Today, we find an increasing number of cosmetics shouting the benefits of their natural ingredients, which makes us part from our hard-earned pieces. While we are aiming for healthy-looking skin and hair through the benefits associated with these natural ingredients, the story seems incredibly plausible. However, even if the savvy customer can be very well positioned to detect a paraben or sulfate, how many of us really understand what our cosmetics contain.
As we search for answers to keep us young and beautiful, cosmetics companies sell us a huge amount of history of bioactives, extracts, organic matter, plants, medicinal plants, and so on. Yes, these beautiful exotic ingredients, coming from far away regions with the potential to link all our problems and transform us into visions of beauty.
As a manufacturer, I would like to share some tips to help you make more informed choices.
- These natural ingredients are most often processed so that, by the time they enter your product, their activity has decreased somewhat, if at all, and does not look much like its original form.
- Natural extracts should be mixed with other chemicals, leached or chewed for preservation. Often the preservatives used can be harder than ordinary synthetic products. Sometimes the extract will be kept in the oils and thus avoid the heavy preservative.
- Some natural ingredients such as clays can also be unpredictable. Their potency and effectiveness may differ considerably depending on various growing conditions, such as soil and weather conditions.
- Finally, always read your labels to see how much the list of ingredients contains the list of ingredients. As a general rule, I would say that with all the natural products worthy of the name, if you can not grow or drink the first three ingredients, then maybe look elsewhere.
There is currently no definition of natural in the UK, so cosmetics should only contain 1% of natural ingredients to be called natural. So, try not to focus on the hype around bamboo, yucca and shea butter, you could even buy a 99% synthetic product. Look for products that are certified or have their percentage of natural products. In this way, you know that you get what you pay for. However, beware, many organizations make products as natural as different, with different criteria. The help is however at hand for the consumer, Ecocert striving to unify the certification. It is therefore hoped that the minefield of natural ingredients will be easier to simplify for consumers when what is natural really means.