Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Natural" Cosmetics & Skincare

In the cosmetics world, the word "natural" can have a couple of different meanings, and both can sometimes be deceptive. There are so many different professional models that are often said to have "the natural look." This means that they appear to look the way they do "naturally," without a lot of added makeup. But it is no secret that these models are working with makeup artists behind the scenes and are done up to look as thought they are perfect even when they get out of bed in the morning. (Of course, this doesn't stop us from buying lots of cosmetics to try and look like them!)

Logo of the Natural Products Association.Image via Wikipedia
However, "natural" these days also means something else. It is a word that we associate with fresh, safe and organic types of products. This is what everyone wants in today’s world because we are trying to focus on the environment and becoming healthier, and many make up companies have lines that include natural products.

This “natural” makeup is considered to be safe. But is it? If you are reading the label on the back of your “natural” face wash or “natural” toner, you may see a lot of different chemical type words that you cannot pronounce. Natural does NOT always mean natural these days so you have to be careful when you are purchasing these types of products. This is especially true for products that are marked as natural, as they are sometimes more expensive than other cosmetics.

Canister of lye (sodium hydroxide)Image via Wikipedia
The problem is with regulating the laws involved in manufacturing cosmetics. “Natural” is a word that can be used by companies with just a little bit of truth involved. Natural products will have natural elements. The lipstick that you buy may contain some plants that were grown organically (that is, without the use of chemicals). The advertisements put this fact on the package, but ignore the fact that the organic plants are then mixed up in the lab and combined with a number of synthetic or man made ingredients.

How can you tell if a product is really natural? This is easier than you would think. Turn the box over and look. There are thousands of synthetic ingredients that are used in makeup all the time, and these are actually not hard to recognize. By finding truly natural products we can be sure that we are taking good care of our skin. If your product contains fragrance, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium hydroxide, talc, or products that you cannot even say, you should not believe that it is natural. (Visit our previous post on reading natural product labels, for some more helpful info on this.)

If you have questions, feel free to email us, or visit our website for a lot more information on good and all-natural skincare and cosmetics (we will also share a great resource with you on Friday, for finding these products quickly and easily, and comparing them to similar products to find the very best one for your health and budget, so be sure to check back!).
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