Check the ingredients list
If the organic shampoo is made of sodium Laureth sulfate, PEGs, and contains parabens and artificial fragrances, then it’s definitely not good for you, no matter how many organic essential oils were used to justify the “organic” claim.
There are very few companies that make 100 percent organic beauty products, and even if they use only certified organic plant extracts and herbs, it’s impossible to organically certify water, vitamins, and minerals. Still, whenever you buy an organic beauty product, double-check the ingredients list for synthetic chemicals. You will be surprised to find them in many forms, often hiding behind perfectly natural names and neutral-sounding abbreviations. Nobody should get away with false claims.
Are the green claims relevant?
Sometimes a beauty product may display an environmental certification mark to show that this manufacturer powers its facilities with renewable energy, which is clearly a beneficial environmental feature. However, it doesn’t make the ingredients any cleaner or healthier. You could easily be misled by the certification mark to believe that the product is safer or uses safer ingredients than its competitors, when that may not be true.
Does the packaging back up its claims or green theme?
Try to see more than the natural-looking design of the bottle. See if the packaging is made of recycled plastic or glass, and if the instructions are printed on recycled paper, recommends Morris Shriftman, one of the founders of Avalon Organics, now a consultant with the brand. Many companies replant trees that were used in packaging, or otherwise restore the forests. So when you see a new green product hitting store shelves, wait for a second and ask: does it ring true and sound authentic, or is it obviously hype? Be a vigilant shopper your own scrutiny of green marketing claims must be one more item to add to your shopping list.
Going green without Going Broke
The idea of organic beauty products as dusty bottles sitting on the lower shelves of health food stores is very outdated. Just because the treatment is labeled as natural or organic doesn’t mean that it has been cooked in a country kitchen. Organic creams today can create an adrenaline rush similar to a pair of designer jeans—and sometimes cost just as much.
Some organic lines were created with pure luxury in mind. JoWood, the wife of Ron Wood, the guitarist for the Rolling Stones, developed her line of organic fragrances after years of blending her own oils. In 2005, she came up with an African-inspired line of fragrant oils and mists, Amka and Usiku, whose musky and woody scents captured the hearts (and noses) of celebrities worldwide. JoWood’s sumptuous creations are a far cry from humble vials of essential oils stocked by health food stores!