Greenwashing Beauty Brands

Greenwashing in Cosmetics. The brands doing it may surprise you.

By February 5, 2015 No Comments

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 my 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)

  1. Arbonne
  2. Aveda
  3. Aveeno
  4. Bio-Oil
  5. Covergirl Natureluxe
  6. Herbacin
  7. Herbal Essences
  8. Johnson’s Natural
  9. Josie Maran
  10. Jurlique
  11. Korres Natural Products
  12. LUSH Cosmetics
  13. Melaleuca
  14. Moroccan Oil
  15. Natures Organics
  16. Nivea Pure & Natural
  17. Organix
  18. Origins
  19. Pure and Basic
  20. Simple Basics
  21. Tarte Cosmetics [read why]
  22. 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!).

KA Admin

Author KA Admin

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  • Leslie says:

    Hi Kristen,

    I’ve been enjoying reading your articles and watching your videos. I also went through your entire Ultimate Beauty Shopping Guide course yesterday, and it was great. Thank you so much! I’ve been emptying my bathroom and kitchen cabinets and shelves of products containing everything from talc to propylene glycol to imidazoidinyl urea (from what???) over the past couple of weeks. I even started using a wonderfully fresh DIY basin, tub, and tile cleaner I made with very simple ingredients.

    Reading the tiny print in the ingredients lists sometimes requires a good magnifying glass! Just this morning, on a tube of Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Lip Balm I discovered lanolin (insert sad face here) among the natural sounding plant-based ingredients, not counting beeswax. I’m a vegetarian and don’t mind using local honey for my toast or beeswax for candle making, but lanolin? I was very disappointed.

    Thanks again for all your information and encouragement to be knowledgeable about the ingredients we often overlook in our purchases.

    Leslie

    • Karen Shephard says:

      Have you tried the skincare and makeup range by Annmarie Gianni? Formulated with the help of a herbalist, her products are pure, organic and wildcrafted, and are endorsed by Louise Hay, Kriss Carr, Donna Gates and Mark Hyman.

      I particularly love the aloe-herb cleanser, coconut honey mask and the ayurvedic facial scrub.

      Living Libations by Nadine Artemis is another great pure and authentic brand.

    • Andrea Price-Johnson says:

      This was a very useful article… I have used quite a few of these in the past, thinking I was doing something better. Of course many of these are not going to kill you overnight LOL, but with my family history of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, & now cancer… One must be careful of the toxic load.
      My friend introduced me to beautycounter, her tween son had stage 4 leukemia that was environmentally caused For the oncologist… Thank God he’s in remission now, but her story & many others inspired me. I joined beautycounter & I will never look back. Not all synthetic ingredients are bad, not all organic natural ingredients are good. It’s all about sourcing, testing, communication, transparency, & safety! I like the fact that beautycounter is also an activist company that is trying to get the FDA to strengthen regulations. I like the fact that I’m a voice for people like me who care about what goes on their bodies. Every day we have choices, this is one choice that gives me that warm & fuzzy feeling of controlling a part my environment as well as for my family & children.
      If anyone has questions feel free to ask

      • Lisa Voorvaart says:

        I too use BeautyCounter skincare, and I am extremely pleased with their excellent, but extremely expensive, products.

        • Sarah Bittle says:

          Yes to Beautycounter!! 🙌🏻 Love all their products so much and their mission/advocacy work that I became a consultant myself! Love sharing and educating others on these horrible industry practices.

  • Melissa says:

    Sorry, I did not read the previous comments but I found that Carol’s Daughter used phenoxyethanol in a product.

    • Cami S. says:

      Burt’s Bees website says it is also in the products of theirs that are water based, any product that is 99% natural instead of 100% but they claim to be working on an alternative, read more here from their site directly: “Preservation of natural formulas is challenging and we’ve found that natural preservatives simply aren’t effective in some formulas. To ensure the safety, efficacy, and aesthetic of our formulas, we use the synthetic preservative phenoxyethanol at 1% or below in some of our water-containing products. We chose it because it is a non-paraben, non-formaldehyde-releasing preservative and is used broadly in natural personal care products.”
      Read more at http://www.burtsbees.com/#VhPYhORW0vXzqtHq.99

  • […] When looking for all natural products available in the market, please read your labels. If you can’t pronounce half the ingredients listed, then chances are that product isn’t all natural. You might think you are purchasing an all natural or green brand? The answer might surprise you from Green Beauty Expert Kristen Arnett. She lists 22 beauty brands who want you to think their products are all natural or green, but aren’t. […]

  • Ceri says:

    Hi Kristen,

    Thanks so much for this list. A friend of mine has approached me to join their team at Arbonne, but wanted to know more about the company before doing so. Now I’ve seen it here, I shall not be joining, but I wondered if you could give me more information as to why Arbonne is on the list?

    Thanks so much and look forward to hearing from you,

    Ceri

    • Kristen Arnett's GBT says:

      I will certainly one day do an article about that. Just worried about the death threats….hahaha! Kidding, but kinda not kidding. I had my site maliciously attacked twice right after originally posting this article. I have my suspicions…

      • Kristin says:

        You should really list in detail “what you mean” before making these claims. As Arbonne is CERTIFIED vegan, non-gmo, no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. And working on getting several other official certifications that are taking time. Our scientific board constantly reviews our products and ingredients to make sure that improvements are made if there ever is an actual issue with any of our ingredients. So please do list the issues you have with the Arbonne brand because I promise you they will do everything they can to address the issue and correct it! But right now all I see is an unverified claim and that’s not really fair for the people who love this brand and use it every single day. I personally would like to know. Thanks so much. ❤️

        • Kristen Arnett's GBT says:

          Arbonne has been around a very long time. The company STILL does not publicly make full ingredient information available. Very suspicious. So actually why aren’t THEY listing out their claims and verifying them in detail? Why put the entire onus on me, when it’s practically impossible to find ingredient lists without first contacting a rep? After all these years and scrutiny, they’re getting things certified because they’ve had to make changes to their formulas and that’s what’s taking a long time. They’re playing catch up. Though Arbonne products are not totally natural, there is a lot of marketing from reps and the brand itself that suggests it is. Certified vegan doesn’t mean green. Why would there be artificial sweeteners/flavors in makeup or skin care? Lip products are the only example I can think of. What about endocrine disrupting phthalates? Maybe their scientists are reviewing ingredients for improvements – not sure what that means exactly. The point is, now the proof is on you to show they are actually formulated without controversial ingredients within green guidelines. If you are not bothered by synthetics, then great, just don’t be one of the people saying these cosmetics are natural or truly green.

          • WENDY ANTOINE says:

            So very disappointed to see that consumers are still too lazy to do their own research. No one here is indicating that you should ditch products you believe in, support and pay their bills for them. This site is clearly intended to educate. As with any class, you take away what you want, dump the rest. It is very easy to do your own research, based on another persons findings and then: FREELY-decide on your own. If you dont bother to come to your own conclusions, why debate with the findings of another? If you look not-even-really-so-closely- you will find that in most cases, you are ill-informed. Yet, you still have the free will to be just that.

            • Kristen Arnett's GBT says:

              Thank you for chiming in with that, Wendy! I really appreciate you reminding folks that they are still totally responsible to take the most valuable pieces of anything provided with the intention of being educational, adding in other perspectives instead of simply regurgitating marketing materials. I have never professed to be the ultimate source of all knowledge, that’s just not possible. So thank you for your sobering words.

        • Alexis says:

          I would trust the list a tad bit more if Eminence “Organics” was on it. I encourage all who are reading this to do their own research into what is safe and effective. Kristin clearly has some bones to pick with certain companies and not others. This list is incomplete, erroneous as well as uninformed. Not to be trusted.

          • Kristen Arnett's GBT says:

            Alexis, the list is not exhaustive. It’s just 22 brands that were most prevalent at the time I created it. Of course there could be more. You could simply offer constructive feedback that you’d like to see that particular brand added to the list. Of course people should do their own research…I always encourage that. I’ve never thought of my site to be an end all be all of information. Please be kind, classy and constructive when leaving comments on this site that may help in many areas of research to find better, safer options, rather than tear down the efforts. Thank you, Kristen Arnett

    • Kody says:

      Hey Ceri,
      I wouldn’t let one persons opinion make your decision for you 😉

    • Cami S. says:

      Ceri, Why don’t you do the research first on their company and look into them more?

    • Natalie says:

      I just came across this post and saw the comments. Thought I’d reach out in case the author has not. Arbonne uses ingredients that are linked to health harm and you can find more detailed information by searching the products in the EWG’s skin deep database. It’s a great resource and will rate products 0-10 (0 being completely safe, 10 highly toxic or harmful. I use and sell Beautycounter. After a lot of research and using the products I can say it is truly is the safest, highest performing line on the market. They intentionally ban over 1500 ingredients while US law only requires that 30 are banned. The EU bans about 1400. I’m happy to send you samples if you’d like to try or learn more about Beautycounter.

  • Simona says:

    Has this list been updated at all over the last two years? It seems rather outdated and misleading.

    • Kristen Arnett's GBT says:

      The list hasn’t been updated since all those brands are still considered greenwashers. So what’s misleading about it?

      • I too would love to see the article about why a company like Arbonne is on the list. They have one of the most strict ingredient policies around. Plus, you have already posted something incorrect about them. They do not claim to be an all natural brand. (“Botanically Based . . . . At Arbonne, we take nature’s gifts as inspiration, and blend it with high science and true innovation. Each and every product is carefully formulated and crafted with potent botanicals to enhance your beauty, health and wellness. And improve your life, inside and out.”
        They are very transparent about the fact that they combine the best of nature with the safest of science which is not making an all natural or green statement. I have some info I’d be happy to share with you since I have written to the chief formulators and gotten great replies int eh past. Plus, Arbonne just removed 38 more ingredients from their products last month; they always seem to be striving to become more and more pure. I have come to learn that an ingredient by name and used by company “A” is not the same as the same ingredient as used by company “B”, because of chemistry and other factors. You really have to be a chemist to break down ingredient labels correctly, otherwise, people are rating with systems arbitrarily, not based on actual science.

        • Michelle says:

          Well said. I couldn’t agree more! I was shocked to see Arbonne on this list. Without a degree in chemistry, I trust Peter Matravers to deliver the best in science and nature. After all, he has more patents in his industry than any other scientist and spent five years formulating products without the use of mineral oil as a binding agent (among other countless formulas that omit preservatives, perfumes, phthalates etc etc etc). So much to be educated on. I sincerely hope that others reading this will do their research.

  • […] times brands are using the phrase “chemical free” as another tactic in greenwashing — getting people to buy into an idea aimed at selling natural products that’s not […]

  • Dory says:

    Could somebody do a complete review on Doterra personal care, I also saw that they have supplements like the DDR. etc that have carreageenan.

    Please not someone who is selling the product!
    Thanks

    • Molly says:

      I’m happy to answer any questions you have about Doterra’s products. I am a Doterra Wellness Advocate but that doesn’t mean I make assumptions that their choices in ingredients are sound without doing research. I emailed product support asking about the carrageenan a while back and this was their response about it: “Thank you for your inquiry. Carrageenan is a natural fiber extracted from seaweed. It is used in our vegetarian softgels and beadlets as part of the shell, as well as in our toothpaste to help with the structure. The amount included is more than 500 times smaller than a dose that has been documented to have no effect on the body. As with any well documented ingredient, carrageenan has been studied at very high doses and in different forms to find out at what point it might cause harm, which is where some of the concern probably comes from. Carrageenan has been used in very low levels in ice cream and other foods for decades with no negative effects at the dose used. The dose we use in our products is very small and completely safe. The vegetarian softgels are also more sustainable, are from all natural sources, have less risk of contaminants, and are more stable than the older animal based shell.”

      In terms of their skincare and personal care products, I did think there were more ingredients than necessary. While at convention last year I asked the people responsible for formulating the products in that department why there were so many ingredients. They were happy to share a list of where each ingredient is sourced from, why it is in the product, and how it benefits the user. They said that if there were only a couple ingredients like I would have liked, people would complain about the consistency not being high quality. They also pointed out that the ingredient list looks longer than it actually is because in parentheses after each essential oil used is its scientific name, which visually takes up a lot of space on that ingredients label.

      Below is an example of our most popular skincare line along with a detailed ingredient list, fully explaining what each ingredient is:

      http://media.doterra.com/us/en/brochures/verage.pdf

      I hope what I shared was helpful for you. If you have any additional questions about Doterra please feel free to email me!
      [admin removed personal contact and MLM site link]

  • Doreen Hofer says:

    Could somebody do a complete review on Doterra personal care, I also saw that they have supplements like the DDR. etc that have carreageenan.

    Please not someone who is selling the product!
    Thanks

  • […] has been accused of greenwashing some of their ingredients and although the company does promote a lot of eco values, it does bring […]

  • […] is a respected organic, biodegradable and vegan product, although it has been accused of green washing some of it’s ingredients. Another thing keeping this product from a higer review is how […]

  • Ashley says:

    Is Too Faced makeup a good alternative? Trying to find a good safe beauty brand that’s cruelty free.

    • Lori says:

      I can’t find anything on too faced! They don’t make any claims on being natural, so I’m sure it’s full of all things bad!

    • Diane says:

      Poofy Organics has the cleanest/ safest ingredients with 100’s of items to choose from. 100% organic. Certified organic company, eco-friendly, toxic free!! [admin removed personal MLM link]

    • Jenny Dagley says:

      Beautycounter doesn’t claim to be natural but they claim to be a safer option because they don’t use any chemical that’s linked to human health issues. They ban over 1500 of the most commonly used, toxic ingredients and are 100% transparent. Super high-performing, ultra lux personal care and cosmetics! And they’re pushing for tougher regulation in the beauty industry too (which is rare!)

      • Lily says:

        They use dimethicone tho…

        • Andrea says:

          RE Beautycounter & dimethicone -the problem with this ingredient is if it is absorbed. BC uses a molecule that is to large to be absorbed by the skin- it sits ON the skin – thus eliminating the concern- but EWG will still rate it as high. My experience with Beautycounter has been to always assume the BEST- they are on top of these issues – Yes I’m a consultant and my upline is a founder so I am not far from the “horses mouth.” We have our reasons and explanations – and 99% of the time with details , most clients are ok- for the ones who are not , move on – there are hundreds of thousands of consumers who LOVE our products and are comfortable with that ingredient – and only 1% of the population know about Beautycounter!!!! It’s like offering everyone in the room a cup of homemade frozen lemon sorbet – you keep going til you get a “yes” you don’t try to convince the person who doesn’t like sorbet or lemon to eat it, you ask , accept where they are- and find the next person who does, all the while knowing what you are serving something good, and something where you know where all the ingredients came from.

          As for preservatives, they are rated high on EWG BECAUSE their job is to kill … they kill yeast , mold , and bacteria – that can be 100 times more harmful than the preservative itself. Beautycounter uses the least amount of preservative we can. Per the existing law governing personal care, anything that has water as an ingredient – HAS to have a preservative in it – MANY “safe/clean/organic” companies COULD be buying their ingredients pre-preserved and not listing them – that is something to consider. BC is trying new ingredient technologies that will allow using even less preservative in the future – they are all about SAFETY and performance – you want products that are safe and actually do their job! As for animal cruelty, some companies pay an outside source to do the testing for them. I discovered this not too long ago and filed it away with all the other loopholes companies are using to be more appealing. Who is doing it? Lord knows. That’s why I stick with what I KNOW. It’s all about rigorous safety standards, complete transparancy, a company who researches Every Single ingredient’s source, while providing a top quality product that actually works.

    • HaLo says:

      Check out websites like Petit Vour and Detox Market….you should find some safer options there. I’m a long time Sephora enthusiast but am slowly learning that most of what you can find there isn’t going to be on the safer/greener end of the spectrum (and loads of animal testing product lines too). PETA also has a cool search engine that helps find cruelty free brands. Good luck

    • Cheryl says:

      Too Faced is nowhere NEAR natural.

  • […] here for a list of beauty brands who want you to think they’re natural and green but […]

  • Christa says:

    Beauty Counter is only 80% natural. I just read the owner’s interview. Can you give us atleast 3 companies for makeup that are 100% natural? I know 100% pure is.

    • Vicki Harrison says:

      I would like to know 3 as well

      • Christie says:

        Check out Pure Haven Essentials. 🙂

        • KIm Morris says:

          Pure Haven was previously Ava Anderson – google it 🙂

          • Paula DiSanto says:

            Ava Anderson told the truth about what happened with her company; that she had a third party for essential oils who she trusted and the bottom line is that she was lied to. The company remedied this problem by dropping that third part and relocating to a plant in Rhode Island where they can grow and harvest their own ingredients so that they know without a doubt the ingredients are pure.

            Also, she was a college kid who was trying to make a positive difference in the world for the health of people and was blasted and harassed to the point that she gave up her dream and sold the company to her employees–so yes, Pure Haven was Ava Anderson and is still awesome–I have yet to find another company who offers truly chemical free products. I just attended a class on DoTerra today and was a bit excited and tempted to buy the essential oils kit and possible Deep Blue Rub, hand soap, etc. and was disappointed to find in the ingredient list that there are chemicals, so I will stick with Pure Haven Essentials. Do your research and make a truly informed decision not based on others opinions, but truth–even if you just read the ingredient lists.

          • Heidi says:

            It is No longer connected to Ava Anderson. It is Pure Haven Essentials, and it is 100% clean

    • Katie says:

      Check out Poofy Organics. All ingredients listed. We just released a luxurious eye lash serum and high def mascara! Products are made in small batches by hand in NJ! [admin removed personal MLM link]

    • ARH says:

      Also, Beauty Counter doesn’t claim to be all natural. They are about safer and safer doesn’t necessarily mean “natural.”

    • Kay says:

      “Natural” doesn’t mean ANYTHING. Which is why they don’t market themselves as such. Even “organic” ingredients can have poor sourcing, eliminating the benefit.

    • Cheryl says:

      I am not affiliated with any of the brands I am listing below. I know from my own research because I have super sensitive skin and eyes (for example, I cannot use talc at all and that product is EVERYWHERE). I personally have used them and know they are good products:
      http://www.theallnaturalface.com
      http://www.nessasnaturals.com

      I am going to throw this out there: be extremely leery of any makeup brand marketed as a direct selling brand. The consultants are trying to sell you something, they (from my experience) are not concerned for your well-being. Generally, they have been duped too.

      • Jill says:

        Hi Cheryl,
        I’m so sorry that you have had really bad experiences with Direct Retail Consultants. If you think they have been duped to not be concerned with your well being than you have been dealing with people who are misrepresenting X company. I do work for one for over 4 years, and it IS my job to look out for my clients best interest and to make sure I am letting them try samples, point them in the right direction for specific products that will best fit their needs and budget. I would not be in this business if I did care about women, men, children, and infants and what goes on their largest organ. Again, so sorry.

    • Melanie Ward says:

      I am 48; but, get guessed to be in my 30’s. Proof of toxic free for sure!! And effective!

    • mary says:

      Where was the article on Beauty Counter? I’d love to read it!

  • […] come to be known as greenwashing.  Check out Green Beauty Team’s informative post about it here. It’s a must […]

  • Melissa says:

    Thank you for this article. I was wondering what your thoughts are on Rodan and Fields? They don’t try to say they are organic or green but they do say they don’t test on animals. I know there is a loop hole there, if they don’t test the final product a they can say that even if they have tested individual ingredients

    • Amanda Jane says:

      Hi Melissa.
      I know for a fact that they do not test on animals. We have had enough stringent testing and collected enough data throughout the decades that these days it is unnecessary and cruel to continue the practice of animal testing. Top scientists already know how ingredients react and how they will respond together. Rodan and fields clinically test and state proven results. These tests are conducted on human tissue samples in the lab.
      Hope that helps

    • KIm Morris says:

      Their products rates 4-8 on ewg – but you can;t search them on there so you have to look up the individual ingredeints. They use retinol, fragrance and other questionable ingredients. If you are looking to go greener or natural check ewg.org/skindeep for great recommendations.

  • Natalie says:

    What about Bare Minerals? Thanks!

