The Earth is healing: An unexpected benefit of the Coronavirus shutdown has been improved air quality throughout Sephora stores across the nation.
Scientists report that the rate of air pollution inside the average Sephora store is lower than it has been since the store’s inception in 1970.
“It’s astounding,” says Mark Friedman, of the Business Air Protection Agency. “Levels of VOCs are down, HAPs are down. And people walking by are no longer saying, ‘Ew, what is that gross berry smell?’”
Last month, Sephora stores experienced the longest-ever stretch of days of “fresh, unscented air” since at least 1980.
With the air so free of fragrances, dry shampoos, and makeup setting sprays, many are eager to reopen stores so that customers can appreciate the products against a blank slate. But Friedman cautions that that could be a mistake.
“Reintroducing product samples to the stores could very quickly get us back where we started,” he says. “But this is a reminder of what a Sephora could be like if we were just willing to make some sacrifices.”
“This is a new world we’re in, and it may be time to completely rethink the practice of letting so many products into the air in an enclosed, public location.”