I imagine you’ve stumbled upon this blog post because you, too, are interested in green beauty. Perhaps you’re new to green beauty or perhaps you’re a long-time consumer in this vertical! Deciding to venture into green beauty/green skincare is a personal decision, and I think education—as opposed to fear-mongering—is the first step in this journey. As such, the purpose of this post is twofold:
- To share my personal green beauty journey
- To provide resources for those interested in learning more about green beauty
My personal journey into green beauty started in 2002. At that time, I started changing what I was eating—making the switch to organic foods. As I was diving into the process of eating more cleanly, I thought to myself: If I was so concerned about what I was putting on my plate, shouldn’t I be just as conscious of what I was putting on my skin?
As a self-professed skin care junkie who always loved a good DIY, I began questioning the efficacy and safety of the products I was purchasing. I grew up in an Indian household with a chemist mother who always reiterated that turmeric was enough of a beauty treatment. I (shamefully) ignored her sage advice and spent my hard-earned cash on the flashiest brands from La Mer to Chanel.
One day, I had an allergic reaction to a luxury product, and I was appalled. Maybe I should have looked at the ingredient list? When I did, though, I realized I couldn’t pronounce half of the ingredients in the product. Did I really need to be putting that on my face? I started making greener purchases, mostly at local grocery stores and health and wellness boutiques. As the years passed, I began to see growth in the industry and options become more numerous.
It’s been nearly two decades, and the green beauty/LOHAS market has burgeoned into a multibillion-dollar sector. Consumers are rightfully questioning what they are putting in and on their bodies and are demanding safe personal care products. And while I’m happy to see consumers rejecting toxic-chemical (notice I said toxic chemical vs chemical) laden personal products for greener alternatives, I’m aghast that many companies greenwash their products to increase their revenue streams.
That then begs the question — what constitutes green/clean beauty? The beauty industry in the US is largely unregulated, so claims of “natural” or “pure” are not upheld by legal standards. Therefore, as consumers, it is our job to look past these claims and empower ourselves by reading ingredient lists with a watchful eye.
With what I have researched, I have chosen to use personal products that incorporate safer, environmentally friendly, sustainably sourced ingredients; note: I didn’t say natural. Lead is a naturally occurring chemical element, and we certainly don’t want that in our products! I truly believe that what we put in and on our bodies impacts our health. I prefer to err on the side of caution and use products that have ingredients that are generally considered safe (ex. turmeric, jojoba oil, etc.) as opposed to products that incorporate ingredients with which I’m unfamiliar. However, I’m not a doctor, scientist, or esthetician, so I implore you to do your own research and make the decision that is best for you. Here are some of my go-to resources:
The Truth About the Green Beauty Industry (Preservatives in Green Beauty)