8 Beauty Brands You Would Think Are Natural … But Aren’t
Nothing makes me crankier than seeing big companies trying to pull a fast one on us by luring us in with their claims of being all “natural” and “organic”. We aren’t silly, but we are busy and many of us will fall for these claims if they are presented convincingly enough. When I first started making the switch to all natural products, I got caught out quite a few times thinking I was doing the right thing when in reality I was still pouring harmful chemicals into my body. You too? Here is a list of just some of the brands who are guilty of green washing (aka lying to us).
I chose one product out of the range, removed the marketing fluff, and deciphered just how much crap is in the product.
Looking at: Shampoo
The claim: “The Art and Science of Pure Flower and Plant Essence”
The harmful ingredients: Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Lauramidopropyl Betaine, Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Quaternium 80, PEG 7 Dimethicone C8-C18 Ester, Babassuamidopropyl Betaine, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Glycol Stearate, Glycol Distearate, Polyglyceryl 10 Oleate, Polyquaternium 7, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Methylparaben, Methylisothiazolinone, Methylchloroisothiazolinone.
The claim: “Our mission is to provide the purest, most effective skin care through nature, science and innovation.”
Looking at: Cleanser
The harmful ingredients: Decyl Polyglucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Lactic Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Fragrance, Alcohol.
The claim: “Do you wish you treat your lips with pure & natural ingredients? … NIVEA pure & natural is inspired by nature …”
Looking at: Lip balm
The harmful ingredients: Cera Microcristallina, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Cetyl Palmitate, Polyisobutene, Pentaerythritl, Tetroisostearate, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Myristyl Myristate, C20-40 Alkyl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Bis-diglyceryl, Polyacylapidate-2, Tocopheryl Acetate, Maltodextrin, Neohesperidin, Dihydrochalcone, BHT, Benzyl Salicylate, Parfum, CI 77492.
The claim: Active Naturals are ingredients derived from nature and uniquely formulated by Aveeno to deliver real skin results.
Looking at: Daily scrub
The harmful ingredients: Sodium laureth sulfate, polyethylene, lauryl glucoside, PEG-16 soy sterol, carbomer, phenoxyethanol, glycol distearate, cocamidopropyl betaine, methylparaben, butylene glycol, fragrance, laureth-4, sodium hydroxide, tetrasodium EDTA.
5. Bio Oil
The claim: No blatant health claims in their marketing – this is just one that I know many people think is all natural. I used to!
The harmful ingredients: Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Triisononanoin, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Isopropyl Myristate, BHT, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Coumarin, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Limonene, Linalool, Colour Orange: CI 26100 (Red 17) Pink: CI 26100 (Red 17) and CI 60725 (Violet 2).
The claim: “Treatment from nature”
I don’t know one person that wasn’t duped by Lucas’ Paw Paw ointment. I used it constantly until not so long ago when I discovered that it is actually petroleum based and barely any better than Vaseline. Most people think it is just fermented fruit, but here is the full ingredients list:
Fermented Fresh PawPaw Fruit, Rhus Succedanea Wax, Glycerine, Petrolatum, Canola Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Beeswax, Corn Starch, Potassium Sorbate (0.1 mg/g).
The claim: “Our antioxidant infused, nutrient rich, innovative formulas are unmatched and provide dramatic results.”
The harmful ingredients: cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, cyclomethicone, butylphenyl methylpropional, fragrance supplement, D&C Yellow-11, D&C Red-17, coumarin, benzyl benzoate and alpha-isomethyl ionone.
The claim: “97% naturally derived.
Looking at: Skin cleanser
The harmful ingredients: TEA-Stearate, Stearic acid, Cetearyl alcohol, Glyceryl stearate, Decyl oleate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium lauroamphoacetate, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Sodium benzoate.
Find out what any of these ingredients are with the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.
And some other special mentions …
I swung by the local Woolies the other day to scope out what kind of lies their shelves were telling us beauty buyers. In addition to some on the above list, I also found TRESemme Naturals, Garnier, Vaseline, Covergirl and many others all trying to entice us with their green packaging and claims of being “natural”.
Want a solution?
All of this green washing sure can be depressing. Who the heck can we trust these days? Luckily there are heaps of authentic organic and natural brands on the market. Always look for products that are totally certified organic, and always read your labels. Check out this post for a list of my favourites here and here.
Any surprises on this list for you? Do you have any others that you can add?
Positive affirmation for the day: I believe that all of my dreams are coming true.
join the tribe
Join the green mo revolution! Subscribe to get Jess's updates & Green Mo Revolution e-book FREE with over 80 green smoothie recipes!