More women are buying green beauty products

© Kari Gran

An annual survey has found that increasing numbers of female shoppers are reading labels and refusing key ingredients.

Green beauty products are becoming more popular among female shoppers. The third annual Green Beauty Barometer survey, commissioned by Kari Gran, an eco-luxe skincare company that we love at TreeHugger, has found that more than 60 percent of women now read product labels prior to purchasing -- a good first step toward making healthy, ethical choices. Other findings include:

Young women between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most concerned about what's in the beauty products they buy. Three out of four Millennial women say buying green products is important. For women between 35 and 54, 69 percent chooses green products, and this number has increased by 10 percent from last year, a notable gain.

When it comes to choosing specific products, skin care is the most important. Thirty-eight percent of women will only buy natural skin care products, and 31 percent opt for natural hair products. Nail polish and fragrance are lower on the list, which is unfortunate, considering how toxic both are. In fact, Gillian Deacon writes in There's Lead In Your Lipstick that fragrance should be the first thing to go if cleaning up your beauty routine is a priority. (Read more about the dangers of fragrance here.)

Green Beauty Barometer© Kari Gran

Women living in the Western U.S. states are most concerned about ingredients. Sixty-seven percent of women living in the West reads labels diligently, compared to 51 percent in the Midwest. This means that women in the western U.S. are also more likely to be dissatisfied with the selection of natural beauty products in stores; and out of that number, it's the Millennials who care the most.

There is awareness about the dangers of specific ingredients. Sulfates are avoided frequently; three in 10 women will not buy a product if it contains sulfates. Next most avoided ingredients are parabens and synthetic fragrances.

While the study sample was relatively small -- just under 1,300 U.S. women -- it's still good to know that the green beauty sector is growing, especially for younger women, who will carry those habits on in life and educate their children about the importance of what we put on our skin.

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