Think of the last beauty product you bought. Did it comes swathed in cellophane, in a cardboard box that had a shiny finish, all wrapped up in a bag? If you havent noticed yet, the beauty industry is one of the most polluting industries there is. The main culprits? One-time use jars, containers, bags, masks and more. Heres a scary factalmost 2.12 billion tonnes of waste is generated every single year and 120 billion units of plastic packaging are produced each year. Out of this number, 90 per cent of the new plastic isnt recyclable. The worst part of all of this? For every brand that is actually taking measures to be eco-friendly, there are hundreds that arent. Using the terms sustainable, eco-friendly, green, clean and natural is easy but actually adopting that route is anything but. Most of us are trying to take steps to lead a greener life but how can you really figure out which brands are genuinely doing their bit? Heres everything you need to know to help you sift through the noise.What is greenwashing?According to the Oxford English Dictionary, greenwashing is defined as activities by a company or an organisation that are intended to make people think that it is concerned about the environment, even if its real business actually harms the environment. Basically, greenwashing happens when brands market something as eco-friendly or sustainable in a bid to convince customers that their purchases are helping the planet.4 tips to spot greenwashing in the beauty industryLack of transparency with regards to the productsIf a brand has a sustainable product line but all its other products arent earth- or animal-friendly, it is safe to assume that the company is greenwashing. Similarly, if a brand refuses to let its consumers know the entire list of ingredients that have gone in the making of a product, something may be fishy about it. A tip to spot greenwashing: If something seems too good to be true (claims or price-wise), it probably is.The packagingFrom start to finishDont go by what a brand says it does, take the extra initiative to check out its catalogue. Do the products come wrapped up in plastic? Does the brand use bubble wrap? How many extra leaflets does the product come with?Look for logosLogos like COSMOS (COSMetic Organic and Natural Standard) help to take the guesswork out of picking sustainable beauty products. This standard signature assures consumers that the products theyre using are environmentally-friendly, made using eco-friendly processes and dont harm human health.Another logo to look for? The Leaping Bunny by PETA which signifies that a product has passed rigorous animal-cruelty checks.Tap into your common senseIf the brand claims to transport ingredients from far corners of the earth, how is it sustainable? Is it taking any extra measures to offset its carbon footprint? Check out its website and if you have any questions, dont hesitate to reach out to its customer care.