  • zainab says:

    What about Vichy brand ???

  • Natalie says:

    What about the brand Kiehl’s? I have been using them for years and Google searched them and it seems like they are NOT non-toxic. Thanks! 🙂

    • Kristen Arnett's GBT says:

      Good question! I did an article on that. Click here to read about Kiehl’s from my perspective!

      • Natalie says:

        Thank you! I’m trying to find the truth about BareMinerals. I’ve called and they haven’t really been able to tell me that their products are non-toxic. I have a serious health concern and am very strict about what I’m putting in and on my body. How does Honest Beauty and The Honest Company rate in your opinion? Also, doTERRA’s skincare line? It is all very overwhelming. I thought Tata Harper was supposedly great but I’ve read your article. I just want a few brands I can trust and I will be happy. I have been extremely happy with the results of The Honest Company, Honest Beauty and doTERRA products so if they are all clear then I’m golden! Thank you sooooo very much!!!! Thank you for doing this blog and all the research! I can’t express how calming it is to know that I can come to your site and know you have told the truth. It feels good to know the real truth. 🙂

        • Erin says:

          Have you found the EWG group? The Environmental Working Group is amazing for lots of things. Many things aren’t covered, but it might help a bit. They have a Skin Deep app, and also a Cleaning Guide that I have loved using.
          Honest Company is iffy. It depends on what product you’re using.

          Good luck!

        • Angela says:

          I can’t speak to the others, but I can answer regarding doTERRA’s skin care products. They have two lines of skin care – Verage and Essential Skin Care. The Verage systems is completely natural and non-toxic. The Essential Skin Care line has mostly natural ingredients, but is for the person who wants a little help from science as well. Of course, they strive to make sure that even the non-plant derived ingredients are safe and non-toxic and I don’t know anyone who has had problems, but I personally prefer to stay with the completely plant-based Verage system and absolutely love it. I also use some essential oils for specific issues (e.g., a dab of Melaleuca for the occasional acne, Frankincense or a blend called Immortelle for wrinkles (e.g., around eyes and mouth). doTERRA’s essential oils are 100% pure with nothing added. I do sell dōTERRA products, but it is because I was a customer first and have been so impressed with the products and the people behind them. [admin removed personal MLM info]

        • Tracy says:

          Have you Heard of Beautycounter?? Safer skincare for the whole family, and an incredible high performing makeup line! They have bannd over 1500 ingredients linked to health harm and totally transparent! Check them out! [admin removed personal MLM link]

        • Annie says:

          Have you looked at Beautycounter? We have a list of 1,500 harmful or questionable ingredients that we never use. Hair care, skincare, cosmetics, kids and baby products.

        • E. Maria says:

          Glad to know you are wary of bare minerals.. Any company that sells “mineral powder makeup” that is supposedly talc free, Non Comedogenic and chock full of minerals sounds good, right? Let me tell you, not in my experience. In fact, I believe it is the reason I now have so many issues with my skin, and here is why. Bare Minerals has some interesting claims… make up that helps your skin! Make up that’s so gentle you can and as they say even should sleep with it on. 1, they are crazy for telling customers to sleep in it. But, of course I did hoping for all that skin goodness they claim! Lol… I get the theory and agreed with it at the time. I even purchased a special anti redness make up for damaged skin- it wasn’t pretty. Every pore (ok, it seems) was clogged and I am still getting make up colored ick that keeps coming out a little on it’s own. Whatever it is that they use actually kicked my body and the skin on my face into constant detox mode. Non stop breakout’s and bumps with.. you guessed it- make up colored ick. I am currently using Laura Geller’s baked Balance and Brighten and I do like it. Good luck and I hope my story helps.

          • CHRISTINE FAU says:

            Check out Young Living’s Savvy Minerals. They are free of talc, bismuth, parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, or synthetic colorants.

  • Jessie says:

    If you are looking for the absolute safest products PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do yourself a favor and check out POOFY ORGANICS. this is a small family owned company that makes boy dress of USDA certified Orgaincs personal care products. They have a complete line of cosmetics and home products as well. Everything is made in small batches, bottled and labeled by hand. No heavy machines mixing and dumping your products into bottles. This company is the real deal! Please I encourage you to read labels and research each ingredient individually and compare.
    [admin removed personal MLM link]

  • […] Greenwashing cosmetic brands Gillade du inlägget? Rejta den och sprid vidare kunskapen via sociala medier till era bekanta. […]

  • Robin Riley says:

    Hello,
    Thank you so much for all this insight and for facilitating conversations and feedback. I am wondering what you think about these two brands: Elemis and Paula’s Choice????
    Thanks!

  • Lori DeBell says:

    I use Beautycounter and love it. They are a far cry above what I used to use. Don’t forget there is a reason Target Stores came to us. Our acquisition of Nude Skin and Bono as an investor only further validates the industries need for a wake up.

    • Mike says:

      Since when is Phenoxyethanol and Ethyhexylglycerin which are 2 of the Most Popular Synthetic Chemical Man Made Ingredients found in 99% of ALL Breast Cancer Removals …. above the Rest …. You can find those Ingredients at the Dollar Store !!!!

      • Jan says:

        Thats not quite correct Mike. To say Phenoxyethanol is found in any cancers, let alone in 99% of them is a furphy. Put a link to the study if it has any truth. As for Ethyhexylglycerin, I can see it isnt anything to be concerned about. If it irritates your skin at all, dont use it, simple as that, if it doesn’t all is good………The purpose of this article is pointing out greenwashing…. If you want the worst culprits then check out some ingredient lists on some of the smaller ‘natural’ products and you’ll see things like ‘Naturally derived preservatives’……….. or there won’t even be an emulsifier listed in amongst the ingredients of a cream. It seems to be that the more they claim that their company ‘started in their kitchen because of the chemicals causing irritation on their 2 yr old’s skin’ then the more likely they are to lie to you about their ingredients. Have a look at this one from a deodorant manufacturer in its description / ‘Blended with areated salt’ and then in its ingredient list on the bottle – ‘Saleratus’ (seriously, why not just say that it is Bi -Carb of Soda!! If they are trying to deceive you with that then what else are they lying about?

  • Thalia says:

    Hi Kristen, have you looked at the ratings provided by ethicalconsumer.org? It’s good someone is highlighting greenwashing but throwing names in the same category without detailed explanation or rating is also misleading. It might be useful thoughto rate on howich greenwashing they do. So score for their honesty. This in addition to the ethical consumer scoring methodology would be very useful.

    • Kristen Arnett's GBT says:

      Thanks for bringing my attention to that site. It’s difficult to navigate. Got to their beauty section and only a few companies were listed and I couldn’t make sense of their rating system. Rating systems are very subjective anyway. It makes us feel better to have a comparative number to make a fast decision that someone else spent the time doing the research, but look at what EWG has done and all the folks poking holes in their system. There’s not a detailed explanation except for Tarte listed because, as I wrote in the article – the details are in the ingredients. Turn the bottle around an you’ll have all the info you need on products that say they are natural and clearly aren’t. That’s good enough for me to know I don’t need to purchase these brands if what I want is a truly natural product.

      • ren says:

        I actually appreciate the straighforward list, it is minimalistic and easy to remember. I myself was disappointed when I bought something from Lush with parabens. If the ingredient is questionable, i dont think it should be included in products claiming to be natural, why not be safe until proven otherwise.

  • […] defined in Greenwashingindex, Greenwashing is when a brand or company makes efforts claiming to be “green” and natural […]

  • Kayla says:

    I have been using OWAY aka Organic Way. I found that they are the top Natural and Organic Professional Hair Brand. They are open about some of their ingredients being sourced synthetically , but I am ok with that. The company is constantly researching alternatives and seems to become more and more healthier monthly. A good thing to note about when you see the chemical compunds listed on “natural products”, they are called constituents. Constituents are at the molecular level. You can buy essential oils and the only ingredient listed is that oil, when in reality a lot of constituents make up that oil and are not listed. Check where and how ingredients are sourced.

    I buy all my OWAY products off of store.revivesalonsf.com
    The lady who owns it sells the products cheaper than any other physical or online store.

    • Moira says:

      Just a side note-

      OWay also makes a hair color line that I cannot use, due to it’s chemical content. I’m a hairstylist and Organic Colour Systems Specialist. Organic Colour Systems does not use Resorcinol or Napthol due to their aggressive and toxic nature. OWay uses these ingredients. If OWay stands for Organic Way, why is there no mention of organic ingredients in their colors? Organic Colour Systems patented formula contains Certified Organic Standard Ingredients, as listed on all products and certified by The UK Soil Association and/or ECOCERT.

      • Mckenzie says:

        Organic Colour Systems might be the most misleading brand in terms of hair color. The name itself tries to trick us into believing it’s all organic when it only contains 5 certified ingredients. Sorry just because your product has 5 natural ingredients, doesn’t make it organic. They may not contain Resorcinol or Napthol, but the main ingredient in their color line is a very bad PEG which is known to be contaminated with carcinogens (yes, cancer-causing ingredients) and it’s a penetration enhancer, which makes everything bad in it that much worse. It also has PPD (para-phenylidiamine) which is just a bad as resorcinol and naphthol.

        Where can I buy Oway hair color? I don’t notice them selling it on the site.

  • J Robins says:

    Check out Crunchi – they are new(er) on the scene and are totally transparent. They’ve got a great list of NEVER used toxic ingredients and have also refused to use PHENOXYETHANOL, synthetic fragrances, Japanese honeysuckle, parabens, synthetic dyes, etc. bit.ly/MyCrunchi

    • RC says:

      Sorry J. Robins, but CRUNCHI misses the mark for having truly natural ingredients. Look at the first 5 items on the ingredients list for their Beautifully Flawless Foundation:
      Aqua (Deionized Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Glyceryl Caprylate, Dimethicone

      Dimethicone is silicone & it’s poisonous to my skin — it breaks me out every time so I avoid it at all costs. Glyceryl Caprylate Caprate is described as “a 100% natural thickener for water based cleansing products. It is made from, 100% renewable sources, through the esterification of glycerin from vegetable oil sources and medium chain fatty acids of coconut and / or palm kernel oil. ” – Ingredients dot com. You may classify that as a “natural” ingredient but it doesn’t occur in nature, it’s made in a lab. And why would anyone want a thickener in their foundation?

      Then there’s the ubiquitous Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride — it’s a specialized fractionation (technically a specialized esterification of Coconut oil using just the Caprylic & Capric Fatty Acids. (Esterification is when you combine an alcohol with an acid to produce an ester a& water) . I love Coconut oil & use it for cooking & body care daily. It contains Lauric acid, found most abundantly in mother’s milk. But the Lauric acid is removed in the chemical process that fractionates the oil to separate out the Caprylic & Capric acids. I prefer whole Coconut oil in it’s natural form & that’s what I expect in a makeup that is marketed as being natural or organic.

      The foundations & lipsticks I get from Vapour Organic Beauty & 100 % Pure don’t contain Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Caprylate or Dimethicone. They are what they advertise themselves to be, which isn’t the case with CRUNCHI.

      • RC says:

        CORRECTION: My source for the info on Glyceryl Caprylate Caprate was Ingredients To Die For dot com.

      • Joy says:

        Crunchi does not claim to be “natural” a common greenwashing term. Crunchi claims to be made with a combination of safe, certified organic, and eco-cert ingredients. Check out the FAQ section of their website where they address the questions about ingredients including the use of Dimethicone in their cosmetics. At Crunchi safety is their mission, not an afterthought or a popular marketing scheme. They do use some safe synthetic ingredients and are completely transparent about this.

  • Georgina says:

    This list is awesome! All these years I have been searching for natural products since I am diagnosed with skin allergy, caused by a type of preservative in products. I also have acne and eczema problems so I am very cautious while using products. I found Kiehl’s to flare up my skin allergies and the ingredients used are not so ‘natural’ that they claim they are. Please keep this list updated and I can’t wait to see more!

    • Simone says:

      Have you heard of Melaluca?
      Their intensive Care lotion is great for Eczema and their Acne treatments are the best.

      • NMS says:

        Melaluca is on the list!

        • Shawna says:

          I am waiting for someone to tell me why Melaleuca is on this list. I use their products especially this lotion.

          • danielle says:

            They are on the list for all the reasons stated in the blog. They use some pretty crap ingredients ans depend on their customer base not knowing enough about formulation to realize what crap ingredients they use.

          • Kimberlee says:

            Look at their ingredients. I used to love their lotion too. Until I read they use fragrance and a few other toxic items. Check out pure haven essentials. Their lotion is even better and all is organic. Just read the ingredients.

          • Cami S. says:

            I used to be a Melaleuca member but not anymore (lost some income, had to cut costs years ago) and I recently looked at the soap ingredients on the back of the bottle as we are now huge ingredient readers over here, and noticed parabens!!!! I was disappointed. So make sure to read ingredients or request it from Melaleuca before you place your monthly order.

    • ella ninkovic says:

      Have you tried EVER skincare?

    • Hi
      I really love pure haven essential products. Products go through rigorous testing and are truly organic.
      We are transparent with all ingredients- including all their benefits.
      Emily

    • Amanda Jane says:

      Hi there Georgina.
      I’d love to be able to help you. If you have a printout of your allergy/intolerance test I can put you in the right direction to help clear your skin. Acne and allergy related eczema is something that I specialise in. Now having said that sometimes I have to resort to other synthesised ingredients as allergy sufferers tend to react more to fully natural products. Here if you would like a solution to your acne and eczema. Guaranteed if you pass the ingredients test to compare with any testing you’ve had done. However I do also look into environmental and foods you consume. 🙋🏼

    • Amanda says:

      What about Younique? I sell Younique products and have people say they are not all natural; due, to chemicals. However, if you research the chemicals, they are only chemicals depending on levels and how they are mixed! So I believe it is all natural and I also believe that your list above is correct! 🙂 I also have sensitive, acne prone skin & these products have helped me tremendously!

  • Tiffany says:

    I was wondering about mirabella makeup! I’m new to this no chemical thing and it’s so frustrating everything has so many of them in it!

  • xinamac says:

    Does anyone know about Tropic Skin Care products?

    • Emma says:

      Tropic are 100% naturally derived skin care products. No chemical nasties at all. Susie formulates the most amazing products from natural ingredients. All ingredients are listed in English, total transparency. If I can help, please get in touch. [admin removed direct selling link]

  • […] this instead (yep, Tarte is a greenwashing […]

  • Mm says:

    The addition of Lush to this list is false. Lush never has and never will claim to be “all natural” for a great many reasons and I get so tired of people making the assumption that they do. They are extremely transparent in not only the use but also the source of all their ingredients. Their products are insanely well thought out, developed, and then tested on human volunteers, not animals! Furthermore, they take great care to use environmentally sustainable ingredients and are moving toward a self-preserving model and have changed the formulation of many top selling products to do this. They provide income and philanthropy all over the world for small, organic farmers and support hundreds of grass roots charities through the sale of their Charity Pot lotion. I realize this post probably happened before this but last year in their newsletter Lush directly addressed this whole issue yet you insist they are “green washing” and intentionally misleading people? Oh, yes, someone’s doing hat but it’s not Lush.

  • We constantly see beauty products in the stores that claim to be all natural, but in my research I have found that there are actually very, very few ALL natural products sitting on the shelves of our stores. From the time it takes a product to be manufactured, stored until the distributor needs it, packaged, shipped to the retail location, displayed on a store shelf until the consumer buys it, to the time the consumer actually uses the product up, can be up to a year very often much longer (I know this because my good friend is in charge of this process for some well-known brands). This product must be preserved during this long period of time so nothing bad will grow in it. So why do bad things grow? Well, most of these creams and lotions contain water, a lot of water, you can tell because usually water is the first ingredient on the label. Water itself is not bad, we need water, it sustains life . . . but, herein lies the problem, water sustains life, where there is water there can be life in the form of bacteria and other harmful pathogens. So if there is water, any kind of water in a formulation, a preservative must be used. The problem here is that there are no all natural preservatives, some preservatives are just less toxic than others. And these preservatives that are being used in many of the skincare products are profoundly bad for our bodies.

    Consider this: “It is important to understand that the efficacy of preservatives relies, by definition, on their ability to kill live cells; in other words, their toxicity is an unavoidable component of their reason of being.”

    If there is water in a product, put it down, it’s NOT what you are looking for if you want a completely natural product.

    • Angela says:

      Tropic Skincare core range is 100% naturally derived. Susie uses a naturally derived preservative system for this core range. Other products in her range that are required by law to contain a preservative system (due to water content) include a gentle synthetic preservative and, with only a few exceptions, are 99.2% naturally derived.

  • Victoria Maloney says:

    why is Korres brand greenwashing?

  • […] Greenwashing Cosmetic Brands – Green Beauty Team – Related Posts. Is Tarte Makeup Really All Natural? Why You Should Run From “Chemical Free Cosmetics” Brands; China’s Demand for Animal Testing in Cosmetics … […]

  • Charlie says:

    Have you ever looked at Intelligent Nutrients, Naturigin and Natulique?

    I am interested in finding all the brands I can find in Canada,

    Thanks

  • […] Greenwashing in Cosmetics. The brands … – Green Beauty Team – Greenwashing in cosmetics is such a tricky subject. Some of the beauty brands I’ve listed below are blatantly misleading consumers through greenwashing practices. […]

  • Brandi says:

    Just gotta put in a good word for Lemongrass Spa. We have several 100% natural products and we use phthalate free fragrance. Every ingredient is listed for each item on our website. We also have a good standing with the EWG and PETA.
    I’m not saying trade your products for ours now, but check your labels on everything. Labels are just as important in skin care as they are in food.

  • ellen says:

    This is a great post and such a important discussion, thank you Greenbeautyteam! I think we can add The Honest Company to this list. They are not only being accused of greenwashing, they are being sued. THREE times! And they are a very young company, for shame.
    I am also very leery of Beautycounter, given their use of dimethicone and phenoxyethanol. I find that their consultants are fed information and repeat information from index cards, but they are not encouraged to do any research of their own, and in my experience do not know what they are talking about.
    And before anyone comes back with a response that phenoxyethanol is necessary—no, it is not. Juice Beauty had a pretty bad backlash a couple of years ago for calling themselves organic and using phenoxyethanol. And guess what—they didn’t fight back. They agreed and they reformulated and took out the phenoxyethanol. So it is possible to find another way to preserve a product.

    • Ariane says:

      I use Beautycounter. Do you know what.products they use dimethicome and phenoxyetanol?

      • ellen says:

        Quite a few! If you go to the Beautycounter website, they have an ingredients page, and then they list all the products that have those ingredients in it.

    • Jenny says:

      Beautycounter’s consultants do not have to do their own research on their products. Beautycounter’s products have been tested by the Environmental working group and receive a 1 & 2 safety rating on their products…and that is based on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst! Anyone can access their site to search for safe cosmetics, skin care, cleaning chemicals, food, etc. @ http://www.ewg.org. Environmental working group is a reputable company that researches chemicals in products for human safety & is a great resource for anyone to reference when looking for safe products to use.

