It almost seems that all cosmetic brands are "green" in some way these days. Although it is high time for healthier and environmentally friendly cosmetics, this is unfortunately far from the case everywhere. Many (cosmetic) brands are guilty of greenwashing.
What is greenwashing and how do you recognize it? How do you know whether cosmetic products are really green and do not contain harmful substances or unnecessarily burden the environment? Read on quick!
What is green washing?
To recognize greenwashing it is important to know its meaning. greenwashing
it is pretending to be greener or more socially responsible than a company or organization actually is. Because sustainability is 'in'. Companies act as if they are taking a well-considered approach to the environment and/or social issues. In reality, this is mainly a 'lick of green paint'.
Greenwashing as a new beauty trend
The pressure to make sustainable choices is increasing for cosmetics companies. from recently research
from The Soil Association's Organic Beauty & Wellbeing Market shows that almost 40% of the youngest generations find it important that skincare products are environmentally friendly.
There is of course nothing wrong with propagating a green image. We at Flow are proud to show that all our natural products are really green; from haircare
, facial care
to become makeover
When sustainability is used incorrectly as a marketing tool, it is misleading and unethical. Then we are talking about greenwashing. At the beginning of this year, the Europese Commissie
and national authorities investigated companies for 'green claims'. This found that as many as 42% of green claims were false or misleading.
How do you recognize greenwashing?
Green slogans such as natural, sustainable, organic, pure, vegan, fair and ecological are not all legally protected. Green packaging with beautiful natural elements doesn't have to mean anything either. A cosmetic product may be called organic if it comes for more than 95% from certified organic production. The basic principle is that various interests are represented, such as protecting the environment, biodiversity, natural resources and animal welfare.
Natural cosmetics labels
There are labels that you can look out for when buying kopen green cosmetics
. Since 2016 there is a ISO standard
which provides guidelines for manufacturers regarding ingredients. In addition, there are several European bodies that have drawn up guidelines for natural cosmetics, such as ECOCERT
or the COSMOS standard
Cosmetics products that bear these eco-labels
, contain natural raw materials such as vegetable oil, fats and waxes, herbal extracts or essential oils and aromas from controlled organic cultivation or wilderness according to the prescribed guideline. Important here is:
- using a minimum percentage of natural ingredients
- careful choice of the processed vegetable raw materials
- ecological compatibility of every product
- environmental and resource-saving production processes
- biodegradability of raw materials
Also the INCI list can tell you more about the exact ingredients of cosmetic products.
Good to know:
- The ingredients are always in descending order, depending on the content quantity
- Aque means water
- A Latin term is often a natural plant extract. There are a few exceptions such as petrolatum (petroleum jelly) and paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil)
- The prefix sil- and suffix -an refer to silicone
- CI followed by a number, refers to a coloring (natural or chemical)
- Substances that can trigger allergic reactions are at the end of the list (e.g. linalool, limonene…)
- There are different kinds parabens
- The most common sulfates are referred to as SLS or SLES
Read more about how to read an INCI list here.
On every product page of ours assortment we have translated all ingredients in an understandable way.
Which beauty products are really natural?
Learn about the background of the company and the ingredients list of the products. In addition to the tips in this article, also use common sense. Unfortunately, cheap is often expensive in sustainable cosmetics.
Natural and organic cosmetics do not necessarily mean that they cannot provoke allergies or skin irritation. And when organic ingredients have a negative impact on the environment during extraction, this cannot really be called 'green'. Or if an organic shampoo consists mainly of water and comes in a plastic bottle (a natural shampoo bar is always the greenest choice).
At Flow, we therefore look at the safety and efficacy of our products in addition to honesty.
Our only major caveat is that once you start using our products, you'll probably never want anything else :) Check out our complete here range of natural, effective and fair cosmetics!