Shopping for natural beauty products can be downright confusing, with many cosmetic brands claiming to be safe and all natural while still using harmful ingredients.

The simple truth is that many beauty products are advertised as natural and organic when their ingredients are far from it. The terms "Natural" and "Organic" are used often to "Greenwash" products - products that want to appear green, when in fact they are not.

Avoid being greenwashed. Get to know the ingredients to look out for, research reputable brands known for quality, natural products. Finally, familiarize yourself with certification bodies that are strict about green products.

Below is a helpful, simple table that shows some of the differences between wannabe's and truly green products:

Components
Wanna-be Green
Truly Green

Oil
Petroleum/paraffin/silicones
Certified organic plant oils,
e.g. Jojoba, almond & avocado oils.

Water
Water in high concentration to
keep product inexpensive.
Highest percentage of organic plant extracts which serve as active ingredients.

Emulsifier
Petroleum based: PEG = Polyethylene Glycol.
Lecithin, fatty acids, plant based Glycerin.

Scent / Aroma
Synthetic or nature-identical aromas and fragrances.
Certified organic plant essential oils and extracts,
e.g. Vanilla, Rose, Lavender.

Preservation
Methyl, Butyl, PropylParabens, Urea-compounds.
Natural or certified organic essential oils combined
with vitamins such as Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

Detergents for Foaming
Sodium Lauroyl Sulfate
Bio-degradable, plant based and mild.

Sun Screens
Synthetic sun screens, such as Oxybenzone, Cetylcinnamates.
Natural Minerals Zinc Oxide and Titanium dioxide

Packaging
Made from PVC, PVDC and halogenated plastics.
Made from recyclable and bio-degradable materials.

Certifications
No recognized certifications on products.
NaTrue, BDIH, Ecocert, Demeter, NPA &
Vegan Society are all reputable certifiers.