Organically beautiful: Green labels in cosmetic and personal care products, a review


HCD Research
260 Us 202/31 North, Liberty Court Suite 1000, Flemington, NJ 08822, USA


For many women, time in front of the mirror with an array of cosmetics is a daily ritual. Minutes, sometimes an hour or more, and even the occasional professional consultation may be a part of the process of enhancing attractiveness. Cosmetics are products designed to enhance physical beauty; they are used to cleanse, deodorize, and to beautify the face and body and millions of people use them on a daily basis. Research has shown that people use cosmetics for improved appearance, boosted self-esteem, and to manipulate the outward image, improving their self-image, self-esteem, and confidence, thus improving the quality of life. Consumers are exposed to labels and claims that are intended to address their concerns about how food products are produced, processed, and regulated. The wide use of organic cosmetics and their perceived benefits on well-being imply effects beyond the aesthetic and quality of one’s own life with a shift towards ethical concerns regarding the quality of the planet.
A growing consumer interest in organic products is developing alongside a diversification of current products. In order to meet consumers demands, needs and wants regarding organic products, product developers involved in the market need to become better informed regarding consumer perception of organic products (17). Are consumers able to make informed choices when it comes to natural or environmental claims? What’s the real ethical and environmental impact of buying organic? Does the certifying label mean anything of significance to the shopper? The answers may not be so simple.


Walking through the supermarket aisles, consumers require a mere split-second to form a judgment about a product. Some products are appealing right away, others not so much. Some shampoos are particularly feminine, while others are manly. It becomes even more phenomenal considering customers burst these rapid-fire judgments regardless of whether or not they have ever tried the actual product. It’s based completely on implicit associations: automatic thought concepts linked in the brain.


“Brands that create an emotional connection to consumers are much stronger than those that don’t- it’s as simple (and complicated) as that.”

Martin Lindstrom, Brand Sense

It’s been suggested that nearly 90% of all purchasing decisions are not made consciously, rather brands and products that evoke our emotions perform better (10). Consumers often face difficulties when they try to explain why there are more attracted to one brand over another, or why one brand may ...