Greenwashing – Herbal Essence

Many companies spend more time and money on advertising their products than worrying about the quality of the product itself. These companies advertise and market their products as being sustainable, when in actuality, they are not utilizing business practices that benefit the environment.

For this blog post, I chose to write about a product that I used for way too many years as a child. I used it because my mom would buy it for herself and me. I assume she bought this product because of its good pricing and advertisement of being “environmentally sound and natural.”

The company exclaims that their products are a good choice for the environment and the consumers hair. On their products, such as the shampoo and conditioner, they claim that it’s “all natural.” After reading online through many researchers’ papers on the topic, they all come to the conclusion that these claims are false. There are many unnatural chemicals in the shampoo and conditioner, such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Propylene Glycol. There are also known carcinogens in the products that are not found on the ingredients that are labeled on the back of the products.  Certain chemicals react when in the bottle and form a new compound after being mixed together, forming carcinogens.  People experience side effects from these unnatural products all the time. Health concerns that are related to the chemicals can include skin irritation (the most common), cancer, and organ toxicity.

After researching herbal essence products and looking into their website, it is alarming to know that they advertise these seeming healthy items. I stopped using herbal essence a few years ago because my skin started to become exceedingly irritated. My mom took me to the family doctor and we figured out that it was my shampoo and conditioner (created by Herbal Essence) causing the irritation. After that, my family and I started to look  more into the products we were buying. My mom even began to make her own laundry detergent.

Many companies greenwash their products to make themselves seem more desirable and to gain short term financial benefits. The consumer needs to become aware that companies are doing this. Many companies do not want to actually go through the transition of becoming environmentally friendly; therefore, companies like Herbal Essence, will just slap on a sticker and call it a day.

3 thoughts on “Greenwashing – Herbal Essence

  1. I had a teacher who taught us about how many chemicals are in everyday items such as deodorant and shampoos. It’s crazy to think about!

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