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8 Ways Transparency Will Reshape Beauty Brands and Careers

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Gena Surphlis, account manager, Firmenich, presents findings from the 2018 FIT Transparency Perception Assessment Survey at the 2018 Capstone Research event on Transparent Beauty, presented by the graduating class of FIT’s Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management Master’s Degree program.

Transparency is reshaping beauty products, brands and companies. These are the conclusions at the heart of the 2018 Fashion Institute of Technology's annual Capstone Research Presentations, delivered by students in the Master of Professional Studies program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management (CFMM).

Further reading: Data Sharing, Trust and Beauty

The project included a survey that revealed consumer attitudes toward transparency:


  • 72% of consumers want a brand to explain what the ingredients do
  • 42% of respondents feel that they do not get enough information from brands on ingredient safety
  • More than 60% of consumers want brands to identify sources for ingredients
  • 90% of respondents believe natural ingredients are better for them; however, only 10% of respondents use products made only with natural ingredients

Data and privacy:

  • 74% of consumers agree to share their data if they are getting something in return

Corporate transparency:

  • 82% of the working population chooses their next job because the company's culture and mission align with their values
  • The beauty industry is 72% more likely to rank company culture as the top reason for employment over the general population
  • 55% of participants within the beauty industry said they do not have enough clarity or information about career progression -- twice the rate of the general population

Beauty brands can address these challenges in a number of ways:

  1. Creating their own platforms to serve as an "encyclopedia" of beauty that can dispense small doses of "snackable" content
  2. Using technologies to allow consumers to translate ingredient lists and comparison shop in real time
  3. Clearer labeling if batch, production and expiration dates
  4. Tracking of ingredients and products to prevent counterfeiting and contamination by using blockchain and crypto-ahchor technology
  5. Leveraging conversations in social media to drive product development and create advocates among consumers
  6. Hyper-personalizing product recommendations using genetic testing platforms
  7. Converting employees into advocates through fair hiring and promoting practices and clearer salary communication
  8. Creating opportunities for employees by creating opportunities, career flexibility and reducing biases in their organizations