    • Michele says:

      Beautycounter doesn’t claim to be all natural. They claim to be “safer”. They claim to be doing the best they can with the information available. BC is lobbying for stricter health protective laws in Washington, so you better believe that their T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted. They have Mia Davis who is head of health and safety (she is the one who got BPA’s out of baby bottles). She and her team have done many tests on Phenoxyehtnol and between that and the research they have done with the info available; there are no known negative health impacts associated with that preservative. By law (and there aren’t too many), any product containing water must have a preservative in it. It’s the law. If a company claims their product is all natural and it contains aloe or other water based ingredients; they are lying. Beautycounter is doing the best they can and they are the more trusted beauty brands. If you are looking for all natural; use coconut oil and leave it at that.
      Honest Company is not deceitful either. They too are among the more trusted brands out there. The last mishap actually is an issue in the industry as a whole. It’s infortunate they were lied to. I wouldn’t discount them though. They are the good guys too.
      Many consultants might be spewing info they are hearing, but many aren’t. You’ll find that with every single job out there. Good and bad. But don’t generalize. I’m a consultant and am very well informed and have been researching this issue and company for the last 2 years. I don’t hold myself in the category you describe. I don’t make people buy products. I educate people on the issues in the industry as a whole. I help people reduce their toxic exposure in their homes period. beautycounter products are that incredible that they basically sell themselves. I’ve never had to “sell” a single thing. They are on the high end spectrum which doesn’t make them affordable to everyone; but that’s what’s so great about Beautycounter. They are working hard to make sure laws are changed so every company out there are forced to ban the ingredients that BC does. And should BC discover through further testing that an ingredient they are using isn’t safe; you bet it will be removed immediately. The sad truth is that most of the ingredients legally being used in the industry have zero safety data, so no one knows their impact on our health.
      In an industry where there is little data and regulation, Beautycounter and Honest Company are trying hard and are quite successful.
      XxMichele

      • Kelly says:

        If you are defending the use of phenoxyethanol you are very misled. Honest Beauty continues to rack up the lawsuits for misleading claims, why would you defend them? Beautycounter walks a fine line, I consider them greenwashing because they are NOT the cleanest company out there by a long shot. Get yourself educated if you are really trying to help people.

      • Lynne says:

        Clearly you are a rep being spoonfed a response by Beautycounter! They want you to believe that is what the research says, why don’t you do some research yourself? Do you not realize that there are many other safer preservatives? Problem is that they are more expensive, and would force Beautycounter to reformulate its products. But your parent company isn’t going to tell that to its reps. Please get educated if you are trying to educate others. My experience has been that reps have NO idea what they are saying and selling. Sad.

    • R. Kiper says:

      I agree about Beauty Counter. They are using ingredients that have been banned in other countries.

  • anne says:

    could i receive your new letter please. Thank you!

  • Diana says:

    Interesting article and the ingredients of the break list of harmful commericals was quite informative, But unfortunately I have to disagree with you when it come to Arbonne. Arbonne is vegan certified, gluten free, No animal by products, free commcials, no article sweeteners, or flavors no phthalates,no parabens , They are certified carbon neutral, forestry stewardship council certified. These products are pure, safe and benefical for your family. Personal MLM link removed by admin.

    • Shannon says:

      Chlorphenesin
      Phenoxyethanol
      Triethoxycaprylylsilane
      Dimethicone
      Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate
      Acrylates Copolymer
      Tromethamine
      Retinyl Palmitate
      Octocrylene
      Octinoxate
      …Just to name a few chemicals in Arbonne’s skincare products. Look them up, I’m sure you won’t want to be using them anymore. Also, Arbonne products are not 100% natural. Some of the ingredients contained in their products include hydrogenated castor oil, sunflower, safflower, and canola that are not certified to be GMO-free.

      • Geri says:

        Hi, how do I find out more about the Arbonne’s ingredients? I’ve tried looking up these listed above however I’m not finding any of the same info. I use their products right now, but I’m very concerned about continuing! Thank you for any help you can provide.

        Geri

        • Robyn says:

          I have to chime in. I use their products as well and they have never claimed to be organic or all natural. They are botanically based and formulated using a blend of science and nature. If information comes to light that is proven to be dangerous they take it off the market and reformulate. Much of what I read about Beauty Counter and their philosophy is similar to Arbonne. There is so much to understand about science, nature and organic. It’s mind boggling. Just because something is organic doesn’t mean it is 100% safe or that you will see results. I really hate that women bash network marketing companies without having an understanding of how the ingredients are utilized. If someone doesn’t agree or like the products don’t use them but don’t malign them. I can go into a brick and mortar store to shop…some sales people are more informed and better than others. Network marketing is no different if you aren’t comfortable with the consultants then don’t pursue it but please don’t make blanket statements about everyone who reps a product line.

      • Rachel says:

        It would be so nice if people would really do their research prior to putting out false information. Regarding ingredients in Arbonne, you really need to do more solid research on ingredients, specific review boards, sources of ingredients, etc. Concerning GMOs…Arbonne is GMO free. Any oils are certified GMO free, which also includes soil testing. There are many products available that can truly help people. If you truly want to help, then help, even if this requires much greater effort.

      • Amanda says:

        Absolutely hilarious! Arbonne is one of the purest companies you will ever find. I have done extensive research on their ingredients. Most importantly, how they are using them. They abide by EU standards and use nothing toxic. Some people have reactions to those ingredients as mentioned because the anti aging line is very potent high grade botanicals. Anyone with a vitamin C allergy will have issues with this line: With that said, these products out-perform because of the science developed using these fine botanicals. I went through my skepticism about this company; then researched from the source. Their ingredients and standards for purity (all based on what, where and how they are derived) are the biggest reason I became a forever client.

    • Erin B. says:

      Arbonne is horrible! Just read the back of the bottle and choose a few ingredients that sound scary and google them-they ARE scary!! After having a major reaction to their Re9 line, I read the ingredients! I then brought it to my consultant and showed her. She is a friend of mine. She didn’t want to believe it, but ultimately had to when the evidence is right there on the bottle!!

  • Amanda says:

    Can you please do a break-down for why Origins in on this list?! It breaks my heart!

  • SueA says:

    I think it’s time for a revised article on greenwashers! When Ava Anderson was caught selling synthetic fragrances, hiding ingredients like emulsifiers from their label, and selling products like dish soap which was not even soap…they quickly googled, found an inexpensive stock image, changed their name and relaunched the company under the new name Pure Haven Essentials. Same company, same owners, same location, same products … still not certified organic. And whether the products are manufactured off site or on site, they’re selling the same formulas. They took ZERO responsibility for all of the fraud they have been guilty of, but instead blamed everything on their manufacturers. They claim their daughter was bullied…but in reality she was just asked to come clean about the ingredients in her products, the same way she challenged her followers to confront other brands about THEIR ingredients. The only ZERO in this product line is zero accountability for their actions!

    • Rj says:

      Yes there were issues with a few products and it is unfortunate that they stepped away from their company, but Pure haven essentials is not owned by the same family any longer. They have a new ceo and products do have new formulations that are better than ever. Being a customer for years and putting my trust in the company is still the best decision I’ve made. These products have helped my family overcome some major health issues and i will be grateful to the family but know the products now are safer than ever!!

    • Correction…AANT did not hide anything. The outside manufacturers broke the contract by adding ingredients on their own and not telling the company. Those ingredients were hidden by the contracted outside manufacturer and that relationship was ended immediately following this discovery. A very good thing came of those events…Pure Haven Essentials has instituted a strict testing protocol that will not allow for this type of thing to happen again. The company mission is the same as it was from the beginning with the Anderson family and now with it’s new owners, to educate American consumers on the subject of toxic chemicals in personal and home care products while also providing a safe solution.
      Note: the Anderson family took full responsibility and took all steps necessary to make sure it doesn’t happen again! They did the honorable thing by making sure the true mission could continue.

    • Tammy says:

      They also basically left ALL their reps WITHOUT a Company and IF they wanted to start over with the NEW company, they had to PAY again to join.

  • […] these claims aren’t regulated and companies misinform their consumers all the time. The Green Beauty Team goes into great detail about greenwashing if you care to learn more on the […]

  • Jean says:

    Great article, thanks! I use Organic Excellence out of Arizona, they have wonderful skin care and bath products. I order direct online and if you sign up for their monthly newsletter you get amazing coupon offers. website is http://www.organicexcellence.com

  • Rebecca says:

    Does anyone know anything about Perfectly Posh products? They claim to be natural and vegan and I have fell for this many times and need to know if their claims are true.

    • Lavanda says:

      Perfectly Posh is naturally based, not all natural and is not completely vegan, either. Yes, there are vegan products available, but some do contain milk, honey or beeswax. The ingredients are all listed on the products, in the Posh paper and on the website for you to review. Hope that helps! If you have any other questions I’d be happy to answer.

    • Cc says:

      I got a sample at a show and it listed different ingridients that I avoid. I believe pegs and fragrance was on labels.

    • Cindy says:

      I know some of Perfectly Posh products are not vegan, since they use honey and they had a creamy milk product. But they don’t hide that! they are free of fillers and other junk (parabens/paraffins/sulfates)! they use essential oils and not ‘fragrances’. I have used their products and they are wonderful!! So, if there is anything ‘IN’ them… i also would love to know. They are not crazy expensive which makes them a great option!They list all their products in the catalog and on the products. They are made here in the usa, dont test on animals, use shipping peanuts out of cornstarch – so they melt away in water. I hope they are good! b/c i am using their products now. Keep me posted! Thank you!

      • Wanda says:

        They do use fragrances in a lot of their products. It is listed as “fragrance (parfum). The products that state this burn my eyes. I am highly allergic to chemicals and most perfumes are nothing but a chemical mix.

    • E says:

      Most of Their products do contain perfumes and toxins. Only the ones that say All natural and vegan on the actual product are all natural or vegan. MOST, though, are not. Especially their masks, I have not discovered one that is. FYI if a company isn’t willing to list all ingredients online, more than likely they are hiding something..

    • Janis says:

      Perfectly Posh doesn’t list all ingredients on their website. I bought a few things and I am disappointed with the actual ingredients list on the products.

      • R. Kiper says:

        Try Sans Skincare (www.SansSkincare.com) completely natural, plant based and is actually good for you; nutrition for the skin!

    • Mandy says:

      I briefly sold Perfectly Posh and pushed and pushed for an answer regarding whether or not the fragrances were phthalate-free. I finally got an answer from a leading consultant that they were but I’m not sure I believe it. It wouldn’t be so hard to get a straight answer if it were so, one would think, since they pride themselves on being “naturally based”. I love Posh and indulge sometimes anyway, but I don’t sell it anymore.

  • Summer says:

    On January 12, 2016 Ava Anderson Non Toxic disclosed in an email to their consultants that two of their lines were processed with synthetic fragrances. They have asked the consultants NOT TO SHARE the information on any public forum. They have not informed their customers via Facebook, their website, or on any other social forum. I have access to all of the letters and have requested Ava Anderson come clean to the public. They are sweeping this under the rug and hoping it will blow over so they can continue to blow the whistle on other companies and their toxic products. Several products are on immediate stop sell. I’m curious how many more of the products are toxic and they have not disclosed this knowledge until the time is right on their terms. If they cared about your health, they would have disclosed this information to the public on the day they realized they sold and were selling toxic products. Instead they have chosen to continue the cycle of hiding and silencing their consultants.

    Think Twice before you join Ava Anderson Non Toxic. You are not allowed to talk about anything other than positive results and feedback. All consultants must speak to corporate or to their higher up about anything other than favorable feedback. If you are caught talking about anything other than positive reviews, you are asked to delete your comments and call corporate.

    Ava Anderson Non Toxic has been hiding for too long and now it is out; toxins have been included in their products. They are only offering a replacement, not money back. However, they are planning to sue the company who placed the fragrance in their products, but will not give you back your money back. This isn’t do unto others as you would want others to do unto you. The term fragrance covers over 3,000 chemicals. Ava Anderson has not disclosed to anyone what “fragrance/chemical/toxin” was found in their products.

    Ava has wrote a blog for the Huffington Post on the dangers of fragrance, but is UNWILLING TO COME CLEAN publicly about this toxin in her own company. This company had the opportunity to come clean and do what was right, instead they ask consultants to be silent, do not share the knowledge publicly, and to protect their company. Disappointing.

    • Ann says:

      So what products do you recommend?

    • Carolyn says:

      Agreed 100%. Except for the fact that they are not suing the manufacturer at this time, which for me says they cannot because they knew. They were questioned on this matter (among others) over two years ago in 2013 and only now are they saying anything. Must be getting hot up there in RI.

    • Emily says:

      It was very openly disclosed to the public. They simply informed their consultants first, which is what was the right thing to do. By informing their consultants first, they consultants were able to help customers process refunds and exchanges. Had they released a statement to everyone at once, there could have potentially been customers reaching out to their reps for help and the reps hadn’t even seen it yet. It was literally a matter of just a day or so between when the consultants found out about it and all customers. They simply asked that it not be posted on public forums because they wanted all consultants to be prepared to help their customers. Nothing was swept under the rug and all relevant information has been emailed out and posted on their website.

      • Cindy says:

        Buyer beware unless the formerly Ava Anderson Non Toxic now dba Pure Haven Essentials acquires the “USDA Organic” seal which AANT never had, yet claimed organic and built trust upon a young Ava story and family small business with motto “its all about the ingredients” until true ingredients were brought to light and questioned, AANT forced to admit unlabeled ingredients. Everyone has the right to know!

  • I have had eye swelling and skin reactions for a year. After many medical guesses, trials, allergic reactions to an antibiotic, eye specialist, and finally an allergist/immuniogist and skin patch testing, I have at least ONE answer: FORMALDEHYDE! Well, the 20 chemical names of it, or chemicals that release it, that I now get to check… It is in EVERYTHING! I went home once confirmed and grabbed a large laundry basket to start gathering all my beauty and household products to start checking. I couldn’t take a shower the next day – not a soap, shampoo, shower gel, or lotion was left that I could use. No WONDER I couldn’t figure it out for this long!

    So, long story short, this has led me to better checking, and better support of companies that won’t use formaldehyde or its releasers or resins, AND once I checked on that, I went to the ‘Big 5″ theory – companies that wont’ use: 1) formaldehyde, 2) form/releasers or resins, 3) Camphor, 4) DBP, and 5) Toluene. They are all crap and I believe strongly that if companies are making products more green, safe, and not using these big 5, then I am making progress. For me, if a company even has ONE ingredient formaldehyde-related, then I am DONE supporting them.
    This LONG journey has led me to naturally going more natural, green, and better business ethics, etc as well!

    From my own personal checking, I have landed on the following companies for more natural and safe products:
    – Bare Minerals is in there for me, when I see above in a comment, that it is “Interesting”. They do not have the big 5, use more and more natural ingredients, and make them easy to find one click, up front. I had moved from Mary KAY – HORRIBLE stuff with fromaldehyde in nearly all I had about 6 months before I knew, so I am glad I made that switch.
    – Aveda checks out, so far, however, they do NOT make checking ingredients easy to find, or on the site at all, so I had to email in. Not doing that with an allergy, and makes me skeptical, so I am out.
    – doTerra Essential oils – LOVE them, wont’ use big 5, better business practices, etc. I have used laundry soap, cleaner, lotions, soaps, and more. I am dabbling in the oils a bit too now and love them!
    – Green Virgin Products – SoapNuts – laundry soap, cleaner, all green, USA company, natural little odd things – shells fo a soapberry bush, so this took some getting used to. LOVE their stain remover bar, it got some already-dried stains out!
    – CeraVe – when my skin completely was red, hived, painful to even have a shirt touch it, my friend directed me to dermatologist next door immediately. He did do a prescription steriod for 2 days, but wanted me to use the CeraVe line because it has ceramides in it that repair skin cells and help create the barrier our skin should be providing. My skin has never felt better. 1) I got relief, and 2) I can even use the cream on my face, and it is designed for skin issues, sensitive and otherwise, so also doesn’t use parabins, etc. I do not know how ‘green’ they are, however, but I honestly didn’t care at that moment..I wanted relief and it is working. 🙂
    – Zoya nail polish, or RGB, but Zoya is more affordable. Stays on GREAT too!

    I write a blog and the last 2 are on this allergy issue that has brought to light the green, companies’ business practices and ingredients for me. I strive to meet both green AND without the big 5 . Check out my blog on overall health and well-being, womanhood, parenting, dating and more at: http://www.digitaldivadiaries.blogspot.com/

    • Erin B. says:

      Except doTerra suggests ingesting oils is safe and it is NOT unless you are under the care of a licensed naturopath!! For that reason, doTerra and Young Living are OUT!

      • ash says:

        Check the ingredients on their lotions and skincare they are not natural at all. I use the oils and that is it and I never suggest ingesting them period. I also questions the supplements.

      • Kara says:

        Are Young living products bad, or just Doterra? I feel I should look into their lotions/shampoos/ cleaner/ etc because I have been under the impression Also, Young Living asks that you disclose your usage with your physician & do so under their supervision, so just because some of their oils are ingestable doesn’t mean people are doing so irresponsibly, right? They have the highest standards of any company I have seen with regard to their oils & I would be disappointed to find out differently about their other products!

  • Lindsay says:

    Oh my goodness so many comments! I can’t read them all! I realize that there are TONS of companies, and everyone has allegiances and partialities towards certain ones.
    I am really curious to know your thoughts about Beautycounter!! If you have time, would love to hear it!! THANKS!
    -Lindsay

    • Jen says:

      If you are interested in learning more about Beautycounter, I would be happy to help. I just joined as a consultant because they are completely transparent… There are no hidden ingredients. The mission is to spread the word about using cleaner products and change legislation that allows companies to deceive us. [Admin removed personal MLM link.]

    • Diane says:

      Have you heard about Poofy Organics? USDA certified organic company. They have hundreds of toxic-free, organic personal care products for the whole family! Essential oils too! [admin removed personal MLM link]

  • Crystal says:

    Thanks for posting this! We are happy to report we don’t carry any of those brands on our site and we look for vendors that keep true to their mission of healthy, safe, clean, non-toxic, etc.

  • […] their game plan by using the ‘green and organic’ branding scheme to their advantage. Critics say that the cosmetic industry is again marketing falsely this time through something called […]

  • Cally says:

    Thank you Green Beauty Team! I am just getting over a massive skin/scalp hissy fit (Dermatologist: they don’t know what causes it exactly) and am stumbling around information and products for skin/hair. Love your no BS attitude : )

    I am in Australia and would love a review our products after you finish Canada. I am finding People for Plants skincare wonderful. I have found the smaller, family owned businesses care more about everything than the multinationals. Kin Kin cleaning products (house not me, but kinda me cause I use them) are another local who have excellent products. Haircare is impossible. Vegan and irritant free? Ha! Dare you to find one available here : ) MooGoo is not irritating so far and some of their products are vegan, but this the only one that has come close so far. Looking at cosmetics now – Ere Perez, Inika and Zuii. Sunscreen (it’s bloody blazing down here!) I went with Soleo and a huge beach umbrella.

    If you or your readers know of any other green products please let me know. Cheers!

  • Shannon Marie says:

    I am wishing to get further away from toxins within my household. I have two daughters and one is approaching her teen years. I have been looking at two skincare companies, Ava Anderson and Poofy. My concern is the cost and if the makeup works well. I would love to switch to organic makeup for myself but would like to know that it will stay on my face in the expected places when I am paying so much for it. I do not wish to have to hunt for my makeup among several companies. Which is the best to use?

    • Denise says:

      I use Ava Anderson products and love them. The products are very concentrated so a little goes a long way.

    • Susan says:

      Shannon,
      My choice is Beautycounter. It is luxurious and safe. It’s quality is phenomenal and It was created with safety and transparency in mind. There are over 1500 ingredients that they will not use, called the Never List.
      You will love the quality and ethics of this US company. You can find a consultant on their website and ask her to try some products. She can drop them off or give you a one on one. I’m in New Jersey if you are close I would be happy to help you choose also. They have a 60 day money back guarantee but I know you’ll love the products and will fall
      Check out website link removed – MLM marketing not supported and drop me a line!

    • Jackie says:

      I’m also looking at these companies! I really like the Poofy deodorant. It smells better than the Ava. I just ordered foundation from both companies and eye shadow from Poofy! We’ll see how they work!

    • Andi says:

      Please be sure to check every ingredient on you own. Don’t just believe what the company tells you about their products. So many companies Greenwash. I particularly think Ava Anderson is not as wonderful as so many have been lead to believe. They continually say their products are Organic yet they are not Certified. They say it’s because of the cost and that it would be redundant. They are a huge company that makes massive profits so the cost argument seems pretty ridiculous to me. Also, the statement that it would be redundant just seems foolish. How would it be redundant to show proof of how safe your products are? Having that USDA Certified Organic Seal would leave us no room for argument about its safety. It just seems suspicious to me.
      I have only tried a few of Poofy Organics products and I like what I’ve tried so far. The deodorant is better than any other I’ve tried so far. It did take a couple of weeks for my underarms to “detox” as the rep told me it would! But now I’m on deodorant bar #2 and its holding up even on runs. I do love their lotion and children’s products too. I haven’t tried the makeup yet because I still have some of another brand (I got overseas and Toxin Free). I can say that Poofy Nailpolish is amazing! I don’t have to avoid painting my nails anymore! This company does have the USDA Certification on almost all of their over 500 products. This really does make me feel like I can trust them so much more.
      As far as Beautycounter goes, I believe I read recently that some of their ingredients were questionable. So I’d look into them further before choosing them.
      I hope this helps you make the decision that is right for you.

