Is First Aid Beauty Really a Clean Company? We Reviewed the Brand to Find Out
First Aid Beauty is a skincare company that formulates products to alleviate common skin issues. Lilli Gordon founded First Aid Beauty in 2009. The products were originally sold at Sephora and QVC. In 2018, the consumer goods company Procter & Gamble acquired First Aid Beauty. This merger helped First Aid Beauty expand its products into the global market.
The brand’s name implies medicinal safety designed to cure and heal. The company states on its website that it is clean, cruelty-free, tested by dermatologists, formulated for sensitive skin, and devoid of artificial fragrances. First Aid Beauty aims to create “scientifically advanced, luxurious formulations [that] deliver immediate relief and long-term results.” Its tagline is “Feel FAB in your skin.”
Is First Aid Beauty as scientifically advanced and safe for sensitive skin as the company claims? We reviewed the brand and its products to find out.
Ingredients (Rating: Iffy)
We analyzed the ingredients in First Aid Beauty’s current skincare line. Many ingredients were mild and presented little hazard.
First Aid Beauty provides a complete list of ingredients for most products listed on its website. The company also allows customers to click on each ingredient to learn more about it. However, the extra information given is about the benefits of the ingredient and potential hazards or side effects are ignored.
Some products did not have a full list of ingredients. The website had a message that said, “Ingredient details currently unavailable. Please check again later.” One of these products had a one-star user review. The commenter claimed the product caused an eczema flare up.
Some of First Aid Beauty’s current products contain ingredients that have the potential to cause allergies or irritation, like green tea leaf extract and eucalyptus leaf oil.
After reviewing some of First Aid Beauty’s current products, we found some additional ingredients we recommend avoiding or taking caution around.
- Some products contain licorice leaf extract, which can cause cardiac symptoms, high blood pressure, headaches, and fatigue when taken in high doses. First Aid Beauty claims this ingredient is “used as an antioxidant (prevents free radical damage), humectant (draws moisture in), emollient for skin (retain moisture), and a fragrance.”
- Phenoxyethanol is a preservative linked to allergies and respiratory concerns. First Aid Beauty describes it as, “An aromatic ether alcohol used as a preservative and cosmetic biocide (to cleanse skin or prevent odor by inhibiting growth of bacteria).”
- Limonene is a scent derived from citrus rind. It can cause skin and respiration sensitivities, especially when exposed to sun and air.
- While a 2014 study suggests the synthetic preservative chlorphenesin is safe for cosmetic use, it can cause irritation, dermatitis, or eczema in those with sensitive skin.
- Aroma (flavor) is an ingredient in some products. This means substances have been added to create or nullify a scent in a product. While not listed as an artificial fragrance, the lack of transparency in the labeling is worth noting.
Sustainability (Rating: Iffy)
First Aid Beauty does not claim to be a sustainable company. Its website does not outline any sustainability initiatives or projects. First Aid Beauty makes and manufactures its products in the United States, which lowers its carbon footprint.
First Aid Beauty has instructions for some products to tell consumers how to recycle it. Many products have recyclable plastic. However, First Aid Beauty has made no statements about using PCR plastics to cut down on waste.
Animal Welfare (Rating: Good)
On First Aid Beauty’s website, the company states, “As a 100% Cruelty-Free company and proud PETA-certified Beauty Without Bunnies partner, we do not conduct any testing of ingredients or finished products on animals and only work with business partners who comply with our policy.”
The brand claims that an independent animal rights organization confirms that “First Aid Beauty nor [their] ingredient suppliers or contract manufacturers conduct, commission or pay for any tests on animals for ingredients, formulations or finished products.”
Cruelty-Free Kitty confirms that First Aid Beauty is a cruelty-free company. It doesn’t test products or ingredients on animals and suppliers follow the same procedures. First Aid Beauty sells products in locations that allow animal testing. However, the company doesn’t test products on animals even in the locations that allow animal testing. First Aid Beauty’s parent company, Procter & Gamble, is not cruelty-free.
First Aid Beauty’s products are not completely vegan. The company confirmed some ingredients are animal-derived, Cruelty-Free Kitty reports. We also found some synthetic ingredients, like chlorphenesin.
Final Brand Ratings
Our rating scale ranges from “Best” (for having the best practices) to “Avoid” (for having unacceptable practices). We rated First Aid Beauty as follows.
|Ingredients||Iffy||Many of First Aid Beauty’s ingredients have few harmful effects. Despite positioning itself as a sensitive skin brand, some products contain ingredients that can irritate skin. Ingredients like plant extracts, phenoxyethanol, limonene, and chlorphenesin have the potential to cause dermal and/or respiratory irritation. Aroma (flavor) is an ingredient in several products. While most items on the website have a full ingredients list, others do not.|
|Sustainability||Iffy||First Aid Beauty’s products are made of plastic. Some products have recycling instructions. However, the company has not made efforts to expand on its existing sustainability practices.|
|Animal Welfare||Good||First Aid Beauty is cruelty-free. Since some products contain animal-derived ingredients, it is not a 100% vegan company.|
Overall Rating: Iffy
First Aid Beauty is a skincare company that claims to make safe products for sensitive skin and produce long-term results. The brand is cruelty-free, although its parent company is not. Many of the ingredients are mild enough for use on the skin. Despite stating no fragrances in its products, aroma (flavor) is on the ingredients list for some products. The lack of transparency about the scent is noteworthy.
First Aid Beauty claims its products won’t irritate sensitive skin. However, products contained some ingredients that could cause allergies or irritations, like limonene and chlorphenesin.
The brand has some room to grow in sustainability. It uses plastics to create most products and gives recycling instructions on its website for only some products.
For these reasons, First Aid Beauty receives an overall rating of Iffy.