Greenwashing: How to Avoid Fake Sustainable Beauty Products
Everyone has those go-to products that are a part of their skincare and makeup routine — but do you know what’s lurking inside beauty products that are supposedly “organic” or “natural”?
Just like 'you are what you eat,' you are what you put on your skin: your skin is the body's largest organ. Your face is several times more permeable than broad body regions, while armpits have a 100% absorption rate. You can bet that chemicals in your deodorant and lipstick easily make it into your bloodstream. Keeping toxic ingredients away from your body is key to staying healthy, but it’s harder than you think to spot beauty products that are “Greenwashing” — saying that their products are organic or green when in reality they aren’t.
Regulations for these labels are notoriously lenient, which leads to marketing teams taking creative liberties with what constitutes as a green product. Pretty packaging and words like these don’t mean a thing — the FDA doesn’t regulate the use of labels like “organic” so don’t accept these claims at first glance.
Even more disheartening, even a product that says it doesn’t test on animals can be misleading: if they don’t test the finished product but do test the ingredients, they can still say that there has been no testing on animals.
So, what’s the best way to avoid Greenwashing?
First, become wary of words like “natural” or “organic” when paired with unpronounceable ingredients. Do your research, and check databases like EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to see if the products you’re using are safe or have ingredients that are banned in other countries or are making false Greenwashing claims.
Definitely avoid these ingredients:
BHA & BHT, Carbon Black, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Formaldehyde, Lead, Mercury (or thimersol), Olefin Sulfonate, Potassium Cocoyl Glutamate, Parabens, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, Phthalates, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and/or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Sulfates, synthetic colors, Triclosan, Toluene, and Phenoxyethanol.
Second, only support brands and companies that have rigorous methods of proving their products are green, organic, and natural. Read the ingredients lists carefully and get educated on how that company makes their product, or what processing or testing a specific ingredient goes through. Look for Leaping Bunny Certified for products that are not tested on animals (including the individual ingredients, not just the final product). The more pronounceable, plant-based ingredients the better.
With any skincare purchase, always research the ingredients - don't just believe the branding hype. Here at Good Soul Shop, we research and only support brands we believe in, who use ingredients you can pronounce and are honest about those ingredients. We also sell many Leaping Bunny certified products. Shop with us and rest assured that you’re supporting #GoodSouls.
I don't recommend a beauty product unless I have personally tried it. Having sensitive, acne-prone skin my entire life, I am incredibly picky about what I put in and on my body.
Here are my top six favorite beauty products in the shop now:
1) Cucumber Calendula Super Healing Skin Cream If there is one product I would say everyone must have in their arsenal, it's a hydrating multi-tasker. Whether you have knuckles that feel like sandpaper, dry cuticles, rosacea, eczema, dull skin, or generally dry skin regardless of the time of year, this product does it all. And unlike most beauty brands who market single products for each body part or skincare need, Juniper Seed's skin cream can be used head to toe. This nourishing cream rivals luxury skincare without the designer price tag. And it's chock full of healthy ingredients you can identify and pronounce. Pro tip: this product is free of silicones and petroleum, which don't actually hydrate skin, they just form a surface layer giving the illusion of smooth soft skin while blocking moisture from penetrating the surface of the skin. Read the five star reviews, and then thank us later.
2) Birchrose & Co. Radiance Mask - Containing only clay, papaya fruit extract and a blend of certified organic essential oils, we feel good putting this luxurious mask on our faces. After my first use, my skin felt soft as silk and had a fresh glow, so I quickly added this to my beauty repertoire. I also use it as an exfoliant after I wash my face. I put a little in the palm of my hand and add water and mix to a nice liquid consistency (thinner than a face mask consistency). I get skin smoothing benefits without waiting for a mask to dry, which sometimes I'm too lazy to take on (hello, Britbox is waiting!).
3) Little Seed and Company Deodorant - These deodorants from Little Seed Farm are aluminum-free, baking soda-free, and made from nourishing and gentle organic ingredients. Little Seed Farm deodorants are also Leaping Bunny certified. Unlike other natural deodorants, these deodorants go on with a smooth, powdery finish (no sticky pits here!). Stay smelling fresh all day long.
4) Aloha Love Nourishing Cream Cleanser -
Aloha Love Nourishing Cream Cleanser has an enlivening, creamy formula that gently purifies + nourishes skin with replenishing Seaweed Vitamins, antioxidant-rich Green Tea, and smoothing Hibiscus Extract.
This product offers lasting hydration with its Aloe Leaf Juice and plant oils of Olive & Coconut while invoking self-love as an effective, non-foaming cleanser that softens, renews and brightens skin. Sometimes I use the Birchrose Cleansing Oil to remove my makeup and then follow up with an additional cleanse using Aloha Love.
5) Birchrose & Co. - Jasmine + Citrus Rose Body Oil - This body oil is so luxurious and smells so ahhhh-mazing, you will want to bathe in it. All joking aside, you can actually add it to a bath. We love it after a warm shower and apply all over while skin is slightly damp. Your skin will smell divine and stay hydrated with Moroccan Rose Oil. No synthetic fragrance here. Just feel good, smell good Essential Oils!
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