The beauty business in Canada is booming, with exciting expansions coming into the country from all areas of the industry. The latest is the new Goop store in Canada, the first location north of the border for Gwyneth Paltrow's life brand. This comes just after the future introduction of Ulta Beauty into Canada was celebrated by many earlier this month, and the expansion of The Detox Market in Toronto was a dream come true for lovers of natural beauty products.
Despite all of the industry buzz around Canada, unfortunately for Goop, a modern lifestyle and wellness company, they have already had a bit of a bumpy start. The opening of a new store in a new city should be all about showcasing products, mingling with customers and handing out samples. For Goop, the day was probably ruined when the federal health inspectors showed up to remove several of their products.
Speaking to CBC News, Health Canada said that upon visiting the brand new Toronto store they discovered two sunscreen products that were “not approved for sale in Canada”. This is despite the products being labeled by the company as “natural” with “no questionable chemicals”.
It is a requirement under Health Canada regulations that any ‘natural health’ products must be tested for harmful or undisclosed ingredients before they are legally allowed to be sold in the country. When a product meets the requirements, they are given a ‘Natural Health Number’, which is then included on the product’s label.
Although these products have been removed from the Goop Toronto store, the product is still available online via the Goop website for Canadians who are desperate to get their hands on the sunscreen items. In an investigation into the regulations, CBC News ordered two product lines from goop.com that are “not licensed for sale in Canada.”
This is possible thanks to a loophole in Health Canada legislation that says “consumers can purchase unapproved natural health products online and ship to Canada so long as they are for personal use.” While this freedom allows buyers to make their own decisions with regard to the products they purchase, Dr. Jen Gunter, who is skeptical of natural health products and companies like Goop, told CBC that Canadians “may be taking an unnecessary risk.”
She said "I think Health Canada should be stepping up. If protecting Canadians matters, then it should matter for all the potential sources that people could be exposed to these products."
This isn’t the first bump in the road for the company, which is owned by American actress Gwyneth Paltrow. The brand has faced considerable criticism from medical experts since it began making a move into Canada. According to CBC News, several experts suggest the brand has a “buttoned-up approach to health checking” and uses “scientifically dubious” information.
Dr. Jen Gunter said “...these products don't always contain what they say. Sometimes they are adulterated.” She also warned “Some of these things also could interfere with your medication and maybe you're on a drug for epilepsy, and maybe it's gonna make that less effective. Maybe you could have a seizure."
Following the visit from Health Canada, the lifestyle and wellness brand voluntarily removed the sunscreen products from their store.
In an email statement to Narcity, Goop said, "We learned that two sunscreens with US packaging from a third party brand were inadvertently sent to Canada. Canadian regulations require different packaging. The product itself is compliant with Canadian regulations and is the same formula as sold in the US. The packaging issue has been fixed, and we have reached out to Health Canada to ensure our entire assortment exceeds their standards."
They confirmed that the products will be sold again in Canada once the shipment with the new packaging arrives.