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Uncovering the Truth Behind Greenwashing: How to Spot and Avoid Deceptive Marketing Claims

๐†๐ซ๐ž๐ž๐ง๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  is a marketing tool that some companies use to make their products look more eco-friendly when in fact, they aren't. And it can be so subtle, like:

  • making their packaging in the color green

  • using specific buzz words like 'natural' when the ingredients lists natural flavors (i.e. not so natural) or sustainable without any context, eco, life and pure are also common greenwashing words.

  • when a product is deemed โ€œ50% more recycled content than before.โ€ when in fact, the manufacturer increased the recycled content to 3% from 2%.

  • when plastic water bottle companies like Poland Spring, Evian and Deer Park put nature on their labels, which is "laughably ironic considering that plastic water bottles are designed to be single-use and are contributing to the massive plastic waste crisis around the world." (earth.org)



Now you might be better at reading food labels to make sure what you're putting IN your body is healthy, but do you read the labelsย on cosmetics and skin care products to see if what you'reย putting ON your body is healthy?! In the same way that many companies "greenwash" products to make them appear more sustainable, personal care brands often 'clean wash' products to make them seem more natural or safe.


Marketing and labeling standards for beauty products are nearly a free-for-all, so, as with food labels, it's more important to look at the ingredient list. Words like "natural," "clean," and "non-toxic" are not regulated by the FDA on labels, so it's up to consumers to do their own vetting of these claims.


Additionally, a study in Environmental Research showed that in 18 hair products tested, 84% of the chemicals found weren't even listed on the label, which means it's important to choose transparent brands with high-quality standards and eco-friendly certifications.


Many skin care products today contain carcinogens, toxic chemicals, and hormone disruptors and YES, it's legal and very loosely regulated. The FDA does not require safety testing of ingredients and has only banned about 11 substances while Europe has banned over 1300! The last time anything legal happened around personal care safety was in 1938!


๐ˆ๐ง๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐๐ข๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐š๐ฏ๐จ๐ข๐:

  • โ„™๐•’๐•ฃ๐•’๐•“๐•–๐•Ÿ๐•ค: anything ending in -yl like methyl, propyl, ethyl, these are preservatives found in many skin and hair care products. These have been linked to endocrine disruption and breast cancer.

  • ๐”ฝ๐•ฃ๐•’๐•˜๐•ฃ๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•”๐•–: sounds fresh and fancy but companies are not required to disclose what's in theirย fragrances, so it could be anything! Some have been linked to cancer, reproductive issues, and allergies.

  • โ„™๐•™๐•ฅ๐•™๐•’๐•๐•’๐•ฅ๐•–๐•ค, ๐”ป๐”ผ๐”ธ, ๐•‹๐”ผ๐”ธ, ๐•„๐”ผ๐”ธ:ย these may be lurking in the 'fragrance' component of the product if its not directly listed on the label anywhere and haveย been linked to hormoneย disruption, organ toxicity, and breast cancer.

  • ๐•Š๐•ฆ๐•๐•—๐•’๐•ฅ๐•–๐•ค: AKA SLS and SLES, this is what creates the suds and lather in soaps and hair care products. Sulfates can be contaminated with a substance that has caused cancer inย labย animals and it's also toxic for the environment.




I'm not telling you to throw away everything you currently have and start fresh, becauseย that would be really wasteful! But I am telling you, there'sย an affordable option andย ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ ๐จ๐ซ๐ ๐š๐ง๐ข๐œ, ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐š๐ฅ, ๐ญ๐จ๐ฑ๐ข๐ง-๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ž๐ž ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ฌ. I personally use Beauty By Earth products for my skin care routine. You can use code ALEXISFITCO to save you 12% on all purchases! Another brand I love shopping with is grove.co which sells household cleaning products, personal care products, pet products and more!


ย 

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