Ingredient Awareness 101

Feb 20, 2022

One Ocean Beauty’s CEO, Sheila Chaiban, said it best in an interview with Live Kindly that the future of the beauty industry “rests on its ability to adapt and become sustainable,” and there’s data to prove it.

In 2020, the beauty market was worth $500 billion and is projected to grow to $750 billion by 2025. As the second-largest branch of the beauty market, skincare is a heartbeat to this growth and is moving towards inclusive, “all-natural” products. Because it can be difficult to stay on top of the sustainable trends, Madam Biz has created an Ingredient Awareness 101 to answer all of your green beauty questions.

What are sustainable products?

Sustainable products are ones that don’t hurt consumers, animals, or the earth. This belief should be embodied into manufacturing, production, and end-of-life.

What kinds of sustainable products are there?


Cruelty-free products do not engage in lab testing on animals of any sort. Many health, beauty, and personal care products contain harmful chemicals that have an uncertain impact on humans, so scientists test these products on animals first.


Fragrance is an umbrella term used by companies that have added perfume mixtures to products. These perfumes, or parfum, mixtures differ from company to company, and can contain chemical mixtures.


Parabens are synthetic chemicals used as a preservative to extend the shelf-life of many health, beauty, and personal care products. Research has linked parabens to a multitude of health complications.


Sulfates are chemicals used in leaners, detergents, and shampoos to create a lathering effect. These chemicals can be the cause of skin, lung, and eye irritation, as well as clogged pores and acne.


There are 2 conditions to a beauty product being vegan. If it is a vegan beauty product, it must be BOTH:

1. Free of any ingredients derived from animals (i.e. honey, animal’s milk, carmine), AND

2. Cruelty-Free (i.e. not tested on lab animals, animals were not harmed in any way to create the product)

Why you should read your ingredients before buying

Oatmeal, lavender, rosewater, coconut, and argan oil are huge buzz words for “natural” products, but the ingredients tell another story.

Take a look at the ingredients of the lotion in your bathroom. There’s a likely chance that it was tested on animals or contains toxic ingredients, like fragrances, sulfates, or parabens.

Most of the leading sensitive skin lotions, including ones for babies, like Aveeno, Lubriderm, and Dove all contain artificial fragrances and chemicals.

Companies aren’t always consistent.

The clean beauty industry is growing rapidly and companies who notice are hopping on the train. Unfortunately, not everyone got the memo: Clean beauty doesn’t take shortcuts.

Some companies are taking the sustainable route to gain consumers without a true commitment to the Green Movement, and inherently, making costly mistakes that green beauty influencers are noticing. For example, many cosmetic companies who claim to be vegan are receiving backlash for their lipsticks containing carmine, a beetle-derived pigment that makes red lipstick.

Companies don’t always get it right, which is why it’s up to us, the consumers, to read ingredients and hold them accountable.

Just because it’s one doesn’t mean it’s the other.

Everyone’s needs are different. Maybe you need a combination of the sustainable labels above. As mentioned before, companies don’t always get it right. Reading your labels is the only way to ensure that your products are exactly what you need.



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