The affection for “green” is a global trend that will most likely – and hopefully – last long. The beauty brands have understood it quite some time ago, introducing the new environmental-friendly cosmetic lines as a response.
However, the terminology used to categorize these products can be confusing at times. Green, natural, eco, organic, biodegradable – what does that all really mean? Understanding the differences between these terms will help you adjust the hair care and skin care products to your needs and expectations.
But before heading to explaining their meaning, let’s take a closer look at the way the beauty brands may try to trick you.
Greenwashing in the beauty industry – what to avoid?
You most likely have heard about greenwashing already. It’s a relatively new phenomenon that has emerged with the increase in eco-consciousness in recent years. Unfortunately, it’s present in the beauty industry as well. The companies take advantage of the customers’ new habits by branding their cosmetic lines as green and natural, while in fact, they don’t have much to do with nature.
The best defense against greenwashing is knowledge. Knowing the source of the particular ingredient and its influence on the environment will help you verify whether the company is in line with the principles of ecology and sustainability. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s all about pretty packaging and good marketing.
Natural cosmetics vs. organic cosmetics – what are the differences?
For the cosmetic to be considered natural, it has to contain at least 95% of natural ingredients. At least part of them should come from renewable sources. In its composition, there shouldn’t be any synthetic aromas nor parabens. On the English market, you can find such cosmetics in the offer of Basiclab UK beauty brand or Biotebal UK.
However, these natural ingredients do not have to be plant-based. That’s the main difference between natural and organic cosmetic products. The second category has to contain at least 95% of plant materials. Note, however, that both groups can be vegan or non-vegan.
Unfortunately, neither natural nor organic cosmetics always come from ecological sources. Accordingly to the European norms, at least 10% of the ingredients of organic cosmetics should come from organic farms. This requirement doesn’t apply to products considered natural.
The packaging is also significant. Both natural and organic cosmetics should have recycled and recyclable packaging. Nowadays, most beauty brands – like Anwen UK – put a strong emphasis on these aspects.
Are all the natural cosmetics biodegradable?
No. Biodegradable cosmetics are safe to use in closed water circuits, where the water is later reused for the purposes of farming or others. Thus, its composition should be 100% natural, which is not the case with every natural product.