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March 01, 2021
Hooray, you're on the path of living a more eco-friendly and clean lifestyle. But with the store shelves lined with so many cleaning, food, health and beauty products to choose from, it makes it more difficult to figure out what's best for you and your family or if you're really helping save the earth.
The journey can be confusing and cutting through the marketing to truly find out if a product is clean can be even more difficult. And with all the terms..sustainable, eco-friendly, green, clean, and blue beauty, and with all greenwashing out there (yep it's a real thing), it's challenging.
The FDA doesn't control the word natural, green, sustainable, cruelty-free, eco-friendly, and honestly there isn't a concrete definition and is a slippery gray area.
Green, natural, clean, sustainable, eco-friendly to me is to leave earth and my (your) body better than I found it. To not harm the environment or the animals in the process of creating products. To give back as much as I can, to replant trees where deforestation has occurred. To use organic ingredients and to steer clear of the overly processed ingredients that strip away all the phyto-chemicals that truly nurture your skin. Unfortunately, I get it. Don't worry I've got your back with some tips to make sure you're a well-informed consumer.
Basically greenwashing is fluffy language, suggestive images on labels, and telling you what's NOT in a product so you believe it's safer or better for you. It's a marketing gimmick to trick you into believing the product you're using is natural. Companies are spending Billions, with a B to appear more natural without REALLY doing the work to actually become green. Let me be the one to tell you..this is not fair to you.
Let me give you an example. You pick up a face wash at your local big box store that has a logo on it saying 100% natural but when you look closer it has in smaller print "exfoliants". That is greenwashing.
Or here's another one. You pick up a kitchen cleaner that has a big lemon on it but when you flip it over to read the label, lemon is nowhere to be found on the ingredient list. That is greenwashing.
Ugh, sad right. It really frustrates me. It should frustrate you too.
Fear mongering is the action of intentionally trying to make people afraid of something when this is not necessary or reasonable.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Here's an example.
"Don't put chemicals on your body."
Water is a Chemical. Yep, so when a brand says I don't use chemical, you probably want to run for the hills.
A lot of household cleaners, health and beauty products like deodorants, skincare, and hair care products do contain some pretty harmful chemicals or ingredients that are causing cancer and disrupting your hormones. You just have to trust your gut, do your research to determine what ingredients you want to stay away from, and make sure you trust the brand. Dig deep.
Here's another example of fear mongering.
That statistic that's running around that says "X% of everything is absorbed by the skin." This statistic is just absurd. Not everything is absorbed into the skin and into the bloodstream. It totally depends on the weight of the molecule. Some molecules are too big to pass through the skin and other molecules are smaller that pass into the bloodstream.
Basically, the theme here is to get familiar with the labels and the brand. Luckily, the power of the internet makes this SO MUCH easier than ever before. If you're not sure what an ingredient is..look it up.
Living a more sustainable, clean lifestyle doesn't have to be complicated. The key takeaway here is to trust your gut. :)
It's a journey, a learning process. Don't stress about switching everything over all at once. Take baby steps, when you're finished with a particular product, make the switch then.
It's always a work in progress and give yourself grace.
I'm always here to chat or answer any questions you have. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or pop over a DM on Instagram or Facebook, I'm an open book.
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