To help you decide which cosmetic product to choose, you will find a Green Product Guide in several chapters. These guides are split into three sections. One leaf is awarded to products that are generally clean and pure, but do contain a few questionable yet generally safe plant ingredients. The concerns are minimal: it could be an overwhelming smell of essential oils or plant extracts that aren’t suitable for everyone.
Yet none of these products contain harmful chemicals. Two leaves indicate that a product is sensibly formulated, contains nothing toxic, and delivers its promises, yet there’s a little “but.” Maybe a strong fragrance, less-than-convenient packaging, or maybe the price was hard to justify. In any case, this is an excellent product to try and maybe fall in love with.
Three leaves are given to the greenest beauty products. If you already recycle, reuse, drive a hydrogen car, and heat your home with solar energy, then you will go an extra mile or two for that biodynamic body oil. Solutions in this section are likely to be more time- and money-consuming than the rest. You will notice, however, that price point is rarely taken into consideration.
All that matters is the efficiency of the product, the purity of the ingredients, and, as a result, the authenticity of the green claims. How do I award the leaves to the products? To start with, I check the formulation and see how it relates to the latest scientific research about synthetic and natural cosmetic ingredients and their effects on skin.
If a product contains an active ingredient, I usually check how much is actually in the product, and if it contains potent plant extracts and essential oils, I will mention the possible risks of allergic reactions or increased sun sensitivity. To see whether a product lives up to its green claims, I take a look at other products in the line. Do they contain questionable ingredients?
Does the company make a genuine effort to educate its consumers? If it does, then the green claim is authentic, not hype. I never base my recommendations simply on my own personal experience. I will not recommend something just because I like the way a cosmetic product feels on my skin. I understand that thousands of other women may feel differently about it.
During my years of cosmetic reviewing and reporting, I have tried hundreds of products, but there’s nothing like the opinion of a highly independent and discerning panel of dedicated cosmetic junkies, also known as relatives, friends, colleagues, and readers of my websites who offered their help to evaluate and review cosmetic products for this book.
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