Formulating Green Comes Naturally if You Already Think Green

I recently read an article about cosmetics formulating that caught my interest. The author maintained formulating with plant-based/natural/green ingredients was akin to working with ones hands tied.

Interesting standpoint.

Not having worked with very many petroleum based ingredients throughout my formulating years (subtle pun intended), It took me a bit to process this line of thinking.

Maybe it's a Petrolhead Thing?

The author was clearly a 'petrolhead'. 

Petrolhead is a friendly term for cosmetics formulators who work with petroleum-based ingredients. I didn't coin this phrase. It was introduced to me by an absolutely lovely gentleman who is a formulator and self-professed petrolhead.

I couldn't help wondering if petrolheads have a super easy time of it and whip out cosmetics formulas like there's no tomorrow. 

Could that explain the antagonism to plant-based ingredients in the article – because they're more challenging to work with than petroleum-based?

And why would anyone with such obvious resentment towards formulating natural cosmetics even want to go 'green' if the ingredients were nothing but trouble?

And then it hit me.

There could only be one reason.

The Advance of The Green Revolution

It's beginning to look like consumer demands have successfully influenced the industry to the point where they need to actually formulate green instead of merely greenwashing their products.

It's no longer good enough to just toss in a few of the trendiest ingredients as tip-ins and go about business as usual. Consumers have become more savvy and are not only beginning to understand ingredients lists on cosmetics labels, they're also more demanding about what they are willing to pay for.

Natural cosmetics is no longer a niche or passing trend. With the continuous growth of green brands over the past many years, consumer desire for natural products can no longer be ignored.

The industry is trying to going green - for real!

Good News For Some...

While 'us greenies' can pat ourselves on the back for achieving a solid foothold on the market, the industry appears to be in a bit of a conundrum – where to find folks who can formulate green products – real green products?

Perhaps they would do well inviting a few greenies in to help. After all, formulating green comes quite naturally to folks who think green to begin with.

Do Tell

Are you a 'greenie', a 'petrolhead' or an all-encompassing formulator?


Olivia J said…
I am a combination of the two. I can't go completely green because the cost and the really the availability of products won't allow me to. As for petrolhead, I do find myself missing the old formulations that contain petroleum particularly mascara. Without going too deeply into it, let's just say the old formulation worked better on the particular type of hair (lashes) I have. Of course, if there is some great mascara made with cacay oil and good waxes, I would be happy with that!
LisaLise said…
Great input Olivia! Thanks for sharing. It is indeed a huge challenge making mascara using plant-based ingredients.
Unknown said…
I did it though. I made mascara with all vegetable based ingredients. It only took two years of trial and error. I agree with you though. I don't find it strange to make my product without petroleum based ingredients because I wouldn't use them and I never have. I've never commented before but I really enjoy your blog and lean on your input. Thanks.
LisaLise said…
Hey there Lanae - Good for you for tackling mascara. It is indeed a huge challenge. Thanks so much for your kind words about my blog!
Chris said…
What pisses me off is that the natural movement is dead set on promoting that their products are somehow safer then others. There is little to no science behind most of their claims. Just because something is 'natural' doesn't make it safe or dangerous, it's chemical properties determines this. And what does natural even mean? Everyone has a different definition of it, so there's no consensus. More importantly there's no evidence that products which are certified (like ecocert, etc) are any safer then standard products.

The result of all this is an even larger gap between science and consumers. Just ask people what they associate with the word chemical and most will probably have negative associations even though almost everything around us are chemicals. This is probably the most infuriating thing to me because people don't understand that they lack the proper knowledge to make safety claims. They rely on their feelings and not facts.

As humans it's our responsibility to make sure we are making educated choices not based on fears and propaganda.
LisaLise said…
HI Chris - You make some great and valid points here. I agree the gap between consumers and science is wider than I'd like to see it. I am equally frustrated at seeing green companies - large and small - market their products using scaremongering tactics (implying they are safer or 'free of chemicals' usually prompts me to contact them about their wording). Like you, misinformation gets my knickers in a twist - regardless of who is employing it. I also agree that just because something is natural doesn't make it safe. Both the petrolheads and greenies need to start approaching each other and showing mutual respect. I hope this shines through just a little in the post above. Thanks for your comment. :)
Veronica said…
Greenie! Going "green" transformed my skin. Although I will confess not all natural ingredients leave my skin happy (elderberry extract is one my skin doesn't like). However after 13 years "clean", it is very quick to tell me when something is an irritant. Would never go back. At nearly 50 the results tell the story
LisaLise said…
Hi Veronica - I recognize this! I never looked back after getting serious about going green. My skin does so much better with plant based ingredients. 😊