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by manoela torres
September 11, 2020
In today’s society, we would like to think we are more conscious about our environment than ever… So much so, that the products that are a massive part of our daily lives are being transformed, more and more, to eco-friendly products.
Our consciousness transcends to the products we use on our daily skincare and beauty routines: it is almost unthinkable to buy a non-cruelty or pesticide-free product. This way, the green, and clean beauty movement are taking over and slowly changing the beauty industry. Different major retailers and beauty-brand startups are adopting green and clean business objectives and products.
Nonetheless, what most of us would call green products can be a product of greenwashing.
First of all, what is greenwashing?
The Cambridge dictionary defines greenwashing as "to make people believe that your company is doing more to protect the environment than it is." That is to say, companies are "riding" on the beauty movement trend, claiming their products are more environmentally friendly than they are for conscious customers to feel inclined to buy them.
Yes, it is a thing, and you might have been a victim to it while buying beauty products. There is a consensus amongst beauty brands and beauty brand shoppers that "clean" and "organic" makeup is cruelty-free, environmentally friendly, natural, and chemical-free ; however, the terms that covert many beauty products (and draws us to buy them) are self-defined by the brand.
Believe it or not, but the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration) only bans or restricts 11 chemicals than the 1,328 which the EU has banned… Because of this lack of regulation, many skincare has no consequences in labeling their products as "organic" or "clean"!
The terms "natural" and "plant-based", which many skincare and beauty brands like to splash all over their packaging, can be very deceiving. These two terms are mostly used as a marketing strategy to get people to buy the products since brands do not have to meet specific governmental regulations to label their products as "natural or "plant-based."
So, how can you identify greenwashing in the beauty industry?
The first step to not fall into the greenwashing trap is being conscious of it and not trusting misleading labels. Reading a product's ingredient list is a great way to detect greenwashing- brands can't lie about the ingredients they use.
As we gain consciousness about the importance of preserving nature and making our daily lives as natural as possible, the beauty industry is adapting to what customers are looking for. Inevitably greenwashing comes along with a more eco-friendly approach to Beauty products… Nonetheless, if you are aware of greenwashing chances are you won’t be a victim to it!
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