Greenwashing in cosmetics is such a tricky subject. Some of the beauty brands I’ve listed below are blatantly misleading consumers through greenwashing practices. Others on this list may be less deliberate in their marketing ploys, but are still worth noting as brands that are often mistaken as fully natural and green, yet are not.
Calling out companies in this way is something I’ve avoided for a very long time. Mainly because it opens a whole can of worms. This is the gateway to a much bigger conversation about unregulated uses of words like “natural” and “organic” among other arguments regarding “safe synthetics” and “science driven” ingredients within formulations.
You can hear me sound off more about this in the Green Divas radio interview I did all about greenwashing.
There’s way too much grey space in the green space.
Too many folks in the green world are fear mongering and too many brands taking advantage of the growing concerns of consumers to have healthy, cruelty-free cosmetics.
So without opening the entire can of worms in this one post, here’s the list of who I consider to be the biggest offenders doing the greenwashing in the cosmetics industry.
Please note that I will be breaking down my research and opinions brand-by-brand in forthcoming articles. If you want to make sure you get them all, sign up for the Green Beauty Team newsletter here.
I encourage you to research these brands for yourself right now. Just do a search online for the ingredient lists and you’ll see exactly what I mean. You can check their formulations against our Toxic Ingredients Glossary.
22 brands that you might think are green, but really aren’t all that
(In alphabetical order)
- Covergirl Natureluxe
- Herbal Essences
- Johnson’s Natural
- Josie Maran
- Korres Natural Products
- LUSH Cosmetics
- Moroccan Oil
- Natures Organics
- Nivea Pure & Natural
- Pure and Basic
- Simple Basics
- Tarte Cosmetics [read why]
- The Body Shop
This list will be updated from time to time and I’m sure it will strike up some controversy.
Do you see a brand that shouldn’t be on here, or are we missing one you think is a major offender of greenwashing? Let us know in the comments below (and keep it classy please!).