Greenwashing in Cosmetics – Who are you Trusting?

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Greenwashing in Cosmetics – Who are you Trusting?

Are your favorite beauty products truly as “natural” as they claim to be? Find out more – plus the best clean and natural products you can trust


Do you know what’s better than always innovating and working to create the best natural cosmetic products? It’s having a passionate community of customers who are constantly searching for the same. But do you know what’s a total party pooper? The fact that so many beauty products market themselves as “natural” when they actually contain chemicals that can harm your health, or worse, give you cancer.

Imagine spending a lot of time browsing a store for a skin care product that will finally help to fade your pesky, dark sun spots. You finally settle for an “all-natural” serum because you want something safe and derived from nature only to discover after using it that your skin has become severely irritated instead.

Unfortunately, you may be a victim of greenwashing! Today we’ll help you uncover greenwashing in cosmetics and skincare, and how to avoid it – plus help you find natural and clean beauty products you can truly trust.

Fake Green

What is Greenwashing?

Have you ever been able to walk through a beauty aisle without grabbing something from the shelf? It’s harder than it sounds! There are so many attractively packaged products that all claim to be natural and complexion game-changers that it’s hard to hold back grabbing one – or several! We all want to make healthier choices and have healthier skin, while still looking our best.

Your eyes finally land on a pretty box and the words in delicate cursive, “All natural, green beauty.” Sounds like you can finally meet your New Year’s resolution to stay healthy, right? Sadly, that’s not usually the case. What you’ve just experienced is a case of a presumably “natural” beauty brand greenwashing you.

The Greenwashing Index describes greenwashing as when a brand or company makes efforts claiming to be “green” and “natural” through marketing tactics – like pretty packages and eco-friendly words – rather than implementing practices that minimize environmental impact or are healthier for you. In shopper-friendly terms, greenwashing exaggerates a company’s mission to be eco-conscious, purely for financial gain. By conveying false impressions these companies can deceive sustainably conscious consumers by making their products seem environmentally sound.

For example, that new “natural” eye cream you’ve been eyeing might brag about using a brand new “green technology” to reverse signs of aging, when it’s actually packed with dozens of chemicals of words you can’t even pronounce that do harm to both your skin and the environment! Not only is that company holding back the facts from you, but they’re also distracting you from the ugly truth with enticing packaging and empty promises. Shouldn’t this be illegal?


Unmasking “Unnatural”

The surprising answer is that unfortunately it still is very legal. That’s because claims like “organic,” “all-natural,” or “no harmful chemicals” aren’t regulated by the USDA, while the terms “organic” and “natural” are not defined in either of these laws or the regulations that the FDA enforces under their authority. Companies can in turn take advantage of this and run full throttle with these misleading terms and whatever ingredient culprits may lurk in a beauty product.

Since the ingredients are not strictly regulated, this allows companies to use toxins and synthetic ingredients that can have harmful effects on the body and environment, even while marketing the product as “natural”, and even when some of the ingredients listed in the products aren’t extracted from natural sources, causing customers to be deceived.

If the government doesn’t say no, you should be all clear, right? Wrong again. The U.S. continues to let cosmetic companies use toxic chemicals in their products and has only banned 30 chemicals, while the EU has added a whopping 1328 to their no list! Something’s clearly not right here. That’s because the FDA has less saying power than you think.


Is There a Standard For ‘Natural”?

Previously, we discussed how there is no government-approved standard for “natural,” making your choices in the beauty aisle even riskier. No matter how many promises of “natural” and “green” a brand slaps on its ads or packaging, that doesn’t change the fact that you’re putting known human carcinogens onto your skin that are then absorbed into your body. We’re getting shivers just thinking about that.

A similar form of greenwashing in cosmetics happens with animal testing too. Even though companies may claim to not test on animals, it turns out that each chemical that’s put into their products is. They got away with labeling their products as free of animal testing only because they didn’t test their final product on them. If you can’t trust cosmetic companies or the government, who are you supposed to rely on now?

It’s imperative as a beauty shopper to understand the ‘guise of “natural” beauty, how to avoid harsh chemical ingredients, and be able to navigate the marketplace for truly natural products

Why Is Greenwashing Bad?

