Photo credit: Flickr Creative commons: ppacificvancouver
The trend toward embracing things that are "green"; eco-friendly, and organic is extremely popular and growing every day. This is wonderful news as the more people who jump on board the effort to respect and care for our planet, the better we'll all be in the long run. What was once viewed as a sort of a "fringe" or neo-hippy movement has become ever more mainstream, which is especially evident when we consider all of the beauty salons that are proclaiming their green, earth conscious status. But, what does that really mean? Let's take a deeper look at the why's and what-for's of environmentally-conscious beauty.
A good place to start is with a few definitions. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) describes "natural ingredients" this way - "... extracted directly from plants or animal products as opposed to being produced synthetically." Therefore, natural ingredients are:
Not produced synthetically
Grown, harvested, and processed in an ecological manner.
Free from petrochemicals
Extracted or processed using only natural ingredients as solvents
Not exposed to irradiation
Not genetically engineered and contain no GMOs.
Eco-Friendly is a term that means "not harmful to the environment."
There are many excellent reasons to seek out all-natural products. For example, the chemicals found in most standard hair care products can be harmful to your health and also to the health of the planet. Their ingredients have been found to cause mild to severe skin irritations, allergies, autoimmune disorders and cancer. They also contribute to the toxification of our planet when they find their way into landfills, and from there go on to pollute the air and water.
These reasons are why environmentally friendly spas and salons are becoming so popular all over the world. New salons are being constructed using recycled materials such as reclaimed wood, and making use of solar/wind powered energy sources
Consumers are becoming more educated and aware of the dangers related to synthetic chemicals, and the beauty industry has responded in kind. Popular brands such as Opi nail polish are offering formulas which are free from DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde. Salons are replacing traditional treatments for coloring, straightening and perming with natural and eco-friendly processes, and all-natural shampoos and conditioners as well as all manner of styling products line the shelves for retail sale.
Exclusive salon brands can be expensive, but there are more mainstream companies who have also begun to embrace the eco-friendly movement. The popular brand, Garnier has a line of hair care products which are offered for purchase in places like Target and Walmart, and Sephora, a popular cosmetics retailer, currently offers around 1,400 different products that feature natural, organic ingredients. Keeping in mind that packaging is a large piece of the puzzle, more and more companies are providing products in containers that are made from post consumer materials.
It is inspiring to see all of the ways people are becoming more aware, and taking positive action to bring about changes that will improve humanity for now, and for future generations.
This is a guest post from April Richards, who contributes for Weddingcakes.org.uk