The natural beauty movement is in full swing and seems to be getting stronger every day, with more skincare and cosmetics companies offering a wider range of natural ingredients that are better for your skin. But there are significant pros and cons to natural beauty products.
You probably want to be more natural, from choosing unprocessed foods that contain more nutrients and less processing, to ensuring that what you put on your face is as free of chemicals as possible. This is especially important if you consider that skin absorbs what you put on it.
A 2005 study analyzed the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies and shockingly found 287 chemicals present, with 217 of them being neurotoxins. You need to be careful of everything you eat and what you put on your skin because if chemicals can find their way to an unborn baby, they can certainly enter your bloodstream and affect your body in numerous ways.
Natural products are seen as a solution to the chemical absorption problem. But do they live up to their ‘do no harm’ claims? Here are some things to consider.
Pros of Natural Beauty Products
1. You Can Enjoy Natural Fragrances
If the product doesn’t make use of any chemically-derived fragrances, it relies on natural scents such as essential oils. They’re safe to enjoy and also offer a nice mood boost. Rose essential oil, for instance, has a rejuvenating effect while lavender oozes calm.
2. More Nutrients Can Be Found in Products
Natural products can offer the most benefit to you because they contain botanical extracts. For instance, argan oil is derived from Moroccan tree fruit and naturally contains Vitamin E to soothe skin and smooth hair. The use of plant extracts in products can also be beneficial for specific skin issues. For instance, olive leaf extract contains antibacterial properties that kill off bacteria. Since bacteria is one of the primary causes of acne, this is a great way to clear up your skin.
3. They’re Better for the Environment
Not just good for your health, natural beauty products protect the environment. Chemicals found in regular, non-natural products are catastrophic to the planet. Examples include Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS). It not only irritates skin and boosts its ability to absorb other toxins, but it also wreaks havoc on marine life as it accumulates in fish once it enters the ocean.
4. Natural Products Often Have Biodegradable Packaging
All the plastic that comes with conventional beauty products needs to go! It ends up in your bin where it later becomes waste in our already clogged landfills. One of the benefits of natural cosmetics and skincare products is they usually have as little packaging as possible.
Cons of All-Natural Beauty Products
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1. Natural Doesn’t Mean Organic
Before you toss those natural hygiene and beauty products into your trolley, consider that there’s a difference between ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ labels. If a product is listed as natural, it means that it does not include any artificial ingredients or preservatives, but some chemicals might still sneak in! On the other hand, organic products have undergone a much stricter process to ensure that they are pure. If a product is listed as ‘organic’ then it means that it contains at least 95 percent organic ingredients. To achieve this label, ingredients must have been produced without any use of chemical fertilizers or synthetic pesticides, and they aren’t allowed to have undergone genetic modification.
2. Don’t Be Fooled by Fragrance
Make sure your natural products don’t contain artificial fragrance ingredients. These usually contain chemicals called phthalates, which can cause allergies and health issues. Avoid any products that mention ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ in their list of ingredients to be on the safest side.
3. Natural Isn’t Always Safe
Look past the pretty packaging and wording to dig a little deeper into your products. Scrutinize ingredients lists so that you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin and into your body. A great resource is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep where you can check out thousands of product ingredients and what dangers they pose to your health.
You want to start using products on your face and body that are minimally processed and filled with natural ingredients. The best way to ensure this is to read and research ingredients so that you know exactly what you’re putting on your skin. It’s your right to do so!