Meet our Brand Advisor, Mia Davis! Mia is a leading clean beauty expert, setting the most meaningful ingredient and product standards for the industry. Read on to learn how Mia's guidance helped us develop our clean approach.
In 2017 type:A’s founder Allison Moss, a friend and former colleague, told me that she was thinking about a new product concept - a deodorant formula that would be as clean as possible, would not break the bank, and oh - it would actually work! I couldn’t wait to hear more.
I had been working in the natural/safe/clean consumer product space since 2007 - back when this segment of the industry was brand spanking new. In fact, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a national nonprofit coalition where I served as Organizing Director, helped to create the clean beauty movement. From there, I joined Beautycounter in 2011 as the Head of Environment, Health and Safety, where I helped to truly disrupt the skin care and cosmetics industry.
The #1 question that I have consistently gotten from family, friends, bloggers (everyone, really) over the past 10+ years: “What deodorant should I use? What do you like?”
Basically, no one was happy with “natural” deodorant but didn’t want to return to antiperspirants, which, while effective, were loaded with aluminum salts and undisclosed “fragrance” and other ingredients that are concerning for human health and the environment.
In addition to creating a product that worked really well, Allison knew that she wanted a “clean” formula. She needed to make sure that the brand did its due diligence, so she commissioned me to review the tentative ingredients for the new product. Here is how I did it:
→ I started by looking for all publicly available hazard data - information on an ingredient’s potential to cause or trigger health impacts like cancer, endocrine disruption, skin irritation, and more.
→ In addition to the hazard info, I considered the ingredient source - the material that it comes from, whether it is natural or synthetic - as well as particle size, route of exposure, and potential interactions with other ingredients.
→ I used a range of databases, authoritative lists, regulatory guidelines, and industry documentation to review what would become type:A deodorant.
Because this is what “clean” is all about, to me and to type:A. It isn’t just a “free of list,” or a claim of naturalness.
For the record, natural and naturally-derived ingredients tend to be better for health and the environment. But not always - and sometimes a natural option for a certain function doesn’t really exist. Some synthetic ingredients are quite safe and pretty amazing at their jobs (like certain preservatives that prevent yeast, bacteria and mold from growing in products, for example, which is super important).
So - I’ve been in the background as an ally all along, and I have officially joined type:A as a Brand Advisor. I help the team continue to lead the category on ingredient safety, quality, and transparency - including “fragrance” disclosure which is really rare. And we’re just getting started.
As we expand the product line, we look at the safety, sustainability, and function of all ingredients and take a wide range of factors into account before an ingredient get the green light. For example, if the ingredient has a good safety profile when used in a topical product, but not when used in a product that can be inhaled, we flag that use restriction. Or sometimes an ingredient is really safe and natural, but is often grown in a really unsustainable way, so we flag that we want only responsible sources verified by credible parties.
We hope that you loved geeking out a bit about the ingredient review process and what it truly takes to make a clean deodorant that overachieves.
Want to see our clean deodorant in action? Head on over to our shop.
Written by Mia Davis