    • Carolyn says:

      Poofy for makeup and cleansing/moisturizing definitely. Shop around for hair conditioners. Google Ava Anderson and greenwashers. They have lots of explaining to do.

  • […] If you’re dedicated to green beauty, you may want to familiarise yourself with the ingredients on product labels, especially some of the beauty brands you think are “green” maybe blatantly misleading consumers through greenwashing practices. […]

  • Jaymee says:

    Did you look into Younique yet? I know they don’t claim to be green but they seem to fit with all the discussion here ..

  • Anniken says:

    Dear Green Beauty Team!

    Do you have any information about the brand Lily Lolo?
    Excellent article!

  • Vanessa says:

    bless you for making this list. i am sorry for all the rude comments & attacks. please know, you have helped me tremendously. i am currently very sick from toxins in food/beauty products. it’s very overwhelming & difficult to research companies & products on my own. you are doing a beautiful thing for people. i am sincerely grateful.

  • Celia says:

    First of all thank you for this effort it is great to have some reliable information.
    There is a Brasilian brand, very popular in Mexico, that I believe is greenwashing big time. The brand is Natura.

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      Ah yes, I have heard of them, Celia. They are quite big in South America aren’t they? I’ll have to dig a bit deeper into them. I know they are planning to expand to the US soon. And thank you for your kind words!

      • Mel says:

        Hi Kristen

        Please could you update the list at top of post? It is still the same list of companies?
        Thanks

      • MariaM says:

        Some of the ingredients in some Natura products are chemichals. Just like all the brands that say they are natural products … but they are not. I hope I am mistaken and looking forward to your opinion Kristen !!

        Take care 🙂

  • Michelle says:

    I believe Beautycounter should be on your list. Have you checked them? Thank you for all that you are doing!

  • AmyLu says:

    I have been trying to research the ingredients ingredients in Suzanne Organics makeup. I don’t find what I would consider a complete ingredients list for any product on their website, and I don’t see any of their products in the EWG database. I’m wondering if you have researched this brand, and if so, what you found out? Thanks for a great post! This topic is so important to health.

  • […] or green brand? The answer might surprise you from Green Beauty Expert Kristen Arnett. She lists 22 beauty brands who want you to think their products are all natural or green, but aren’t. Unsure of what organic products work you?  EsthoriaBox could be a great option for you as we […]

  • Tina says:

    I have to comment here – I just received the “Top 25 Green Beauty Team Buys” for signing up to your newsletter, and Korres is mentioned as a favorite for lip gloss…

  • LG says:

    What about Mixed Chicks? They claim they are vegan and cruelty free but have “silk” and “fragrance” in their shampoos and conditioner?

  • […] K. (2015b) Greenwashing in Cosmetics. The brands doing it may surprise you. Available at: http://greenbeautyteam.com/features/greenwashing-cosmetics-brands/ (Accessed: 02 May […]

  • […] 22 Beauty Brands Who Want You to Think They’re Natural and Green But Aren’t […]

  • Stephanie says:

    Have you heard of Ava Anderson Non Toxic? I am in love with their products!

  • […] Kiehl’s didn’t originally make my first list of 22 Greenwashing Brands, it’s definitely going to earn a place on the next […]

  • […] are other brands too (like Bodyshop, Josie Maran, Herbal Essences, Korres Naturals, Organix etc. more Greenwashing brands here.) Do you use to love Tarte […]

  • Courtney says:

    Hi! Thanks for taking the time to put this list together. There is one though that I do not think should be on this list. Melaleuca does not claim to be all natural or organic because it is not. I think the requirement for being added to the list is that they make the claims but are not, correct? Melaleuca does not make the claim that they are either. They are however nontoxic.

    • Michelle Martin says:

      Melaleuca claims to be a leader in green economical living. I checked their site and several ingredients in their products. In their laundry soap they use “fragrance” which is a trademark secret where many harmful ingredients can be hidden (pthalates, etc.), As well as the term “preservative” whatever that might mean. I think a true green company would be more transparent in their labels to back up their claims. I checked a few other things and found “fragrance” and “parfum.”. Huge red flags.

      • Christie Lauff says:

        You left out PEG’s and Parabens!!! This is NOT non-toxic!! Most affiliate this company with being “all natural.” It is far from it! It’s all about the Ingredients…look out for the marketing!! Check out http://www.avaandersonnontoxic.com Great products…the ingredients speak for themselves.

        • B says:

          May I ask a sincere question? What about Poofy Organics? From what I can tell it is just like Ava Anderson Non Toxic but Poofy is certified organic and Ava Anderson is not. I love Ava Anderson’s stuff but when I found out that their products aren’t certified organic and Poofy is I admit it made me rethink them a bit. Your thoughts?

          • Kathy Young says:

            I think Poofy has one advocate that I would not trust what she says. It is ecofriendlymamausa

            Having said that, I LOVE Ava Anderson and trust their products. Check them out on EWG website! 🙂

          • Kylie Getch says:

            We are not certified as a brand certified organic BUT every single, 100%, of our ingredients in our products is USDA certified organic. we don’t feel the need to have to pay for it twice.

          • Jackie says:

            I agree with you! I also think Poofy has more products to offer and more cosmetics. The Organic certification is a big deal. I’m currently trying products from both companies. I hope Ava will consider getting certified!

          • Grace says:

            I just have to respond to the poster that said AA doesn’t want to pay for Organic Certification twice. The truth is, they haven’t ever paid for it. The farmers/supplier they use are paying for it. As they are with other companies that also go through the process with the end product. Nobody can guarantee what happens to a product in manufacturing. USDA Certification has very strict manufacturing rules as well. There is a lot of paperwork and many inspections yearly by independent verifiers to make sure the products truly meet the USDA Certified Organic Standards. I know you are just repeating what AA has told you. I get it, you trust them. But please consider the possibility that they are using that as an excuse. There is no logical reason for them to not take that extra step to become USDA Certified Organic like other, much smaller companies have done. I am not trying to attack you, just trying to help you take a step back and see what may be happening.

      • Tashaleigh says:

        I work with Melaleuca ….. their fragrances come from essential oils….. you should do a little more research or call and actually speak to product development before making accusations. They DO NOT use any caustic or harmful ingredients…..

        • Nfree says:

          To your specific point, essential oils can be synthetic and harmful, depending on the extracting processes

        • Christina says:

          http://www.melaleuca.com/ProductStore/Product?sku=1218

          Perfect example of melaleuca GREENWASHInGNG. Looking at these ingredients……

          Tough and Tender All-Purpose Cleaner
          Ingredients:

          Biodegradable cleaning agents – what’s the ingredient?
          Solubilizer -what the ingredient?
          Water softening agent -what’s the ingredient?
          Buffing agent – what’s the ingredient?
          Fragrance -yikes!
          Melaleuca oil
          Preservative – what?!

          • Derron says:

            Do you know what a trade secret is? Most of the products that melaleuca sells are Patented. If they posted all the ingredients, say goodbye to the patent and trade secrets.. and hello to copycats.

            You don’t get 30+ years of excellence and national awards by “greenwashing” and lying to people. Including Torch Award (Best award to be given by the BBB). The CEO of the company is/was on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and plenty of awards to boot.

            And I suppose a CEO gets that far by winning tons of lawsuits against themselves and lying to the general public??? what a joke…..

            Learn some Ethics 101..

        • paula says:

          I wish that before people put negative comments that they would get there facts straight Melaleuca is safe no child prof caps on cleaners That says it all

    • Adrienne says:

      Melaleuca is terrible. They have horrible requirements for reps and customers and they have artificial flavors and colors and acesulfame potassium and more. Just total garbage for a company that claims to be pure.

      • paula says:

        It does not clam to be pure just safe. they are helping people get toxic chemicals out of peoples homes. As for how they pay they are 60 day return on anything you buy and up to 4 mo. return on there 19.00 one year membership. We have been buying from them for 18 years and been very happy.

  • Lizzy says:

    It is shocking what is in the makeup we use on our faces! I firmly believe if I can’t ingest it then it shouldn’t go on my skin to seep into my pores. It’s no wonder that everything I have ever tried gives my face some sort of negative reaction. Good for you for making this list and bringing up a controversial topic. I found you after looking up if my friend was correct in saying her makeup is “all natural.” Well I don’t know how to break it to her BUT she is wrong. Stop adding fragrance and unneeded chemicals to my makeup!

  • Sierra says:

    What about Juice Beauty and TaTa Harper?

  • English says:

    I would really like to know thoughts on Beautycounter!

    • Kathleen says:

      Beautycounter is absolutely amazing! We are completely transparent when it comes to the ingredients we use and have tested every single ingredient for safety. Not only are our products SAFE they are even more luxurious than all of the high end products I used to use. Please message me if you want to learn more! http://www.beautycounter.com/kathleengillespie

      • Charrissa Wright says:

        I would like to know more about BeautyCounter. I use Ava Anderson and feel that their products contain all ingredients that I can pronounce and mostly organic. I checked out a couple of BeautyCounter ingredients and it looked like a bunch of chemicals? And was double the cost in the few that I looked at. My friend just signed up with BC and it looks like she spent a heck of a lot more signing up with them to. Would love some feedback too 🙂

      • Stephanie says:

        Your “testimonial” becomes completely irrelevant when you try and get a sale by posting your website. If you want to make an impact just say what you like about the products and direct them to the general website.

  • Andy says:

    I have been using Poofy Organics for sometime now. My family has as well. They are a company I have come to trust. My family and I have tried so many companies looking for the perfect products. I feel we have finally found them! My daughters use their nail polish which to me is major…I always cringed when they slipped the regular chemical laden polishes on. Now I feel at ease with them using nail polish as long as it is from Poofy!

  • Lauren says:

    I was wondering about Korres, it made it onto this list as a company that “greenwashes” but the Korres Lip Butter Glaze in Pomegranate is listed as one of Donna Sonkin’s favorite products on the Top 25 Eco-Conscious and Natural Beauty Products list…that’s a little confusing to me! Would you say that some of the Korres products are more natural than others? Thanks!

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      Hi Lauren, well that is an excellent question. I hadn’t reviewed Donna’s favorite product in a while. There’s a lot a details to keep up with so it takes extra eyes like yours to point out where we can make some improvements. Thank you for being so kind in your questioning. I think back in the day, there were way fewer truly green cosmetics to choose from. Also Korres got bought out. So that may have changed their ingredient deck too. I’ll get on top of changing that document soon! xo – Kristen Arnett

      • Lauren says:

        Thank you for the response! I’m sure the fact the Korres got bought out did not help matters in terms of staying truly natural.

      • MariaM says:

        Some years back, a scandal erupted in Greece with some unhealthy sunflower oil imported from a european country that the blocked in the port of Pireaus. Korres (a greek company at those days) was one of the costumers. Some 4 yrs back, when I last checked again some products contained chemicals. Hopefully this is not the case today !!

        But Kristen my biggest disappointment is that Jurlique is included in the list !!!!! I ve been using them for almost 20 yrs now … I have even met the owners when they came for a seminar in Athens !! But I think that when they sold the company … something changed.

        I would love to hear yr opinion on some alternative high quality brands that dont cost a fortune.

        Thanks again

  • Veronica Bohan says:

    Babyganics

  • MKCoach3 says:

    Great article!! I used to use several of these products until I learned to become a label reader awhile ago. A friend of mine introduced me to Lemongrass Spa several months ago and I really love their stuff. The skin care line is phenomenal!!

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      Thank you so much for including that article, Venus! I am so glad you joined in the discussion.

  • Victoria Gabriella says:

    Id like to hear your thoughts on Eminence as well! I know that Europe has higher Green standards and have used the line as backbar in the spa that I work at, but have heard mixed things about the company being truly green or not. I love the line, it would be a shame to hear that all of their certifications aren’t entirely valid, but it also wouldn’t surprise me.

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      Well, the original company seems to have been much closer to the source of its famed natural goodness, but now that it’s changed hands, while the certifications and ingredients may be the same, there are a variety of levels of quality that may not currently be adhered to either. Soooo…maybe we’ll add this to the list of companies to dig deeper into.

      • Sally says:

        I would be very interested to read what you come up with re Eminence. I’ve just been digging around their website and they make the following comments:

        “Our ingredients are still hand-picked and prepped and it is part of our eco-philosophy. We employ many farm labourers in Hungary which also has many community benefits.”

        “While most of our products are made in Hungary, a small percentage of our products are made in North America with Hungarian formulations and the finest ingredients.”

  • Sarah says:

    I was wondering what are your thoughts on Eminence Organics? This line is used in many spas and purported to be all natural and organic. Do they use any toxic ingredients?

    • venus says:

      I hope I can help you Sarah, as I got pulled into some extensive investigating about Eminence after stumbling upon a forum called, Real Self (www.realself.com), and so here’s what I found:
      “…I was directly involved with Eminence from the beginning, even being a part of coming up with name Eminence. Boldijarre was a scammer from the word go and had no intentions of ever dealing honestly with the trust he was given by the parent company, Ilike. BTW, Ilike is not a nickname or newly conjured name, it is their official Hungarian name and has been forever. Ilike dropped Boldijarre because he was copying the products, which they suspected he would do. Boldijarre was not some unfortunate character who lost his distribution rights and had to find another way. He is a born liar and will say and do anything to get what he wants; just ask one of the thousands of women he’s used to get what he wants. Eminence is NOT made in Hungary, this is stupid obvious; if it was, why don’t you find it being sold there? Duhh…Eminence is made by local manufacturers in Vancouver and always has been. Spas in Vancouver are truly being played the fool, thinking they are buying exotic Hungarian products with Hungarian ingredients, when it’s being made in their own backyard with standard ingredients found in any skincare product! All Eminence has going for them is the continued deception of the public and some ripped-off formulas, created over lifetimes of work by the Ilike family. Way to go Boldijarre, steal someone else’s life work and pretend you did it. Like I said, this guy has no ethics whatsoever and should be avoided like the plague along with his phony company.” By Beets /(transcribed verbatim except for some needed punctuation).

      Eminence products are wrongly aligned with the 50 yr. old “Ilcsi, Beautifying Herbs of Hungary”. It’s not made in Hungary, it’s made in Richmond B.C. by a company called Vitelle Labs. They use numerous preservatives and non-organic ingredients. If their ingredients were ever tested to compare against the ingredient list, they would be sued.
      And last but not least, Eminence Organic Skin Care, [Boldijarre], trademarked the word “Ilcsi”, which is the international brand and the nickname of the creator of the products he/they used to distribute from Ilcsi Beautifying Herbs Hungary until the spring of 2005. For this reason Aunt Ilcsi’s products can not be marketed under her name in the U.S. or Canada and are now called ilike, which is another nickname for her. The ilike organic skin care products are the same Ilcsi products and are not associated in any way with Eminence Organaic Skin Care.
      Does that help Sarah?

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      Hi Sarah, we need to add Eminence to the list of companies to research more carefully. You may be interested in some comments going on a couple of days after you left this on 6/1 where there was a lot info about Eminence shared.

  • Roxana says:

    Absolutely brilliant! I am so, so happy to see this conversation taking place and so many wise individuals coming forward with facts. I’d like to {{{ applaud }}} all of you, thank you, thank you and a standing ovation to Kristen.

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      Ah! Thank you so much, Roxana! That means a lot to me and that you are involved in this conversation too.

  • Kelly says:

    Kristen, this is brilliant, thank you! And also to the contributors for offering such great research, information and discussion!

    I am also an Arbonne Consultant after a bit of independent research. Until my mid-thirties I did not care less about products. I never wore makeup and still rarely do. Now, two kids later, I can certainly feel and see the benefit in good anti-ageing skin care!! which also snowballs through to diet and lifestyle, of course, making my approach to most things a fairly holistic one, and generally as natural as possible. The holistic philosophy always brings me back to Arbonne. I know it isn’t all natural, but I trust the safety and quality in their ingredients and science.

    Furthermore, Arbonne’s Green Commitment goes well beyond their products right through to manufacturing, packaging design, intelligent delivery systems that prevent waste, and totally carbon neutral shipping. And as a few others have already replied, Arbonne have reformulated a lot of their products recently, and they will always continue to as health, safety, science and environmental factors dictate.

    To me, the term “green” (and thus “greenwashing”) encompasses a lot more than ingredients. As I said, I’m not a “products person” or big into beauty, I just want something that gives results (otherwise what’s the point?) and doesn’t harm the planet or its beings, and I think Arbonne can tick all boxes.

    So I am mostly curious whether ALL the “green” aspects of a brand are considered as part of your research, or whether it is just based on ingredients and animal testing. Looking forward to seeing the qualifications more clearly defined in further articles.

    • venus says:

      The last I looked Arbonne used parabens as a preservative. At the very least, I hope Arbonne has stopped using methyl /propyl paraben, and, (I think), propylene glycol (anti-freeze); also, for saying the products are made in Switzerland, as they are actually made in Florida! Maybe someone in this forum could clear this up right now.
      Anyway, it pays to always take a Sherlock Holmes look at any MLM, as some are honest, but more are only in it for the profits and not for making a safe, ethical and high quality product–And they will stop at nothing for big profits! Pick a company to represent that is transparent, ethical, can back-up all their claims, (has a proven track record) and no negative press. Caveat emptor.

      • Alana says:

        I am an Arbonne consultant and we do not use parabens. Also, we do not claim that the products are made in Switzerland, they were formulated in Switzerland and we use the EU standards. I do admire that you are looking out for consumers, however, I think you are being unfair to network marketing companies by saying that most are in it only for the profits. I’m sure that is true regarding some just as it is for traditional businesses. However, the money that most companies use for advertising and retail space, we use for product research and testing, as well as compensating our consultants.

      • Lori says:

        I have been using Arbonne since 2008 and they have never had parabens in any of their products since I’ve been using it! So not sure where you got your information from. And I’ve never heard them say they are made in Switzerland either, but are Swiss formulated and that is where they were first developed. So happy they do go by the stricter regulations of Europe instead of the lax regulations for products made in the US and Canada!

      • Laura says:

        Arbonne does not use parabens. I CAREFULLY checked that when looking to switch my products. Was very happy with Arbonne.

    • Becki says:

      As a former Arbonne consultant I can only say this….when they say “science” that to me was always code for CHEMICAL…….and their newest eye cream has ingredients found in disposable diapers and the scrubs use micro beads made of plastic….not exactly green.

      Another company to be VERY concerned about is Jeunesse…the anti aging cream they tout as the 2 minute miracle uses chemicals that are also found in tile grout….

      I will say that Arbonne taught me to LOOK at ingredients. I’ve since looked and I’m disappointed that so much of the “science” was a greenwashed code for chemicals.

      Thank you for this list it was incredibly informative if not disappointing in the number of companies on the list.

      • Bec says:

        Arbonne also use phenoxylethanol, which is not listed on their ingredient list on the main page. The only way to get the ‘real’ ingredient list is if you are a consultant and have access to their full website. Not very transparent in my view.

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      Hi Kelly, Wow thank you so much for your praise and for offering your personal experience/perspective here too. You definitely did it in a way that benefits the discussion. To answer your question at the bottom, it’s tricky. I think first we look to ingredients and animal testing and if the claims match what’s really in the formula. Then we can try to look at their company practices in terms of carbon footprint, but that would require an entire agency of people to really verify what the brand claims to be doing. Without that funding, it’s just not a possibility right now. Furthermore the same is true about ingredients. A company can have cheap naturals that are basically synthetics and no longer providing valuable benefits…and that would be greenwashing too…but without our own chemistry staff, it’s a little hard to test.

