Tag Archives: environment

Microbeads In Cosmetics Are Bad – But Plastic Is Everywhere

Microbeads In Cosmetics Are Bad - But Plastic Is Everywhere

Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish

Christmas 2016 is over, and like a lot of people for me the next item on the agenda is getting rid of all the rubbish.  I am particularly aware of it this year having read an article in the Biologist over the holiday by freelance naturalist Rajith Dissanayake.  Despite the popularity of naturalness and general greenery we still produce one heck of a lot of plastic.  I can certainly vouch for that as I have tried to squeeze of lot of it into my bin.  Rajith quotes the figure that the average American produces around 2.5Kg of plastic waste per day, and us Europeans can’t be far behind.

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How Do Organic Accreditations Actually Work?

How Do Organic Accreditations Actually Work?

Are you more swayed by an organic accreditation or a pretty picture? Like this one. Nice isn’t it.

There are dozens of organic certification schemes. The way most of the big ones work is that they certify a particular supplier and also have a schedule of the actual products covered by that certification. So you’d have them come and certify Melanie Organics and typically a certificate saying so. There would also be a list of all the things that you supply that the certificate covers. This is usually a separate document – it is likely to be changed from time to time. There is nothing stopping you from supplying other things so long as you don’t claim them to be organic.If you want to check that a given ingredient is organic you’d need to look at both the certification of the supplier and the individual ingredients listing. The supplier might well put references to the certification on their own documents, but it is rare for the certification body to issue certificates for individual materials. Continue reading

A Quick Guide To The Environmental Crisis

guide-to-the-environmental-crisis

I give green personal care products a pretty rough time on this blog.  I don’t have any problem doing this as a public service because so many of them basically aren’t very good.  But it does run the risk that I appear to be anti-green in general.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and I thought it might be a good idea to lay out what I think the problems facing the planet are and how seriously I take them.  This doesn’t strictly have anything to do with coverage of the health and beauty issues I normally cover, but it is always sort of there in the background.  And anyway, this my blog so it’s my rules. Continue reading

Is Benzophenone A Risk To Reproductive Health?

Is benzonphenone a risk to reproductive health

Big corporations are run for profits and are not too scrupulous about how they seek them.  We have seen tobacco companies ignore the health of smokers.  Big chemical companies have pushed lead into petrol.  Mining companies leave the public to foot the bill for clearing up the mess their operations create.  The list goes on.  Cosmetic companies are no different ethically from any other type of corporation.  As it happens there are almost no serious health effects arising from the cosmetic business.  But this is not because their standards are higher – it is simply a fact that cosmetics are pretty safe.  If that gives those of us involved in selling them any kind of moral high ground, well we throw it away pretty quickly by the outrageous claims we make for them.  It is very hard to do anybody any harm via the skin – but it is equally hard to do much good either. Continue reading

Microbeads In Cosmetics

microbeadsAs a keen environmentalist I often find myself face palming when a cosmetic company picks up on a green issue.  They often home in on things that aren’t particularly relevant and propose solutions that are questionable.  But I think the recent interest in the risks posed by microbeads is one where there is a real problem. Continue reading

Doing Green The Right Way

green-the-right-way

I am a big fan of being green.  I’d love to see a lot more progress in that direction in the cosmetics industry and I am very happy to report on a company that according to a report in the trade journal Happi, is doing just that.  Toms of Maine have just issued a report on their project to lighten the load they place on the planet and it makes interesting reading. Continue reading

Whole Foods Banned Ingredient List

wholefoods

Whole Foods is a supermarket chain from America but which has global ambitions, including some stores in the UK.  Its unique selling point is that it stocks natural and organic products.  Speaking personally, I find the notion that any kind of supermarket can be considered to be a natural or a healthy somewhat questionable.  But whatever, one of the ways they are different to ordinary supermarkets is that they require that none of the personal care products they stock have any ingredients that are on a list of about 400 that they have banned. Continue reading

Cosmetic Ingredients – Natural or Synthetic?

natural versus synthetic

Since at least the nineties and arguably even before that, the trend has been towards making personal care products that are as natural as possible. The cosmetics business has gone green, both metaphorically and in the case of the labels often literally too.  In fact at one point all the labels in the Body Shop were green.  ‘Natural’ has become the marketers’ adjective of choice.  The Body Shop was of course a pathfinder and pioneer in the world of natural cosmetics in the seventies, but the mainstream was close on its heels. You only needed to turn the television on to see this.  Timotei ran adverts that were designed to suggest that their raw materials included wicker baskets full of wild flowers gathered by a blond woman in her nightdress. Continue reading