PURITO Centella sunscreen

If you need a refresher on the Korean Sunscreen Controversy of 2020, you can check out the Abridged Guide. Starting this month, any noteworthy updates will either be featured in this article or posted anew. 

Purito Update

A week after sharing the independent lab test results for its now-discontinued sunscreen products, Purito took to its Instagram account to make a huge announcement. Three new Purito sunscreens are currently in development — and the company is asking its customers to help formulate one of them.

What Are The New Purito Sunscreens?

Much isn’t known about these new Purito sunscreens, but for one of these upcoming products, the company will be crowdsourcing ideas. Purito has received a high volume of customer feedback in the weeks since its much-beloved Centella Green Level Sun was revealed to have a much lower SPF than its advertised level 50.

Purito will be following a four-step process:

  1. A brief customer survey, which is linked in its IG Stories
  2. Sample testing by 10 customers
  3. Naming and designing the new sunscreen
  4. Product launch

Purito will announce the 10 lucky customers who will be tasked with testing the new sunscreen on March 24, which means the survey will likely end right before that.

Not a First for Purito

Asking for customer feedback in creating new skincare products is not a new practice for Purito. In fact, the company has already done this twice.

In 2019, Purito asked for help in creating a new sleeping pack, which ultimately became the Purito Dermide Cica Barrier Sleeping Pack. For 2020, Purito had skincare fans come together and help create what’s now known as the Panthenol Watery Cream, although that project has taken a back seat to the just-announced sunscreen products.

A Measured Response to Controversy

In the months since INCIDecoder’s blog post sparked the Korean Sunscreen Controversy of 2020, skincare fans — especially K-beauty lovers — have been keeping a very close eye on Purito to see how the company would respond. Since then, Purito has:

  • Taken responsibility and promised to learn from the experience
  • Pulled all of its sunscreens from stores
  • Granted refunds for sunscreen purchases made between June – December 2020
  • Disclosed the results of additional independent lab tests for all of its sun products
  • Announced a plan to work with a new manufacturer and conduct random batch tests

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Purito’s response to the whole situation has made me much more willing to support them. Is Purito a perfect company? No. But does it show a willingness to learn from its mistakes and take customer concerns seriously? Absolutely.

I’m anticipating these new Purito sunscreens, but in the meantime, I need something to replace my empty tube of Unscented Centella Green Level Sun. Right now, I’ve transitioned to the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel — which I normally reserve as a full-body sunscreen — but it’s really all I have left now. (Well, that and the Klairs Mid-Day Blue Mineral Shield, but my skin has been too dry for that lately.)

Keep Cool Update

Over a month after the company broke its silence regarding its Soothe Bamboo Sun Essence, the CEO of Keep Cool took to the brand’s global IG account to provide an update on the situation.

Like Purito, Keep Cool will be developing a new sunscreen product with a different manufacturer and run independent clinical trials in both South Korea and overseas to ensure global standards are met.

In addition to that, Keep Cool is now offering refunds for its now-discontinued sunscreen. The CEO explained that originally, the company elected to offer a Keep Cool voucher only since it was unsure if unauthorized sellers would honor a refund. Now customers can either choose to get their money back or receive a Keep Cool voucher.

Finally, the CEO expressed her apologies for the way several content creators were treated in sharing information about the Soothe Bamboo Sun Essence amidst the controversy. All Keep Cool employees will now be undergoing customer fulfillment training.

My Thoughts

Obligatory disclaimer: I am a Keep Cool Ambassador.

I had the privilege of meeting Keep Cool’s CEO, Erin, at a K-beauty event in New York City in 2019. She was an absolute joy and I could tell she really cared about the mission of her brand. Any interaction I had with Erin and her team had been nothing short of pleasant, which is why I was shocked to hear about Keep Cool threatening legal action against content creators speaking about the Soothe Bamboo Sun Essence — either anecdotally or based on information that was already out there.

Since I’m spending much less on IG these days, I didn’t experience everything unfolding in real-time. However, this Reddit post tipped me off to what was going on. Frankly, I was disappointed to learn about what Keep Cool had been doing — even if Keep Cool wasn’t acting out of turn in the eyes of South Korean law. (But in the United States? Doubt that would hold up in court.)

In any case, I am glad to see this note from CEO Erin and anticipate the release of Keep Cool’s reworked sunscreen. Taking accountability and vowing to learn from mistakes is certainly a step in the right direction.

By the Way…

Uh, why didn’t you just update your Abridged Guide?? Someone, somewhere, might be asking this:

  1. I felt this was newsworthy enough to post on its own.
  2. That guide is getting quite long, don’t you think? It’s becoming less abridged.
  3. It’s my blog, whatever, I do what I want.

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I am not a professional. All opinions are my own. 

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