Differences between 'Clean', 'Green' and 'Natural'

July 05, 2019

Differences between 'Clean', 'Green' and 'Natural'

Everyday we hear buzzwords such as green beautynatural beauty and clean beauty being used interchangeably by brands, consumers and beauty insiders alike. Misinformation and ‘greenwashing’ has become widespread so it is now more important than ever to educate ourselves and wise up to what clean, green and natural beauty entails and what they have to offer. We frequently come across news reports about people having adverse side effects after using certain products false and misleading claims such as ‘organic’, ‘all natural plant-based’ or ‘zero chemical’.

“Greenwashing happens when companies spend more time marketing that a product is ‘green’ than actually making efforts to ensure that the product is really environmentally friendly.”

So, what does Clean, Green and Natural mean?

Clean green and natural differences

In essence when a brand claims to be a ‘clean brand’ its products are non-toxic and considered safe to use but not necessarily natural or green. Their focus will be to formulate products using ingredients which are proven to be safe. You’d think producing safe formulas would be a no-brainer, however, you’ll be surprised by the number of products available in the mainstream beauty sector which contains toxic and carcinogenic ingredients. A clean beauty brand strives to formulate products which are not harmful to your health.

A 'natural brandwill source its ingredients from nature. Such brands make use of botanical oils, extracts and butter, natural salts and everything in between (including resins such as frankincense). Truly natural brands will usually strive to be clean, as often they’ll use carefully selected non-toxic natural ingredients (note – not all-natural ingredients are safe!) and having one natural ingredient amid a list of toxic, synthetic ingredients does not make the brand/product natural!

A 'green beauty' brand will focus on sourcing its ingredients and ensuring its business practices are environmentally sustainable and socially responsible.

It’s about finding an equilibrium that works and this will vary for every individual. Hopefully, this piece will arm you to make better-informed decisions based on your needs. Research the ingredients and question brands.

In summary, you could say:

  • Clean Beauty – Products containing non-toxic ingredients both natural and/or synthetic.
  • Green Beauty – Sustainable and environmental responsibility towards the planet.
  • Natural Beauty – Ingredients sourced from nature.

Many brands in the sector will adopt two or more of the above principals, which explains why these terms are often used synonymously. But it’s imperative that we, as the consumer, understand the key differences between the three so that we are able to make informed decisions. The matter is complicated when the three principals conflict with one another. For example, you may come across green products that contain toxic ingredients or clean products which aren’t environmentally sustainable.

Essentially what this means is as the consumer you have to decide which principals are most important to you when shopping for personal care products. Do you want natural and clean products or is the impact on the planet more of a pressing issue? In an ideal world, I’d want all three but with limited choice and ever-increasing costs, I always strive for clean and natural alternatives and am mindful of trying to select brands that are socially and environmentally responsible.

(This post are excerpts taken from www.amaliah.com. All credits go to this website)




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