Last week I received in the post the Natural Beauty Yearbook 2014, where I read an interesting article on organic cosmetics certification. The focus was on the need for certifying organic beauty product today. The article contained several opinions from one brand owner, a beauty editor, an editor, a market researcher and the director of a certification body. Four out of the five people interviewed see organic cosmetics certification as a way to distinguish truly natural and organic products for consumers, also avoiding nano technology and GMO. The odd one and the most interesting to me, was by Amarjit Sahota, of Organic Monitor, he said:

“Until a few years ago, organic certification was very important in the UK and Europe. However, at Organic monitor we are now finding that certification is now not as important as product performance. Many certified products were introduced that did not meet consumers expectations; they were certified but didn’t have the same aesthetic value as conventional products. Furthermore, many successful brand in the UK like Jurlique and Jason demonstrate product quality is more important than certification”

This confirms to me how the green movement is evolving towards performance and organic cosmetics certification is not as important. As a green cosmetic formulator I agree with this position. In fact in my formulation work I always keep that in mind and when for the client performance is a priority I give the option of using natural ingredients and organic ones when possible instead of going for the certification option. This is also the approach I used in my own brand Forest Secrets Skincare back in 2008: 100% natural, organic when possible, performance driven.

On the other hand Amarjit’s opinion also highlights the big challenge of truly green beauty brands, ie the greenwash. By greenwash I mean beauty products claiming to be natural or organic but at the same time contain petrochemicals. Greenwash products rave about the plant extracts they contain, using images and scents that give you the impression they are really petrochemicals free, when in reality they quietly end up on your skin and the environment. At the moment Greenwash is not illegal, ¬†however it causes a lot of ¬†confusion, illusions and unfair competition. That is why I always recommend to read the ingredients list before buying a beauty product if you are after natural or organic.

Have a look at the ingredients lists of the brands mentioned above and let me know if you find:

Dimethicone,

Phenoxyethanol,

Chlorphenesin,

Ethylhexylglycerin,

Carbomer

to mention a few petrochemicals and silicones.If you would like to know more about avoiding petrochemicals and reading the ingredients list check my post on this topic

If you would like to know more about the Natural Beauty Yearbook check their website