So, what is it about greenwashing that makes it such a bad thing? And, furthermore, why are these chemical ingredients so problematic? Because American dermatological research has shown for over 40 years that it’s not only what we put in our body that’s absorbed, but also what we put on it, and the chemicals in cosmetics do way more harm than good to your body.

As for greenwashing, is it so bad? Yes – for one, it can mislead people into acting unsustainably through their purchases. When a company claims to be natural or eco-friendly, certain customers might feel more compelled to buy their products. Further, there are many documented examples of greenwashing and its harmful effects on the environment.?

But more than that, brands that greenwash are often massively contributing to misinformation about what’s sustainable, taking advantage of the confusion within the sphere to make a profit. This has led most people to feel jaded about the claims that these brands often make, whether it comes to health or sustainability, as these brands mask the harmful operations they actually practice.

When paired with ineffective regulation, greenwashing contributes to consumer skepticism over lofty claims of sustainability and conscious practices, which negatively impacts consumer power. That’s why at 100% PURE, we are dedicated to using natural alternatives to these chemicals that are high performing and nourishing for you, as seen in our natural, organic skincare formulas.

100% Pure Foundation

Who You Can Trust Instead

100% PURE stands against greenwashing in cosmetics and in general. Imagining health and environmentally-conscious customers being misled into purchasing harmful products is what brought our founder Susie Wang to take action. 100% PURE has taken steps to rigorously define “natural” to make sure our cosmetics are truly natural and healthful for you. When we label our cosmetics as natural, you can rest assured that we are adhering to the highest standards possible.

What does that mean for you? A whole list of accomplishments and formulas that’ll make you feel hopeful about truly natural beauty products again. No greenwashing is necessary here. Our formulas are non-toxic and go through a rigorous 9-Step Testing Process that we use to make sure we are creating safe and effective products for you.

Our packaging is BPA and phthalate free. Our commitment to animal welfare means that we will never test on animals – and that our products will always be certified cruelty-free. When it comes to our ingredients we go through a painstaking process to avoid animal-sourced ingredients and opt for vegan, cruelty-free alternatives.

The list goes on for the lengthy steps we’ve taken to ensure you only receive the best natural beauty products to help you make a positive impact on your health and the environment.


Clean and Natural Products You Can Trust

At 100% PURE we take pride in our testing practices to ensure that we are producing the healthiest and most toxic-free formulas for our customers. Our formulas are 100% natural, biodegradable, and contain organic, vegan ingredients. And when we say “natural”, take our Mushroom Peptide Serum: There’s no need to go foraging in forests or beauty aisles on a hunt for fungi.

We happily took away that work by offering a serum packed with nearly a dozen different medicinal mushrooms. This super serum is perfect for those looking to combat dullness and dehydration. Hydrating polysaccharides from mushrooms blend beautifully with hyaluronic acid, which plump skin with intense hydration. Meanwhile, quinoa peptides prompt collagen production to promote firmness and elasticity.

We even go a long way to provide the best in natural beauty – from the forests to even the deserts! That’s right – our hydrating Nopal Cactus Cleanser is made with a concentrated blend of desert botanicals like nopal cactus, prickly pear, and aloe vera to deeply cleanse and balance the skin. Ever wonder how cacti stay hydrated? Nopal is a desert superstar packed with antioxidants and polysaccharides, which can help skin absorb and retain moisture. The high levels of Vitamin C, B1, B2, and B3 in nopal cactus make it the perfect detoxing ingredient.

All of this sounds amazing, right? But what about a complexion game-changer that rivals the chemical retinol – a mainstream all-star ingredient for anti-aging concerns? We have that too! Enter, Bakuchiol! This ingredient will solve your problems of fine lines, wrinkles, dryness, and much more.

Our Bakuchiol Oil Serum is made with the clinically recommended maximum Bakuchiol concentration. This gentle and plant-based alternative to retinol is a must-have for those who are looking for long-lasting hydrating and is especially perfect for those with sensitive skin. It penetrates deep into the skin for a soft and supple feel.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of greenwashing and fake natural beauty claims within the industry but with absolute certainty, we are truly and forever committed to being 100% PURE. You can trust us to always stay true to our founder Susie Wang’s original mission: “I founded 100% PURE to start a revolution against toxins in cosmetics and to produce the BEST, healthiest products for the world to use.” You can trust us to be always truthful to you, and truly 100% PURE.

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.

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