- Ulta requires the suppliers of its private-label products to eliminate chemicals of high concern (CHCs) identified in a private list that goes beyond legal requirements as new products are added and existing products reformulated. This list includes prohibitions on parabens, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, BHA & BHT, alkylphenol ethoxylates, and toluene and xylene in nail products.
- The retailer started pushing into branded products in 2020, creating a voluntary program that recognizes branded products that do not have CHCs in them.
Recommendations for Ulta Beauty
- Ulta can make progress by making public its written safer chemicals policy, developing and enforcing a public beyond restricted substance list (BRSL), and setting public quantifiable goals with clear timelines for reducing and eliminating CHCs.
- We urge the company to eliminate and safely replace any per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and phthalates that may be in the products it sells. The company should also eliminate plastics of environmental health concern (PEHCs) from its product and packaging materials and should take swift action to eliminate and safely replace key chemicals of concern from the beauty products of environmental justice concern that it sells. Ulta should publicly disclose the alternatives used to replace CHCs or PEHCs after eliminating them.
- Ulta’s recent announcements to recognize branded products that meet an expanded BRSL as well as its partnership with Credo Beauty to feature a “clean” collection should be expanded such that the “clean” criteria are applicable to entire product categories in what Ulta sells, rather than be limited to select collections. The company should also become a signatory to the Chemical Footprint Project and pilot it with key private label suppliers.
How does Ulta Beauty compare to its competitors?
Analysis of Ulta Beauty
Policy:Adopted a retailer safer chemicals policy
Oversight: Established management responsibilities and incentives
Accountability: Ensures supply chain accountability
Disclosure: Requires suppliers to report use of chemicals in products to retailer
Action: Reduced or eliminated chemicals of high concern (CHCs) or plastics of environmental health concern (PEHCs) within the last three years
Safer Alternatives: Evaluates safer alternatives, avoids regrettable substitutes
Transparency: Demonstrates a commitment to transparency and public disclosure
Chemical Footprint: Evaluates its chemical footprint
Third-party Standards: Promotes credible third-party standards for safer products
Joint Announcement: Public commitment demonstrated through joint announcement
Continuous Improvement: Shows continuous improvement by steadily expanding safer chemicals policy
Collaboration: Actively participates in collaborative process to promote safer chemicals
Impact Investment: Investing financial resources into independent research into safer alternatives and/or green chemistry solutions