Sunday, July 31, 2016

Do not let green-washing deceives you!

Count us among those who are thrilled, make that ecstatic, that everyone’s become aware of the importance of choosing organic and all-natural ingredients. Now that so many of us are insisting on our beauty products being green, it’s a hopeful sign that beauty can be sustainable.
But when it comes to lacing these beauty products with questionable or downright dangerous ingredients, yet calling them “organic” or “botanical” or “all-natural,” we call that dirty. The industry calls it greenwashing. And you’ll be surprised whose on the list.
Aveeno tops it. On their website, they advertise their “Active Naturals,” ingredients that are derived from nature. A banner pops up and reads, “Aveeno Inspires. All our products come from nature…” Yet, if you pick up one of their many products you’ll read words on the ingredient list like: Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Dimethicone, Benzaldehyde, Butylene Glycol, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, and Propylparaben. Yes, some are “natural” (for example, Petrolatum and Mineral Oil are derived from petroleum, which comes from nature) but they’re probably not what you had in mind.
Sephora is on it too, sadly. They put their “Naturally Sephora” logo on products that are formulated to exclude a minimum of six of these eight ingredients:
  • GMOs (genetically modified organisms)
  • parabens
  • petrochemicals
  • phthalates
  • sulfates
  • synthetic fragrances
  • synthetic dyes
  • triclosan

  • 1. The Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off occurs when one environmental issue is emphasized at the expense of potentially more serious concerns.
  • 2. The Sin of No Proof happens when environmental assertions are not backed up by evidence or third-party certification.
  • 3. The Sin of Vagueness occurs when a marketing claim is so lacking in specifics as to be meaningless.
  • 4. The (new) Sin of Worshiping False Labels is when marketers create a false suggestion or certification-like image to mislead consumers into thinking that a product has been through a legitimate green certification process.
  • 5. The Sin of Irrelevance arises when an environmental issue unrelated to the product is emphasized such as claiming a product is ‘CFC-free’ when CFCs are banned by law.
  • 6. The Sin of Lesser of Two Evils occurs when an environmental claim makes consumers feel ‘green’ about a product category that is itself lacking in environmental benefits.
  • 7. The Sin of Fibbing is when environmental claims are outright false.

What’s that mean? It means that you might still find parabens (cancer-causing) or pthalates (high level exposure can lead to cancer and adult infertility; low-dose exposure studies show potential male reproductive development damage to fetuses). Why not exclude them all? Here’s why, in their own words. “Simply because sometimes an equally effective, viable, natural alternative is not yet available.” Confusing? You bet. And we say hogwash.
And the hits, they just keep coming. According to TerraChoice, an environmental consultancy firm, investigated consumer products making environmental claims in North America, Australia and the UK.
The survey focused on children’s toys, baby products, cosmetics and cleaning products.
Greenwashing is defined by TerraChoice as the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.
The firm found that as many as 98 percent of the products surveyed committed at least one sin of greenwashing.
The company subdivided the concept of greenwashing into seven specific sins, from common to least common:
So, what’s a body to do? Read labels. Get educated. And shop at trusted companies like theCLINIC who make it our life’s work to offer products held to the highest standards for organic and all-natural beauty products.
Are we perfect? Of course not. This is a fledgling industry. New information is coming out all the time. But we do our best and do due diligence, all the time, not just six out of eight times

credit to Organic Beauty Now (

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