What is green washing?
This is a marketing phenomenon which has been getting steadily worse over the last 5- 10 years and is only increasing. Many brands are calling themselves natural with only a few percentage of the bottle being natural. You can also claim to be organic with no third party checks. Unfortunately, there is no global standardisation and legalities on labelling natural and organic products so you have to be very cynical and read the labels. We have produced a 5 step guide to ensuring you are really buying green and natural skincare if that is what you want.
Our Skin Promises……….
Free From Petroleum
Not a drop will ever appear in our products.
You will most likely see this on your INCI ingredient list on your bottles as ‘paraffinium liquidum’ or ‘mineral oil’. Used in nearly every cream you will have ever touched from super cheap to super expensive. Cream is oil and water and this is nearly always the oil element. A by-product of the petroleum industry and used by the beauty world as it is unbelievable cheap compared to replacing it with a seed oil. Putting petrol derivatives on your skin is yuk! Most therapists believe as we do, fervently, that it is like wrapping yourself in cling film. It tends to block pores, is really not ideal for oily skins due to this, yet ironically is the base of most oily skin spot products. Big sigh.
We have read many medical studies and spoke to many people who believe that it carries risks for the body- toxin related cancer ones and we have read many that say the opposite. So this is our conclusion. Brands use it as it is a cheap option. Nobody has ever proved it has any super skin abilities. When labs dermatologically test skincare products to check results and allergic reactions it is normally used as the inert control test.
Worse case scenario- a toxin you really don’t want in your blood stream, best case scenario inert ingredient in the bottle, slippy, filing and cheap and as @beautyshorlist described it when we were speaking today ‘dead skincare’! Do you want it on your face, will it fix your concerns- not likely, could it add to them- potentially. Is it a waste of your money- definitely.
Not Tested on Animals
At Pinks Boutique we promise that we do not test our full products on animals nor the ingredient parts. There are many brands in skincare that state the same, so first point is please don’t confuse this promise with it meaning they are completely natural or organic. The two are not technically linked although very often occur in tandem.
We wanted to delve deeper for you so you understand when you see this promise from a brand including ourselves what it means. In 1997 animal testing ended in UK for cosmetics by law and across the EU since 2009. From March 2013 cosmetics and ingredients tested on animals anywhere in the world can no longer be sold in the EU. Other countries such as India, Israel and Norway have followed suit. The EU is no bad place to be if you are a bunny.?
If this is an issue close to your heart and one you would choose a product based upon then you need to be aware that the waters do start to get murky, still…. The US still allows testing on animals for cosmetic purposes, only California, New York and New Jersey have passed laws stating other available alternatives to animal testing are to be used so you have to be aware of US based formulations. Even in the UK and EU where it is banned a brand may choose an ingredient that hasn’t been tested on animals since the ban but may have been when it was first bought to market 25 years prior for example. So no new batches have been but the first concept ingredients was back in the day. Does this count as a no go for you?
The big old red China is the truly tricky part. China is the only major nation that ‘RESERVES THE RIGHT’ to rest products imported from overseas on animals. So you could have an EU brand who doesn’t test here but when they go to the 1 .35 billion plus market of China they do. This will be the case for many, many of the brands in your bathroom. So, if this is important to you, you need to ask the brand if they supply to China, many are removing it from their website as it is clearly an ethos breaker.
Does it break yours or not?
Following on from our promise to never test our products on animals we also promise that our products and ingredients are suitable for Vegans. However this is easy to say so what is acceptable to Vegans and what are the benefits of the vegan lifestyle.
Firstly a brief description of Veganism:
Veganism is both the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products. Distinctions are sometimes made between several categories of veganism. Dietary vegans refrain from ingesting animal products. This means avoiding not only meat but also egg and dairy products and other animal-derived foodstuffs. Some dietary vegans choose to wear clothing that includes animal products (for example, leather or wool).The term ethical vegan is often applied to those who extend the philosophy beyond diet into other areas of their lives. This philosophy means opposing the use of animal products for any purpose.Environmental veganism refers to avoiding animal products on the premise that harvesting or industrial farming of animals is environmentally damaging and unsustainable.
Back in 2009 when we launched the range we were already conscious of the Vegan movement and paid the Vegan Society to certify our products. To be honest however we were a little disappointed at their level of testing as they only asked us to send an ingredients list and did not check other aspects of the supply chain or business.. This is in stark contrast to our Soil Association accreditation that test the ingredient supply chain back to the soil. As a result we no longer pay for the mark but instead take our own measures to make sure our products are free from animal products and so suitable for all types of vegan. For us veganism is key to our product sustainability and obviously to not harming animals.
For those of you who are already conscious of these decisions it can be a bit of a mine field to pick up on ingredients that are animal derived but may not be clearly marked as such. Our list below is a good place to start:
1. Cochineal Dye
Also listed as Carmine, this odd sounding substance is far from synthetic. It’s actually a dye collected from crushed Dactylopius Coccus … or cochineal beetles to be precise. The insects feed on cactus plants in Central and South America and the females eat the red cactus berries; when they’re crushed an intense red dye is produced. It’s found in most lipsticks and a lot of blush products.
This one is often confused with bat guano, or bat poop. In fact, it’s a crystalline material that’s shimmering or light-diffusing and found in crushed fish scales. It’s in most mascaras, nail polishes and lipsticks. Bat poop or fish scales, does it really matter which it is now?