      • Kelly says:

        Thanks for your response, Green Beauty Team. It would be a pretty huge investigation, wouldn’t it! It’s taken me a while to get around to add something here that I realised not too long after my last post.

        What occurred to me in regards to Arbonne, and what I sometimes see happening because of the MLM structure, is that obviously not every consultant is in it for the same reasons, and there’s very little enforcement of how consultants do business. For example, perhaps some might claim that Arbonne is natural, and it may be quite innocently/ignorantly, before they learn all the lingo. For someone like me who didn’t have a clue about beauty products before, there is quite lot to learn. I can see how some people mightn’t bother with these details (however important!) before doing the sales pitch and getting some cash flow.

        Personally I was very careful not to make any claims not supported by the facts and that were approved by official documentation, yet even so, clients would quite often go off believing that the products were natural or organic or simply something they weren’t, from me saying something like, “it’s pure, safe and beneficial.” So I make some retraction regarding Arbonne’s greenwashing. Unfortunately it happens through incorrect inferences from the “word of mouth” system, regardless of the company’s best efforts to be as clear and truthful about their products that proprietary formulating allows.

        At the end of the day, people who really care about what they use will do their own homework. In the meantime we can just hope laws change one day so the homework isn’t so difficult! So please keep up your wonderful work and campaigning! It’s getting the info out there.

        Kelly

  • Megan says:

    Have you researched Younique? I believe that they should also be added to this list. Thanks!

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      I haven’t yet, and a couple people have mentioned it. So we’ll dig in soon!

    • Adrienne says:

      They don’t look very green to me. Dimethicone, fragrance, and phenoxyethanol :(.

    • Ashley says:

      I agree everyday I see these consultants saying their all natural and products are all natural like the 3d mascara ($35 really) and their new beach front lotion and spray. Not natural people. Check ingredients and the bad part it’s not listed on their site… What’s to hide?

      • Keshia says:

        I am new into looking at toxic-free things, and I’m not saying Younique is toxic-free. But their ingredients ARE listed on the website for each product.

  • Tori says:

    First off, Kudos to everything you are doing! I seriously love it! I am commenting because I have a question about your mentioning of PHENOXYETHANOL on your toxic ingredients list… I am just curious as to your source for “The EU considers this toxic when used in products for the mouth area.” Are you writing this because it is an ingredient clearly not to be swallowed or do you have a specific piece to show this information? Just curious! Because these have been my findings:

    The EU has allowed up to 1% usage in cosmetics and they are incredibly strict in comparison to the USA… http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/index.cfm?fuseaction=search.details&id=28157&back=1

    They have a further limit for children under 3 years old and the only ban I could find was for products used for children’s diaper areas: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-2013-012173&language=EN

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      Hi Tori, good question. It’s on the list because there is a large community of people (mostly where I am in the U.S.) who are frustrated by this ingredient’s ability to irritate and its links to toxicity. As the U.S. and several other places do not have a limit on the amount or strict controls, it goes into the the “avoid it if possible” list. Oh and THANK YOU for loving what I’m up to! I hope you’ll keep reading, commenting and sharing! xo Kristen

  • Simone says:

    Well done, I understand why you have avoided this post for a while, as I have experienced first hand what happens when you call out companies online. Especially glad to see Natures Organics on this list. They are the epitome of greenwashing. I wish people knew they are being deceived.

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      Thank you so much for your support and chiming in, Simone! 🙂 That means so much to me that you took the time and you are on board with these call-outs too.

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      Oh, Simone! I really appreciate your support here. Yeah, the site was actually attacked quite maliciously twice since this article went live. Sigh…At least with articles like this, and people like you, we can make more aware of what’s really going on.

  • Tropic Skin Care (UK)

    • Sorry the above comment might look misleading as I meant it to be a reply to someone who was asking about which companies do offer safe skincare products. My answer was offering Tropic Skincare. They are a UK based company that has safe, pure and ethical products – it is very transparent with regards to ingredients and its ethics. All products show the seal of approval from the Vegan Society and the Leaping Bunny logo and use natural plant based extracts. They are one of the few skincare companies who’s products are developed, formulated and manufactured inhouse.

      • venus says:

        Thank you Marie B. I wonder if Tropic Skincare is sold via http://www.echemist.co.uk ?
        I would love to know of a product to recommend for my customers who say they need sun care products. The UK brand I trust and rep for in the US discontinued our skincare line because they said the zinc molecules were too near nano size, and nano is one of the ingredients on their long list of ‘NOs’.

        I must check it out.

        Thx much!

      • Tonia says:

        Thank you so much for this article!! It’s so sad and frustrating to see people trying to purchase good products for themselves and their families only to be misled by Greenwashing. By the way another company that develops, formulates and manufactures inhouse is Daisy Blue Naturals. 😀

    • Emma says:

      not only are Tropic Skin Care free from all toxic chemicals, parabens, sls, sles, petrochemicals, formaldehyde and other nasties, they are vegan friendly and approved by the BUAV, carrying the Leaping Bunny logo, definitely not green washing!

  • Sandra says:

    Some organic plant-based boutique lines I’ve been hearing good things about are:

    Laurel – https://www.laurelskin.com/faq/
    Blissoma – http://www.blissoma.com/About-Us_ep_7.html
    Roccoco – http://www.roccoco.com.au/
    Grateful Body- http://gratefulbody.com/pages/our-ingredients

    This EWG’s ‘Skin Deep’ database was a great attempt, and I thought I was doing a good thing when I posted this list on a FB group I started for Holistic Estheticians, and I got a lot of negative feedback about it…not personally, but the database was heavily scrutinized by some high caliber skin care therapists and formulators…supported with articles, so depending on how pure you want to go, you might need to consult with an Esthetician or chemist who has done extensive research to get solid information.

    This ‘green beauty’ biz is fairly new territory, and we’re all trying to figure it out ~ but truth is truth, so kudos to Green Beauty Team for taking on this task 🙂

    Also, curious what you think about Dr. Haushka and Osmosis products – perhaps too many reformulations? That’s what I keep hearing…

    • Jenn Ramsey LE says:

      Exactly, you took the words right out of my mouth. I had just looked at a similar blog and had the same concerns, as most of their information was from EWG. As Licensed Skin Care Professionals, it is our duty to be conscious of what we are using on our clients and what they are using on themselves. I have noticed a lot of discrepancy in the information I use and what the EWG has. For instance, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) has a comedogenic/irritant rating of 0/0 but EWG lists it as a 3. What needs to be considered is where the ingredient comes from. Case in point, Talc. Yes, it has the potential of being contaminated which is why you look at where and how it is processed. This is true for all ingredients. Also, not all parabens are negative. Honeysuckle is a paraben source used as a preservative and Vitamin E is also used as preservative. As for Dr. Haushka and Osmosis I would agree with the reformulations but I don’t use them so I don’t know for sure.

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      Hi Sandra! Sorry it took so long to get back to you. SO many comments on here. You left some really great brands for people to consider in your comment. Thank you for understanding the large nature of taking on the task of trying to uncover truth and the constant influx of information we have to sort through. Ahhh, your questions about Dr. Hauschka and Osmosis. I must say that to really get to the bottom of any of these brands, one must get more on the inside. What I like about Laurel and Blissoma is that I have regular contact with their creators. – xo Kristen Arnett

  • liane says:

    So happy to see this list!!! Big difference between conventional beauty products and products that are misleading consumers believing they are buying something “green” “natural” “healthy”… but in reality are not. At all. I hope everyone listens to your interview posted above. Well said!

  • Renee H. says:

    Any thoughts on Eminence Organic Skincare?

  • john says:

    As the UK’S oldest specialist skin care company pleased to see this list

  • Jim says:

    Miessence is the company we trust

  • MCR says:

    What about Bare Minerals or Beneficial products? They seem to be marketing their use of natural ingredients but I hesitate to believe that.

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      Oh yes, Bare Minerals is a very interesting one. I knew there’d be other brands who should be on this list. Honestly I am not really familiar with Beneficial, but now will certainly look into it. Thanks, MCR!

  • Rachelle Poole says:

    Arbonne has never claimed to be ‘green’ or ‘organic’. We utilise the best of nature and the very best of science to give you a product that is botanically based and delivers results. As a biochemist it astounds me where companies and products advertise that they are 100% pure or organic? No skincare product can be sold in this state as it needs some form of preserving which comes in the form of chemicals! Otherwise your skincare would not have a shelf life, would be stored in the fridge and go off like fruit and veges in a week…… When you look at a chemical you need to look at 2 different things- firstly its source, where it came from. Whilst some chemicals can be quite harmful source from an animal base, others are not sourced from a plant. Arbonne is one of the very few that has vegan certification. The second thing you must look at is its concentration levels as which it becomes toxic! Just looking at a chemical name is not enough.
    As an Arbonne consultant and long time user of these products I am astounded that Arbonne is on this list.

    • Amanda says:

      This is laughable. Arbonne markets itself as being a safe and natural and the best option for people looking to use safe products – and they use this excuse for their outrageously high prices. BUT they still use harmful ingredients in their products. It doesn’t matter if they have a vegan certification or not when they still use toxic chemicals. To name a few:

      -Retiynl Palmitate – which the FDA even admits to this product increasing the risk of skin cancer lesions by 21% when it’s exposed to the sunlight. Oh, and Arbonne uses it in its SUNSCREEN, so that’s great (and MANY other products)
      -Disodium EDTA
      -Butylene glycol
      -Disodium cocoamphodiacetate
      -Cocamidopropyl hydroxyfultaine
      -Phenoxyethanol
      -Sodium Bennzonate and citric acid are both used in the baby wash – which when used together have the potential to create the carcinogen Benzene
      -Cocamidopropyl Betaine – cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB)
      -PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate – EWG warns against risks of cancer, reproduction and fertility complications, birth or developmental effects, and other organ system toxicity
      -PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate
      -Cocamide MIPA
      -Disodium laurreth sulfosuccinante – which is contaimnated by 1,4 dioxane (carcogenic)
      -Dissodium lauryl sulfosuccinate
      -Hydrolyzed soy protein

      And the list goes on and on! Go check the bottles of your Arbonne products… OH, wait they don’t list the ingredients on bottles. They only list the ingredients on the boxes that the products come in that everyone throws away immediately. Go check the website – oh, nope, won’t find the full list of ingredients there either.

      So, yes, Arbonne should MOST DEFINITELY be on this list and I’m glad to see someone finally calling them out. You as a consultant should take a better look at the product you’re selling and using.

      As for your comment that no products can be in a pure, natural state – this is not true. I’m not a consultant for them, but Ava Anderson Non Toxic does not use any toxic chemicals in their products whatsoever. I’ve researched their products thoroughly and felt confident enough to use them AFTER I was let down by Arbonne and returned their products when I actually saw the labels. AANT use radish root extract as a preservative in most of their products. Sounds a lot better than the stuff Arbonne uses. Yes, the products don’t last for YEARS, and that’s a good thing! But they do last at least 8 months. I’m sure there are other brands out there that use truly safe ingredients as well, and I’m sure the green beauty team will highlight those brands.

      As for now, I commend this article and look forward to seeing your follow ups!

      • Renee H. says:

        Great insight, Amanda!

        Arbonne most certainly claims to be “green.” From their site:

        “Arbonne Ever Green Commitment

        At Arbonne, we have been on a green journey for 35 years and always will be. From botanically based ingredients to forward-looking green improvements, being earth friendly has everything to do with who we are and how we choose to grow.

        Arbonne led the way in the green arena — as far back as 1980 in the U.S. — with pure, safe, beneficial™ products and cruelty–free formulas.” Etc.

        If that’s not claiming to be green, I don’t know what is.

      • Correction. Arbonne just ‘re-camped their website. Customers can now get an ingredient list on any product with one mouse click.

      • Maria says:

        Just wasted 3 minutes of my time going through the list of ingredients of Arbonne’s sunscreen….Yes, the complete list is easy to find on their website, and Retiynl Palmitate is not one of the ingredients. Since your first claim is untrue I don’t feel the need to continue.

      • Sandy L says:

        I see a list of harmful ingredients you claim are in ARBONNE’s products, please list the exact products these ingredients are in.

        If you are going by EWG’s list, unfortunately, there are a lot of products that are not in ARBONNE’s product lines any longer, and some are from years ago. I give EWG a lot of credit, trying to inform and protect us, but some of the information is outdated – not their fault, though.

        As information becomes available, ARBONNE does work to ensure product safety, and remove harmful ingredients.

        ARBONNE is the best of Science and Nature, and is botanically based. Never claimed to be 100% botanical. ARBONNE is formulated WITHOUT : GLUTEN * GMO’s * ANIMAL PRODUCTS OR BYPRODUCTS – NEVER TESTED ON ANIMALS
        FORMULATED WITHOUT: PARABENS * PHYLATES * PROPYLENE GLYCOL* MINERAL OIL*PABA * PETROLATUM *PARAFFIN * DIETHANOLAMINE

        ARBONNE did include fragrance in their seasonal Holiday line until a couple of years ago, now they use essential oils. Check it, PLEASE.

      • Tori says:

        I agree about Arbonne… In regards to Ava Anderson… I only found three products that use “radish root extract” as an ingredient… the Conditioner Item #: CN01, Detangler Item #: DT01 and eye cream Item #: EC01. Am I missing a bunch of items? Also, I think it is misleading to have “organic” listed on nearly every ingredient when there is absolutely no certification of organic ingredients… especially when there are several other companies that do have this certification… I am just quickly skimming their products here and these are things that are standing out to me as very misleading… I feel like they would be more honest by not using the organic term… Last thoughts for now, do you know if they require refrigeration for all of the products that contain aloe?

        • Tori says:

          Okay, I think it was my internet acting weird. This time when I searched it was still only 30 products that contained the term “radish” (which is better than 3 products containing “radish root extract” that you mentioned) but that ingredient is certainly not in the majority of their products… Also, I noticed that zinc oxide is in the foundation which I think can be a preservative (not sure – haven’t looked that up – maybe you can enlighten me) what is the preservative for their remaining products? Since Ava Anderson is so fast to use the term “organic” on so many ingredients without actually having the organic certification they seem sketchy to me… and it seems like they would also potentially not be disclosing all ingredients…

          • Cindy says:

            I am an independent consultant with Ava Anderson Nontoxic. Ava Anderson ingredients that are listed as organic means that the ingredient itself IS certified organic. You can ask for certificates if a real concern. The company is working on being their own certified organic manufacturer in the future, but at this point they are still a young company. They use small-batch-production independent manufacturers; not all of their manufacturers are certified organic. It is a concern they are very aware of and they are working on it. Ava Anderson is an amazing company with integrity and outstanding products. You should look into them as a real solution. If the fact that Ava Anderson does not have the organic seal keeps you from trying the products, that is unfortunate. Feel free to contact the company for more information http://www.avaandersonnontoxic.com

          • Cam says:

            Cindy,
            You are believing what AANT has fed to you. The term organic as listed within in ingredients list in not regulated. Anyone can say that. They were questioned as to who was their Third Party Certifier and they responded. It was a lie. The USDA ordered them to stop claiming their products were Certified Organic because they ARE NOT! They have just come out and admitted to the years of claims that they had Synthetic Fragrances in some of their products. They kept deleting comments on FB from people wondering how the has Essential Oils that do not exist as their natural fragrance. They also “accidentally” left ingredients off of at least 30 products recently. They did the same a few years back with diaper cream and hand sanitizer. They are Greenwashing plain and simple. Please take a step back and see them for what they are. No company with even an ounce of integrity would have this many issues…especially such a young Company. That’s a lot of issues in 6 years or so. And just think of all of the issues we don’t know about. There are currently claims about colorants in their makeup. Why are their laundry pods and detergent pods currently being re formulated? Will we be told there was another “mistake”? Organic=Tranparency. True Organic Products carry the USDA Certified Organic Label. Please look into the companies that are certified and compare them to AANT. I think you will be surprised and see the reality about AANT.

      • Gretel says:

        Amanda, Thank you for the insight on Arbonne. I am a Beautycounter consultant. The company’s mission is to put safe products in the hands of everyone. They are a certified B corporation as well and they march to Washington asking for a change in the cosmetic industry. They are a transparent company who believes the people have the right to know what they are putting on their bodies and their children. Every ingredient is labeled and all products are third party lab tested for background contamination. A far cry from what I’ve experienced with Arbonne. Feel free to view their site at http://www.beautycounter.com/ [MLM/DM links are not allowed in the comment forum]
        Together we can make a change!
        Gretel

    • Sara C says:

      It is completely possible to make cosmetics without synthetic preservatives!!
      Arbonne and other companies might not want to use all fresh ingredients and risk having a shelf life but don’t claim that IT IS A MUST. Our company uses only food-grade edible ingredients and has a shelf life of 4 months – 2 years on our range of products. We don’t sacrifice our health, the planets health, and your health, to extend shelf life for higher profits. Please know what you’re saying before you make claims about preservatives in skincare!

  • Lesalia says:

    Add Perfectly Posh to that list

    • Nicole says:

      There’s not one thing wrong with Perfectly Posh. At least they list ingredients in the catalog, on the products AND website. There are vegan products. NO animal testing, SLS, fillers, parabens or paraffin.

      • Tori says:

        Perfectly Posh lists “Aroma/Flavor” which is a trade secret and potentially hides a large amount of nasty chemicals. After skimming their site, I liked seeing that they didn’t claim to be organic or anything… but that “Aroma/Flavor” is misleading to me…

        • Green Beauty Team says:

          Umm…yes that does sound extremely suspicious!

        • Jenn Ramsey LE says:

          Perfectly Posh has a product key in its catalog that lists whether it has

          NF Natural Fragrance
          NC No Color Added
          DT D*Tox Ingredients
          FF Fragrance Free
          EO Essential Oils
          V Vegan

          As far as I can tell they are quite transparent in their ingredient decks even down to what type of fragrance is used.

        • Victoria says:

          Perfectly Posh is natural based. Not organic or all natural.

          • Ashley says:

            I agree 100% natural based not all natural. I love seeing people educated on the lies that consultant share about their company. If only honest customers knew what we do about each company and ingredients.

  • Stefanie says:

    I am questioning your accusation of Aveda. They use ingredients from indinginous regions. If an ingredient can not be used and remain a stable source, than the Aveda product gets discontinued until they find another source for that ingredient. Their fragrances are plant extracts, their manufacturing plant is wind powered, and their bottles are recycled material. They also have allowed certain areas of Australia to become a thriving region because of Aveda’s purchase of their Sandalwood. They have also revived a community in Morrocco by purchasing their argon nuts from an area facing desertification. Aveda’s participation has started a business where the WOMAN workers are its shareholders, thus allowing for protection of the argon trees from being destroyed! Aveda was a family owned/ run business until recently and was created by a man (Horst) who created Rosemary mint shampoo in his bathtub w his mother. He traveled the world finding ingredients that would be sustainable and non-toxic. So please, any info you actually have discrediting Aveda would be appreciated. My e-mail is attached and I would appreciate any reply. Ttpoofs@yahoo.com

    • Sarah says:

      Just because SOME ingredients are natural and sourced from exotic locations doesn’t mean it’s a natural product.

    • Renee H. says:

      While visiting Morocco, I was lucky enough to chat with some of the women who are a part of the argan oil cooperatives . It was amazing!

      I’ve noticed many Aveda products include “fragrance (parfum),” which is a mystery ingredient in the industry. Sigh.

      • Green Beauty Team says:

        How lucky indeed! Do you ever use Kahina Giving Beauty? They support similar (maybe the same) collectives in Morocco. Totally in agreement with you on the fragrance thing for Aveda products, sadly.

        • Oh gosh, I am so sad to hear this about Aveda! I don’t use their beauty products, but have been a fan of their hair products.

          All the greenwashing is so frustrating! I just telling a friend earlier that I wish certain companies would say something like, “Listen, to get the results you want, you can’t have it 100% natural, but we are offering you a much better alternative that the very chemical-laden popular brands. So, if you still want to keep your results, you’ll have to accept these few slightly toxic ingredients.”

