Let’s talk Greenwashing!
Greenwashing refers to the practice of making false or misleading claims about a product's ingredients, impact on health or the environment. This is a particularly common practice in the cosmetics industry, and natural kids' makeup is no exception – Oh boy, don’t we know it!
Parents who are interested in purchasing natural kids' makeup and bath products often want to ensure that the products they choose are safe and non-toxic. However, some companies may take advantage of this concern by making false or exaggerated claims about the natural ingredients in their products.
One common form of greenwashing in natural kids' makeup products is the use of terms like "natural" and "organic" and one look at the ingredients list and I roll my eyes as I scoff.
While these terms can be meaningful when used accurately, they can also just be used as marketing buzzwords without any authenticity to the product's actual ingredients!
Another form of greenwashing in natural kids' makeup products is the use of vague terms like "chemical-free" or "non-toxic." While it's true that many natural ingredients are safer than synthetic chemicals, the reality is that everything is made up of chemicals, and not all chemicals are harmful. Many children can also be allergic to natural ingredients, so reading an ingredients list is always a good start! Similarly, just because a product is labelled as "non-toxic" doesn't necessarily mean that it's safe for all children or that it doesn't contain any potentially harmful ingredients. Don’t forget, there are loads of ingredients that can solicit negative side-effects that are deemed “non-toxic” globally!
To avoid falling prey to greenwashing when purchasing natural kids' products, parents should look for products that are transparent about their ingredients.
Here are some of my top picks for ingredients to avoid (I won’t use them in products for my own kids!)
This ingredient is in SO MANY products and is used as a preservative. Lot’s of “Natural” products contain this ingredient and it is one that I personally blacklisted a long time ago. It has the ability to cause an allergic reaction on skin. It is deemed “safe” in tiny doses in each individual product, however, it can contain trace amounts of 1,4-dioxane which is a known carcinogen. The concern here is using lots of products with phenoxyethanol in it, which therefore increases your exposure. Check the products in your home, you will be floored with how many touch points you have per day! We choose to stay away!
Plastic Glitter/PLA Glitter – Forget Plastic Glitter – it is so bad for the environment! And don’t get me started on PLA which is greenwash central! PLA glitter requires a COMMERCIAL GRADE machine to break it down, it is not eco! That’s why we choose The Glitter Tribe Bio-Glitter which is home compostable! There are so many “Glitter” based cosmetic companies calling themselves Eco which are PLA – Ask the question!
Polysorbate (20,40,60 and 80)
Yeah, this guy… This can be found in some foods, loo drops and lots of bath bombs that companies are advertising for our kids! And it comes with a side of potential allergies and immunotoxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity and it is carcinogenic! So safe! Imagine allowing your kids to bathe in that! Great! Many “bath bomb” products found with Polysorbate in them also contain synthetic colours such as CI47005 which is known to be irritating to the skin and eyes and may be an endocrine disruptor affecting hormone production in the body. Yey! *insert eye roll* And best of all, they are marketed as “safe, non-toxic” and great for sensitive skin! *insert eye roll again*!
So what should you look for?
Always read ingredients, always. Nothing frustrates me more than a product marketed as “safe, non-toxic” or “natural and organic” than reading through the ingredients and seeing that it is a straight greenwash. It happens All. The. Time!
Check out ingredients and start to learn about them so that you can make informed choices for your family! Bathing in hormone disruptors? No Thanks!
You are the greatest voice for your kids and information is key.
Have a question? Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org