NATURAL SUNSCREEN- GREENWASHING?
Consumers love to feel they are doing their part for the environment.
What is Greenwashing? It is used to imply that “green” products are better, safer or more mild for you and the environment, than synthetic ingredients but this isn’t the truth. The consumers wants to believe but the amount of misinformation today, in the news and on the internet about chemical ingredient safety only adds to the confusion.
Greenwashing implies that these products are natural and natural products are more biodegradable than synthetic products—but this isn’t necessarily true either. If we think about it, how does a mineral biodegrade? It's a mineral, it bio-accumulates (build upon itself). The belief is that they are green materials and “from” nature, is very believable to a consumer and with enough marketing and "noise" that's all the consumer hears. It's what they want to believe, since deep down, we all care (or should care) about the environment.
The truth is, it is illegal to promote a product using misleading or deceptive claims all over the world. So, how do companies get away with Greenwashing? There are a limited number of regulators to start with, and since these claims don’t usually pose any significant health and safety risk, it is low on the regulators’ radar to police unless they receive numerous complaints from a consumer or "usually" another company/competitor. But, if a claim/complaint was to impact the consumers safety, the regulators would act.
We all want what's best for ourselves and the planet, hence we are so "open" to believing all the Greenwashing "noise" claims. A real natural ingredient is one which comes directly from the source, with little or no, physical changes. Zinc oxide & Titanium Dioxide require a chemical process to make them usable in topical applications.
I often get asked, "is it natural"? With our spray on sunscreen, the answer is no, with our Zinc products, the answer is yes and no. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide not truly natural, as they don't come in nature small enough to put into a cream; however, they are approved for use in natural and organic cosmetics by certifiers and "marketed" and "assumed" to be natural by consumers. After speaking with a number of chemists over the years, they’ll point out these UV filters are not truly natural. At this point in time, they are approved and accepted for use in natural/organic products.
It comes down to what you want to believe and what you enjoy using but don't be fooled in thinking it's "Natural".