What is green beauty?

Sep 5, 2017

What is green beauty

I took notice over a growing dilemma. While scrolling through beauty websites, one after another with so-called natural products, I noticed decidedly non-natural brands like Decleor and Darphin sitting alongside Lurk and Odacité. eCommerce websites and stores jump on the green beauty bandwagon: there has been a dilution of the meaning of natural and organic and somewhere along the way, the truly authentic, natural brands are paying the price.

I believe that part of the issue is that as a movement, we have never defined what “green” actually means, nor have we given a definition of “all natural,” hence the many ways that conventional brands adulterate those terms. Perhaps partially this was due to an unrealized need and the fact that the simple term “natural” isn’t protected and everyone can use it. We simply didn’t know how necessary it would become to set boundaries to protect naturally formulated beauty and prevent greenwashing, defined here as a company or organization that “spends more time and money claiming to be ‘green’ through advertising and marketing than actually implementing business practices that minimize environmental impact.”

So in an attempt to restore green beauty to its original factory settings, to help preserve the integrity of the visionaries who began formulating natural products years ago, I raised this topic of giving a definition to “green beauty” in a closed Facebook group of nearly 4,000 members . Here is what we came up with, though it is open to further refinement and improvement.

Green beauty is:

Most of us agreed that green beauty is:

  • A movement: a mindful effort of beauty and wellness brands to source the purest, most sustainable ingredients possible, in order to create efficacious and safe products
  • An environmental standard: a commitment to the earth, guarding its resources and the medicinal properties of plants, herbs, flowers, etc.
  • A community: a group of like-minded people determined to share what they’ve learned and discovered, so as to inspire and educate others to make mindful choices
  • A lifestyle: a conscious choice to avoid products proven to be harmful to the health of our planet and its inhabitants

In order for a product or brand to be labeled under the term “green beauty,” the requirements include:

  • The absence of ingredients that have been shown through studies to potentially harm health or to destroy the environment with cumulative use, often referred to as toxic chemicals (i.e. those linked to hormone disruption, cancer, deforestation, etc.)
  • The meticulous attention to using ingredients that are non-toxic and natural
  • A consideration of eco-friendly and organic sourcing, where possible, fair wages and working conditions
  • A concern for environmental impact, sustainability, and carbon footprint
  • An ongoing commitment to ethical formulating, transparency, research, innovation, and growth

Adherence to each one has gradations, since “green beauty” is an umbrella term that encompasses organic or non-toxic products. It is ultimately left up to the consumer to determine what suits their prerequisites prior to purchasing as there are no guarantees that all brands that call themselves “green” conform to these principles. While it may seem as though “green beauty” is an all-encompassing term, many people see it splintering further.

At Naya, we add the following distinction what we consider to be “natural”:

1. Green—good for the environment

2. Nontoxic/clean—safe for human use, not as harmful to health

3. Vegan—meets cruelty free standards

4. Environment & Ethical conscious – paying forward and working with local farmers

A fourth distinction was also suggested to include a separate category for “organic.”

How would you define “green beauty” ?

Would be great to hear your view.

Naya Team xx


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