We’ve seen it all, from extreme exfoliation regimens to weekly tanning bed use, to the botox craze, the industry has taken twists and turns every decade. The latest trend has been clean and natural products. This was no disappointment to us, as janegee has been centered around bringing clients effective and truly clean skincare. Our surprise was how many companies began marketing their products as “good for you,” “natural,” and “green” when they were truly full of synthetic ingredients.
Along came greenwashing… the concept of a brand marketing their product as, clean, natural, eco-friendly, when the products don’t fall into any of those highly sought-after categories. Unfortunately, here in the US, the beauty industry has less stringent rules and regulations compared to our European counterparts. European nations have banned over 1300 substances from their cosmetics sold on the market, while the United States is trailing behind at a mere 11 substance bands. Yes, that’s right, 11 substances. It makes you wonder what ingredients could be lurking in your products that much of this world deems too dangerous for use in their countries.
High levels of these undesirable substances entering your body add to your toxic load. If you haven’t heard that term used before, toxic load refers to the accumulation of toxins and chemicals in our bodies that we ingest from a variety of sources. These sources could be household products, the environment, the food we eat and so much more. Our bodies are designed to handle and deal with toxins but when the system is overloaded it struggles.
We’ve seen countless clean beauty businesses pop up, some with great products and others with more money poured into carefully constructed marketing campaigns than the development of their products. Are you feeling overwhelmed yet? Not to worry, we’re here to help you spot potential greenwashing and give you the tools to keep your skin and body healthy!
1. Look Beyond the “No”
Have you ever seen a company list everything they don’t put in their products? This is great, but it can often take away from what they are putting IN their products. Wouldn’t you much rather learn what you are putting on your skin, than what you aren’t? We agree! When shopping online or in-store, turn that package around or select the ingredients drop down on the website, take a look at what is actually in the product, not just the cute icons talking about what isn’t.
Pro Tip* Before jumping to conclusions about a specific ingredient, do your research. All too often customers get frightened by ingredients with lengthy names. For example, Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, derived from coconut oil, is used in many natural products as a very mild surfactant to create bubbles. Many people see this word and associate it with a sulfate and immediately write off the product.
2. Deceiving Packaging
The human brain is a fascinating thing to study. Many of us have inherent associations with certain colors. Let’s take green as an example. The color green is the most common color in the natural world. Many associate it with money and the environment. Associations such as these are often taken into consideration when designing packaging and labels. Marketers carefully design labels to catch the consumer’s eye and evoke emotion. Now, we aren’t saying any brand with green on its packaging is attempting to deceive you. Rather, we are recommending to look beyond packaging to see if what the company is promoting (ex, eco-friendly, natural, clean) is really what the products stand for.
3. Take a Look at the First Five Ingredients
Ingredients are listed on products in the order of predominance, with the ingredients used in the greatest amount first, followed in order by those in smaller quantities. This means that those first handful of listed ingredients are a great first place to start looking. You don’t want to see those few “natural” ingredients listed last on your skincare product. You want to see clean, natural, and effective ingredients throughout the entire label.
Why Should You Care?
Did you know it only takes 26 seconds for some of your skincare products to enter your bloodstream? I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty alarming to us! Understanding what products you are using on your skin, in your home, and around your family can greatly impact your overall health.
High levels of chemicals entering your body add to your toxic load. If you haven’t heard that term used before, toxic load refers to the accumulation of toxins and chemicals in our bodies that we ingest from a variety of sources. These sources could be household products, the environment, the food we eat and so much more. Our bodies are designed to handle and deal with toxins but when the system is overloaded it struggles.
We can’t stress enough the importance of researching the brands you currently use. Look to add products that are natural, clean, and sustainably sourced. Tools like Think Dirty are a great resource for understanding the ingredients in your self-care products.
If you are already using janegee skincare products, have confidence that years of research, dedication, and love have gone into making every single product good for you and good for this beautiful planet we call home. We hope this helps you decipher between products next time you are at the store or shopping online. As always, please reach out to us with any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s Become Better Together