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CAP Beauty

The First Synthetic Free-Beauty Store

ONCE UPON FOUR WEEKS AGOGwyneth Paltrow taught us the dangers of chemical beauty — that synthetic ingredients can trigger issues from premature aging to hormone imbalance to cancer. And now that we’re ready to go chemical-free, we’ve gotta ask: Where do we start?

“Clean beauty can be incredibly difficult to navigate,” says CAP Beauty co-founder, Kerrilynn Pamer. “There are no strict laws around product labeling… and many brands claim to be natural when they aren’t. There’s just a lot to understand.”

Pamer discovered these issues for herself following a diagnosis with celiacs, a disease that forced her to start reading labels. But even after enlisting the help of a friend, prop stylist Cindy DiPrima, it seemed like a lot of research for any individual to tackle. It’s not so simple as walking into your nearest Sephora and buying the first “natural” product you see.

“So, we looked to see if there was an all natural beauty store in New York City,” adds DiPrima. “One that took guessing out of things and sold only synthetic-free products… and there wasn’t. How is it possible that a market so saturated lacked something so simple? And why not open one ourselves? So, we founded CAP Beauty in 2015 to become the city’s — and possibly even the country’s — first 100% natural beauty store.”

This beauty store is 100% natural

CAP Beauty - The First Synthetic Free-Beauty Store

AS GREEN BEAUTY becomes an established trend, many brands want to position themselves as natural. Some are, some aren’t.

This is why we frequently see lawsuits against brands containing ingredients they claim not to, or misrepresentation around what a product actually is. Everyone from Tom’s of Maine to Neutrogena has fallen under fire, and an April 2015 piece in the New York Times even proffered the word “natural” may have lost its meaning completely. What’s more is that the confusion goes both ways, as some safe ingredients have truly unfortunate, misleading names.

“Take hyaluronic acid, which is actually completely natural,” DiPrima explains. “Or shea butter, which appears on labels as butyrospermum parkii.”

And too often, this is where people focus their attention: on brands’ mistakes. Pamer and DiPrima, however, wanted to flip the focus — wanted to spend their time promoting the benefits of synthetic- and filler-free beauty instead of pointing fingers.

“It’s pretty simple: Every ingredient should serve a purpose,” DiPrima adds. “And [we] should embrace a nutrient-dense spectrum of products… That the things we buy not only work, but are also safe, should be a given.”


The Issue: Taking Back "Natural"

It's pretty simple: Every ingredient should serve a purpose.”
CAP Beauty - The First Synthetic Free-Beauty Store
That the things we buy not only work, but are also safe, should be a given.”

WHEN CAP BEAUTY opened in February 2015, it did so with only one goal: to become a place that gave consumers piece of mind. A place that doesn’t require any background knowledge — where any product on the shelf is not only 100% natural, but also effective.

“It’s such a simple idea,” DiPrima laughs. “And we were honestly amazed it didn’t already exist. But after months of research before opening the store, we could not find one such business in New York City. We couldn’t even find another example in the country, although we can’t be certain nothing exists.”

So, here’s the deal: If a product wants to be carried at CAP, it’s submitted to weeks — sometimes months — of stringent research and testing by their team. (CAP personally tries every product.) Only once the ingredients have been studied and the benefits have been proved is it prepped for selling.

“What’s disruptive about us is that our focus isn’t on the products we don’t sell,” Pamer asserts. “Because there probably are some synthetics out there that are fine. But if we can find equally effective products that natural, why wouldn’t we use them? Why not focus there instead?”

And that’s why CAP Beauty is so different. It’s the only brick and mortar business as beautiful as a high-end department store, but stringent enough to carry the tag 100% natural. They’re the first of a kind.

The Answer: A 100% Natural Beauty Store

CAP Beauty - The First Synthetic Free-Beauty Store

Not only can you shift your routine toward clean beauty products, but you can also support small businesses like CAP Beauty. Like Gwen told us, these disruptions are really in the hands of the consumers.

“Ten years ago, a business like ours couldn’t have existed,” concludes Pamer. “And it’s because of our customers that we’re able to exist now.”

CAP Beauty is located at 238 W 10 St in Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood.

So, what can you do?


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