Time to make yourself a cuppa tea in advance: 5 minutes. Reading time: 10 minutes. Can change for the better: all of your remaining lifetime.
Battle the Greenwashing,
Discover the Trends
In this article, I share with you five natural/ organic skincare trends of 2018 that I spotted during Vivaness and feel are among the most relevant and promising – right after addressing a topic that will become even more important this year and affect you as a consumer: greenwashing.
“CONSUMERS MUST REMAIN
VIGILANT AND VOCAL”
As I wrote in this highly opinionated piece in January (and the post was so important to me, in fact, that I left it at just one post last month, disregarding all blogging rules): with the growing demand for green products and services grows the risk of being exposed to more greenwashed products and services.
And so I was very glad that the Vivaness congress team decided to add the controversial topic of greenwashing to their programme this year. But since I wasn’t able to attend the presentation by NATRUE Director General Dr. Mark Smith “Against Greenwash: Communicating the added value of certified natural and organic cosmetics to the consumers in 2018”, I asked Mark for a statement which he kindly provided:
“Greenwashing represents a malpractice into an attempt to mislead consumers. For natural and organic cosmetics this may take any form of marketed product that appears more sustainable, natural, organic or environmentally friendly than it actually is. This practice negatively impacts authentic producers, and can demotivate and undermine consumer confidence in the sector. This is why in 2007 committed pioneers in the sector formed NATRUE since they saw the need to combating greenwashing, increase transparency for consumers, as well as advocating for a strict official definition for natural and organic cosmetics. It is also why NATRUE has a strict standard for its Label to represent the values of its founders, why we promote our Label for consumer awareness and industry benefit, and why we work with international regulatory bodies and decision-makers.
A crucial factor for the sector’s growth is maintaining consumer trust, and to even think about abolishing greenwash one must be committed to an environment of transparency and promotion of authenticity.
Here industry, consumers and regulators have a role to play. Industry can proactively play their part by further innovative new green ingredients, low waste and sustainable production methods and formulations that mirror consumer megatrends related to conscious consumerism, environmental impact, and social and ethical responsibility, to deliver consumers the products they expect.
Consumers must remain vigilant and vocal but in a world of perhaps too much information it is important more than ever that there be clear, concise and factual sources of information so that consumers are not mislead.
To this end, one of NATRUE’s commitments as an international non-profit organisation is to provide an objective source for access for consumers to high quality information regarding natural and organic cosmetics and their ingredients. The role of the regulator can be to provide and help establish a clear and positive role in promoting tools, guidance and regulations in-line with consumer expectations and industry needs; indeed we have seen some examples of initiatives tapping into this need from the recent EU bioeconomy approach and circular economy policy.
Taking all three actors roles together, we should focus on looking forward. Looking to a future where all green products truly deliver claims that are understandable, objective, scientific and above all can be substantiated whilst aligning themselves with established consumer expectations of green rather than maintain the easy road to greenwash, which for the natural and organic cosmetic sector would further help to improve and level the playing field for all stakeholders.”
– Dr. Mark Smith, NATRUE.
Thank you, Mark!
⭐ From my part, I would like to add that I have received a few reader emails and messages over the last months where some of you lovely people were asking what to do about products you believed to be greenwashed.
You’ll be pleased to hear that while I had – unfortunately – no time to reply personally to each message, I’m working on an article to provide advice on what you can do to verify a product’s claims (sometimes the wording is off whilst the product is genuinely clean and green) – and how to go about the situation if you stumble across real greenwashing.
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And now, let’s now talk about some of the hottest and genuinely green Vivaness trends, shall we?
VIVANESS 2018 TRENDS:
MY PERSONAL TOP FIVE
(+ A FEW MORE HIGHLIGHTS)
Of course, K beauty and TCM or the five elements teaching are a huge trend that inspired many novelties and keeps delivering. But chances are you heard of them before – also, there is more that caught my eye.
Are you ready?
⭐ 1 DENTAL CARE
Dental care has become a big deal, and who couldn’t be bouncier about it? This happy bunny, that’s who.
With the advent of clean toothpastes, even cleaner toothpaste alternatives and design award-winning bio toothbrushes, our choppers are finally starting to receive the attention they deserve.
The new natural and organic dental products come in a variety of colours and textures. The new formulas are not just free from all things “non-organic”, they contain no Titanium Dioxide and no Sorbitol.
