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Hi. I'm Sarah!

Welcome to Simple and Sustainable, the blog for all things green beauty!

How to Tell if a Product is Actually 'Green Beauty'

How to Tell if a Product is Actually 'Green Beauty'

How to Tell if a Product is Actually Green Beauty.JPG

The problem with green beauty is that there's no definition. When it comes to labels like organic, fair trade, or cruelty free, we've got a concrete set of definitions to turn to for clarity. 

But green beauty doesn't have that, which means what's considered green beauty by one, may not be considered green beauty by another.

So let's talk about how you can discover what green beauty means to you, so the next time you're in a beauty isle you know exactly what to look for. 

Ingredients

I think the most important thing about a product is the ingredients. And that's where I always look first to determine if the product is right for me. If you're new at learning about ingredients, start with the basics.

Look for ingredients that you can't recognize, and google them. You might find a Wikipedia page, or you might find the ingredient in the EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, which is such a valuable resource for reading beauty labels.

Take a few minutes to look at what the ingredient is, and ask yourself questions like, "What's the source of the ingredient - chemical or plant?" and "How does it affect my body?" You'll know if it's right for you, and what I mean by that is you'll know if you're comfortable using that on your skin. And if you're really not sure, then it's better to be safe and skip the product. It might seem like you're crossing off tons of product options, but it's better to be safe than sorry, right?

And eventually, with time, you'll start to recognize more and more of the ingredients. Right now, I rarely, if ever, look up ingredients, because I'm familiar with a lot of them and I know just by looking at them if it's a yes or a no. 

Certifications

Some people like to say that certifications can tell you if it's green beauty or not, and I will say, they can help. Chances are, if a brand is using close to 100% organic ingredients, they're not going to sneak parabens or SLS by you. But they might sneak other harmful ingredients, which is why I think it's best to start by reading the ingredient labels. 

Part of green beauty is more than just using safe, healthy products. It's about using products that are better for the planet and for the animals. Which means if a product is using coconut oil, shea butter, sugar, or coffee, they should be Fair Trade ingredients. Otherwise, you can't know if they are using environmentally sustainable farming practices, or paying everyone involved a fair wage. 

Similarly, if a brand isn't cruelty free, how do you know if they're testing on animals or not? And let's be honest, if they're not cruelty free, they're testing on animals. And how is that good for anyone involved? How can that be an ethical product?

While certifications are not at all where you should start, they can help give you some clarity about the products you're using. 

Packaging

And last but not least, is packaging. I think this is kind of a toss up. Just because a product is in glass, doesn't mean it's going to be amazing. And just because it's packaged in plastic, doesn't mean it's not a good option. 

I think what's important here is to gravitate towards brands that are constantly finding new ways to innovate their packaging, and are using as much glass, aluminum, and biodegradable materials as possible. Because that's all we can ask for - is for brands to do their best. 

I hope this helps you find a bit of clarity in your green beauty products! How do you tell if a product is considered green beauty or not?

With love, 

Sarah

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