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Naturally Misleading: Are Your Favorite Products Really All-Natural?

Do you think about what’s in your skincare as much as what’s in the food you’re eating? Well, you should. It’s essential to recognize that what we put on our bodies matters as much as what we put in our bodies. Nestled between the rows of products at Sephora and countless makeup aisles are businesses spouting all-natural and “organic” labeling on their products. And, it can be hard to decipher which ones lining the shelves of our favorite beauty retailers are really all-natural and free of harmful ingredients. 

To begin, let’s get one thing straight. The term “natural” doesn’t automatically mean a product is better or safer for you, as the FDA has strict criteria on just what constitutes a natural product. FYI, the term (“natural” isn’t regulated for cosmetics, so it can be used purely as a marketing term). The FDA even has a fact sheet for those interested in how the FDA regulates small business and homemade cosmetic businesses.

It could be said that there is no real definition of “natural” in the U.S. beauty industry. As long as the bulk of the product is natural, you can say it is “natural-based“. So, again, no real regulation. However, you can keep an eye out for the truly natural products, as they will have the appropriate seals, like the COSMOS Natural or Ecocert brands: 

European organizations that only allow a certain percent of synthetics in their products. 

To continue, the term “organic” is not clearly defined by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, which they use as guidelines. According to their site, “organic” usually means USDA-certified food grades. 

Even further, the term “clean beauty” is described as a better term for the consumer, as the products are examined as non-toxic. 

Now, you’re probably asking yourself, well, what does non-toxic mean then? 

The Environmental Working Group states that “non-toxic” means free from undesirable ingredients, which is better than claiming “natural” or “organic”, as they are products that perform without compromising safety.

This brings up another relative point: an ingredient might be natural or organic, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no chance you can’t experience an adverse or allergic reaction to it, so it’s essential to be aware of what you’re using and how your body responds. In simpler terms, always test-patch products first. 

So, now that you have the beauty lingo learned and in your arsenal, how are you going to shop all-natural products? It doesn’t have to be hard if you start buying smart. How can you do this? By taking the time to master these three rules:

Nix Harsh Chemicals 

Many chemicals that reside in non-organic makeup are detrimental to our skin. The most well-known culprits are parabens and phthalates, two substances that are linked to cancer, type II diabetes, and infertility, according to the Global Healing Center. Also, there are plenty of ingredients used in makeup that haven’t been thoroughly tested. That’s why it is essential to check out those labels. 

Protect Skin from the Sun

Minerals are mostly prevalent in non-toxic cosmetics, so that guarantees a certain level of natural sun protection. Plus, many organic products also contain antioxidants like vitamin C, which can help lessen the chance of sun damage.

Check for Animal Testing

When you go green, you’re not only kind to your skin, you’re also kind to animals. It’s always a good thing to check that the products are cruelty-free and vegan, so you can have peace of mind knowing that no animals were harmed in the making of your favorite beauty products. 

And, the next time you want to take off your makeup with that store-bought makeup wipe, why not try one of these genuinely all-natural ingredients instead:

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has some fantastic health benefits, but did you also know it can do wonders for your beauty regime, too? From its benefits for hair to its use as a moisturizer for your whole body, the options are endless. Coconut oil can also be used as a night cream. Apply it right before bed and let the antioxidant properties refresh and restore your skin while you are sleeping! 

Aloe Vera

Aloe has been known to help treat burns, acne, and dry skin, so include it in your evening routine. Make your own DIY Aloe Vera Makeup Remover, courtesy of mindbodygreen.

Witch Hazel

Not just a makeup remover, improves your skin by clearing acne and locking in moisture, which is always a good thing. Learn how to make your own DIY Witch Hazel Makeup Remover

Cucumber 

Refreshing and cooling, cucumber juice is a crowd favorite for oily skin and can help remove makeup and brighten dull skin. Check out how to make your own DIY cucumber face mask

Almond Oil

Anyone out there with sensitive skin? Pure almond oil is an excellent alternative to store-bought counterparts because It’s rich in vitamins A and E. Here’s how to make your own DIY Almond oil makeup remover

 

Let us know if you use any of these ingredients for skincare or have a favorite clean beauty brand!

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