I remember a few years ago hearing someone say something like: “If it’s not safe enough to eat, it’s not safe enough to apply to your skin.” This was, of course, during the BOOM of “greenwashing” in beauty – when suddenly every brand was releasing an organic or all-natural skin care product for those of us who want to live pure, clean lives inside and out. I was doubtful then (about the whole your skin care should be safe enough to eat thing) and today I am pretty sure that it is rubbish.
The term “organic” refers to an agricultural standard, not efficacy. There is no global standard for what actually qualifies as “organic”. There are no minimum concentration amounts required nor any agreement on what should be included in the products to qualify as such.
3 Most Common Myths:
- Natural ingredients are better than chemical and synthetic ones.
- Natural ingredients are not chemical.
- Chemical means man-made (lab manufactured) or synthetic.
I will not pretend to be a chemist genius, I barely scraped through my Grade 8 science class to swiftly drop the entire subject in Grade 9. I do, however, know that everything has a chemical composition – including the water we drink and wash our skin with and even oxygen. So there really is no such thing as “chemical-free” beauty. There are, however, beauty products that only use natural ingredients. And “natural ingredients” does not mean they are chemical-free.
Here’s some perspective: Essential oils are natural but they are also very active chemically, which can trigger sensitivities and allergies. Adding synthetic ingredients to a beauty product isn’t always a bad thing. Synthesising products in a lab can make them more reliable because their compositions become more consistent and controllable. Natural ingredients, on the other hand, may vary in quality depending on where they were grown and when they were harvested – meaning less control on quality and consistency.
Both natural and synthetic ingredients can be good and bad – it’s the way of the world. What you are looking for are evidence-based ingredients, meaning ingredients that have been clinically tried and tested regardless of their source. “No preservatives” isn’t always a good thing in your skin care either as the lack of preservatives can mean a much shorter shelf life for your products. When they do expire efficacy is reduced and the product itself may be unsafe to use.
Don’t be “greenwashed” by marketing preying on your fears. Get the correct information and make the decisions suitable to your needs. We love a natural based product as much as a lab manufactured one. Whatever our skin needs at the time and as long as no animals or humans were harmed in the process of manufacturing it, we’re down.
p.s. Why the featured image of Kerry, you ask? Because she has great skin and and that expression on her face is making us happy. Thanks for asking!