Natural cosmetics have been making a big boom in the market lately. While you might be skeptical that they’re just another gimmick, the reason behind the trend is a true concern for health. Traditional cosmetics contain all sorts of unnatural chemicals that build up in your skin, seep into your pores, and sometimes build up in your body. By using natural products you can avoid this.
Another benefit to natural cosmetics is they won’t irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction. Often, acne and other skin conditions are actually an allergic reaction to chemicals in your make up and other skin care products.
Keep in mind, however, that unlike “certified organic”, the word natural is not regulated. Natural cosmetic labeling is not regulated. There are no laws in the U.S. that oversee products that claim they use ‘natural’ ingredients. This is because there are not yet any clear standards about what the term ‘natural’ really means.
In order for there to be laws, there needs to be a generally accepted and quantifiable meaning for the word ‘natural’. That way there can be a clear determination of whether a cosmetic fits the description or not. Until that happens, there won’t be any laws affecting the term ‘natural’.
In the meantime, some manufacturers and trade associations are developing their own definitions for the term and issuing ‘certifications’ of their own. For example, The Green Products Alliance has a logo for natural products. Guidelines have been developed that those products must adhere to in order to display the logo. Following those guidelines is strictly voluntary, so are shows that the companies which participate in the program are doing more than they have to by law.
To find real natural products, you should look to see if an independent company has verified that the product is natural. But again, anyone can “certify” a product because there is no government regulation. Some companies even create their own “certification” to say they have a natural product. Research different companies that verify natural products to find certifications that you know you can trust.
The best way to tell a quality natural cosmetic is by looking at the first ingredient. Believe it or not, if water is the first ingredient, that’s a sign to stay away. Water dilutes the product, meaning you have to use a lot more to get the same effect. But don’t stop looking there, keep reading the list. If there’s a long and unpronounceable word, that’s a good sign that you should keep looking. If it sounds like an artificial chemical, it probably is.
If you’ve tried natural cosmetics before and didn’t like them, that doesn’t mean you need to give up. It used to be, there were only a few products that were really natural. Now the internet has provided us with an outlet to get all kinds of different products from different retailers. That means not only are prices lower due to competition (many online retailers will even send free samples if you pay shipping), but you can always try a different product if one doesn’t work for you.
If you want real benefit, opt for multiple brands of natural skin care products for your skin and hair. Just like regular drugstore brands, you’ll find that you have favorite lines that work better for your particular issues.
Keep in mind – it’s likely safe to assume that cosmetics that carry The Green Products Alliance logo are reputable – and that’s exactly why companies are taking the extra step; however, there are also outfit s that are not so reputable that are setting up non-profit organizations which grant awards based on nothing more than paying a membership fee.
As a consumer, you have to make sure that the organization that is awarding the seal is reputable and not using it as just another marketing technique. Just because a cosmetic line got seal of approval from ‘The Alliance of Best Natural Products on the Planet”, it may not mean anything more than they paid a fee to display the seal.