Natural beauty is all the rage. We are sharing the right information about the harsh chemicals and side effects of the traditional beauty industry. Customers are more discerning these days - so much so that even traditional beauty sellers are looking for more government oversight of the industry.
We are closer than ever to achieving a true breakthrough in legislation to ensure that our industry is protecting animals and people. We are winning the fight!
But this begs the question: Are the proceeds of victory making their way to you? If you don't know what products to purchase, simply regulating the bad ones out of the market will not necessarily help you. It is even more important to be cognizant of what you buy now that traditional beauty companies are on alert to market their wares as "natural."
More Choice in Natural Product
Cosmoprof North America, one of the largest beauty expo organizations in the world, dedicated twice the amount of space to natural brands over last year. Natural beauty products are the fastest growing segment of the industry. With more choice than ever, how to you decide what to buy? Let's take a look at some of the most important characteristics to consider.
- Learn the lingo. More government oversight does not necessarily mean better products in all cases. If you are looking for the absolute best, then make sure you are focusing on "organic" products rather than "natural" products. Natural is not regulated by the government. Organic is. The USDA will only place its seal on products that are at least 95% organic.
- If you go "natural," stay away from the following ingredients. Do not pick up any products with 1. sodium lauryl sulfate (common in hand soaps and shampoos), mercury (found in eye liners), lead (check hair dye and lipsticks), and phthalates (used in many fragrances). All of these ingredients have negative side effects and long term health repercussions.
- Know your own skin! Even the cleanest and clearest of organic products sometimes contain botanicals. Botanicals can be an allergen to certain types of sensitive skin. If you are using organics and still breaking out, then you may want to consult a trusted dermatologist. Bring in your products so your doctor can test for botanicals.
- Use the resources available. The beauty industry is still mostly self-regulated. Some companies may not fully disclose the ingredients they put in their products. You have a line of recourse - the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. This website gives you full ingredient lists that you should look out for, along with Environmental Working Group.
- Cut back on total ingredients. Simpler is always better. Most people will do best with products that are under 15 ingredients.
- Choose mineral makeup carefully. If your skin is dry, then you should apply a deeply hydrating serum (like a serum containing hyaluronic acid) plus a facial oil or moisturizer before applying mineral makeup. Some powder formulas can increase dryness in your skin, especially if it has hidden synthetics, so make sure you are checking labels and that your mineral makeup contains only pure minerals.
So what green product should you buy? We can't tell you that! But we can inform you of the market and some individual concerns you should look out for. Once you have gone through the best practices above, your short list should be focused enough to make an informed decision!