Greenwashing in Personal Care Products
Not many people know what the term “greenwashing” is when they hear it. Because it has the word “green” in it, people naturally think that it has to do with being eco-friendly and this is partly true. However, it’s a common practice in the cosmetics and personal care products industry where they say their product is organic or natural when it really contains questionable ingredients.
The main confusion regarding product claims is a real problem in the beauty and personal care industry, so when something is referred to as “greenwashing” it basically means that they are simply slapping on that organic or natural label to fool consumers into thinking that the ingredients match this statement. It’s time to get accustomed to the different ways how greenwashing is done.
The main difference
Greenwashed products are products that have a highlight of the only “natural” ingredients, whiles they are found to be loaded with synthetics/harmful chemicals have a look on the EWG Skin Deep website on https://www.ewg.org/skindeep.
Greenwashing in cosmetics is such a tricky subject, some of the beauty brands who claim to be “natural” or organic have mislead the consumers through greenwashing practices. There are countries where cosmetic brands are not regulated, and so companies deceives the consumer by claiming their products are natural, organic or “certified organic”.
This must be the most practiced way of greenwashing: presenting a product as if it revolves around one ‘natural’ ingredient, while never mentioning the possibly harmful chemicals that one ‘natural’ ingredient drowns in. Apart from that it’s worth noting that even the ‘natural’ ingredient is usually a chemical: the key here is to look for toxic, harmful or questionable chemicals.
Claims in Beauty
Companies get to do this because of all the major loopholes in the federal laws in our nation regarding cosmetic and personal care products. They allow these companies to make bold claims like this without properly regulating them to see if they are real or not. So when they use the words “natural” or “non-toxic,” the truth is that these products are anything but. Greenwashing is a term to describe this type of behavior with cosmetics and personal care products.
Regulations in Skincare
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website, “The law does not require cosmetic labeling to have FDA approval before cosmetic products go on the market, and [the] FDA does not have a list of approved or accepted claims for cosmetics.” This essentially means many of our favorite “all natural” or “organic” products might be fooling you and simply greenwashing their labels for the sale of sales.
Product Labeling & Packaging
When you see the term “natural” on the label, know that the FDA doesn’t regulate it to make sure there are really natural products in there. It can either mean that all or a percentage of the ingredients might be plant-or mineral-based, but there could also be synthetic fillers. The same thing happens with “organic” products.Many brands are trying to take advantage of the organic cosmetic and skin care wave and are simply using the word around loosely.
It’s good to note that if the product features a USDA Organic seal on it, it means some of its raw ingredients were produced without the use of pesticides or fertilizers BUT they may still have other harmful and questionable ingredients mixed in. So now that you know what greenwashing is, just be cautious about the products you buy and instead do your research to find out which ones are truly natural and organic.
Too many people are curious about the green movement and it gives some brands an opportunity to take advantage of the growing concerns of consumers to have healthy, cruelty-free cosmetics.
Let me know if you come across any greenwashing practices in your country and tell me what you think or leave a comment below.
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