Most spa professionals are aware of the term “greenwashing,” but they may not be fully aware of its intricacies and how it can influence consumers. Greenwashing is a tactic that taps into the power of natural, green and eco-friendly terminology that spa-goers all know and love. Also called “green sheen,” it involves using unsubstantiated or misleading claims that promote the perception that an organization’s products, aims and policies are environmentally friendly, eco-friendly, green, organic or natural.
In fact, these very terms are widely used on beauty and skin care labels, and they can be confusing and misleading to consumers. It’s unfortunate that brands often strategically choose such words based purely on marketability; in an industry that is largely unregulated, they are getting away with it.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to follow suit. There are plenty of steps you can take to avoid greenwashing in your spa.
1. Know Your Products
Beauty and wellness is unfortunately rife with unsubstantiated and misleading claims, so it’s important to be informed when it comes to the products you are using and selling. This will help ensure that you are not making any assumptions and unintentionally greenwashing as a result.
Look for brands that display 100% transparency in their marketing. Do your own research and learn about the brand, its products and its practices. Try not to take everything at face value and if in doubt, ask the brand directly. Companies have a duty of care to tell you the truth, and it’s your right as their customer to delve deeper.
There are also some great online resources that break down labeling terminology and shed further light on any gray areas. As a professional, it is important to be aware of what you’re using on your guests, as well as what you’re selling.
Lucy Macdougald is the global managing director and dermal specialist at Biologi. An experienced skin care expert, she leads her team to advise consumers about using the brand’s plant-based serums to address individual skin concerns.