TRANSPARENCY IN SKINCARE: GREENWASHING

The global skincare market will reach $180 million (USD) by 2024, attracting more manufacturers into the skincare industry.

As consumers become more aware of what they put on their skin, the demand for organic skincare has catapulted.

Sadly, instead of meeting market demand in authentic ways, many companies resort to a 'greenwashing' strategy.

What's Greenwashing?

Greenwashing is a marketing tactic where brands falsely show their product as eco-friendly or organic to attract a consumer base favoring such product culture.

Why should we be aware of greenwashing?

greenwashing
While manufacturers become more eco-friendly, greenwashing creates problems for an already full of myths, ambiguity, and assumptions.

Here are some common greenwashing strategies you should look out for.

'Naturally sourced'

'Naturally sourced'/ 'Naturally Derived' are commonly used phrases by manufacturers for products having no natural extracts.

Unfortunately, there are no consequences for misusing this term. Ethically, we'd hope for some natural extract in a 'naturally sourced' product. But, by the time pure extracts have been diluted with synthetic binding agents, fragrance, and activating agents, the natural benefits to the skin are negligible.

How you can avoid: Go for the ingredients list rather than blindly following the product's tagline.

'Dermatologist approved'

If a product is tagged 'Approved by a Dermatologist,' you can't verify it because the Derma may not be licensed for such approval.

How you can avoid: Research the Dermatologist's credentials and look for verifiable test results before trusting the 'Dermat approved' tag. If the brand is genuine, this shouldn't be difficult.

‘Paraben and sulfate-free.’

Parabens and sulfates are carcinogenic ingredients. When a product mentions that it's paraben and sulfate-free, it's bound to be attractive. 

But, the popular greenwashing tactic is to avoid mentioning the presence of parabens and sulfates in the product.

Also, the replacement ingredient might trigger irritation/sensitization. For example, when fragrances are swapped for essential oils, customers feel that essential oils are a natural alternative, so they won't harm them. However, essential oils are harsh and sometimes more harmful than expected.

How you can avoid. Have a good look at the ingredients list. Eco-friendly, but do you find parabens and sulfates in the ingredients? You have a better choice now.

'Sustainable/environmentally friendly.'

Sustainability can mean so many things. How is a product sustainable, really? The manufacturer doesn't explain.

The brand must show an environmental responsibility and a bigger purpose than profit-making to call itself sustainable. For example, adopting eco-friendly practices, using vegan ingredients, or committing to recycling product wastes or new ingredients.

It doesn't necessarily mean all three.

Sustainable products attract consumers by making them believe that they're contributing to saving the planet.

Sustainability happens step by step, with no hard and fast rules. For example, the product packaging might be recyclable, but the product itself might be filled with toxins. The definition of sustainability is subjective, as per the brand's moral obligation.

How you can avoid:

  • Ask questions.
  • Research your products and brand.
  • Learn to look past taglines.
  • Find out exactly how your brand is eco-friendly.
As consumers become more environmentally aware and health-conscious, greenwashing is the next big strategy to watch out for.

CD Beauty NYC is a clean and cruelty-free makeup line with products that feel luxurious, look amazing, and last all day. All CD Beauty NYC products have been approved by the strict government cosmetic entities in the EU and Health Canada.

We urge consumers to look past marketing taglines to avoid common greenwashing strategies and only use brands that have proven organic purpose. If in doubt, contact the brand to ask questions and find out what you're genuinely putting on your skin.

CD Beauty NYC’s Vegan & Organic Products

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