There’s a trend currently going on in Western culture that’s sweeping across all major cities – “green beauty.” The green movement encompasses many ideals but it ultimately boils down to products which aren’t harmful to the earth and health. The trend started several years ago and has steadily gotten more popular, but has really taken off in recent years. The shift from natural and organic to green beauty isn’t only because of the harmful effects of many ingredients in non-organic skin care have.
There are several distinct forms of natural beauty, including eco-friendly skincare, organic skin care, organic hair care and organic body care. Green beauty products can be as simple as a cleanser formulated with natural ingredients, to more complex products like eye shadows and lipsticks that are chemical free. Green beauty products are often very similar to organic products in terms of function – but because they are made with natural or organic ingredients, and in smaller amounts, they are usually more cost effective than their counterparts. Green beauty products can help protect the environment, improve the body’s health, and also provide an added benefit for cosmetics users who want to try out “green” cosmetics without having to pay an extra buck.
The ingredients found in green beauty products are usually plant-based oils, waxes, extracts. These ingredients offer skin protection and moisturize, without the added heavy fragrances and parabens found in other mainstream brands. Some common ingredients used in green beauty products include coconut oil, jojoba oil, emu oil, lavender and rose water, aloe vera, wheat germ oil, beeswax, and vegetable glycerin. These ingredients do not clog pores, they instead work to heal minor skin irritation and dryness.
Green beauty products have actually been helping people for over 100 years. They have long since replaced traditional bathing products with organic and/or all natural versions. In the US, greenwashing is on the rise. This is where a brand is brought in that uses green ingredients in order to get a “green” label without using actual chemicals.
With the rise in demand for “sustainability” and “all-natural” products, many brands have added the “sustainability” aspect as a marketing tactic to separate themselves from other brands. For example, organic beauty companies that do not use any synthetic chemicals in their ingredients will often carry eco-friendly and “all-natural” versions of their regular product lines. However, many brands go even further by offering products that are greenwashed as well as eco-friendly. Some indie brands have taken this further by offering organic versions of all their regular cosmetic products. As of now, only a select few brands that focus on the sustainable beauty industry are able to say that they are “all-natural” and “sustainable”.
The future of the “green” and “organic” beauty industry looks bright. There are many brands starting to tap into this market as consumers become more concerned about what goes into their products. Organic brands are quickly becoming mainstream and major players within the beauty industry, just as they are with traditional brands that are all-natural.