If you take a quick walk down any cosmetics or bath and beauty aisle in your local market, it won’t take very long to see all kinds of labels touting the claims of “all natural,” “organic” or “100% pure.” With a society growing ever more aware of the effects of harmful chemicals in our food and body products, such labeling would appear to be a good thing. However, a closer look will reveal a wide range of what is considered to be natural, pure or even organic.
In fact, did you know that the term “all natural” or “natural” has no legal bearing whatsoever? There are no set of standards to define this term and no committee to regulate the claims. Any cosmetic or body product can use this term and still be composed of mostly synthetic ingredients. Looking closely at ingredient labels will reveal this to be true for a large majority of products found in major retailers. In fact, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics states that cosmetics and body products are among the least-regulated products on the market.
It’s also important to point out that the FDA does not regulate the final cosmetic or body product in order to label it as “organic” or not. While certain ingredients in a cosmetic or body product do fall under the FDA’s regulation and may be labeled as organic, the final product does not. So the organic label simply means that some ingredients meet the criteria, not the final product as a whole.
With this knowledge in hand, it’s important for us as consumers to decide what is important to us when we purchase products for use on our skin and to do our research accordingly.
Even though you may not necessarily want to use only natural or organic products, you should be on the lookout for common ingredients that are known to be harmful and irritating. This article gives a good overview on some of the more common ingredients to avoid such as SLS, phthalates and synthetic fragrances.
So what is a consumer to do? First, read the labels very carefully. The shorter and simpler the list, the better!
Another great option is to look for small batch, hand crafted products made carefully with simple and safe ingredients. Etsy is a great place to find such items, and we invite you to take a look around our very own store while you’re there. We list all ingredients clearly for you so that there are no questions about what is inside of our products. Our top priority is providing luxurious body products at affordable pricing, using natural and safe ingredients.