GREEN is the new black! Whether browsing your local cosmetics counters or wandering the personal care aisles at the supermarket, you’ll see ‘natural’ this and ‘organic’ that, plastered over packaging that is apparently bursting its plastic seams with ‘nature’s goodness’. Brilliant, right? WRONG.
The good news is, there’s clearly a growing consumer demand for ‘green’ products in the beauty industry. The bad news? Companies and advertising agencies are cashing in on this big time and not necessarily delivering!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term "GREENWASHING", here's what Wikipedia has to say:
Greenwashing efforts can range from changing the name or label of a product to evoke the natural environment on a product that contains harmful chemicals to multimillion dollar advertising campaigns portraying highly polluting energy companies as eco-friendly."
So, how do you ensure companies aren’t greenwashing their way into your bathroom and cosmetics cabinet? It’s simple..
#1 - Don’t believe everything you read!
Unfortunately companies are allowed to use the words ‘organic’, ‘natural’, ‘eco’ and ‘bio’ on their packaging with absolutely nothing to back it up! Crazy, right?
Before purchasing a product ensure their words are backed up with certifications. Knowing some of the certification logos can make life a lot easier. Here’s a few goodies to look out for:
#2 - Know your ingredients
It’s time to start flipping over that dreamy, green packaging and familiarise yourself with all those big words you can’t pronounce, ie. TOXINS! For a head start on some of the most common and harmful chemicals found in mainstream beauty and personal care products check out TOXINS 101.
And if delving into the nitty gritty of toxicology isn’t your thing check out the Think Dirty App! Simply download this baby and start scanning. Think Dirty will give products a rating from 1 to 10 based on carcinogenicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity and allergies and immunotoxicity. There’s also a full breakdown of the ingredients with their use and health impacts if you want to dive deeper!
#3 - Get familiar with trustworthy brands anD STORES
Don’t panic! It’s not at all bad news. There are plenty of beautiful products and brands you can trust and once you find them you’ll never have to go looking behind that deceptive green curtain again.
For a head start, hop over to two of my favourite eco beauty stores…