What Is Greenwashing In Cosmetics?

At first glance, greenwashing might seem like a good thing. It is not, however, especially when it comes to skincare products, and here we will tell you why!

Greenwashing is when a company spends more time and money on marketing themselves as eco friendly and safe than on actually minimizing their harmful impact. It is a deceitful advertising trick intended to mislead consumers who prefer to buy from environmentally conscious and ethical brands.

Greenwashing amongst cosmetics brands is becoming more popular with the consumer’s increasing interest in wellness, organic ingredients and eco-friendly products. Natural beauty and clean skin care have been enjoying an unprecedented boom in the recent years.

In cosmetics greenwashing goes a step further as companies market their product or brand as all natural when they actually are not.

There are brands promoting themselves as natural because they have removed some of the most dangerous ingredients from their formulas (parabens, fragrances, phthalates, etc) and have included a tiny fraction of natural ingredients. Unsafe ingredients in skincare products are unfortunately very common in the market place, including products for children.

Very often the labelling can be confusing for the buyer who believes it to be safe.Many big cosmetics companies use synthetic ingredients in their colours and fragrance as well as using petrochemicals and preservatives at unsafe quantities. The amount of botanical ingredients used is tiny, but this allows the labelling to include the wording ‘natural’ and ‘pure’. And generally speaking, natural and organic, are fairly unregulated terms.

So, how can you avoid becoming a victim of greenwashing? Your best bet is to always check the ingredient list and never blindly trust labels or fancy marketing terms. If a company does not clearly disclose all their ingredients on their packaging, it is wise to be cautious. Search for transparent brands that disclose fully what is in their products.

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