THE BLOG
03/18/2008 01:33 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Slap on a Label and Call Me Green

By way of a quick introduction, my name is Lauren Fornes. I'm new to (and excited to be apart of) The Huffington Post blogging community. I'm an aesthetician and founder of Face Parlour, a skin health website. By day, I rate skincare products (think "Wine Spectator of skincare"). By night, I blog about a range of skincare topics. I welcome your feedback and hope you enjoy my first post:

Natural is passé, and organic is so 2007... at least as they've traditionally been defined.

The green beauty trend has reached a tipping point, and companies from Whole Foods to Clorox are vying to be the greenest.

With limited federal regulation of labeling terms like "natural" and "organic", corporations are self-regulating and jockeying to establish their version of green as the industry standard. The result is a product labeling frenzy.

Earlier this month, Whole Foods Market launched a premium body care labeling initiative. Sephora quickly followed by defining natural beauty last week. Even Burt's Bee, who was recently acquired by Clorox, is setting the natural standard.

In 2006, only 4% of beauty product launches claimed to be organic. Today, organic skincare is one of the fastest growing industry segments and the term has lost a little luster. Consumers purchasing organic products now want to know if the ingredients were sourced locally or support fair trade principles, and companies are responding with more labels and more certifications.

And it isn't only what's on the inside that counts. Product packaging is going greener too. Using post-consumer paper and plastics used to be sufficient. Now companies are moving towards zero (not less) waste. Joshua Onysko of Pangea Organics is leading this charge with his packaging that literally sprouts herbs when planted. (It works... I've tried it.)

This competition to differentiate on green terms (differgreentiation) is a bright spot in an industry traditionally known for intimidating ingredient lists, questionable product safety and dubious marketing claims. It's exciting that skincare companies are starting to consider the overall environmental impact of their products from sourcing to disposal, especially after watching this video.

Last week I had the opportunity meet with Dr. Nitasha Buldeo, founder of Organic Apoteke. I think she put it all in perspective by pointing out, "Who wants to look beautiful in an ugly, dirty world?"