Cosmetics Myths about Organic and Natural Ingredients January 12 2014, 0 Comments
Organic and natural are the new buzz words in the cosmetic industry. As folks become more environmentally aware, anyone trying to sell their product is calling it natural in order to attract customers. Many manufacturers can do this because by definition the term natural is a broad one and consumers are only beginning to educate themselves about which ingredients are actually harmful and which ones are just unappealing or environmentally unsound. So, here are some tips to make sure you don't get fooled by the hype:
1. Read the Back Label, Not the Front Label
Natural ingredients are those that occur in nature with no artificial additives or compounds being included during processing. Organic takes it a step further and means that the methods of cultivation and reaping involved no chemicals and only natural pesticides (lemon juice, red pepper and other plants make excellent natural pesticides). If it says organic on the front label, but none of the ingredients on the back of the label are listed as organic that is a red flag. If it says natural on the front label, but the ingredients on the back label include parabens, mineral oil and other synthetics or petrochemicals, watch out.
Many smaller companies are actually not allowed to list that their products are organic on the front label even though they are because the organic certification process is so expensive and cumbersome. So, the back label is your best friend in trying to determine the true nature (or... errrr... un-nature?) of your favorite products.
2. Just Because It's Natural Doesn't Mean You Won't Be Irritated
Just think about it. Are all plants edible for all people? Nope, and all natural skin care products aren't easily absorbed by your skin. Products should be pH-balanced (especially deodorants) in order to avoid irritation and dark marks.
Your skin is a delicate balance of amino acids and the products you use should respect not only the earth, but the natural balance of your body. That is why many natural deodorants irritate new users or are simply ineffective. A complex, pH balanced deodorant like Pampered Pits offers pH-balanced ingredients and doesn't use certain essential oils that are known irritants.
3. If you are skeptical, get a sample.
Many smaller cosmetics companies offer samples of products so that skeptical consumers have the opportunity to see the benefits of a natural product for themselves. Many natural products are actually more effective because many of the chemical versions are just cheaper imitations of the natural one. These samples make it inexpensive and easy to try a new product that you are interested in before committing to the full size.
4. Your standard for natural may not be everyone else's
Products evolve as new manufacturers are bought out by more established ones, so please continue to read the labels and investigate any new ingredients you may see in your favorite brands. For instance, many natural deodorants now include propylene glycol (aka: anti-freeze) to help the deodorant glide on smoothly, Propylene glycol is a "naturally occurring petrochemical," but I doubt it would meet most people's standard for a natural ingredient as it is a petroleum byproduct.