How to make your skincare routine more environmentally friendlyMore and more, we are actively seeking ways to reduce our individual impact on the environment. Our efforts include the beauty products we use. Take a look at tips for a more eco-friendly skincare routine, plus information about the all-too-common practice of greenwashing.
What is greenwashing?Greenwashing is the umbrella term describing brands that make misleading claims or reference a 'green' product benefit. Greenwashing claims make a product seem like a 'healthy' alternative or an environmentally conscious option, when it is not. As well as being unethical, greenwashing causes confusion and distrust. It happens in many industries, not just across the beauty industry. Many large brands have been called out for greenwashing, including L'OrÃ©al and Head & Shoulders. If you want to make your skincare routine more environmentally friendly, do some research into products before you buy them.
How to avoid greenwashing in skincareWant to avoid greenwashing? Consider all the ingredients that go into a skin care product just as much as what gets left out. Over the last decade, there has been a shift in eco-conscious consumers searching for labels that are healthy and 'toxin-free'. The words 'vegan' and 'sustainable', 'natural' and 'organic' have also popped up left right and centre. We've also seen 'no parabens' 'no sulphates' etc. plastered everywhere. However, this doesn't mean there aren't nasty ingredients sneakily hidden within. Brands are trying to keep up with the 'green' trend, but they're not necessarily going about it the right way. They're investing in smarter marketing, but not necessarily improving the health benefits of their products. This is why it helps to educate yourself and do some research before you buy.
Cosmetic industry labelling challengesGreenwashing is not a simple, clear-cut topic. Truly ethical and eco-friendly brands in Australia face several challenges, including:
- The lack of a consistent and cohesive natural/organic regulatory authority/certification in Australia.
- The lack of ethical cosmetic labelling practices. This results in companies masquerading with packaging that does not ethically mirror its contents.
- The need for more transparent information and education around the 'bad chemicals' and 'nasties' people should look out for.
- Education around what 'natural' ingredients to avoid because they're known skin irritants or otherwise harmful.
- Education on what to use and avoid for babies' skin which has a different pH level to adult skin.
Why choose a more environmentally friendly skincare routineStudies by the Environmental Working Group prove that the average person regularly exposes themselves to ingredients that are either synthetic, toxic, known skin irritants or carcinogens that can play havoc with our hormonal balance. Our skin acts as a barrier but it also has pores that absorb. Studies have found it hard to prove just what gets absorbed and what impact this has on the body. It's worth noting that a product can be labelled 'organic' with minimal organic ingredients. And there may also be some synthetic ingredients too! Many companies still get away with claiming 'natural ingredients' by including 1% natural essential oils! It is frustrating for brands that put effort into developing serums and products with quality, natural and planet-friendly ingredients.
How To Avoid Greenwashing In The Skincare IndustryHere are some tips to help you figure out how to make your skincare routine more environmentally friendly:
Do your further research. It may involve contacting the brand directly to ask:
- What ACTIVE ingredients does the product contain?
- For proof of certification if that's what's being claimed.
- Exactly WHICH ingredients are natural/organic and in what concentrations?
- Find brands that have efforts to minimise waste in every aspect of their business.
Become An Ingredient Warrior
- Are there any known carcinogens, toxic ingredients, hormone disruptors, synthetic ingredients?
- Be wary of fancy 'trademarked' names such as (hypothetical example here) " With the latest technology - SkinPlump Extract 510."
- Less is more. Choose multifaceted, multipurpose and effective products. For example, Botani's Vegan Certified Olive Skin Serum is a natural moisturiser, serum, hydrator and natural make-up primer.
- Get into waterless beauty! Botani's serums, healing lip balm and olive repair balm do not contain water. This means there are more active ingredients€¦ and they're processed using cold-press, using less heat and thus conserving energy.
Terms To Look Out For On Labels
- Dermatologically tested is a good sign, but not the only one to look for.
- References to 'single' ingredients may mean they're trying to reel you in by one ingredient's benefits.
- With 'vegan' ingredients, this doesn't mean the whole product is vegan.
- Look for brands that make a 'whole' claim such as '100% plant-based' and not just a wishy-washy generalised 'organic' claim.
- Look for brands with trusted 'certifications' through a third-party organisation. They have put effort into getting certified.
Botani's skincare promiseGreenwashing never has and will never occur at Botani. We never claim something we're not. We are proud to source our ingredients so meticulously. We use a blend of natural, wild-crafted, and certified organic ingredients. Being truthful is part of our Ethos. We take this very seriously as it guides our products, innovation and everyday practices. Every one of our products has been naturopathically and holistically formulated through our green chemistry methodology so that:
- The ingredients work synergistically. They don't counteract one another and make the other ineffective.
- There is the right mix of oil and water to provide a balanced texture; non-greasy but long-lasting hydration.
- The right blend of botanicals come together to treat skin conditions and perform important functions at a cellular level.
- The product is subject to vigorous efficacy testing, by humans, not animals and no humans harmed.
- There are no known skin irritants.
- There is NOT, and WILL NEVER BE any synthetic, human-made, chemical or harmful ingredients in ANY Botani product.