There are pastes, powders, chewable pills, even solid “toothpaste” on a stick, there is activated charcoal rinse packaged in a hip flask – the brands do tackle their job with verve and fantasy. But what about the tools?
Several brands offer toothbrushes that are as aesthetically pleasing as they’re eco-friendly. Because the non-recyclable part (in the moment anyway) are the bristles, it’s not necessary to buy wooden brushes only to maintain your green cred.
There are recyclable and clean plastic varieties made from sustainable, renewable resources as used, for example, by brands like Biobrush Berlin, whose gorgeously designed brushes are available in a blaze of bright and modern colours, and TIO with exchangeable brush heads.
Biobrush Berlin are also launching a range of toothbrushes for kids (image below) that look just as gorgeous as the adult line – if standard brush heads or brushes in general are too large for you, check them out.
⭐ 2 DIY HEAVEN
DIY is coming back. But not the old-school kitchen table tinkering, mind you.
Enter one of the winners of this year’s Best New Product awards – the Berlin-based company Coscoon. There is something very pleasing about knowing what is in your skincare, right?
Coscoon DIY kits satisfy this need for transparency the same way home-made food allows you to fully control your nutrition. But while cooking is a somewhat approachable thing to learn, making your own cosmetics sounds a little more intimidating. That’s where DIY kits kick in – your fool-proof sets that enable you to create your own body butters or lip balms. Coscoon packaging is easily reworked into pretty packaging for your home-made goodies, and uses no plastic.
VIVANESS 2018 BRANDS TO CHECK OUT:
Coscoon, La Saponaria.
⭐ 3 FRAGRANCE-FREE/ ALLERGY SAFE
Is the supply of unscented organic skincare about to meet the growing demand?
According to a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado, our cities (US-American cities to be precise, but don’t expect Europe to be considerably better) are dramatically polluted with volatile organic compounds coming from dyes, adhesives, cleaning agents and fragrance, room scents and air fresheners. Fragrance-free products truly are a whiff of fresh air.
Also, herbal extracts and essential oils vital to many organic skincare formulations – even if not specifically used as a fragrance – pose a risk to allergy sufferers and individuals sensitive to botanicals. In the same time, efficient organic skincare is not easy to pull off without Nature’s abundant gifts!
So there are not that many formulas that are free from potential allergens, but with Santaverde’s brand new Pure range, Yverum hyaluronic acid products, pure plant butters (shea by Goldenglow) and pure oils (Farfalla, Primavera), the unscented beauty shelf becomes a reality.
⭐ 4 PLASTIC-FREE AND WASTE REDUCTION PACKAGING
Have you ever looked at your “empties” and wondered which waste bin they go to? Or unboxed a product revealing layers upon layers of packaging, plastic, cardboard, laminated paper?
Packaging design is a tricky job for a company.
The end product’s packaging must meet strict hygienic and logistic requirements, let alone modern consumers’ expectations and needs: haptic, visual, practical. Brands spend years testing and researching how to make their perfect recyclable packaging work.
One way to less packaging is to make water-free formulas: they can’t spill any liquid, don’t require heavy or cushioning packaging and have an impressive shelf life.
VIVANESS 2018 BRANDS TO CHECK OUT:
Lamazuna (view image above), Plaine, Denttabs (when these toothpaste “pills” are sold in bulk in no-waste stores, otherwise they come in plastic jars).
⭐ 5 ANTI POLLUTION, FERMENTED & PROBIOTIC INGREDIENTS
Not a news: the man-made toxic environment is a huge stress factor for our health and for the health of our skin.
Several products aim at providing a bit of a protective barrier to help with the oxidative stress. Some choose skin-strengthenig botanicals, others – fermented or other microbiome-loving ingredients. Each company or brand have a different approach, and it’s definitely worth checking out which solutions fits your individual needs.
A highlight for me personally – Sativa from Belarus: genuinely natural and organic skincare with a scientific approach to the formulations. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to meet the people behind the brand, but knew about them in advance thanks to my wonderful friend Iryna who gave me their products as a New Year’s gift.
VIVANESS 2018 BRANDS TO CHECK OUT:
Lavera, Sante, Sativa, Naturalis.
A few more Vivaness impressions that I’d love to share before we wrap it up!
There’s more to come still 😉