The other day I was shopping at a well known cosmetic store and checked out the skin care aisle....I just can't help myself. One of the products on the shelf had a beautiful clean label with a gorgeous leaf on the front and the word "natural" as part of the name. Sounds like a product that should have clean ingredients, right? When I flipped the product over to check the ingredients it felt like I needed a chemistry degree to understand what I was reading. Yes there were some natural ingredients in the product, but they were lower on the list which means not as much of the good stuff. One ingredient on the list was methylparaben which according to the EWG Skin Deep database has the following concerns: biochemical or cellular level changes, endocrine disruption, allergies/immunotoxicity, use restrictions. Sound like something we should slather all over our skin? Probably not.
So what is greenwashing? According to Wikipedia: "The term is generally used when significantly more money or time has been spent advertising being green rather than spending resources on environmentally sound practices. This is often portrayed by changing the name or label of a product to evoke the natural environment or nature - for example, putting an image of a forest on a bottle containing harmful chemicals."
Bottom line: being green is in and advertisers have figured that out. Be your own best advocate. Read ingredient lists and understand what you might be slathering all over your skin. Remember, the skin is the largest organ of the body and what you put on your body can be absorbed into the body.
An excellent resource is EWG.org/SkinDeep which has a complete list of cosmetics and ingredients.
Customers have shared a lot of tips plus I've learned quite a bit working in the industry. It feels great to share information that may help someone else.