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beware of “natural” claims on products

February 21, 2011

There’s no hiding the fact that being “green” is a huge trend (Hello, Greenwashing). As consumers become more aware of the impact that their lifestyles have on the environment, the more they feel guilt about the plastics they use, the chemicals they spray, flush or use on their bodies, or the potential harm they may be inflicting on themselves and their loved ones. With something “potentially carcinogenic” popping up every other day, and new reports on toxins scaring the bejesus out of the public, trying to do their right thing for you and your family’s health and the environment becomes more pressing, but even harder to achieve.

Most cosmetic companies LOVE the fact that it’s easy to instill fear and guilt on the consumer, and try to win your trust by claiming their products are natural. Sadly, an estimated 98% of “natural” products in the US are using misleading claims in order to boost sales.

Ninety. Eight. Percent. People! Outrageous, isn’t it?

But how do they go about tricking consumers? Easy. Some of the ways that cosmetic companies try to fool the consumer is by using irrelevant claims, fake certifications, presenting “fact” without proof, or using vague terms such as “all natural” and sadly, even “organic”.

Click here to read TerraChoice’s “7 Sins of Greenwashing”

So there you are, standing in the aisle, trying to quickly make a decision about which product to buy, when you grab the one that has the word “organic” on it and something that looks like a certification, oh, and what do you know, it’s CFC-free. But you know what? THIS MEANS NOTHING!

Absoutely jack diddly squat.

Here’s the challenge: Round up your cosmetics. Pick out the ones that claim to be “natural”, “organic” or something to that effect, and READ THE INGREDIENTS LABEL. Oh, what’s that? Sodium Lauryl (and Laureth) Sulfate in your “tea-tree and rosemary” shampoo? I thought so. You know that’s also used as a garage-floor cleaner….gee, that’s why your hair is so squeaky clean! What about propylene glycol? That’s antifreeze. Awesome. So why don’t we all just go to a garage and pour all the chemicals they have lying around on our bodies and call it a day.

OR, and obviously this is a much better alternative, buy cosmetics from companies with a conscience, who you trust AND whose ingredients don’t read like a garage’s laundry list.

I know that being educated about what to avoid in cosmetics is a lot of work…which is why I will try my best to keep my readers and customers in the know about the worst of the worst. I research this to formulate my own products with the safest ingredients, so I can help save you a lot of time!