Do you remember the days when finding an organic beauty product was like finding a needle in a haystack? Except first you had to find the haystack?! All the major cosmetic-counter brands were completely void of any mention of organic, non-toxic, and cruelty-free ingredients. There weren’t any of those handy stickers and seals to steer you in the right direction either. So, some of us hit our local health food stores to seek out healthy alternatives. Others took it upon themselves to create home-made formulas using organic ingredients either grown themselves or sourced by local and small-scale suppliers.
Well, we’ve come a long way baby. The pendulum has swung! -But careful what you ask for, the plethora of products boasting “green beauty” is enormous. Mostly, it’s a good thing! But, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to navigate this green tidal wave. First of all, what does green beauty mean anyway? It’s certainly a subjective concept. We’d like to think green beauty is consciously-cultivated and maintained by using natural products not comprised by synthetics, chemicals and artificial ingredients. It doesn’t end there though; green beauty is more than that. It means that all the ingredients that are harvested, collected and gathered-- are done so with knowledge and respect for Mother Earth. Sustaining our health, wellness and beauty is made possible by protecting not compromising the earth’s precious resources. You may ask, but how? There’s much to consider. So, let’s just bite off a bit of green beauty basics today and answer some common questions many consumers have:
What’s the difference between certified organic and organic?
Products that are certified organic are required to have a minimum of 95% organic ingredients, the remaining 5% containing water and or salt etc. cannot include GMO ingredients. FDA regulates how the ingredients are grown and requires that farmers and handlers document their processes and get inspected every year. If in doubt, look for the USDA Organic seal.
If I’m trying to transition to using more green beauty products in my skin care routine, what should I look for?
Simplicity. Ingredients you can recognize and pronounce. Ingredients that are plant-based, known to regenerate, heal and protect. Organic botanicals and products of the beehive are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and have anti-inflammatory properties.
What should I avoid?
Is “Cruelty-Free” really important; isn’t there laws against cruelty to animals?
Unbeknownst to many, companies often have the dirty work of testing their skin care and cosmetic products on animals done oversees where there are less regulations. So yes, a good start is checking for cruelty-free seals.
How can I be sure a product is really what it claims to be?
The cosmetic industry is largely unregulated. Much goes on and into a product that never has to be revealed, so it’s wise to weary. Thankfully there are some credible and neutral watchdog organizations that go to great lengths to assess and rate products based on a host of health-focused features. Check out EWG, a leading non-profit that has does in-depth reporting. Additionally, more and more Green Beauty Blogs have popped up. Many are very informational, but be aware that some are simply paid advertisers.
What about cost? Is it really necessary to pay hundreds of dollars for green beauty?
Remember that a lot goes into the cost of a product besides the product itself. Packaging, marketing, and shipping can drive costs up. Yes, you get what you pay for, so, with that in mind—when you look at price point, consider the quality of the ingredients and effectiveness of the product over all else.