          • venus says:

            When Horst Rechelbacher founded Aveda in 1978, the products were among the finest in the beauty industry; but, Rechellbacher sold his company to Estée Lauder, a corporate global brand, in 1997 for $300 million. Even though, (they say), Aveda continues to be run as a separate entity…Now you have to answer the question: “Is Aveda still worthy of your trust”?

            • Green Beauty Team says:

              I would agree with you, Venus and add, all anyone has to do is turn the bottle around to know. 😉

        • Renee H. says:

          I’m familiar with Kahina Giving Beauty products but haven’t had a chance to give them a try! Love their ethics.

      • Jillian says:

        I realize this is not on every product but there is an asterisk after “fragrance (parfum)” noting: Aveda’s Own Pure Flower and Plant Pure-Fume Aroma. So it appears that many, if not all, of their “fragrances” are derived from natural plant botanicals.

      • Tricia Martinez says:

        “Fragrance/purefume” is listed this way because it’s a proprietary blend.

    • Ashley says:

      Aveda is owned by Estée Lauder that alone throws up red flags just like Johnson and Johnson owns Aveeno, Burts bees is owned by Clorox, The body shop is owned my Loreal and tom’s of maine is owned by Colgate. I mean the list goes on. How can u trust these toxic selling companies to keep another bought out company all natural or half natural. U can’t

      • Tricia Martinez says:

        When Horst sold Aveda, part of the conditions of that sale were that the original founding principles of Aveda would remain the same. I have met people who have worked at Aveda since it’s original ownership. They say it hasn’t changed.

        • Kristen Arnett's GBT says:

          Yes, and unfortunately Horst said to me personally a few years ago (before his passing) that the reason he was so happy to get rid of Aveda was that his scientists had lied to him about how clean Aveda really was. As soon as he could, he opened up shop with the truly clean, organic Intelligent Nutrients.

  • Madison says:

    My salon uses Surface Hair care and Mirabella makeup. What are your opinions on them?

    • “It is all about the ingredients”, they are using some natural ingredients but you have to check the complete list. We have a whole page dedicated to how to become an ingredient detective on Ava Anderson Non Toxic website.
      I used Aveda and Origins for years under the illusion they were safe products, so much to know in this matter. I am glad there are more and more articles coming out warning the public about the ugly truth of greenwashing. If you like more info pls contact me.

      • Bella says:

        Well apparently someone from Ava Anderson didn’t read the list. Since the Andersons supposedly pulled out and now that the company is closing , only to morph into Pure Haven Essentials we never have been given the opportunity to see thier 3rd party test results. We have only been told that they passed with flying colors. There is another blogger who actually paid to have 4 of Ava Anderson products tested and guess what, 3 of them had ingredients that were not on the labels. And they were not good ingredients either. I was a consultant for about 8 months and in the back of my mind I wondered how they were able to create some of the products with the ingredients listed. I have experience in making my own body products so I was stumped but since they came out with how the manufacturers “lied” to them and put in bad ingredients behind thier backs, I then knew how.
        Ava Anderson Non Toxic should be ashamed of themselves. They marketed thier products to people with cancer, to new mom’s for thier babies and all of the others…..including me. I tried to stay away from unclean products and then I find out that I have been duped. Not only had I been duped but I had been peddling those products to my friends and neighbors.

  • Rose Bagwell says:

    Okay, I see all the greenwashing companies & this is very interesting. What I would like to see though is a list of the companies that we can trust & are GREEN. Please. Thanks.

    • “It is all about the ingredients”, they are using some natural ingredients but you have to check the complete list. We have a whole page dedicated to how to become an ingredient detective on Ava Anderson Non Toxic website. You are welcome to check it out at http://www.AvaAndersonNonToxic.com/CinziaPanetti
      I used Aveda and Origins and other products bought at Whole Foods for years under the illusion they were safe products, so much to know in this matter. I am glad there are more and more articles coming out warning the public about the ugly truth of greenwashing. I consult for Ava Anderson so if you have any questions feel free to contact me.

      • Amanda says:

        I dislike when consultants from companies flood such forums with their products. It does not make me want to buy products from you or the company.

      • Rose Bagwell says:

        I use Ava products & love them, I was just wondering if there are others out there that are also natural. Suzanne Summers? How does her products rate?

      • Allison says:

        To be honest, most of these companies, including Ava that so many people seem to think are perfect, aren’t any different than other conventional companies. There are NO regulations about what is labeled on a product. They claim to have organic ingredients and use essential oils but don’t back it up with organic certification. ANYONE can say they are organic but USDA certification is the only way to prove it. If a company has their USDA certification, they can bear the label and it requires tons of paperwork and proof that your products are what you say they are. You can’t be USDA organic and hide ingredients on your label. It’s not legal. So just saying you use organic ingredients and you’re natural and non-toxic or whatever isn’t enough. I know some people will think I’m being sales-y but that’s the reason I choose Poofy Organics for my family and why I choose to sell it. They are small-family owned and make everything by hand and have their USDA organic certification to prove to consumers they are getting what is truly on the label.

    • Shay Lary says:

      Beautycounter is a brand worth checking out! Products aren’t 100% organic, but they are working toward progress, not perfection. They ban over 1,500 ingredients, have strict sourcing & testing and are a B corporation. Plus, they are dedicated toward changing how our government regulates this industry, which right now is not at all. Would be glad to share more if you are interested

    • venus says:

      Then Neal’s Yard Remedies, awarded Champion and Innovator status by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics should be at the top of the most trusted brand list; awarded top score of 100% for ethics by the Good Shopping Guide: http://www.thegoodshoppingguide.com/ethical-skincare/
      …and the list goes on: https://us.nyrorganic.com/shop/socal_ukbird/area/our-awards/
      Neal’s Yard earned the seal of certification by the Soil Association, the ‘gold standard’ of certification, representing 80% of organic goods sold in the UK.

      Neal’s Yard Remedies are available in stores and stockists throughout the UK. They’re a world leader with 83 shops and staffed concessions in 21 countries, across 5 continents, with NYR Organic extensions in England, the USA, Scotland, Wales and Ireland!

  • Amber says:

    I currently USE 3 or 4 products on this list and personally KNOW people who sell other products on it. Can you tell me what brands ARE green products I should consider buying?! I didn’t see It Cosmetics on their. Would they qualify as green or green washing?

    • Alexandria says:

      The only cosmetic brand that I buy from now is 100% Pure. Their products are super high qualty(think Mac, Urban Decay, Nars, etc.) but everything is completely chemical free and organic when possible. I cannot say enough good things about them! The owner is vegan and a huge animal rights activist, Christian, and sooo down to earth. Another company I like for cleansers and such is Andalou Naturals.

      • Carolyn Swofford says:

        “Environmental Working Group” website has a HUGE database that rates personal care (and home cleaning) products for chemical toxicity. This has been very helpful to me in locating every type of personal care product that is truly chemical free. The website contains information on the toxic chemicals to look for on labels, many of which are contained in the products of the companies included in the Green Beauty Team’s list of green-washing companies.

    • Mary says:

      If you listen to the interview she mentions Beautycounter. They are changing the face of the industry in safety and performance. Msg me if you want more info. www. jeena.beautycounter.com. I am sharing this because you asked for advice and because people need to know options not to promote myself and it was also mentioned in the interview with the author of the article 🙂

  • Karen says:

    Nerium should be on this list. I was interested, based on their claims to be “all natural” and when I looked at the ingredients list, they had Parfum listed as an ingredient. As someone who has been on a crusade to eliminate toxins from our household products and personal care and beauty products, I decided to ask what the source of the Parfum was. It was like jumping through hoops to get a straight answer! After months of trying to find someone who could truly break it down for me, I finally asked on the Nerium Facebook page. I had to ask several times and in several ways to finally get it broken down to the point that I was finally told it was a chemical fragrance, as opposed to a natural essential oil. Green washing, through and through.
    Thanks so much for what you are doing! I am a huge fan of yours and admire the work you are doing very much.

    • Becki says:

      Not to mention that Nerium has OLEANDER extract in it…which is……a poison……even in small amounts it could kill someone with a heart condition.

      • Green Beauty Team says:

        Ah Becki, Your comments are very much appreciated. I haven’t begun to really get into the Nerium discussion. It’s definitely something that we need to cover…but after I wrote this article on Greenwashing my site was maliciously attacked. I can’t say who it was, but let’s just say I want to make sure I have the hatches battened down before I take issue with another strong MLM community.

        • Jenn Ramsey LE says:

          Both Nerium and Rodan + Fields consultants are like that. Nerium has at least two lawsuits pending aside from the one Ray Liotta is bringing against them. One of note is for Heart Issues brought on from the use of this brand. It is a smart thing indeed to have all your ducks in a row because they will come out in droves. Nerium is a very toxic brand and have a bad habit of making false claims.
          For those who seem to have no issue, it is simply a matter of a slight irritating reaction of the skin which presents as plumping. Later they dry out and begin to see the actual damage. For those who have an immediate moderate to severe skin reaction, it presents as anything from acne to rashes. The consultants tell them it’s ok and common, and that it is the skin getting rid of the junk. Now while this type of thing can occur it is something hat happens within the first two to three times of use not every time. That my friends is an allergic type reaction. For those unlucky enough to have the extreme reactions, it includes heart problems, severe rashes/hives and severe swelling. Consultants call these people liars and tell them that what you put on your skin can not get into your body. We know this to be false, but there you go. There are a couple of good blogs about the negatives available if Nerium hasn’t harrassed them enough to remove them.

  • Ashley says:

    You should add Doterra’s personal care products to the list.

    • Debra says:

      Do terra has many ingredients that are toxic. Look at the list of ingredients. I sell oils but DO NOT sell their skincare because they still use many ingredients I do not agree with like Retinyl palmitate.

      • Alissa says:

        I totally agree with your comment about dōTERRA’s skincare and haircare. I also sell their essential oils, but wouldn’t touch the other products with a 10′ pole!

    • Ashley says:

      I too agree about putting doTerra on the list their skin care products are horrible but yet their oils are not which just gets me thinking. I use the oils but I don’t know.

  • Jackie says:

    I agree! Guys, she’s not making this up, trying to offend anyone, or bashing for the sake of bashing. If you’re wondering what is in your products–either look the product up on sites like environmental working group (unbiased 3rd party research site) or download apps like “skin deep” which will allow you to scan your product and will tell you what is in your product.

    Chemicals in our products are linked to pretty severe things! Thanks for sharing.

    I’d also say Younique. As it claims to be all natural but actually contains ingredients that can mess with your hormones and promote disease— don’t blame us for sharing the info–look at the data and you will be able to see for yourselves 🙂

  • Ge0ffrey says:

    Kristen Arnett, who appointed you the Pope of Greenness? How can we find out whether or not you’re getting a kick back from a competing company? What makes you so pure?

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      I didn’t call myself the pope. It’s odd how by my calling out companies who I think are beguiling customers it somehow makes you feel the need to be rude to me and question my ethics. If you don’t like what I write, you don’t need to read my site. 🙂

      • Sarah says:

        I would also love to know what you are basing this list on. Do you have references? I don’t agree with Lush or Aveda for example. So I’m just curious where you got your information that prompted you to add each company to the list (other than just a quick glance at the ingredients list). Thanks 🙂

        • Debra says:

          You can EASILY look up the ingredients yourself which I have done and agree with this list completely. Go into the EWG and create a profile and if they for have a company listed, find their ingredients and put them in and you will see their rating. I have done this for MANY cosmetic lines and arbonne is probably the worst about having access to their ingredients.

    • “It is all about the ingredients”, they are using some natural ingredients but you have to check the complete list. We have a whole page dedicated to how to become an ingredient detective on Ava Anderson Non Toxic website.
      I used Aveda and Origins and other products bought at Whole Foods for years under the illusion they were safe products, so much to know in this matter. I am glad there are more and more articles coming out warning the public about the ugly truth of greenwashing.

  • Meg C says:

    I would like to know more about how Arbonne fits into the greenwashing category? What about their products or what products qualified them for the list?

  • Erica says:

    Thanks for sharing this list. It’s so sad to see that so many companies can get away with this. The one company I’ve been able to trust is Healthy Skin for a Happy Life. They are really transparent and have all of their ingredients listed on their website. I like their list of ingredients they’ll never use, too: http://www.healthyskinhappylife.com/ingredients-bad/

  • Katia says:

    hi there,

    just wondering about this list and how Arbonne is greenwashing. I understand the term and I know what it means, but can you please tell me what they are *actually* doing that you would classify as greenwashing.

    thank you,
    Katia

  • Ann says:

    i understand a lot of the others but really not certain why Arbonne is on this list? Could you please explain?

    TIA

  • Sara Beth says:

    I can’t read the comments on this article, or any article on this site. Just commenting in hopes that will enable me to see them.

  • Rebeckah says:

    This is an excellent list. I think Tom’s of Maine is one that also belongs on the list. They might have started out strong, but once they sold out to Colgate they went from green to green-wash pretty quickly. It’s almost worst because a trusted name was used against and unknowing public. People still think of them as a trusted, natural big name brand to go to when you want natural, when they shamelessly include sodium lauryl sulfate and propylene glycol in their products and refer to them as safely from nature.

  • Lissa says:

    Why is Lush cosmetics part of this? Can someone please tell me??

    • Chris Ramsbottom says:

      Lush are on the list because of their use of a generic “Parfum”, among other questionable chemicals. It was a major disappointment to me when I read their ingredients lists and found some non-organic, man-made chemicals on there. Sorry.

      • Green Beauty Team says:

        Yep!! You got it, Chris. 🙂

        • Sarah says:

          I personally don’t think it’s just about the ingredients. I think it whether or not products are ethically produced and sourced is just as important. So the fact that Lush uses “parfum” in a few of their products (oh, the scandal!) shouldn’t really be an issue. You could use ALL ingredients you personally picked from the ground, but if you’re doing it illegally or unethically, etc. then to me it’s irrelevant. The ethical treatment of people and animals is far more important to me.

          • Debra says:

            Not really an issue? The word “parfum” or “fragrance” can lead up to hundreds of toxic ingredients. Fragrance is considered a trade secret so companies DO NOT have to disclose exactly what ingredients are in the word “fragrance”. I know it can be confusing and disappointing but the fact if the matter is, that the personal care and cosmetic industry is not regulated at all and the US only has 11 banned chemicals to where Europe has over 1200 banned. Take a look at EWG.org and the skin deep app when you get a chance!

            • Green Beauty Team says:

              Thank you so much for all of your great comments, Debra. You are really providing some excellent reinforcement here!!

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      That article is coming soon, Lisa. It’s next up! If you’re on our newsletter updates, then you’ll be notified as soon as the explanation goes live.

  • Joan says:

    Seventh Generation doe green washing on May of their products, Method and Mrs Myers and what about Clorox Green Work?

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      These brands are worth talking about in household supplies. This article is just focusing on cosmetics since that’s what we specialize in.

  • Jennifer says:

    Do you have dates on your articles?

  • lauretta says:

    How do I read the comments??

  • sam davies says:

    How about Younique? Fed up to the back teeth of seeing marketing posters for these products, in particular the fibre mascara, stating they’re 100% natural and organic. The list of parabens tell a different story as do the multitude of man made chemicals

  • Cait says:

    I don’t think Moroccan oil has ever claimed to be natural or green, and iv never been left with the impression that it is. I have a salon and I stock everescents haircare and rustic Hyde skin care. Would you be able to tell me if these products are green or not?

  • cecilia says:

    Falta kiehl’s

  • Nicole says:

    I can 1000% say that LUSH cosmetics should NOT be on this list!
    They barely use packaging, use fair trade ingredients/fair wages, and do not use any animal testing ingredients. They don’t even buy from companies or trade with farms that sell or have any affiliation with animal testing. Even in their shops, their employees are offered to volunteer at the charities that they donate to with their Charity Pot lotion. There are things like blended banana in their blousey shampoo they handmade, of course something needs some preservative.. or else it would rot in a day! Their shops don’t even use green colors to fool you of their “organic” or “earth -friendly” company!

    • Kim says:

      They are 100% green washers. While they may be more eco friendly in packaging the products and thank goodness don’t test on animals, they still contain toxic chemicals. If you ask anyone familiar with lush, they believe the products are safe and non toxic which is not true.

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      LUSH seems to concern many folks, so I’ll be diving into my reasoning for that in an upcoming article. The short answer is that if you ask the customers in the store, probably 99 out of a 100 will tell you they are getting natural products there. Make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter so you can be updated when it goes live. Thanks for your comment and interest, Nicole!

      • Kenzie says:

        I am looking for this article–can you please link to it if it’s live? And if not… well, it’s been a year, so maybe it’s time to write it?

    • Alissa says:

      There are companies using 100% natural preservatives such as olive leaf extract, bitter orange extract, grapefruit seed extract, colloidal silver and essential oils. It is possible to use natural preservatives that are antibacterial! I know one skincare manufacturer who has a special way of packaging her products so that as long as you use the pump dispenser it will last at least 12 months, but if the bottle is opened, it will go off in a week. Chemical free IS an option!

    • Lush should be on this list.
      The last time I was in their store, the ingredients, clearly listed on their very eco chalkboards (because they dont use packaging), listed different types of parabens, SLS and parfum.
      Not having an ingredient list attached doesnt make you non-toxic. Makes you shady.

  • HC says:

    I have no idea why lush is on here? They never claim to be 100% natural and they certainly don’t test on animals?

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      LUSH seems to concern many folks, so I’ll be diving into my reasoning for that in an upcoming article. The short answer is that if you ask the customers in the store, probably 99 out of a 100 will tell you they are getting natural products there. Make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter so you can be updated when it goes live. Thanks for your comment and interest, HC!

  • samantha says:

    Hi I’d love more information on lush green washing as I have been a customer for many years because of their ethics. Could you provide me with this please?

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      Sure thing, Samantha. I’ll be diving into my reasoning for LUSH’s greenwashing in an upcoming article. Make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter so you can be updated when it goes live. Thanks for your comment and interest.

  • Arden says:

    What are your thoughts on Beautycounter?

    • Emily says:

      Check out Beautycounter’s Never List of ingredients they will never use here:

      http://www.beautycounter.com/the-never-list/?

      And here you can read about their ingredient safety screening process.
      http://www.beautycounter.com/our-story/

      There is nothing but truth and transparency going at Beautycounter. Not all of the ingredients are organic or “natural” because in reality those terms don’t mean anything, legally, in the cosmetic/personal care industry. Most consumers are unaware of this. Beautycounter prides itself on beautiful products made safe.

      • Paulette says:

        Beauty Counter has changed my life.

      • venus says:

        Beauty Counter is not certified organic. They rely on trusting souls; either that or very gullible ones.

        • ellen says:

          I had an interesting experience with a Beautycounter consultant. Little did she know that I have been researching green beauty brands for over 10 years. She gave me a spiel on how Beautycounter is leading the force in changing the laws, and how they only use green and non-toxic ingredients. When I checked their ingredient list, I found they use both dimethicone and phenoxyethanol. These are two toxic ingredients I avoid, and that companies can also choose to avoid, rating a 3 and 4 on EWG. When I told her this, she had no idea because she is being spoonfed information from Beautycounter. She has not done any research on her own and is blindly trusting that they are being honest. I will not support this company and I encourage all of the consultants who keep posting on this website to stop being brainwashed and look at what you are selling.

          • Donna Casali says:

            Dimethecone is a large molecule that sits on skin and is not absorbed, from what I understsand. It’s used for performance to give products slip, like conditioner and body lotion. Phenoxyethanol is used in very small concentrations, under 1%. Preservatives are needed in products w. water. I’d be more concerned about “green beauty” brands that claim to be preservative free…there’s nothing safe about bacteria and mold growing in products. Preservatives can also be hidden in Aloe, when it comes pre-preserved w. Parabens.

  • Ruth says:

    Can you verify the sources of your facts? Are they trusted sources and at least 3 of them?

