Have you heard of the term ‘greenwashing’? This means that a product may look safe from first glance – a little green leaf, etc. However, when you read the back of the label, it’s a very different story!

In the U.S., there is very little regulation or oversight in the personal care industry. Most consumers don’t realize the amount of ‘greenwashing’ that occurs. U.S. manufacturers must reformulate their products to export to European standards, but they can leave in these harmful chemicals!


This is an easy question to answer…Money! It’s a lot cheaper to spend “a little” money on advertising and marketing that touts being “green” and “eco-friendly”, than actually investing a huge amount of money, time, and energy into transforming their practices and standards to greener and safer methods.


The following terms are often red flags of a greenwashed product. If you see some of these on the label of a product, a light bulb should go off and it be trigger for you to be skeptical. Most of these terms are completely unregulated and can be used purely for marketing and hold no real meaning.

  • Botanical
  • Bio
  • Chemical Free
  • Dermatologist Recommended
  • Earth Friendly
  • Eco
  • Green
  • Natural
  • Fragrance
  • Paraben free
  • Sulfate free
  • 1,4-dioxane
  • Methylisothiazolinone
  • Plus many more…

Once you spot these red flags, you need to dig little deeper! Be skeptical – ask questions! Who owns this company? Are they owned by a larger corporation? Where do they source their ingredients? Are they able to be fully transparent, or are they hiding something?

Train yourself, and make sure all of the ingredients meet your personal standards!


  • Arbonne
  • Aveda
  • Aveeno
  • Bio-Oil
  • Covergirl
  • Herbacin
  • Herbal Essences
  • Johnson’s Natural
  • Josie Maran
  • Jurlique
  • Korres Natural Products
  • LUSH Cosmetics
  • Melaleuca
  • Moroccan Oil
  • Natures Organics
  • Nivea Pure & Natural
  • Organix
  • Origins
  • Pure and Basic
  • Simple Basics
  • Tarte Cosmetics
  • The Body Shop
  • Meyers
  • Plus many more…..


Mrs Meyers is a prime example….

CANCER WARNING: You will NOT believe which product tested at the highest level for the CARCINOGEN  1,4-dioxane?

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Liquid Dish Soap* with the HIGHEST LEVEL OF THE CARCINOGEN at an alarming 204 ppm (parts per million), ten times higher than any other product. Right up there with Dial and Palmolive‼️

Mrs.Meyers also uses chemicals such as methylisothiazolinone, allergen of the year a few years ago that is linked to all kinds of skin issues and rashes. and fragrance (linked to a whole host of other issues).

YES, this is the same Mrs. Meyers you thought was safe for your family – so safe that it’s sold in Whole Foods!


It’s a petrochemical “known to the State of California and European Union to cause cancer”. Due to its toxicity, many consumers would not expect to find it in “natural” or “organic” branded products. The contaminant 1,4-dioxane is a byproduct of the ethoxylation process, which is a cheap shortcut companies use to provide mildness to harsh cleaning ingredients.

It also is a kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant, respiratory toxicant, it is linked to endometriosis and other reproductive issues. It is also a significant groundwater contaminant.


MI is very easy to spot on an ingredient label since it’s so long and is typically towards the end of an ingredient list. This ingredient is a powerful biocide, which is a chemical substance that can control or kill harmful microorganisms. It is often found in antibacterial products, and came into play as a preservative swap when parabens started getting a bad public reputation. Unlike some synthetic chemicals; however, this one isn’t just a mild skin irritant…

The biggest concern came to light when researchers conducted two recent laboratory studies on rat brain cells, and found that MI caused damage to those cells. The researchers stated, “a brief exposure that MI is highly toxic to cultured neurons.” The scientists went on to state that these toxic effects had been reported previously, and because of their widespread use, the consequences of chronic human exposure need to be evaluated.

Sadly, the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CFTA) issued a response stating that MI is safe as it is already widely used in cosmetic formulas.
In 2004 Europe limited the use of MI to 0.01 percent, or 100 parts per million (ppm), but in the USA it is still completely UNREGULATED. Additional studies have shown MI to CAUSE DERMATITIS, and a 2012 a study found it to be toxic during neural developmental stages to the fetus, increasing the risk of seizures and visual abnormalities.

The EWG also states that MI is a skin sensitizer and irritant, which means that it can cause contact allergies such as eczema.

Simply not worth the risk in my opinion. Safe and effective swaps are readily available.

It is time to ditch the toxins and take proactive steps towards reducing your body burden and living well.

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About The Author

Julie Bishop, RDH

Hi, I am Julie Bishop, a mother to an awesome daughter named Mackenzie. I reside in Cincinnati, OH and I help others heal and feel whole again. I have guided many people for healing through an awesome detoxification protocol, infrared therapy, and practicing a holistic lifestyle. I want my journey to be an inspiration for you.

  • Registered Dental Hygienist
  • Senior Skin Consultant – Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic
  • Infrared Specialist – Clearlight Infrared® Sauna
  • Detox Consultant – Microbe Formulas
  • Health & Wellness Blogger
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