The Truth About Green-Speak & Organic Anti-Aging Treatments
Is today's greener beauty industry walking a new walk? Not according to consumer advocacy groups. Apparently most “green” cosmetic companies continue to play fast and loose with the facts—they’re just cloaking their deceptions in more politically correct language. As a holistic skin-care provider and educator, I’m highly aware of the challenges my clients face in trying to see through the seductive camouflage of Earth-friendly hype. My concern with this issue was one of the reasons the producers of Lifetime’s Balancing Act thought their environmentally aware viewers would connect with my approach to natural skin care and organic anti-aging treatments. Like my client base, the show’s target audience comprises a highly educated and influential consumer demographic. This generation of green consumers shares their predecessors' disenchantment with corporate misbehavior, as well as their activist spirit. But today’s burgeoning green marketplace has a lot more financial clout. And with so many more products options available, these economically empowered green shoppers can afford to be demanding. Unfortunately, the slickest hucksters in the beauty industry keep coming up with clever new ways to fool the public. Even smart green shoppers who religiously read the label of every product they buy can be taken in by fuzzy terminology and deceptive language. Take the word organic, for example. It certainly sounds safe, healthy, and pure. But in fact, organic can mean whatever manufacturers want it to mean, including “containing crude-oil derivatives”! The reason? As long their “organic” ingredient is a “carbon-based chemical,” it meets one of the half-dozen or so dictionary definitions of the o-word—and as a result, cunning corporate wordsmiths are legally entitled to use it. That’s why consumers who prefer to protect their skin from potentially toxic ingredients should look for a statement confirming their beauty products are 100% free of petrochemicals, parabens, and other synthetic ingredients. The term certified organic offers additional quality assurance, because it indicates that the product contains plant-derived extracts that have been grown and manufactured according to strict third-party standards. And don’t be surprised if a label or product description doesn’t clearly specify every single ingredient. You may need to do some online sleuthing to get the whole story. Never settle for anything less than total transparency, accountability, and commitment to quality, safety, and effectiveness. You--and your skin--deserve the best of everything inholistic beauty and health.