Cruelty free, organic cosmetics or marketing creations? Do not be deceived.

It’s sad to say, but nowadays it is really hard to find a legit brand that does not play with words: organic, vegan and natural in their marketing campaign just for sales growth. There are brands on the market that claim being organic, but when you look closer, the ingredients they use in formulations are toxic (or at least VERY controversial) for your skin. Some brands also claim they are cruelty free (not tested on animals), but it is not completely clear if their products are cruelty free or not: for instance they still sell cosmetics in China, where skin care products testing on animals  is required by the law.

Organic… package

I don’t know how about you, but I find this very disappointing: every time I research a product that seems to meet my expectations according to the label and producer’s promises (+ it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients which I just do not tolerate), it is not cruelty free or it contains silicones, which aren’t considered as toxic by the law, but I do not think they are the best for your skin either. How to recognize real, 100% organic products? You’ll find the response few paragraphs bellow, but first let me explain why I do not think silicones should be considered organic or safe at all.

Why are silicones not the best choice?

First of all, I must emphasize that generally silicones are considered as low hazard for your skin which means “safe”. There is no prove that they cause cancer. However, when used daily, they may accumulate in your body and this is not good news. Also some of them, like siloxanes, according to Health Canada are harmful for the environment. Now, let’s say your cream or lotion contains harmful for environment ingredients and you spread them over your body, and according to most sources they are safe for your skin, but not safe for the environment… Not sure how you feel about it, but I am not willing to experiment on my skin.make-up-1209798_1920
Nowadays silicones become the new normal in most of beauty formulations and you can find them almost everywhere: in skincare products, foundations, primers or even shampoos and hair conditioners. It is also hard to detect them, because they are hidden under many names. You can still do it though: simply read the ingredients list and if the label says any of the words that end:
  • -cone,
  • -siloxane,
  • -conol,
don’t buy or at least reconsider buying such a product.
Examples of silicones: dimethicone, methicone, polydimethylsiloxane, dimethiconol. If you start checking your cosmetics you may be surprised how many of these names you will find. Do not worry if the majority of the bottles on your bathroom shelves contains silicones – it is always hard to start. Eliminate these cosmetics and little by little replace them with a truly organic, natural brands. Soon, your shelves will be full of organic and safe products.

Both sides have a point

There are diverse opinions and I know some people love the layer of silicone on their skin or hair, because it makes skin & hair look smoother. Honestly – and that’s the thing! – the skin or hair only LOOK smoother. Silicones work outwardly and the layer which they built on the surface does not improve condition of your skin or hair, it only builds a water resistant seal on the surface: this is why you struggle to wash off your make up at the end of the day, this is why your hair seems to be very shiny after washing, but oily at the end of the day. And yes, I must admit that silicone makes your hair smooth and good looking, your foundation application smoother, but these things won’t last forever, not even long – just until next hair or face wash. Here is the question: do you want your skin/hair to look better outwardly only or to look and feel better even without layers of makeup or cream on it?

Deceived by marketing campaigns

Here it comes: the hardest part of this post. It basically reveals all the lies we all are fed by. How does it work? You go to the store, choose a nice, green box that says “organic” and you’re probably happy, because you have just switched to natural beauty products. I am sorry to say that, but it may not be true.
Have you asked yourself what big “mother company” owns the “organic” or cruelty free brand you’ve just bought? If the brand is owned by a big corporation, there is a huge chance that the product is not certified organic at all, which means – you have bought campaign and package and nicely designed label, my friend.

