I was honored to be on stage this past Saturday at the Green Festival in San Francisco with some amazing female entrepreneurs who are changing the face of the beauty industry! Amy Ziff, Founder and Executive Director of MADE SAFE led a panel discussion titled, "The Beauty Industry Comes Clean: How to Avoid Being Greenwashed". Myself, along side Hilary Peterson, Founder of True Botanicals and Rachel Pachivas, COO at Annmarie Skincare provided the audience with some great tips of what to look out for when purchasing skin care products and how to avoid being greenwashed. Here are four points I had prepared and discussed on the panel:
- Stay away from fragrance. It is one of the biggest toxic offenders! Also, if a skin care product doesn't fully disclose its fragrance blend on the ingredient label it is best to leave that product on the shelf. We need more transparency in the skin care industry so consumers can make educated decisions on the products they buy and for their health! Instead, purchase products from companies that use pure essential oils to fragrance their products.
- If a product has water in the formula and the label claims "no preservatives" you are being greenwashed. There is no way a product with water in it would be safe for consumers to use without preservatives. When water is present, microbes such as fungus, yeast and mold WILL grow unless it is inhibited from preservatives. Look for safe preservatives on ingredient labels without parabens! Or, if you really don't like preservatives in your products, purchase waterless formulas.
- Choose sunscreens that ONLY use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as sunscreen filters. Some companies will claim their sunscreen is "natural" or "mineral based" but when you flip the sunscreen over and read the ingredient label there are chemical sunscreen filters included such as avobenzone or oxybenzone (there are others, too). Stay away from these chemicals! Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the safest sunscreen filters available at the moment.
- If you don't have time to get your degree in chemistry so you can analyze every ingredient label, look for a trusted third party certification seal on the products you purchase like the MADE SAFE seal. Third party certification from a trusted source means the homework has been done for you and if a product has the MADE SAFE seal on their products, it is safe to use and will not be harmful to human heath or the environment. It also means that the product you are using is upheld to a higher standard in the skin care industry, which is highly unregulated!