Green beauty is not a marketing platform. Green beauty is a movement.
The term Green Beauty represents a field within the beauty and cosmetics industry.
Generally, Green Beauty refers to products made with natural ingredients–true-to-nature, plant extracts–made in the lab, and synthetic, non-toxic, ingredients–also made in the lab.
Below is a list of words often used in the Green Beauty industry to communicate various values behind the brand or product:
- Hypo-allergenic - means unlikely to cause a reaction. *not regulated
- Paraben-Free, Phthalate-Free, Triclosan-Free - these are the most widely used preservatives also known to cause harmful side effects. There are many kinds of parabens and phthalates in the market, which is why you might see them listed in most commercial cosmetics. Think like, "tomatoes", there are Roma, Cherry, Beefsteak, but we can call them all "tomatoes".
- Unscented vs. Fragrance-Free - sometimes products contain masking agents (fragrances) to make a product scent-free. Always check the ingredients list for Fragrance or Parfum. * Health Canada
- Cruelty-Free - not tested on animals. We have also learned that sometimes products won't be tested on animals but the corporation that owns the brand may test on animals (i.e. if it is a pharmaceutical company).
- Vegan - no animal by-products. It is very eye-opening to find out how often animal by-products are used in skincare and cosmetics. It can be overwhelming because some ingredients listed like: oleic acid, stearic acid, glycerin, collagen, elastin, could be either animal derivatives or plant derivatives. (Ref)
- Biodegradable - will break down in nature. This word means the product will break down in nature. It is unclear if the constituent parts are environmentally friendly or not.
- Organic - pesticide-free. In Canada, the certified organic logo is only applicable to food. There isn't any governing body to truly regulate organic beauty products.
This means that companies and brands that are genuinely advocating for green beauty products and green manufacturing processes have to compete with larger corporations who market green beauty words–without any accountability.
That's why it's important to arm yourself with the knowledge you need to make an informed and mindful decision on what products you want to use on your skin and in your home.
Download our Pocket Guide to Purchasing Fewer Toxic Ingredients and keep it in your grocery bag for a quick reference!
What is Greenwashing?
Greenwashing is considered an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company's products are environmentally friendly [source].
The simplest way to decide which products and brands to trust as a consumer is to always read the ingredients list on the back of the products and research the brand and company.
While the ingredients on the back of a product can give you an idea of whether the company uses synthetic or natural ingredients, it is easy to become quickly overwhelmed by the exhaustive list of chemical names. What is safe and what isn’t?
As more of us develop sensitivities to commercial products, it’s valuable to find some kind of pocket guidebook or list to keep on your phone. Stay armed with knowledge and avoid the overwhelm while shopping.
What is the Problem With Greenwashing?
We stand by all of the words we use, but those same words are used by corporate giants and are unregulated by the government.
What to Look Out For On Labels
Look out for the words - refined, deodorized, or extracts. These words automatically tell you that there have been processing practices used to alter the original state of the ingredient.
Note: not all processing practices are bad. But it does mean there have been other ingredients used to refine, deodorize, or extract the ingredient that does not have to legally be included in the label. For example, certain chemicals like bleach or di-2-Ethylhexyl phthalate might be used in the making of the ingredients but won't be listed. (see Health Canada 3.21.1).
At Miiko Skin Co., we use hot words such as organic and cruelty-free too. However, rather than stop there, we do educate on what those words mean to us and showcase to our community how we exemplify those standards.
What Does Green Beauty Mean at Miiko Skin Co?
Our vision at Miiko Skin Co is to retain the utmost ingredient integrity and formulate simple recipes. Each ingredient is added for a purpose, nothing more, nothing less.
Food-Grade Organic - we try to source as many food-grade organic ingredients as possible. This means the ingredient has passed through more stringent governance. A lot of our edible ingredients are artisan, meaning the suppliers take pride in their craft and creation. Sometimes we like to bake with our ingredients! Here is a recipe for some tasty Dark Chocolate Tahini Fudge!
Glass Packaging - Dark blue and amber glass containers are the best at preserving the quality of a product. We aim to be conscious of the packaging we use, so that it does not risk your health or harm the planet.
Supplier Relationships - We have a close relationship with all of our suppliers. Many of them deliver ingredients to our door. We share values about sustainable packaging and high-quality ingredients. We include our suppliers on our labels and they are part of our story.
Safe - our products are safe to manufacture, safe for the skin, and safe to go down the drain. We truly believe in high-quality ingredients, simple recipes, and formulas with packaging that inherently require zero additives.
Refillable & Returnable - taking responsibility for our packaging after it has left HQ. At the beginning of 2021 we have refilled over 5000 Miiko Skin Co bottles, and accepted over 1500 bottles back! Learn more about our sustainable business model in this video.
Resiliency - the key to sustainable growth in business. We strive to create products people want and will enjoy. We want to be a staple in your self-care routine and encourage you to enjoy your skin health for life.
Here is a list of what we advocate for in the future of skincare:
The same levels of monitoring and evaluation for the organic certification as food.
Tighter regulation and testing for any new chemicals entering the market.
Clarity about the risks of every toxin included in products on the label.
Inclusion of the toxic ingredients used in the processes of making ingredients and their potential risks on the label.
Information about the total volume of toxic ingredients used in each product so consumers can properly gauge their personal intake.
Companies transparently stating if their ingredients have been tested for health risks.
Industry taxing for manufacturing pollution, packaging waste, and animal cruelty for a balanced market price.
- Read our blog: "Get Started With Our Green Beauty Checklist"