5 Greenwashed Myths of the Beauty Industry (And How Not to Fall For Them)

Photo credit: Getty Images

4. It has someone's seal of approval, so we're good

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program isn't the only sheriff in Beauty Town, even if the Food and Drug Administration is strictly hands-off when it comes to regulating the use of "organic" in cosmetics, bodycare, and personal care products. (Confused? You and us both.) The proliferation of certifications and labels over the past few years has made what was already a sticky quagmire of "who said what" even more unnavigable, with standards like OASIS, Whole Foods' Premium Body Care, and Sephora's Naturally Gorgeous either contributing to or muddying up the conversation, depending on whom you ask.

Third-party verification is a wonderful thing, but many of these "internal ratings" are tantamount to saying that your own standards of awesomeness have summarily judged you to be TEH AWESOME. (And Terri Bly at Feelgood Style notes that Sephora is selling a load of crock anyway.) As TerraChoice so eloquently put it, thou shalt not worship false labels.

Photo credit: Getty Images

5. Babies and kids use it, that makes it safe

Think again, kemosabe. Just because a skincare product is geared toward the pint-size, doesn't mean it's been tested for safety. With no standards in place to protect them—and despite their increased vulnerability—our children are exposed to some of the muckiest ingredients chemistry hath wrought, including known carcinogens like 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde. Even a trusted, supposedly child-friendly institution like Johnson's, maker of the iconic No More Tears shampoo, regularly hits the highest score on the Environmental Working Group's hazard scale. Won't someone think of the children?

More on beauty greenwashing
How to Tell True Blue Eco-Friendly Beauty Products from No-Good Greenwashed Ones
Is New Organic Beauty Label Green or Greenwash?
Josie Maran Cosmetics: Green or Greenwash?

Tags: Babies | Cosmetics | United States


treehugger on phone
treehugger slideshows