    Many thanks,

    Ruth

    • Kim says:

      Ruth-all it takes to know the truth is to learn what ingredients to avoid and why (one good source is ewg but there are many books and articles too) and if you compare ingredients to avoid with the ingredients in the products listed (they advertise themselves as either safe, or natural, organic or botanical), you will see why they are greenwashers. It is really sad. Here is my list I take with me to the store, it is not all the toxic ingredients but it certainly covers the most common ones.
      Chemicals to Avoid:

      FRAGRANCE – chemical concoctions that are not required to be listed on the label. Manufacturers can legally hide hundreds of ingredients in “fragrance” or “parfum” – it is called “trade secret” in the industry. More than 75% of the time if you have fragrance, you have legally hidden phthalates (THAL ates) which are a known endocrine disruptors, and are linked with birth defects, breast cancer, infertility, liver, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and now with autism and ADHD in first and third trimesters of pregnancy by Dr Landrigan and his team at Mt Sinai, Childrens Environmental Health Center.
      PARABENS – are also known endocrine disruptors, and are the most widely used preservatives in cosmetics. Have caused many allergic reactions and skin rashes. Methylparaben combines benzoic acid with the methyl group of chemicals, and is highly toxic . Studies have linked these endocrine disruptors, which mimic estrogen, with breast cancer. While more conclusive studies need to be done, we recommend avoiding all parabens. A study at university of Chicago (Sept, 2011) linked BPA and methyplaraben with breast cancer, and also showed that the combination rendered tamoxifin ineffective.
      TRICLOSAN – is the active ingredient in “anti bacterial” products. It is registered with the government as a pesticide, and is a cousin to agent orange. It’s also a known endocrine disruptor. Triclosan (and its chemical cousin triclocarbon) is believed to disrupt thyroid function and contribute to liver and inhalation toxicity.
      OXYBENZONE and OCTINOXATE – chemical UV ray filters that are also known endocrine disruptors, found in many sunscreens and spf products. You will want to use zinc oxide based sunscreens instead.
      PETROLATUM – is a derivative of petroleum, and is an endocrine disruptor and carcinogen.
      Important note- Did you notice that ALL SIX OF THE ABOVE ARE “ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS?” Many products that you use daily have one or more endocrine disruptors, and some will have all of them! They are very important to avoid, because the endocrine system regulates ALL biological processes in the body including development of the brain and nervous system, growth and function of the reproduction system, metabolism and blood sugar levels, ovaries, testes, pituitary, thyroid and the adrenal glands. (Natural News) The World Health Organization and the UN recently released a report that called endocrine disruptors a “Global Threat.” Small amounts of endocrine disruptors matter, especially to the developing fetus.
      PEG’s – (polyethylene glycol) – are petroleum byproducts. During manufacturing process carcinogenic contamination is created – 1,4 dioxane – which is a known human carcinogen, with liver and kidney effects.
      SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are detergents that create suds or foam. Both are considered carcinogens and SLES is sometimes contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which is considered carcinogenic by the FDA. You will never see 1,4 dioxane on your label, as companies are also not required to list contaminants.
      INGREDIENTS THAT END IN -eth, like ceteareth, triceteareth, etc. Also carry the contamination concern for 1,4 dioxane.
      *Important NOTE – all THREE of the above ingredients carry carcinogenic contaminant concerns created during manufacturing for 1,4 DIOXANE. The government allows 10 ppm (parts per million) in any one product, but no one is testing.
      1,4 dioxane can be stripped for pennies, and must be done for any product exported to EU – don’t we deserve the same in US?
      RETINYL PALMITATE – the FDA released a report that states the retinyl palmitate in the presence of sunlight enhances skin cancer lesions by 21%. If you look at your labels, you will see this in most sunscreens and many moisturizers.
      NANOPARTICLES – Speaking of sunscreens, I just shared with you that #4 of chemicals to avoid are the chemical sunscreens, but it is important to note that most manufacturers of mineral sunscreens are using nanoparticles of zinc and titanium. These Nanoparticles have been known to cross the cell barrier and drive into organs, including the brain in humans. There is no way of knowing what size particle they are using unless they tell you. In Europe manufacturers must list nanoparticles on the label, but not in the US. Ava uses only NON nano particle zinc oxide.
      ALUMINUM and metals – these are bio-accumulative, meaning they store in your fat cells and accumulate, and are very hard to get rid of. Many deodorants contain aluminum as an active ingredient.
      DIETHANOLOMINE (DEA), (and COCAMIDE DEA, LAURAMIDE DEA)–. DEA reacts with other ingredients in personal care products to become the extremely carcinogenic nitrosodiethanolamine. Beware of other ethanolamines like triethanolamine (TEA) and monoethamolamine (MEA). Found in sunscreens and many other cosmetic products.
      FORMALDEHYDE RELEASING NIGREDIENTS – DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, DMDM
      HYDANTOIN, QUATERNIUM) – found in most personal care products, formaldehyde can cause symptoms from allergic reactions to dermatitis, joint pains and headaches, to cancer and immune dysfunction. This carcinogenic contaminant has been banned in Sweden and Japan.
      MINERAL OIL – found in many moisturizers, mineral oil disrupts your normal skin respiration by blocking oxygen.
      TALC – belonging to the same family as asbestos, talc is dangerous to inhale and has been linked to ovarian cancer.
      SYNTHETIC COLOR/DYES – Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5 & 6, Red 33 – this is coal tar. It is carcinogenic.
      PROPYLENE GLYCOL – a synthetic petrochemical mix used as a humectant. Has been known to cause allergic and toxic reactions, and has been linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive issues, neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption.

      • melissa says:

        Great resource. Checking the EWG.org is where I go to find out if a product is okay. I even downloaded an app for them

        • Check the individual ratings for EACH ingredient. Sometimes you will get a false green rating since one ingredient is potentially toxic, while 20 of them are rated ok, so your average would come out “green” 0-2.

      • Ashley says:

        Lemongrass spa also uses NON nano particle zinc oxide in their products.

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      This article was meant to be a list, not an in-depth look at the reasonings. So please check back in as each article is released on the specific reasons behind the brands selected. Already one on Tarte Cosmetics was put out. Read it here. Make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter so you can be updated when it goes live. Thanks for your comment and interest, Ruth!

  • Ruth says:

    Can you explain where you get your facts from and what evidence you have to back up your claims, please.

    Many thanks.
    Ruth

  • Pam Hall says:

    I am an Arbonne consultant and I have to say I do not see any of the toxic chemicals listed in our ingredients. I also have celiac as well as my grandson (which is why I became a consultant) and these are the only products that we are able to use safely. For Arbonne to be on this list is doing a disservice to a lot of people that may need these products.
    Can you please let me know why Arbonne is on this list???
    Thanks
    Pam Hall

    • Those listed are the major offenders, just Fragrance alone can be a disservice since phthalates are just one of the 3,000 chemicals allowed under the word fragrance. In any case check each individual ingredient in the Skin deep database at http://www.ewg.org Don’t enter the product name since formulations vary and rating will give you an average of the whole cocktails so you may have a couple of potentially toxic ingredients that added up with another bunch that are ok will bring the toxicity rating down.

  • Ionela Hanganu says:

    I don`t know of Lush and Body Shop to ever claimed to be totally green,( or i might be wrong?). But some people might think they use only natural ingredients.

    • When I was uneducated on this matter as a teen and even at college I had no idea the market is so unregulated. So it is extremely important to inform young girls about it. If you are buying Body Shop and Origins and what have you, it is clear you are looking for a safe and botanical only alternative, it is not fair to deceive the public and make them think they are buying something totally safe. Fragrances are the major offenders and I don’t care if they say it is phthalates free, under fragrance there can be a cocktail of 3,000 unregulated synthetic chemicals we have no idea their impact on our body, especially in combination with other chemicals. They should not be allowed to be sold as All natural period.

  • Stacey says:

    What are your thoughts on Perfectly Posh?

  • Andrea says:

    Another brand that I’ve found to be guilty of greenwashing is the German brand Santé Naturkosmetic. The ingredients in those products are the same as many on your list, but they have never been called out as falsifying claims.

  • Aimee says:

    How about Younique. I hear so many consultants for Younique talk about how they are “all natural” – I don’t buy it.

    • Kim says:

      Younique products contain petrolatum, dimethicone, butylene glycol and PEG’s -definitely greenwashers!

    • Anne Marie says:

      If you hear someone say that Younique is all natural that is in fact incorrect. We are naturally based not all natural.

      • Green Beauty Team says:

        Hm, that’s very good to know. Thanks for putting that out there.

        • Krys says:

          What are your thoughts on Burt’s Bee’s?

          • venus says:

            The only thing you need to know about Burt’s Bees is that they were bought by Clorox…Oh but, most assuredly, they continue to be run as a separate entity; probably!

          • Green Beauty Team says:

            Well, they have maintained a good status in terms of the ingredients on the label. Quality is probably debatable since they are so huge now. You might also see how they opted out of selling in China because of animal testing, which I dive into in this article: China’s Demand for Animal Testing

      • Tracey says:

        I hear it all the time one rep actually told me her manager told her to say that! Its clearly stated on Younique’s own website they use chemicals.

  • Roberta Ramones-Maluenda says:

    Just an honest question, not trying to be rude 🙂 how is tarte greenwashing? I actually like their stuff, and 100% pure

  • H Johnson says:

    Forever Living aren’t completely natural either

  • Rose says:

    How about Burt’s Bees?

  • Karina says:

    Thanks for sharing this!
    Its such a difficult subject, because what is the definition of organic and pure products!

    • Kim says:

      That is actually the problem Karina-there isn’t really a concrete definition so when people see those terms used on products, they assume that everything in them is safe and non toxic. Anyone can use those terms because the legal definition is so flimsy. That is how these companies get away with tricking the consumer. The proof is in the ingredients, the rest is just marketing.

  • Melody says:

    oops, nevermind, I missed it on the list!

  • Melody says:

    I think the company Melaleuca needs to be looked at.

    • Kim says:

      I agree Melody-they are greenwashers in my book. They claim their products are so safe and healthy and really market themselves that way. However, the ingredients reveal tons of toxic chemicals. Ugh!

  • Shawni says:

    What about Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Are they green?

    • Kim says:

      Bobbi Brown contains mostly synthetic chemicals but they are not greenwashers because they do not claim to be safe, natural, organic or botanical.

    • Green Beauty Team says:

      Oh not hardly, Shawni! But they never claimed to be so they don’t get put on a list of greenwashing.

  • Deanna Yepez says:

    Alba Botanica is greenwashed!

  • Danielle says:

    Interesting list, can’t say I’m surprised by most of the brands on this list.

  • Stephanie says:

    Thank you!

  • jess says:

    seventh generation

  • Janelle says:

    im curious about Beauticontrol products.

  • Tiffany says:

    can you tell me what exactly you know/or information you have on Melaleuca? I sell for that company, and I know they do not test on animals, and I know they are non-toxic, non-caustic and nature derived, but not 100% natural – I’d be interested to know what you know – thanks, Tiffany

    • Kim says:

      Tiffany-do some more research. They are unfortunatly far from non toxic. They contain tons of chemicals and are huge greenwashers. So sad!

  • Jill S says:

    I am so glad to see that people are paying attention, as so many companies claim to be toxin free, etc. and they really are not. Another company I feel could be added to this list is Younique.

  • Melissa says:

    FYI- Arbonne never claim to be natural or organic! We choose the safest ingredients possible and add science to ensure our products give results!!
    Our Motto is pure safe and benficial. We extract the purest of
    Botanicals, continually strive to make our products one of the safest options
    And they are very benficial as they actually work!!!! We are vegan, gluten free and
    Don’t use nasties and we have never tested on animals .
    Get yr facts straight!!!!

  • lil says:

    I was wandeeing where Nutrimetics should be as it is ha4d to get a list of their ingredients but they do claim to be against animal testing. Please keep my enquiry anonamous. Thankyou x

  • Stacey says:

    Thanks for this information – great to see!

  • Jay says:

    Melaleuca made the list. Yes, indeed this company is a “greenwasher”. I have been a Melaleuca customer for a while. Back in the day this company made products which were much better than what was being offered by the likes of Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johson, Colgate Palmolive, Lever Brothers. Today, this is not the case. Today, in my opinion, Melaleuca’s products are only slightly better. Today, there are companies making products that are truly green by a much greater standard than Melaleuca.
    Why does Melaleuca use parabens in the highly touted product Renew Lotion? This product also contains dimethicone and petrolatum. Are you serious? How about the only antiperspirant Melaleuca offers. It contains aluminum. Melaleuca even published an article in their monthly magazine explaining why the bad news about aluminum should be ignored. It’s safe according to Melaleuca.
    Sucralose is a widely used ingredient in many of Melaleuca’s nutritional and food products. This is a BIG… ARE YOU SERIOUS?? It is even in some of their products marketed towards kids. Surcalose is not a safe ingredient and many consumers avoid products containing this ingredient, so WHY would Melaleuca even use it?
    Melaleuca’s toothpaste contains glycerin and acesulfame potassium which is an artificial sweetener with unwanted concerning side effects. On Melaleuca presentation calls the toothpaste is touted as really good since it contains the sweetener xylitol which it does but no mention of the artificial sweetener. Same goes for Melaleuca’s exceed gum. Contains sucralose.
    Melaleuca’s Gold Bar and other soap bars have no ingredients list listed anywhere. WhyMan toy of Melaleuca’s cleaning products and body products list “fragrance” as an ingredient. And, those in the know, know this is an issue.
    The problem with Melaleuca is they have not kept up with the competition. On a scale of 1 to 10, with ten being USDA Organic certified, Melaleuca ranks at about a level 3. This I sad because the product people at Melaleuca must know this, yet have or will not change.
    It is interesting to note that as people enroll with Melaleuca they become more educated using better and safer products and once they learn that Melaleuca’s products are not truly better and safer that many other products in the marketplace, well, they get ticked off and cancel their membership. Melaleuca loses many customers each month and year because of this.
    Everything here is based on my opinion as a longtime customer. And, these feelings have really come to the forefront in recent weeks as I have become much more knowledgeable about the GreenWashers amongst us.

    • Kim says:

      Excellent comment!

    • Derron says:

      Are you freakin kidding me?? What is wrong with Dimethicone?? It is a relatively safe ingredient even to EWG.org which you guys like to reference a lot to.

      Also there is a huge difference in quality and purity between Petrolatum and Petrolatum-USP which the USP is made in the renew lotion. You should of brought your concerns to Product development or at least talked to your regional director. You would of learned a little bit more.

      Natural or organic does not always mean safer.. Bleach in its purest form is a NATURAL INGREDIENT but dangerous as all hell. Melaleuca tests and confirms its ingredients are safe with verifiable and trusted sources. not some 3rd party hillbilly site that fear mongers about ingredients already proven to be safe for the past 20 years… GEEEEEZ people

      • ellen says:

        Dimethicone is banned in Canada for being a suspected environmental toxin. Why take the risk, we’re destroying the planet enough already as it is. On EWG the data is limited but it is a moderate concern and rated a 3.

    • Alissa says:

      Yes! Totally agree! The fragrances in their products make me feel ill if I smell it on another person!

  • Sandi says:

    Thank you for your commitment to educating people that they do not have to DIE TO BE BEAUTIFUL.

    We consider ourselves AGELESS ADVOCATES and educate people that how you age, is a choice.
    Toxic chemicals can be eliminated and there are products available that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics that commit to be toxic free, but do not compromise performance.

    There are a couple companies that promote they are TOTALY SAFE and free of toxins…
    I would love to know how you think they rate
    NuSkin skin care
    jeunesse skin care
    Glimpse skin care
    Nerium skin care
    Rodan and Fields skin care

    And yes, Green consumers are changing the beauty business for the better.

    Thanking you in advance
    Sandi Cohen
    Ageless Advocate

  • Margot says:

    So awesome!! Thank you for sharing this and my thoughts exactly. So frustrating that companies get away with this. Consumers, unfortunately need to be good detectives. ❤️

  • Pam says:

    Hi there. Just wondering if you can clarify why you’ve put these companies in this list. It’s all well and good to put a name there but you’re not telling us why? I use Arbonne, why is Arbonne on this list? They don’t claim to be organic, for example,so what exactly is the problem? Thanks

  • Sharna says:

    hi there I would really love some I for into your findings on Arbonne?

  • Beth says:

    I’ve been trying to tell clients for YEARS that some of these products are not what they represent! I particularly hate that Arbonne seems to be focusing on stay at home moms to push their products, and encourage people to put them on their babies, to prove how “natural” they are. Yet one glance at an ingredient list tells you otherwise!

  • dee says:

    I am an Aveda spa therapist, what info do you have to make this claim?

  • Allison says:

    Types of Products in the Marketplace
    1
    A bit of background on the skin care industry in North America. You may already
    know that in North America there is little to no regulation for personal care
    products. The drug industry and food industry is regulated but the personal care
    industry is not. This is why skin care and cosmetic companies can use any
    ingredients and advertise as they like which is often misleading.
    Arbonne is Swiss formulated and all of our ingredients are approved by the
    European Commission and REACH. The European Commission comes under the
    World Health Organization and is known to have the highest standards globally for
    personal care products. REACH is a prestigious European certification commission
    that DOES not certify just anyone. They will scrutinize the environmental impact,
    ingredients and manufacturing standards of a company prior to certifying. Arbonne
    is approved in all 3 areas which truly make our products second to none when
    compared to most North American brands. Keep in mind that in Europe skin care
    and personal care products are regulated and at Arbonne we adhere to those strict
    standards, To get REACH certification truly puts us in a class of our own.
    Products are divided into 4 categories.
    1.Natural
    2.Organic
    3.Botanical
    4. Synthetic
    Over 90 percent of North American products that are purchased off of a shelf use
    synthetic chemicals from GMOs. Natural products are those products that are truly
    made at home and have a life span of 1 or 2 days when stored in a fridge. YOU
    cannot purchase natural products from a store. Organic products refer to the
    farming practice and how ingredients were grown. To have a truly organic product
    both the seed and soil should be organic. In Canada when you purchase a Certified
    Organic product it simply means that 80% of the content is organic. 20% can and
    will be other ingredients which may include animal derived ingredients orsynthetic chemicals. In the USA a certified organic label simply means only 10%
    is organic and 90% other. Canada is much better than our US counterpart but still
    miles away of where they should be. In fact, most organic ingredients are either
    grown in organic soil or an organic seed is used which is acceptable by Canadian
    standards. This is not possible in Europe. To be truly organic both the seed and
    soil should be organic. Organic is thrown around so much that people truly do not
    understand that organic does not mean natural. It refers to farming practices. It is a
    better option than synthetic but is not void of other harmful ingredients. Anything
    that is bottled cannot be natural. Finally, botanically based products such as
    Arbonne are derived from plant ingredients within the plant kingdom. Botanical
    based products have been proven to reduce skin reactions by 95%, by allowing the
    skin to heal and continue to breathe. Products that don’t breathe create yeast and
    thus fungus which may cause reactions on the skin.
    As for Parabens, Arbonne has been 100% PARABEN FREE from May 2010. Any
    source that claims we have parabens in our products is 100% incorrect.
    Parabens come in 2 forms synthetic and naturally occurring. Strawberries have
    naturally occurring parabens and if you think about the fruit that most people are
    allergic to, it is in fact strawberries. Even in its natural state it is not tolerated too
    well by human consumption. Synthetic parabens, which are made in a lab are
    cancerous and hormone altering. They are in fact banned now in Switzerland and
    thus we DO NOT have them in our products.
    We truly believe in the integrity of our company and products speak for itself
    along with our affiliations and certifications. The only people who can truly give
    an objective and valid opinion on our products are biochemists and botanists who
    test our type of products for a living along with our experts.

  • Ashley says:

    Younique

  • I was really into Tarte but I would put their shadows on my eyes and within a few days my eyes would be red and burning. Once I realized what was in them I understood why!

  • Debbie says:

    arbonne has never claimed to be organic or all natural. In fact we educate people that all natural is a marketing term that many companies have created however all natural can include animal renderings and mineral oil which are derived from natural substances. We have also never claimed to be organic. We educated that true organic is hard to prove as one must have complete control over the environment including the soil and water used to actually have a true organic product.
    Arbonne uses the best of nature and the best of science to make their products. That has always been the claim. Not sure where you got natural or organic as this is incorrect.