Tallow is a common ingredient in many cosmetics including eye makeup, lipstick, makeup bases and foundations. To the everyday consumer, it’s more common name would be rendered animal fat. The process involves boiling the carcasses of slaughtered animals until a fatty substance is produced, ready to add to cosmetics and apply to one’s face.
Similar to tallow, gelatin is the boiled skin, tendons, ligaments and bones of animals. It’s aliases include gel, hide glue, gelatine, isinglass, kosher and halal gelatin. It can be spotted hiding in creamy cosmetics and nail treatments.
Imagine not showering for days. You know that greasy build-up in your hair? Now imagine never, ever showering and living in a steam room. Pretty gross thought, isn’t it? Well, imagine putting that greasy build-up on your face. Lanolin is the excretion from wool-bearing mammals and is found in most lipsticks and makeup removers.
Sounds gross, doesn’t it? Well, if it doesn’t make you squeal yet, keep reading. This substance is extracted from the livers of sharks and then added to your eye makeup and lipsticks.
It may seem unbelievable, but this ingredient is derived from the waxy oil that lines whale’s stomachs. Surprisingly enough, this oil substance is used to make the scent “set” in perfumes.
Found in cosmetic lip-plumping glosses, this is a fibrous protein from animal tissue that has no proven effect on your own collagen reproduction.
Also listed as Estradiol this hormone-based can be found in most perfumes, restorative creams or lotions. Estrogen is obtained by extracting urine from pregnant horses. (Yuck? We agree.)
This pesky animal-based ingredient can often be found in products that boast an “anti-aging” quality. Retinol is a potent source of vitamin A, but it is almost always derived from an animal.
On top of the obvious benefits of Veganisms a growing body of scientific evidence indicates that wholesome vegetarian diets offer distinct advantages compared to diets containing meat and other foods of animal origin. The benefits arise from lower intakes of saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein as well as higher intakes of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin C and E, carotenoids and other phytochemicals. “The influences of these aspects of vegetarian diets are the subject of the new field of nutritional ecology that is concerned with sustainable life styles and human development.”
These ideals are what drives Pinks Boutique products and why we promise to be Vegan.
Gluten Free Skincare
One of our aims at Pinks Boutique is to make natural and organic cosmetics accessible to the mass market. In order to do this we have tried to remove as many barriers as possible and try to take into account the needs of as many consumers as possible. That is in part why we promise our products are Gluten free because whether through choice or chance for those that cannot tolerate Gluten have as much right to use our skincare as anyone. Same goes for nuts, we don’t use any nut oils, no almond oil anywhere as it makes life simple for people wanting the try the range.
However like many of our promises it is worthing looking more deeply into the potential added benefits to health and wellbeing. A gluten-free diet isn’t just for those with celiac disease or a wheat allergy. Although eating wheat products, especially whole wheat, does offer some health benefits, the gluten can actually be harmful. Here are some reasons you may want to go gluten-free.
Wheat is one of the top-eight allergens. Millions of people are allergic to wheat — so many, in fact, that it has made it onto the top-eight allergen list.
Many people have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, and don’t know it. So, how many people fall into this category? No one knows for sure. But 1 in 100 people has celiac disease — but most don’t know it. No one knows how many people have gluten sensitivity, but estimates are that it may be as high as 50 percent, or even 70 percent, of the population.
Humans don’t fully digest wheat. The undigested portions of wheat begin to ferment, producing gas. Icky, belchable, fart-forming gas.
Wheat is a pro-inflammatory agent. A pro-inflammatory agent is rapidly converted to sugar, causing a rise in the body’s insulin levels, causing a burst of inflammation at the cellular level, among other problems. Wheat can cause leaky gut syndrome. Refined wheat has little nutritional value. Did you know that manufacturers actually have to enrich refined wheat because they’ve taken out all the nutrients?
Free from Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
This will be in nearly all your shampoos, bubble baths, toothpaste, liquid hand soaps, gel cleansers and children’s body washes. It is also used in floor cleaner, engine degreaser and car washes. It is a cheap foam and thickener and is what makes BUBBLES. You may be used to them and like them having grown up in a bath full but do we really still need to repeat the mistakes of a previous generation who were never given the ingredient knowledge we have access too?
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are surfactants, detergents and emulsifiers which can originate from naturals such as coconut but then go through a manufacturing process which leads to them being far from clean and many studies now argue they contain carcinogenic by products. Worse case scenario. Best case scenario- even many ‘non green’ dermatologists agree that they are irritating to the skin and may be a major factor in the rise of childhood eczema.
From personal experience both Kirstie and her sister are allergic to them especially in toothpaste where they are notoriously difficult to avoid. Kirstie finds if she uses a toothpaste with it in the sides of her mouth crack and a rash appears around the lip area. We have also had quite a few Pinks Boutique spa clients with allergic reactions or loss of pigmentation in the mouth area and when we advised them to change toothpastes and avoid SLS, bob’s your uncle- it was fixed.
Just like paraffinium liquidum they are everywhere so get checking those bottles. It is entirely possible to still get a mild foam without them and frankly do you really need bubbles if they are going to dry and make you and your children’s skin itch?!