Distinguish organic from fake organic

You already know you should be alerted if willing to buy real, organic cosmetics. How to detect pseudo organic products? I always look for a natural, certified ingredients plus I do not want to support any animal testing, so before I buy anything new, I am checking if the brand is owned by a big company such as L’oreal. They not only use toxic ingredients or at least suspicious, but also test on animals (there’s no doubt about it). Another well known corporation Estee Lauder, sells in China where testing on animals is required by law. This is why I do not buy brands which logo you’ll see bellow.
In general there may be a few exceptions when the brand confirms not selling a particular product line in China, however, if I can find other brands which are certified organic, why should I even consider buying the ones that big companies with suspicious policy owns? I’d rather invest in a better, truly organic brands. 
loreal
source: businessinsider.com
If you really need to buy products from L’oreal or Estee Lauder, but at least looking for better ingredients or cruelty free one, go to the company website and check what the brand says. Like in the case of Too Faced, vegan, cruelty-free brand which now belongs to Estee Lauder – they still have some (not all!) 100% cruelty-free and vegan products available, featured online. If there is the slightest chance that Too Faced sales will grow more than the other non cruelty free brands owned by E.L., maybe the whole company will finally change the policy? This would be a huge step since Estee Lauder owns so many brands:
estee lauder
Source: businessinsider.com
As you see the list is long. Also in some cases, not only the campaign is deceiving, but also the name or brand appearance: green bottles, plants in logo etc.

Organic, but not truly organic

If you still think that if the product label says “organic” it surely is, keep reading. Let’s take brand named Origins with two trees in logo – seems organic, brand assures that they are organic, but even though they made the formulas lighter and more natural I still have some doubts that the products are clean. Most of the formulas seem good (natural oils based), but many products contain silicones and controversial geraniol which is known allergen and toxicant. It has been banned in the European Union (!) and is on the list of restricted fragrances due to the fact that it is known to cause skin and lung irritation. Geraniol is naturally derived fragrance, but still may cause some irritation, so how can the cosmetic still be called natural? As for me, natural’s brand ingredients shouldn’t be questionable at all.
plantscriptionI gave Origins second chance. Right now I am looking for an organic foundation in a decent price, so I went to this category on their website and I found bestseller – Stay Tuned Balancing Face Makeup.
s-l300
origins.com
Neat, green package – nice! List of ingredients? So long. Contains geranium again, and some comedogenic ingredients (pore clogging) silicones: dimethicone, polethylene (which is…the most common plastic!). I do not think this combination will “balance” your skin like producer says. Instead, it may cause more breakouts for sensitive skin. I am not saying all of these ingredients will cause disaster on your skin, but they are more likely to make your skin allergic or irritated, than balanced. This is not natural at all. Also for prices that Origins offers: serum 77$, foundation 26,50$, you can find much better quality, really organic and 100% cruelty free products with no silicones, I assure you.
Another example of marketing misleading may be Pureology hair cosmetics brand. The name “pure” brings high hopes, but since the brand is owned by L’Oreal, products are not certified organic by USDA. Not all of Pureology shampoos are composed of all natural ingredients. Some lines contain Methylisothiazolinone preservative which has been associated with allergic reactions. Lab studies on the brain cells of mammals also suggest that methylisothiazolinone may be neurotoxic. I cannot tell you if the amount of this ingredient in Pureology shampoo is so harmful or not, but I do not understand why even add this ingredient to a product which is suppose to be “clean” and “pure”?
As you can see organic in this cases is more like a marketing image the brand have created. Sadly, there are thousands cases like that. I understand that some of you do not have enough time to check them all, so this is why I wrote this post – to make it a little bit easier for you and to show you that maybe you’ve been a victim of a ‘green’ marketing campaign.

Distinguish organic from non organic brands

To sum up, stores are full of the fake organic brands. What you can do to protect yourself from lies:
  • Pay attention to the labels and if brand is USDA certified: USDA Organic Certification is the ONLY standardized, government-regulated system that exists to ensure the safety of products we put on our bodies. Other certifications or consumer’s prizes labels are not such important (most of them the company can actually purchase). If the brand is not certified yet (it may be awaiting) check if the ingredients they use are. USDA certified brands must contain only certified ingredients.
  • Find 3-4 certified brands and stick to their products. You can always visit my instagram profile for pictures and mini reviews of my favorite, organic cosmetics and green beauty products.
Also, very soon I will have a free sample & product surprise for you. Stay tuned!
If you liked this post, do not hesitate to share it with your friends on Facebook. I feel like so many people have a good intentions of buying organic products, but they just do not know how to recognize the real ones in this cruel world. Raise awareness of natural ingredients.

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My name is Barbara. On this blog I share my passion for clean beauty, skin care & non-toxic makeup. Collaboration: cleanbeautyblogger@gmail.com

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