Armed with a new website, Follain is teaming up with brands that take a science-based approach to natural beauty. The goal? To demystify the industry and bust the long-prevailing myth that beauty products need toxins.

These Natural Beauty Brands Are Using Big Data To Give Skin Care A Makeover
Follain store in Beacon Hill [Photos: courtesy of Follain]
Store associates at Follain are used to hearing people’s intimate secrets. Tara Foley, who founded the natural beauty chain in 2013, says it’s not unusual for employees at its locations in New York and Boston to be the first to learn that, for instance, someone is pregnant. That only makes sense when you think about the nature of the business. “Doctors advise women to stop using certain chemicals during their pregnancy,” Foley tells Fast Company. “So they come here as soon as they find out, looking for alternative beauty products.”

Unfortunately, it is not always good news that brings people into the store. Follain often sees customers who have recently been diagnosed with serious illnesses like cancer. When patients are undergoing a harsh treatment that makes their immune system vulnerable, like chemotherapy, they are generally encouraged to stay clear of toxins in their creams and soaps, and research shows that over 90% of cancers are caused by lifestyle factors, including pollutants in products. “Sometimes, it’s the first time that they realize that chemicals in their skin care are carcinogenic,” Foley says.

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