I do a lot of browsing in stores and online looking for new natural and organic cosmetics products. In recent months, heaps of new products have been appearing that can be assigned to the trend “clean beauty”. If you look at the claims and product names, they consistently stress that they “love beauty and the planet”. It’s a slogan that is now being used in an inflationary way. At first sight, these brands all aspire to meet the growing demand for more natural products. That is commendable, because more and more consumers are looking for products that are kinder to the environment. Last year in Germany alone, 1.2 million consumers put natural cosmetics into their shopping baskets for the first time.
Many people have a great yearning to find modern cosmetics, in keeping with their own values, that don’t contain controversial ingredients, are produced under fair conditions and do not harm the environment. Nevertheless, many of these products do not live up to their promise to be clean and love the planet. Although the packaging might be made of 100% recycled plastics, the container itself may still contain any number of mass-produced chemical ingredients. You can often tell how honest and transparent a brand is by looking at the company’s website. Information about what is not in the products is often presented in a very appealing way, but there is much more reticence about what is actually in them. It will take you several clicks to actually find out what the ingredients are, and often they are not specified at all. It’s at that point that I give the product a thumbs-down! What do I learn from this? Clean alone is not enough, but a combination of green & clean – now we’re talking!
Elfriede Dambacher, owner of the naturkosmetik konzepte consultancy, is an international expert in the natural and organic cosmetics industry and publisher of various market surveys.