For L'Oreal, Recruiting a Makeup Safety Activist Is Not Worth It


Jessica Assaf, co-founder of the blog BeautyLiesTruth, has dedicated her time to visible public activism, advocating the boycott of parabens and other toxins in cosmetic products. She recently received a recruitment email from L’Oreal, a company that definitely uses toxic ingredients in their products and has criticized on her site before. While the recruitment e-mail was pretty run of the mill, her response was pretty glorious.

Assaf is a student at Harvard Business School and regularly receives emails from beauty industry recruiters for internships (apparently they can purchase books full of resumes of HBS students?) but was shocked to receive one from L’Oreal. (Also, let it be known that in the e-mail, Shadan the recruiter asks her to check out a video and like it, saying “also do me a favor and give it a thumbs up, I have over 2,000 views but only about 70 likes??! What’s that about??) Assaf fired an email back, letting him know why she wasn’t the right candidate and challenging them about their products. She wrote:

I guess you didn’t get a chance to review my resume before sending this email, because if you had you would have realized that I am definitely not the right candidate for an internship at L’Oreal. I have been a chemical activist since the age of fifteen, committed specifically to spreading awareness about the unregulated cosmetic industry and the unnecessary chemicals in our beauty products.
As a fellow HBS student and someone you specifically reached out to, I feel I deserve to know your level of awareness regarding the ingredients in the products you sell, and your reasoning behind the use of toxic chemicals in L’Oreal products.
Consumer ignorance is L’Oreal’s only safety net protecting your harmful products, but as awareness spreads, all of the mainstream beauty companies (including L’Oreal) will be faced with an outpouring of outrage from your (former) loyal customers, who spent far too long believing they were in good hands.
I would like you to respond with an honest assessment of the ingredients in L’Oreal, and whether you would use the products on your children. If you do not respond, I will assume that it is indeed true that your company cares more about profit than about the health of my generation.

I understand it’s very absurd that L’Oreal would reach out to Assaf, but honestly, that’s pretty fucking intense considering this Shadan character is a recruiter and not at all involved with the chemical content of L’Oreal’s products. Chances are, he’ll probably just delete her e-mail and tweet at Tyra Banks, also a Harvard Business School grad (I hear), about that video. Still, a pretty A+ way to get a recruiter off your back.

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