Thursday, February 9, 2017

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Green Beauty Ingredients: And What It Means

A follow up post from my green beauty haul. My reason for this post is because I purchased 3 (trail size) lip colors from a company that claimed to be "green". I ordered them as an intro since making my switch to green beauty. The plan was to try them out and if I liked any of them, I would commit to buying the full sizes. That never really happened because my spidey senses were tingling after I opened the package.

Red flag #1- the products looked nothing like the website (they looked like rejects)
Red flag #2- all 3 products had an insert that listed the same exact ingredients for each when they were obviously different in color

Prior to ordering, I did take a look at the company's website. At the time I had no reason to think I was being mislead. So once I received my package I went back again and... yeah... I was mislead. It had me question how easy it is for some companies to play the greenwashing game and take advantage of unsuspecting customers.

I later called and asked about their ingredients and the rep said something along the lines of FDA approved. As soon as I heard that I was like....

Who trust the gub'ment? Strike 3!!! I wasn't getting any clear answers so I went with my gut feeling. I ended the call after I was asked for my email and they would "get back to me" with some answers.

As a naturalista (thanks to the natural hair community), I've become familiar with some of the scientific names to natural/organic ingredients. Names like...

-Ricinus Communis (Castor Oil)
-Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)
-Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil)

When I see them (even though I still can't pronounce them) I know I don't have to throw them back on the shelf. So I was thrown off when I saw some questionable ingredients. Dang!!! Money wasted. I took the L and put them in the...

I started researching and this is what I found

VEGAN: No animal or animal derived ingredients (ex. honey and beeswax) used. And that's all it means. Can that product have been tested on animals? YES. Can it contain toxic ingredients? YES.

CRUELTY-FREE: No form of animal testing. Does that mean it's vegan? NO.

While researching, I learned that the company may not have tested on animals with the final product but along the way to the final product it was tested on animals. Done so through a third-party as "required by law". Usually that brands parent company. There are A LOT of well known "vegan/cruelty-free" brands that knows very well their parent company is testing on animals. Gotta love those loopholes.

PARABENS: A lot of naturalistas are familiar with this ingredient and most stay away from it. The same reason should go with cosmetics (and food) as well. A chemical preservative used to help bacteria growth. Most common are butylparaben, metylparaben, propylparaben, and a few other sneaky ones that are hard to pronounce and spell. Research has shown that it is linked to breast cancer.

ARTIFICIAL COLORS: Man made food coloring or additive that can also be found in cosmetics. A lot of companies use this because it's cheaper and makes the product look more appealing in order to sell sell sell. Are they safe? No, most have been linked to cause cancer and other not so friendly health related problems.

PETROLEUM: Used in some hair (for shine) and cosmetic products (for moisture barrier) is a liquid mixture of hydrocarbons known to cause cancer.

The list goes on and on. The best thing to do is call the company and asks questions with any concerns that you may have. I also found that a few well known vegan or cruelty-free brands are owned by companies that are not vegan or cruelty free.

I found some products in my possession that claim to be "green" and really isn't. The industry is very unregulated and a lot of companies take advantage of that. Which leads to so much greenwashing going on. Cosmetic manufacturers can market the final product without government approval. *goes back to the drawing board*.

One thing I won't do is overwhelm myself. It's impossible to be 100% green. But this is important to me because I've found that beauty products marketed to women who look like me contain the most toxic ingredients. Ain't that some shit. Products that we're suppose to enjoy is causing us the most harm. We also spend the most $$$ on these products. That tells me that these companies don't care about my overall well being and I'll take my $$$ elsewhere.

Check out this list of great resources of cruelty and vegan brands. Guess what? As of this post the company I bought the lip products from and claimed to be vegan, all natural, organic, blah blah blah... wasn't even listed on this list. My senses were right.

Join me and my special guests for #CluelessBeauty. A chat about all things green beauty and natural hair.

 Check out my Lipstick Story!


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