Round 2: Why Blacklists Suck

I’ve ranted about this in the past, but I keep seeing new “Standards” or “Blacklists” that are really just long lists of chemicals. (Eye rolling. Heavy sighs. Maybe a couple of curses.) There are about 60,000+ chemicals used in cosmetics – which ones go on the list? How long is that list and how do you expect a consumer to understand what you stand for as a brand?

Here’s my bottom line: we are in an environmental crisis on top of a pandemic. The former was probably part of the creation of the latter – if you get me. The only ones who can fix it is us.

How do individuals address an environmental crisis? By making informed choices. Maybe you buy a Leaf or a Tesla (lucky you) and you ban plastics in your home and you write all of your political representatives. Maybe not. Either way – this is about your choices. You, as a brand owner are the manager of your choices on behalf of your customers. Then they make their choices.

Cosmetics are made from chemicals. Olive oil is a freakin’ chemical. Water is a chemical. Humans are bags of chemicals.

The chemicals we put on our bodies need to meet some pretty simple PRINCIPLES:

1 – Made from renewable resources that improve their environment using tested methods. Like organic farming or verified wildcrafting. (

2 – Use The 12 Principles of Green Chemistry to make chemicals. These Principles include that they are not harmful to the environment or us or other animals.

3 – “Continuous improvement”. (Just think about what that means).

Maybe manufacturers can only get to 10 out of the 12 Principles but that is a start. That means you need to hold your ingredient suppliers accountable to these Principles. The definition of the 12 Principles is on the American Chemist Society site:

You don’t need to be a chemist – but you need to know what to ask your suppliers and chemists.

A list of things you don’t want in your product is such a limited way to think about the world. Let’s broaden our knowledge and philosophy to start with clear principles and then find the way to support those positions.

#beprincipled #beinformed #becreative #hugs