Clean beauty is clean makeup

We took our cues from data and science to create LEMON-made, our ethical standard.

We’ll level with you: creating a ‘clean’ high-performance brand is a complex process, especially when there is no independently regulated definition of ‘clean’. So, we did what we’ve always done. We took our cues from data and science to create LEMON-made, our ethical standard. 

At LEMONS, we think that being ‘clean’ is so much more than just the ingredients in our products. We adopted a conscious end-to-end approach in our supply chain that produces an innovative company-wide take on ‘clean’. We believe that choosing LEMONS means you deserve to know what you are buying – the sum of all the choices we make to create a product for you. 

LEMON-made is a roadmap, an ethical recipe that we follow each time we make a product. 

Transparency is vital. 

We are a data-driven company, always seeking out the facts about science, skin conditions and consumer needs. Yet, we understand that what we know about the latter can rapidly evolve with new research and studies – for example, an ingredient could become unethically derived or unsustainable to source. We are committed to following the facts, embracing innovation and remaining transparent about our LEMON-made journey. As we change and evolve, you’ll be the first to know.  

Formulation by function. 

We formulate for your acne goals. Sitting at the intersection of skin-care and make-up, all our formulas are designed to target acne over time and deliver daily high-performance results. 

We calibrate our formulas to ensure every single ingredient has an efficacious function for cosmeticity, skin benefit or formula stability. We also consider how each product and ingredient synergistically works with the rest of the LEMONS brand and within a daily skincare or makeup routine to amplify benefit to your skin. 

We don’t put anything unnecessary in our products and we value safety above all else. Our products are manufactured in Europe, naturally ruling out over 1600+ unsafe ingredients and meeting REACH compliance with rigorous testing standards. We mandate additional screening for contaminants like heavy-metals and 1,4 dioxin, and we’ve also elected to avoid added fragrance because we don’t like secrets, or the potential for further skin sensitization.

Ingredients with value

We seek ingredients that ultimately help to restore skin barrier function – gently working with the skin over time, rather than against it. Acne is a multifactorial skin condition and it can uniquely manifest in each individual. We love our ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid for their universal efficacy for the skin. 

We rely on scientific data to determine which ingredients to include in our formulas. Where the studies aren’t completely conclusive on ingredient safety, we use the precautionary principle to exclude certain ingredients until we can demonstrate their value to our formulas and safety for health. 

We always formulate without 

  • 1,4 Dioxin
  • Benzalkonium Chloride
  • Butylatedhydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylatedhydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • Coal Tar
  • Ethylene Oxide
  • Formaldehyde + Formaldehyde-releasing agents
  • Hydroquinone
  • Nitro musks
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Polycyclic musks
  • Sulfates (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate)
  • Toluene
  • Triclosan and Triclocarban

Supply chain with integrity.  

We care about how our products come together. We carefully selected our trusted ingredient suppliers and european manufacturers based on their expertise and ability to work with us in innovative ways. 

Our sustainability vision is a work in progress and we’ve started with our packaging. Our bottles are glass with PET pumps or glass droppers. Our outer packaging is fully recyclable and our shipping boxes are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified mixed material. Our premium carton boxes are also built to last beyond LEMONS, designed to proudly hold any bits and pieces.

With over 45 combined years of experience in supply chain management, we build processes that allow us to have complete visibility of our end-to-end. To ensure the integrity of our products on a foundational level, these are just some of the testing procedures that we perform to ensure safety and compliance with European Union standards: 

Safety and toxicological testing

We test all of our raw materials for purity, to ensure that there are no substances in our finished formulations that present a risk to your health in the short and long run. For example, we screen our color pigments for heavy metals and PEG’s for 1,4 dioxin and ethylene oxide. You won’t find these contaminants in LEMONS formulas. 

We perform patch testing to ensure that our formulas don’t cause any skin irritation, corrosion and sensitization. This is especially important for skin suffering from acne and chronic inflammatory conditions. 

Microbiological testing

A product’s preservation system is extremely important, especially in water based formulas. In addition to ensuring that there is no harmful bacteria in the finished product, we need to know that the preservation system can perform over time. 

In what’s known as ‘secondary contamination’, bacteria can be unintentionally introduced into a product through contact with hands, fingers, and brushes after opening and during use.

In order to ensure that our formulas hold up against any bacteria that could potentially be introduced, we perform a preservative effectiveness test. This is known as a re-challenge test that puts our formulas up against common bacteria, fungi and yeast.

Microbiological testing is especially important for products designed to help with the appearance of acne, given that this condition can sometimes stem from different strains of non-beneficial bacteria on the skin. 

Stability testing

If you think about all the different places your LEMONS could live – in a pouch, in a humid bathroom, in a warm car, in a dark draw – products can be in a wide variety of different temperatures. Temperature can alter the chemical composition of a product and it could become unsafe for use. 

We want you to take your LEMONS wherever life takes you, so stability testing is paramount to our creation process.

We conduct accelerated stability testing for all of our products to ensure that during shelf life and during use, your LEMONS maintain their function, physical product integrity, chemical stability and microbiological quality.

Performance testing

We take claims seriously. To demonstrate our products can do what we say they can do, we put their functionality, usability, durability and performance to the test. 

We performance test each raw ingredient and each batch for quality assurance. 

Part of testing for performance is a packaging compatibility test. We have to make sure that as a result of chemical interaction, there are no corrosive effects between the formulation and packaging components. Our packaging does not alter our product function as a result of contact with our packaging materials.