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Profile: Christina Marcaccini—Better Choices

Posted: January 10, 2008, from the January 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.
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When she and her husband considered starting a family, she also began considering what she put on her skin. That grew into concern over the ingredients in the skin care products she was using. “Our skin is our first line of defense against the environment, but it’s not a perfect barrier and we need to be aware of what we put on it,” she reasoned, in making a switch to natural personal care. “But I was disappointed by the selection and the performance of what was available, and having been a product developer for my whole career, I decided to create my own line of natural, safe and effective cosmetics.”

Guided by Marcaccini’s passions for raw material research and the goal of being the first complete prestige beauty brand in the natural category, setting the industry standard in terms of purity, performance and safety, RAW Natural Beauty was born. The path to that goal leads beyond the exclusive consideration of her own products and now encompasses a broader look at the industry and what “natural” really means in a beauty product.

Marcaccini is a member of the Natural Products Association, and is working within the group to develop parameters that will both help chemists better formulate to a natural standard and eliminate the confusion that exists among consumers as a result of what she sees as the overuse of the term “natural.”

“Because the range of natural ingredients is still somewhat limited, there needs to be some flexibility in the definition of natural to allow for the formulation of high performance cosmetics—especially in the category of color cosmetics,” she says. “The ideal definition would be a gradual increasing gradation of percentage of natural ingredients in formulation, similar to the area of compliance to emission standards for cars. In this way, it will give the ingredient suppliers an incentive to develop more alternatives to synthetics over a period of time and continually raise the bar for the manufacturers, with the consumer being the ultimate winner.”
Once a definition is agreed upon and a standard is accepted, she believes that suppliers will introduce more natural ingredient alternatives—with increased use of organic ingredients and ingredients obtained through fair trade—and that the standard of purity and performance will continue to rise.