Most of us are taking active steps everyday towards living healthier lifestyles. We choose whole foods, limit excess sugar, and make sure we’re getting enough exercise. The beauty and cosmetic industry has also taken notice that consumers are demanding safer products. As a result, greenwashing has ensued. What does organic skincare mean? Can the terms “natural” and “organic” be trusted? Here’s the scoop:

What is Greenwashing?

In the beauty industry, the term “greenwashing” is the perception given by a business — usually for marketing purposes — that the products they are promoting are healthy and/or environmentally friendly. This can be a very deceptive practice, with companies spending significant dollar amounts on advertising campaigns that give the feel and appearance that they are “green.”

What is the Problem With Terms Like ‘Natural’ and ‘Organic?’

Many consumers are falling into the trap that a product labeled as “natural” or “organic” must be the safer, better option. Did you know that legally, the term “natural” means absolutely nothing in the beauty industry? It is a completely unregulated term that is only created for marketing purposes — and it works. Labels that boast “natural” products can often contain up to 30% of synthetic ingredients, too!

The truth behind the term “organic,” might also surprise you. Did you know that according to the FDA, “organic” is undefined? Organic food products are regulated by the National Organic Program, which is run by the USDA. In the beauty industry, however, this term isn’t regulated. What does this mean for consumers? The two terms can unfortunately be used pretty loosely,  making it tough to decipher what the best options are.

What Should You Look for Instead?

First, remember that not all safe products are going to be natural.

And not all natural products are going to be safe.

Would you slather your face with mercury or lead? I didn’t think so.

Find a skincare line that is free of harmful ingredients, such as formaldehyde, synthetic fragrance, and chemical sunscreen, just to name a few. Don’t allow yourself to seek results in your products at the expense of your health, especially when there are fabulous options out there that will change your skin for the better without compromising your safety.

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