Green washing is when a cosmetic company would rather sell you the idea of being ‘green’ and ‘natural’ than actually be that. It’s pretty easy to see why; reformulating products take lots of time, money and effort and you might never be able to get the exact look or feel people are accustomed to.
Plus, since we’ve yet to define what a ‘natural’ cosmetic actually is, it gives companies leeway to define it however they want (like how some people tried to call ketchup a vegetable once 😆 ).
Q: So how do I avoid being green-washed?
Time for a confession: I shop at Aldi. The prices are unbeatable and the quality of food is just like or similar to much more mainstream brands. One day I wondered how Aldi was able to deliver such good quality at such a low price. These were the reasons I found:
- Making people pay to borrow trolleys. You get refunded once you return the trolley and that way, Aldi doesn’t have to pay someone to hang around at the car-parks.
- Having enormous bar codes so the checkout person doesn’t have to look around.
- Employing only a few staff.
- And most importantly, scrimping on advertising!
Cocamidopropyl Betaine (CAPB from now on ‘cos I’m tired of typing) is a slightly yellow, viscous liquid derived from coconut oil. It’s an excellent mild (non-stripping) surfactant that can perform several functions in a cosmetic product; from foam boosting, to thickening to even a (slight) antibacterial.
It’s derived from coconut oil so it’s natural, right?
I was boiling Quaker oats to make myself a healthy breakfast one morning when I noticed the water bubbling. The bubbles looked very soap-like and I immediately began to wonder if certain compounds found in oats could have cleansing properties.
So I started looking around. I found that I was in fact right: there are compounds found in many plants called saponins, which perform a variety of functions including cleansing.
Saponins are made up of complex water-soluble glucosides (sugars) bound to oil-soluble sapogenins (steroid or triterpene based). This amphiphilic structure is what helps to make saponins naturally foamy and cleansing. This property makes them surfactants. Continue Reading