    • Kim says:

      Unfortuantely arbonne advertises that they are botanically (this is greenwashing) derived and pure while all of their products contain numerous toxic chemicals. Here is an email I wrote (after tons of research) I wrote to a friend who sells arbonne.
      So I was using products for a long time from Arbonne and Melaleuca as well as products from whole foods and another local health store. All the products I was using claimed to be healthy etc. and I mistakenly trusted their advertising. I actually thought the arbonne products worked well. My cousin Lyndsi gave me some products from Ava Anderson Non toxic and started to talk to me about what was in other brands and what to watch out for. Research mode kicked into over drive. I now have literally thousands of articles, books and videos. What I learned was frightening and powerful.

      Any one can say their products are natural, organic, botanical as long as there is one ingredient in there that meets those things. Anyone can say dermatologist tested or safety tested-this can be just testing a chemical to see if it causes a skin irritation not to see if a chemical causes cancer.

      From my friends who sell Arbonne, Arbonne or the upline continually trains their reps that because their products follow European standards that they are safe. Yes, the European Union is way ahead of us in that regard. (Although I am still not sure Arbonne actually meets those standards either). The European Unions second amendment has helped ban 1400 toxic chemicals from their products. Companies from the US actually sell cleaned up versions of the products in Europe-because they can. Ugh! However, there are over 85,000 synthetic chemicals on the market today and as may as 10 new ones a week. So Europe is far from perfect-just a little better than the US. The FDA does not regulate the chemicals used in our products and most companies do not safety test except to make sure products don’t cause initial skin irritation.
      I have spoken with many doctors who are not even aware of these things and are shocked and what is in the products they recommend!

      The average woman use over 500 toxic chemicals a day. This adds up day after day, year after year. We have no studies on what these chemicals do when combined, how long many stay in our system and what they can do in the long term. We are all human guinea pigs. Babies are being born pre polluted with over 200 toxic chemicals in cord blood at birth. These chemicals are crossing the placental barrier. Ugh! On average-a woman absorbs 5 pound sod toxic chemicals a year!! Your private parts and under arms absorb up to 100% of the product put on them and other parts of our body can absorb up to 60% of what is put on them. The products we put on our bodies absorb directly into our bloodstream within 28 seconds. Furthermore, these toxic chemicals are being washed down our drains and cause environmental issues as well.

      I am sending you a few attachments and links. The chemicals to avoid list is not all inclusive but the ingredients that are most common in products on the market today and why they should be avoided. You will see that most of these chemicals are in arbonne products.

      Red flags to look out for as well: A biggie is fragrance or parfum. Companies can legally hide thousands of chemicals under this term and most have been found to be endocrine disruptors.
      Key ingredients or proprietary blends: (arbonne does this). To me that means a company is hiding something. I don’t want key ingredients, I want to know every single ingredient in a product. The truth is, they aren’t hiding their formulas from other companies because other companies can pay only $250 to get a list of every formulation for any other product from other companies. They are hiding that ingredient list from consumers. Not listing ingredients on their site is also a red flag. It isn’t easy finding arbonnes ingredients unless you have a rep who will send them or you have a bottle in front of you. This should always be transparent-any company who is being honest about their products (and proud of their ingredients) shows an ingredient list on their website without having to dig for it.

      What we call arbonne and many other brands (like Tom’s of Maine and Burt’s bees) are green washers. They use marketing and advertising to make you believe their products are safe but they still contain toxic chemicals. Arbonne says their products are botanically based. They may contain some botanical ingredients, but the rest are chemicals. Essentially they trick the consumer to believe they are buying safe products.

      Here is just a comparison of sunscreens ingredients: Highlighted ingredients are toxic chemicals. Not to mention that many of the other ingredients are synthetic chemicals.
      ARBONNE BABY SUSNCREEN –

      (active) Octinoxte

      (active) Oxybenzone

      Water

      Glycerin

      Cetyl Lactate

      Glyceryl Stearate

      Isopropyl Palmitate

      Sorbitan Stearate

      Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil

      Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)

      Polysorbate 61

      Dimethicone

      Stearic Acid

      Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract

      Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract

      Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract

      Plantago Major Leaf Extract

      Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract

      Carthamus Tinctorius (Saflower) Seed Oil

      Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil

      RETINYL PALMITATE

      Ascorbyl Palmitate

      Tocopheryl Acetate

      Hydrolized Lecithin

      Tocopherol

      Panthenol

      Oleic Acid

      Stearoxytrimethylsilane

      Stearyl Alcohol

      Cetyl Alcohol

      Carbomer

      Triethanolamine

      Citric Acid

      Phenoxyethanol

      Caprylyl Glycol

      Ethylhexylglycerin

      Hexylene Glycol

      Disodium EDTA

      Potassium Sorbate

      Sodium Benzoate

      Sorbic Acid

      Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil

      Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil

      Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil

      Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil

      Dipteryx Odorata Seed Extract

      Citrus Reticulata, (Tangerine) Leaf Oil

      Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil

      VS…

      AVA SUNSCREEN INGREDIENTS:

      NON NANOPARTICLE zinc oxide

      organic shea butter

      organic cocoa butter

      organic jojoba

      organic beeswax

      organic olive oil

      The two active ingredients in the baby sunscreen from arbonne are Octinoxte
      Oxybenzone-they are chemicals UV filters that are also known endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors either block or mimic estrogen in the body and affect nearly all biological processes. Including brain development, nervous system, growth and function of the reproductive system, metabolism, blood sugar, ovaries, testes, pituitary glands, thyroid and adrenal glands. The World Helath organization and the UN recently called endocrine disruptors a “global threat”. And that is what is in their baby sunscreen-among a host of other totally toxic chemicals like retyinal palmitate (Retyinyl Palmitate (rated 8 in EWG, as a known human reproductive toxicant, One or more animal studies show reproductive effects at low doses, Use is restricted in Canadian cosmetics, One or more animal studies show tumor formation at very low doses!). I have highlighted a few others but other than the oils it contains (which are not even organic so can contain gmo’s etc.), the rest are far from good. Many can contain hidden contaminants too. I highlight baby because our kids are more susceptible to even trace amounts of toxic chemicals because they are still growing and developing.

      Not to mention-most of this arbonnes ingredient list is neither plant based, natural or organic and is composed of scientifically created synthetic chemicals.

      I could go through every product in the line but I will let you compare the ingredients on your bottles to just my list to avoid and you will see how many chemicals all arbonne products contain. Unfortunately, they are mostly made up of synthetic, toxic chemicals with a few “botanical” ingredients thrown in that are not organic and may contain contaminates.

      Links specifically about arbonne:

      http://www.livestrong.com/article/290472-chemicals-in-arbonne/

      http://www.meghantelpner.com/blog/arbonne-pure-safe-cosmetics/

      http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=281#specific-companies
      http://www.bebeautysmart.com/2012/08/product-review-arbonne-part-i.html

      General Links:
      http://www.rodalenews.com/unacceptable-levels-documentary
      http://www.drfranklipman.com/what-chemicals-should-you-look-out-for-in-your-personal-care-products/
      http://www.collective-evolution.com/2012/04/10/you-have-the-right-to-know-17-chemicals-to-avoid-in-cosmetic-and-personal-care-products/
      http://www.breastcancerfund.org/clear-science/environmental-breast-cancer-links/cosmetics/
      http://www.suisskin.com/toxicskincareingredients/
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-462997/Women-absorb-5lbs-damaging-chemicals-year-thanks-beauty-products.html

  • sarah says:

    Great post!

  • SJ says:

    Thank you!

    • Kristi says:

      Pretty sure your ingredient list for Arbonne’s baby sunscreen is inaccurate and for their old formula, I know for a fact that the current baby sunscreen does NOT contain oxybenzone and has been out since fall of 2014 so before you go around smearing a company you should probably make sure your information is accurate.

  • Nicole says:

    I used Arbonne regligously and so do MANY a of my girlfriends. We feel safe issuing their products because do they not only prove to have amazing results, but we know that we are using a botanically based product(s) that are fragrance free, vegan, gluten green and formulated without GMOs. I am shocked to see Arbonne at the TOP of this list! I’m curious to know what you know about the product and why it is on the top of this list. Looking forward to hearing back 🙂 Thank you for sharing!!

  • Kate says:

    This list is very helpful! Can you please share a list if cosmetic/ companies that are actual “green/natural”. Thank you!

  • Younique should be on the list, they’ve just launched in the UK claiming to be Vegan, they’re not!

    • Jaymee says:

      In USA They list which products are Vegan and which are gluten free etc. I see a lot of people not realizing that it’s not every product …

  • I think Younique should be on the list too, they’ve just started over here in the UK and are claiming to be Vegan and green, when you look at their ingredients the aren’t. Love the article.

  • Elise says:

    Hi there! I appreciate your diligence for sure. And full-disclosure here, I am an Arbonne user and consultant. But I actually joined because I did some solid background and research on them and decided they really are a trustworthy company. I was definitely surprised to see them on here and would love to hear more about your specific concerns. We have been around a really long time and for sure as science has improved and our understanding of what’s good/not-so-good has improved Arbonne has responded. One thing that not everyone understands is that some things are harmful at certain levels while completely necessary for life at other levels–think oxygen! Additionally, things can take on completely different attributes depending on what other ingredients they are interacting with–think chemistry! So the simple fact of whether or not an ingredient is present, doesn’t tell the whole story. Thankfully, Arbonne is truly committed to understanding all of these nuances and we are constantly reformulating based on new information. If elegant science with reliable methods reveals something about what’s safe or not safe, you can bet your bottom that Arbonne will start thinking about how to reformulate. Obviously, it doesn’t happen over night. And we always want to make sure that what “science” discovers is actually science too, if that makes sense. All this to say, we are constantly improving and our pure, safe, beneficial motto is certainly what drives our formulations. I hope this makes sense. We were founded with this motto long before it was cool to be safe and long before everyone seemed to demand it. It’s pretty intrinsic to who we are! Thanks for your response! Oh, and I would be more than happy to have a conversation with you about any specific concerns you do have to clear things up or be enlightened myself!

  • Emily says:

    Thanks for posting this! Naturally (no pun intended) as who also pays very close attention to misnomers in the health and wellness / cosmetic industry, and tries to sift through the mess and figure out what I really want to be putting on/in my body, it’s hard to see a list like this without any explanations. I know you said you were going to follow up with some more specific posts or “case-studies”–which might help your readers use some of the same tools/criteria you do as they take a look at what’s IN their containers and not ON them. =)

    You asked which of these should be left off, and I would honestly say that I was surprised to see Arbonne on here. I have been using Arbonne for some time and have done pretty thorough research on their ingredient policy and how they market themselves. They aren’t pure coconut oil, but they also don’t say that they are. So, I would perhaps leave them off 1.) because they really actually do their due diligence understanding what is harmful/not harmful/at what levels they are safe/harmful and 2.) I don’t think they say anything in their advertising that is contrary to what’s in their products. Interestingly enough when they were founded in the 80’s they made a commitment to being safe long before the market demand for it. Which would lead me to believe that it’s ACTUALLY important to them. Would love to hear your thoughts!

  • Helen says:

    Reading the ingredient list to each product also gives you a clue who is actually green washing or not.

  • Lee l says:

    I shall watch with interest to see why you have Arbonne on the list and your evidence for it given they provide a full ingredients list on their website and provide comprehensive information about what’s in their products.

  • Toni says:

    Can u please tell me why Origins &Tarte are not green co. Please? TiA!! 🙂

  • Stephanie says:

    I did recently buy a body scrub from one of the companies listed and when I got home I was really bummed out to see not only did it have dye in it to make it the color it was but also had SLS in it. I knew then they weren’t exactly “all natural” as they have stated!

  • Danielle says:

    I’d like to know why you think Arbonne is Greenwashing?

  • THANK YOU Kristen for being so brave to write this article. Can I also take an opportunity to be brave?

    TO be upfront: We are manufacturer for a small brand of cosmetics in Canada. I take the risk that this comment will sound like a disgruntled competitor. But I will take it anyway. The frustration I feel as a formulator swells in my chest and I’m going to let it pour out today.

    There is yet a deeper, darker sin of greenwashing. This is the sin of dishonesty in labelling. At least the brands you listed above fully disclose the chemicals in their formulas. What about the brands who want so desperately to have a completely “natural” formula that functions like a high-end product, that they are willing to take dishonest measures? The consumer demand for ultra-clean cosmetics is relentless. I feel the pressure too.

    I question….
    A mascara (for example) without a broad spectrum preservative of any kind? Some ingredient labels I see for “clean” mascara, if they were true, the product would mold in a week. I can prove it.

    How about those vibrant, matte lipsticks that are supposedly tinted only with mineral pigments? Not so. Minerals always have either a shine (from mica) or a brown undertone (from oxides). Only FD&C dyes/lakes can produce a clear, vibrant, matte pigmentation. Don’t even get me started about those mysterious 100% pure fruit pigments that don’t seem to be available to the rest of us formulators.
    Non-greasy glide without silicones? The list goes on.

    Remember how the cosmetic industry isn’t regulated? Truth. Very unregulated. Our factory was recently inspected by an organic certification body on behalf of a contract manufacturing client we are working with. It was a great experience, however I could see how even this process could produce dishonesty. Lots of “cracks” to slip between.

    No authority has the time and resources to prove truth in labeling. It simply has to come down to trusting the people and the brand producing your products.

    Want to know an interesting fact? Most cosmetic products are NOT manufactured by the brand themselves, although they like to give the impression to consumers that they are. That’s ok though. I discovered this as we began to grow from a hand-crafting operation, to larger-scale manufacturing. I was (and still am) surprised at the inquiries we receive from brands whom I always assumed “made their own”.. There is nothing wrong with this however. It enables the brand to focus on marketing their products as opposed to making it. Wise decision most of the time.

    The problem, is that some brands are BEING LIED TO in regards to what the lab is including in their products. It happened to me once with a product we didn’t produce ourselves.

    Or the opposite can happen. The lab discloses all ingredients, but when the manufacture sees the packaging, they realize the brand (knowingly) excluding key ingredients from the label/packaging so as to “greenwash” consumers into believing the formulation is cleaner than it is.

    I for one, will not be a part of this game. If someone chooses not to use Pure Anada mascara because it contains phenoxyethanol, or if we can’t produce an all natural matte, red lipstick that you were hoping for…it will have to be. You may very well find a cleaner alternative. But now you have the knowledge to ask yourself…is it REALLY greener? Or does the labeling deceive you into believing it is?

    Thanks for the opportunity to rant. I’ve been wanting to for quite some time.

    • Polly says:

      This is a really interesting response, and quite eye-opening. So in fact, some brands are being greenwashed as opposed to doing the greenwashing themselves.

      • Green Beauty Team says:

        You nailed it, Polly. Yes, some brands are given the green reputation because people want to believe that about them.

        • Jenn Ramsey LE says:

          I think it also must be said though, is some man-made ingredients are done so because the only other source is animal. When I think “green” that has to be taken into account with animal testing. If, for instance, you use lanolin because it is a naturally derived ingredient, I would not consider it “green” because it is derived from the skin of sheep, therefore, making it akin to animal abuse. On the otherhand, people despise beeswax because it is an animal product, however it is made from the hive and not the bee itself. I do agree that there are many chemicals that are harmful and should not be used, but I also think, especially when it comes to skin care since I am a Licensed Esthetician, that some man-made/chemical ingredients are necessary.

          • Green Beauty Team says:

            Candice and Jenn, you are both right and offering a lot of important education here regarding ingredients. It’s difficult to address these points and not make a consumer feel totally helpless…more than they already do…in terms of products that are truly safe and efficacious. As I move forward with my writing here on Green Beauty Team, I’m sprinkling in more content which addresses this. Thank you for your excellent comments. – xo Kristen Arnett

    • I’m told by a formulator friend (Canadian as well), that if the ingredient added is less than 1% in concentration of the products formula, than it doesnt even need to be listed as an ingredient.

    • Deborah says:

      Thanks for the inside info. I am especially interested in the dyes used in green beauty brands. I was shocked to learn that kjaer weis uses harzardous dyes in her products seeing that she has such a respected name amongst beauty bloggers. I had hoped the fruit pigmented dyes were safer. I am wondering why it is not realistic to use fruit plant dyes when they can be used for clothing? Any thoughts?

      • Green Beauty Team says:

        Hi Deborah, this is a great question. The short answer about fruit pigments in cosmetics is that they are very unstable, so it’s next to impossible to formulate consistent color. Which dyes were you referring to in Kjaer Weis’s products?
        She’s pretty transparent about when she uses synthetic colors in my experience. ingredient list

  • n says:

    Seacret Must go! They claim to be natural but are NOT!

  • Ingrid says:

    Hi
    A link to a more detailed article stating how each company claims to be green and why it’s are not or you consider it to be greenwashing would be great.

    Thanks 🙂

  • J says:

    Would be interesting to see the breakdown or “why”!

  • Andrea says:

    I appreciate this list and your effort to raise awareness. I shop at Melaleuca. Are you suggesting that only their beauty products are not truly “natural” or does this apply to the company as a whole?
    And, are there certain ingredients you don’t approve of? If so, I’m interested to hear what they are. I try to avoid harsh chemicals and I try to find eco-friendly products. I feel that Melaleuca delivers on this.
    What are some true green beauty brands that you recommend?

    Thanks!
    Andrea

    • Erica says:

      Hi Andrea, I haven’t heard of Melaleuca, but I use this Healthy Skin for a Happy Life’s ingredients tab for a listing of good and bad ingredients. It’s a great reference dictionary! I happen to love their products too 🙂
      Just google Healthy Skin for a Happy Life and look at their ingredients tab.

    • Derron says:

      Before you get brainwashed here.. (not intentionally, I believe these are good willed people just not fully understanding melaleuca)

      Contact your regional director.. or call product information for any concerns with ingredients that you think are questionable. I would love to talk to you if you are convinced on here about anything negative about melaleuca. [Admin removed personal MLM link] I have been a customer for about 4 years now.

  • Kristin,
    I’ve followed you for years and always appreciate your integrity and willingness to call out “greenwashers”. As a former salon owner, I too, have struggled with this issue. I decided to do something about it and created AHNESTI Professional Haircare. Would love for you to review it. Call me out on any ingredient or any claim I’ve made, I’m up for the challenge:)

    Keep up the fantastic work!

  • laura pritchard says:

    So what brands are safe and green to use. I know i cant afford
    Makeup but i would like to use something safe and green
    to cleanse and moisturize.

    • Alissa says:

      Organic raw coconut oil can be used for cleansing AND moisturising! A small amount on damp skin is all that is needed to moisturise 🙂

      • Jenn Ramsey LE says:

        That depends on what kind of skin she has and whether or not she has a nut allergy. Coconut oil is ok for dry skin types but not alone. Mix with one or two other skin safe oils as well.

      • Rebecca says:

        I LOVE using coconut oil as a moisturizer! Does not make my face oily as other moisturizers I have tried throughout the years!

  • Amy Rueda says:

    Hi Kristen I really get upset by green washing what about vegan washing 🙂
    using my trademarked name is one thing but I wish the ingredients would match the vegan eco marketing spin..
    https://www.truthinaging.com/review/christie-brinkley-authentic-skincare-a-closer-look

  • Gabrielle says:

    I thinks it’s very dangerous to name drop companies like that without explaining WHY each company is not green. It’s as misleading as what you denounce..

  • Megan Johns says:

    3 cheers for Kristen for posting this list! If someone wants to apply something to their skin that they know isn’t natural (we all do the best we can!), then that is one thing, but applying something to their skin that they 100% believe is natural due to marketing claims from the above companies is totally not ok. Thank you so much for posting this list.

    • Sarah says:

      Megan,

      I completely agree with you! Kudos to Kristen for posting this! I felt SO frustrated and violated when I discovered I was paying extra for products that made claims of being natural only to find out they weren’t. I have been working to make natural choices for my family over the last 2 years and always felt like I was running into hidden roadblocks when it came to personal care products.

      I have now found a company that I trust because they are transparent with the ingredients for all their products.

      I wish more companies would take note!

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