When It Comes to Looking After Your Skin, Read The Fine-Print!
In today’s world, a great deal of currency is given – rightly or wrongly – to our appearance and the way we present ourselves. We all want to look our best and we all want to use skincare products that will give us a glowing complexion and healthy, youthful looking skin. In search of this panacea, we are exposed to hundreds of new products every year. Some of them are promoted by celebrities, some of them have wonderfully exotic, ‘natural’ sounding names, whilst others are marketed as having impeccable ‘green‘ credentials.
The good news is that a number of these products deliver on what they seem to promise. But others don’t. They flatter, but they deceive. And, in the absence of any guiding legislation, it’s up to us to work out that we are buying what we think we are.
At World Organic we are committed to offering you skincare which will not only help you look good, but feel good as well. We source our ingredients from biodynamic farms and well over 99% of everything we put into our products is pure and natural. (For a closer look at our world class, organic skincare products – USA | AUS | NZ)
Sadly, the same cannot be said for some other skincare products on the market. Many mainstream cosmetics companies continue to rely on synthetic chemicals as the key components in their products, whilst others who claim to be environmentally friendly and natural are guilty of greenwashing.
Greenwashing occurs when a manufacturer makes – or seems to make – a claim about their product which convinces purchasers that they are buying something which is natural and good for them. The product might, for example, have an organic sounding name, offer “a truly natural experience”, or claim to be based on “fair trade”. Acting in good faith, consumers buy these products, believing they are doing the right thing, both by themselves and the world around them.
Unfortunately, closer inspection often reveals a different story. A shampoo that claims to have no Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS) may simply be using an alternative – and equally risky – foaming agent such as Ammonium Laurel Sulphate. A company that promises consumers “natural skincare” may actually be offering products that only possess a small percentage of natural ingredients whilst also containing parabens and various other synthetic chemicals. Another manufacturer might claim to be “fair trade” or “environmentally friendly”, but offers no evidence in support of this.
In the end, claims like these are possible because the market in Australasia does not, as yet, have any set guidelines or rules as to what is required if a company is to describe itself as “green” or “natural”.
Given this, it is necessary that we, as consumers, take some responsibility for what we buy. We can protect ourselves by following these two simple rules:
1. Look for evidence of certification. Leading certification agencies such as BioGro, the American based NSF, the European based Eco-cert, BDIH and NaTrue, or the Australian based NASAA and ACO, will only certify products that meet prescribed minimums in terms of natural or organic content. They offer a strong guarantee that you are purchasing products which are truly “green”.
2. Take the time to read the ingredients listing of the product you have chosen. This will help you to determine the worth and authenticity of the product. If you are unsure about one or more of the ingredients listed then talk to the supplier or check for yourself in a book like Christine Farlow’s “Dying To Look Good”, an easy-to-carry guide which classifies and explains over 1,300 cosmetic ingredients according to their safety.
Whatever you do, don’t simply assume that because something looks on the surface to be green and pure, that it is a natural, healthy product. Check the certification, check the ingredients list, and rest easy in the knowledge that you have chosen skincare that is good both for you and the planet!