Lifestyle,  Makeup,  Skincare

Greenwashing In Beauty

What is Greenwashing?

Greenwashing is when a brand uses marketing techniques to sell you the idea that they are a “green” business. Naturally we all want to live a little greener and brands like to play on that “compassionate” part of our brain to sell us their products.

Not many people know about greenwashing as we are shown whilst growing up that the adverts are true and the products we buy really are what they say. Unfortunately this is not the case.

How do I know if it’s greenwashing?

There are some signs you can look out for when it comes to greenwashing, the big one being the use of the colour green.

Here we see two major culprits in greenwashing, Simple Skincare and Garnier. Both of these brands rely heavily on the colour green to sell their “natural” products, they both also use lots of fruits and vegetables to add to the effect.

Another way that brands show greenwashing is by only advertising their “green ideals” when it comes to their products. Brands who use greenwashing to sell their items often don’t partake in any green activism, they don’t actually care about being green at all! They’re products are often full of chemicals you don’t understand and their packaging is probably recyclable.

How do I know if these products are safe?

There are a few ingredients you can look out for if you want to make sure your skincare really is “safe” for you.

2-BROMO-2-NITROPROPANE-1,3-DIOL (FORMALDEHYDE RELEASER) – Found in Simple Soothing Face Toner.

PROPYLPARABEN – Found in Simple Exfoliating Skin Wipes.

DMDM HYDANTOIN (FORMALDEHYDE RELEASER) – Found in Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Water.

RESORCINOL & TOLUENE-2,5-DIAMINE – Found in 41 Garnier products, mostly their hair dye.

PROPYLPARABEN – Found in Garnier anti-ageing cream.

These are just a handful of harmful chemicals found in these “natural” and “safe” brands.

If you want to know if a brand contains dangerous chemicals then I highly recommend this cosmetic database, you can search a brand and it will show you their overall safety rating and allow you to look deeper at the kind of chemicals they use in their products.

If something is “green” is it also cruelty free?

“Green” and “Natural” beauty don’t always go hand in hand with being cruelty free. Simple and Garnier both market themselves as “Green” brands but both test their harmful products on animals. Likewise, some brands will be cruelty free but might also use harmful chemicals. If you want more information on how you can tell if a brand is cruelty free then you can check out my post on it here.

I hope this has helped you understand greenwashing in the beauty industry. I’ve attached a small infographic for you to save and share to help expose the act of greenwashing.

Stay Green x


One Comment

  • Rosie

    Simple really annoy me. When I was in my teens I was definitely sold on their “green” advertising and packaging and thought I was making the right choice for my skin and the environment. I was so annoyed when I found out that their products are not as safe as they make them out to be at all. I wish there was some kind of regulating body that could deal with this because so many people think Simple use completely natural and safe ingredients, when it’s not true at all. Herbal Essences are another example of doing the same thing as well.

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