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“The rollout strategy was always to launch online initially and then find the right retail partners that really believed in our mission around clean and sustainable practices and go in on building this awareness and meeting the need of this consumer,” said Jessica Alba, who launched The Honest Company in 2012 in partnership with entrepreneurs Christopher Gavigan, Brian Lee and Sean Kane.
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It was in 2015 that Alba unveiled Honest Beauty, expanding from baby and household goods into skin and personal care. The line was revamped in 2018, the year the company opened an in-house lab, and in 2021 — when The Honest Company went public — the brand introduced updated packaging created from compostable “tree-free” cartons made from upcycled sugarcane byproduct. (Alba now has a 6 percent stake in Honest, which raised $412.8 million, selling $25.9 million shares at $16 each at a reported valuation of $1.44 billion upon launch.) Before Honest’s revamp, its beauty products were sold at Ulta, for a brief period.
Sold direct-to-consumer on the company site, as well as major retailers including Target, CVS, Walgreens, Costco and Safeway, launching into Ulta Beauty stores means reaching even more consumers looking for “clean” goods, said Alba. (Honest Beauty relaunched online at Ulta Beauty in 2020.)
“I’m just thrilled that we get to work with Ulta [Beauty], because they’re in pretty much a lot of the areas and the spaces where women are, in the suburbs, in urban areas and in great little pockets where I think before there wasn’t a ton of options [in ‘clean’]. And I love that you can shop high-low. I love that you can get services. And it just feels like a really comprehensive beauty experience. And then when they expanded into Target, I thought that was just so smart and great to see how those lines can be blurred when you’re putting consumers first. And I just really liked how they’re pushing the boundaries of what experiential retail and what retail can look like. And I, you know, love being part of that story with Honest.”
Launching exclusively at Ulta Beauty (as part of a six month-deal), Honest Beauty is introducing its first acne line: a Get Clarity Foaming Acne Cleanser, $17.99 (made with colloidal sulfur and apple AHAs with malic, glycolic, lactic and citric acid); an In The Clear Acne Serum, $29.99 (wintergreen-derived salicylic acid, azelaic acid, zinc PCA and niacinamide), and a Spot Stopper Acne Spot Treatment, $17.99 (wintergreen-derived salicylic acid, glycolic acid, witch hazel and microalgae).
“The acne space is pretty saturated with very intense chemicals that strip away the healthy skin barrier and leaves lasting damage to the skin, often over-dehydrating it, irritating it even more and stripping away your natural skin barrier,” said Alba.
Her goal was to take a different approach for acne-prone skin, asking, “What’s the root of the issue? How can we really help remove the excess dirt, help with what causes the clogged pores and then really deliver healthy skin barrier benefits.”
Also coming to shelves at Ulta Beauty is Honest Beauty’s gel cleanser, retinyl serum, hyaluronic acid serum, hydrogel cream, lightweight moisturizer, Deep Hydration face cream and an eye balm. Meanwhile, a greater range of skin care products, as well as cosmetics, will be available on Ulta Beauty’s e-commerce site.
In makeup, Alba continues to offer color with skin care benefits and has expanded to include goods with long-wear payoff, all created in-house. There’s a tinted moisturizer with SPF 30, vitamin C and blue light defense, a tinted lip balm with acai extracts and avocado oil, and after the success of the brand’s hero product, the Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer, the brand is introducing a new mascara, Extreme Volume Mascara + Bold Lash Primer.
“We’re not just coming out with products that are pointless or meaningless,” said Alba.