Does Credo’s NYC Arrival Mark the Clean Beauty Turning Point?

The new, Sephora-like natural beauty store could mean big things for the clean beauty movement.
New York City is on the brink of a clean beauty boom, with businesses like CAP BeautyVivrant Beauty, the New York Institute of Aromatherapy, HeyDay, TenOverTenShen Beauty, and Van Court opening their fume-free doors at a clip.

But the latest arrival just might be the push the movement needed: Credo Beauty, a major Bay Area player in the natural beauty scene, opens in Manhattan on May 12.

Why cast your (naturally) mascara'd eye towards the West Coast transplant? For one thing, at its new Prince Street store Credo is throwing its support behind about 100 natural (or non-toxic ingredient) brands.

In addition to the popular Tata Harper, Kahina Giving Beauty, and African Botanics lining the sunny shelves, it's also stocking smaller brands—which, unlike a cold-pressed juice, are still hard to find in NYC. Think Lake + Skye essential oil blends, Lazy Perfection Japanese makeup brushes, and True Organic of Sweden skin-care products.

"The products we carry show you don’t have to sacrifice beautiful packaging or efficacy to be natural"

There's also the Sephora-of-natural-beauty reputation Credo has built for itself in San Francisco, thanks to its impressive brand selection and chunk of real estate compared to the demure sizes of other clean beauty boutiques. The Soho store is no different, clocking in at spacious 900 square feet.

But the comparison is also a fit because the beauty resume of Credo's founder, Shashi Batra, includes a prominent role on the founding team of Sephora. He can tell you about how much better-formulated natural beauty products are now, 18 years later. (Hint: Much better.)

Batra's a business guy, though, and thinks natural beauty is now ripe for Sephora-ification—especially in cities like New York and Los Angeles, which now has its own Credo store (the third shop has just opened!).

“New York City to me is the perfect place in so many unique ways for what we’re trying to do,” he says. “It’s the fashion and style capital of the US, but it also happens to be one of the most unsustainable cities to live in. This very unnatural environment requires an even more important connection to nature and healthy lifestyle choices that are also aesthetically beautiful.” So apparently your purchase of a mineral sunscreen and non-microbead exfoliant is better for you than you knew.

Photo: Credo Beauty

Inside the bright blue storefront you'll be greeted by the phrase "Totally clean, super good, absolutely beautiful" scrawled on a wall in the simple, loft-like space. And the gorgeous shelves live up to the proclamation: "The products we carry show you don't have to sacrifice beautiful packaging or efficacy to be natural," Batra says. And the staff "really gets a brand's efficacy, history, ingredients, and point of difference," he promises.

Perhaps third time's a charm for Batra, who'd tried earlier in his career to bring natural beauty to both Sephora and Victoria's Secret, to no avail. The momentum is building now, however, and more people want to discover healthy new brands—and try them at tester stations like mainstream beauty products. "This," he says, "is just tip of the iceberg of a clean beauty movement."

Originally posted May 11, 2016, updated February 1, 2017.

Credo Beauty, 9 Prince Street, New York, NY, 10012, 917-675-6041; 8327 W. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90048,

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