Natural beauty is all about being good to your skin and body. Using the best, healthiest ingredients. Getting a glow that’s as naturally gorgeous as your products are good for you. Right?
Of course, using natural beauty IS healthy, and better for you and the enviro. And yes, it IS all about the highest quality, natural and organic ingredients. So what the living heck do words have to do with all of this?
Words are the first tip off to who you can trust, and who you can’t.
If you’ve even tip toed around the natural beauty world, you know that not all brands are as pure as they’d like you to believe. Yep, greenwashers have always been (and still are!) a big ugly zit on the face of healthy beauty products.
Why? Money, honey. The natural beauty biz is a-boomin’ and folks want in. For a more in depth look at how this looks in today’s natural beauty climate, check out an article I wrote for Organic Authority with the help of some of the most authentic natch beauty brand founders around.
Back to those faux naturals. It’s all about marketing and most greenwashers are good at it. They use words that make them seem super natural and nontoxic and hot button phrases that catch consumer attention. Once you get the hang of how these posers work, you’ll be on your way to identifying fakes in a flash and stick with supporting the authentic brands who make the planet a better place for all of us.
Think words can’t possibly sway your view of a product so easily? Think of it this way. You meet up with a new acquaintance for coffee. She seems super nice, smiles a ton, and makes appropriate eye contact. But once you are seated and sipping your coconut milk latte, she can’t quit complaining. She looks sweet, her expression is happy, but she’s bitching and bashing to no end. Would you overlook her words and set up another coffee date simply because she looks good on the outside? Please tell me you would not.
You choose friends based on what’s on the inside. You should do the same with your beauty products. That cool label means nothing compared to what a product is truly made of, and hopefully that’s healthy ingredients.
Words to Look Out for on Natural Beauty Product Labels
Natural — I know, I know. We ARE talking about natural beauty products here. Is it really so weird that the word would appear in product marketing? The problem with the word natural is that it has no legal definition, and is flung far and wide on beauty product labels. Don’t put stock in a product that is merely labeled as “natural”.
Organic — This one seems like a no brainer, right? Organic is good, but it’s the other ingredients comingling with the organic ingredients you need to be concerned with. If a product is labeled “100% Organic” you can trust it is made entirely with organic ingredients. Otherwise, more investigating is required to ensure a product is toxin free.
Pure — Again, no legal definition. This one can be spotted on authentically healthy products and those who simply want to appear that way.
Paraben Free (or Phthalate Free, Petroleum Free…(you get the picture) — A decent marketer knows which ingredients have made the most headlines and will grab consumer attention. A product can be free from parabens or phthalates or petrolatum or any other nasty ingredient and still contain other toxins.
The moral of this story? Read ingredients listings. Check out a brand’s story and commitment. Follow and support brands who back up their labeling with clear information, and have values that align with your own.