GREEN ABOUT ME: ethic responsibility and informed choices

Sustainability might sound like a simple word: it really is not. It has the power to paint a pretty clear image: trees, a stream flowing with pure water, and the smell of the leaves is almost distinct. Yet preserving the future of nature is just one of the branches that create the tree of sustainability, and making an informed choice is not always easy.

And this phenomenon has a name. Honesty is not always easy to find: up until 2010, 95% of the consumer goods labelled as “green” were not completely ecologically sustainable. Moreover, until 2014, Italy had no proper guidelines to fight this phenomenon.

This results in general confusion and growing distrust, in addition to damaging the environment. Being trained and informed is still the most effective defence in order to make an informed and responsible choice, both on a personal and corporate level.

 What about cosmetics?

Nowadays, green cosmetic products make up 2.4% of all new launches in the world. Starting from 2011, the claims of green products – which used to focus on “enhancing your beauty”, “convenience” and simply “more” – have switched their attention to whether it is a “tested product”, “without …” and “ethical environmental”.

Misunderstandings have not been completely erased, but a system to identify and avoid deceptive products has been devised: the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) denomination can be found on the label of any product, listing the different ingredients that the cosmetic product contains. The system is used by all EU member states and by many other countries in the world, such as the United States, Russia, BrazilCanada e South Africa.

There are apps that can help you read INCI, as well as allowing you to discover the complete formula of a cosmetic product (discover the best free apps to read cosmetic labels according to

Long story short: no more excuses. There are million of ways to know what is inside a cosmetic product.

Let’s start from the formula, from the process behind a product.

The ingredients of a green product are plant-based materials that come from organic farming, in the respect of natural values. Raw materials are purchased from developing geographical areas in order to favour the living conditions of some populations through sustainability projects.

Moreover, these products avoid certain ingredients such as:

  • animal derivatives
  • propellant gases
  • artificial colourants
  • microplastics
  • preservatives
  • silicones
  • oil derivatives
  • ammonia – for colorants
  • perfume