I had a few friends start working for companies that were safer and greener. That brought the ingredient issue to my attention and made me realize that I should question what ingredients were in my everyday beauty and skincare products. A friend introduced me to Think Dirty and the Skin Deep EWG site, and I started researching all the items I was currently using. I was shocked to find that nearly everything I had been putting on my body each day was extremely toxic and potentially dangerous to my health. It also explained why I was having so many health issues at a young age. I immediately started switching out all my toxic products for safer ones and making changes to my diet, striving to be as organic as possible.
M: How do you and Safe & Chic define green beauty?
AD: Green beauty to me, is products and brands that are cruelty-free, so no testing on animals at any stage creating the product. They are also free of ingredients tied to cancer, free of toxins associated with endocrine disruption, and free of any developmental or reproductive toxicity.
M: What do you look for in the lines and products you carry? What criteria do products have to meet to earn a spot?
AD: Their products must be paraben free, talc free and cruelty-free. We look at the overall packaging and brand presentation, as well as what their core ethos and mission is and whether it aligns with ours.
M: Are there specific ingredients that you avoid carrying? If so, what are they specifically, and how did you formulate your “never” list?
AD: There are so many but a few would be any type of paraben, phthalates, formaldehyde, BHA, BHT, SLS, PEG, etc.
M: What criteria or certification do you look toward to ensure that products are cruelty-free?
AD: At this point, we are taking the companies word for it. We are not large enough yet to properly investigate each and every company and their sourcing or manufacturers.
M: What are your personal must-haves from your collection?
(AD): Few of my favorite things: 100% Pure Pink Grapefruit Seaweed Shaving Cream, Freedom Unscented Deodorant, Grown Alchemist Age Repair Moisturizer, Henne Organics Rose Diamonds Lip Exfoliator, HollyBeth Organics Eye Cream, Hush Dotti liquid foundation, Alima Pure Finishing Powder, Ilia Beauty Kokomo Lip Tint, Laurel Whole Plant Blemish Treatment, Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser, W3ll People Expressionist Mascara. There are so many but those are definitely ones I use on a daily or weekly basis.
M: What advice would you give consumers with a burgeoning interest in green beauty?
AD: Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get personalized recommendations on which products would be the best fit. We have over 1500 products so it can be overwhelming to determine which cleanser or moisturizer is the best for your skin type and needs. We also sell samples of various products and have a foundation sample kit that we highly suggest for those just starting out; you really need to try on foundation to find the right match. We strive to give customers a chance to try and experience many different brands and shades of products before committing to an entire bottle.
M: What emerging or up-and-coming skin care brands are you most excited about right now?
AD: We are very secretive about which new brands are in the pipeline, but we are known to constantly bring on new brands, and new products throughout the year! Stay tuned.
M: What things make your company unique in the marketplace?
AD: We are constantly striving to bring new brands and new products to our customers on a monthly basis. We are always searching for the latest and greatest new emerging brands and products. We also have, when applicable, a safety rating on the product that shows how it rates on EWG skin deep database or Think Dirty database, which helps customers easily access this information without having to leave our website. We aim to be responsive; we love and encourage our customers to give us feedback on what products and brands we should bring on for their shopping enjoyment. We are happy to provide a truly large selection for our customers; at Safe & Chic, you can enjoy the art of shopping again without having to worry about labels, ingredients, or animal testing.