Green Washing - What it is, & how to avoid these products

As the clean beauty and clean ingredients movement ramps up so does greenwashing. What is greenwashing you ask? Greenwashing is when a company claims a product to be natural, organic, green, eco-friendly, etc. without this being true. This deceptive practice of exaggerating or falsely advertising a company’s commitment unfortunately is very common because the industry is largely self-regulated. This is often used as a marketing strategy to capitalize on the growing consumer interest in environmentally responsibility and clean ingredients. Greenwashing targets people who want to make better choices with the products they use but are too time-poor to look at the products' ingredients or don’t have sufficient knowledge of how to read labels. The basis of greenwashing counts on you not turning that package over to read the ingredients. This is not just happening with beauty products it’s happening with your everyday household items and food products as well. 

How do we spot greenwashing? Companies typically use imagery such as the recycling symbol, trees, and plants. Combined with colors in shades of green and brown sometimes packaging is created using brown craft-type packaging for that “eco look”.  These companies have deliberate design choices to mislead potential consumers with buzz words like:

  • Eco 
  • Earth
  • Green
  • Organic
  • Hypoallergenic 
  • Non-scented
  • Pure
  • Natural 
  • Planet-friendly 
  • Non-toxic 
  • Safety tested
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Chemical-Free
  • Botanical
  • Biodegradable 

Unfortunately, these terms do not have formal legal definitions and are unregulated in the marketing space. In an attempt to appear to be safe and sustainable, companies will pour dollars into marketing and press instead of putting that money into actually making their products more environmentally and health friendly/safe. And because the beauty industry is mostly unregulated, they get away with it.

Luckily, consumers are becoming more and more aware of greenwashing and starting to look out for it. Checking labels and doing your research is the best way to avoid products and brands that take part in greenwashing. Take a look at the ingredients in the products you’re using now. Google any of the ingredients and see what they are. 

Once you know what the dangerous ingredients are, you’ll know what to avoid the next time you go to the skincare aisle or shop for your favorite skincare online.

You can also type in the name of the skincare brand and “environment” into Google. See if the company has a track record of actually being environmentally friendly or if they have been caught harming the environment in the past. This is why voting with your dollar is so important. This is why learning to read product labels is so important. You are the gatekeeper to your health. No one cares about your health as much as you. 

Start your journey with us. 

We know how overwhelming it can be to choose products that are genuinely good for you and the planet. That’s why we are here to help. Here at Bhava Beauty and Wellness we will never carry products or use products that are greenwashing. It’s only the real and good stuff here. Scheduling a consultation is a great first step our trained Holistic Estheticians will listen to your concerns and provide you with research-tested products that will help you achieve your skincare goals. 


Phone: 970-368-2404

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