Herbal Essence Greenwashing

It is truly amazing all the greenwashing in today’s society. I had never considered the topic before learning about it in class. As naïve as it sounds, I trusted that the media needed to be censored before advertising. I always thought someone was confirming or denying the statistics and claims these companies were making. However, after all I have learned about greenwashing, I can confirm these claims are far from the truth.

For the greenwashing blog, I researched a product that I use everyday. I use Herbal Essence shampoo and conditioner. They advertise for women who “want to use environmentally sound and natural products.” It is the #2 shampoo and their sales top $42 million.

Herbal essence claims that their product is truly organic and is a good choice for your hair and environment. The claim their products are “all natural.” However, researchers have proved their claims to be false. The chemicals in Herbal Essence shampoo and conditioners are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, D&C red no. p33 and 1,4-Dioxane. 1,4-Dioxane is a carcinogen liked to organ toxicity and is in as many as 22% of cosmetic products. It is often not found on labels because it is a contaminant created when common ingredients react to form the compound when they are mixed together. The health concerns include cancer, organ-system toxicity and irritation.

If I had known the facts about Herbal Essence, I would have never started buying their products. I believed I was buying products that were good for my hair and the environment, and leaving my hair with a great smell. It is scary to learn that some of the chemicals in the products may leave with me damaging effects. Doing this research, I will definitely be changing my hair products I use. On top of that, I will do more research into any products I buy. You never know what trusted companies may be deceiving you.

-Danielle Trisel


2 thoughts on “Herbal Essence Greenwashing

  1. Pingback: Herbal Essences: PHONY | treehuggertalk

  2. Thats scary! I am currently using herbal essences. I think as girls, at least myself, i always smell the shampoo and I’m like oh this smells good! and if its says good for moisture or along those lines, i usually get it. It really is up to us to know what we are buying.
    Olivia Triacheff


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