Many of us are turning to natural and organic beauty products for a number of reasons; allergic reactions to products containing chemicals and a desire to preserve the planet being just two of them. Some ingredients can lead to hormonal imbalances and others are said to cause cancer. Naturally, the major cosmetics companies do their best to ensure that their products are safe to use but for those with sensitive skins, natural and organic beauty products are a must.

Here is some information that may be of interest to those wanting to change to an all-natural beauty regime.

Are “Organic” and “Natural” the Same Thing?

There is some confusion over the difference between skincare products labelled organic and natural so here’s our definition.

Organic beauty products are less regulated than organic food but in general, any product labelled organic should contain at least 95% ingredients which come from farms which are certified as organic growers.

Natural ingredients are basically anything that grows on land or sea which might include flowers, tea, seaweed and aloe vera but might not be grown organically. In other words, the ingredients may have been grown using herbicides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers so although they are “natural”, they are not “organic”.

To further confuse the issue, some products are labelled “Green”. These products are not only organic or natural (or both) in content but may be produced using renewable energy such as solar power. To further their green credentials, they may use recycled glass or cardboard for their packaging.

Synthetic Preservatives

Parabens are used as preservatives in all sorts of beauty products. They are included to stop the growth of bacteria in creams and makeup, shampoo and body lotions but current research is indicating that parabens could be causing breast cancer, testicular cancer and low sperm counts. The reason for this concern is that, in tests, it was found that the skin absorbs parabens, the body metabolises them and they are excreted in urine. We must emphasise that there is currently no proof that parabens are harmful and various national food and drug agencies have deemed that levels are low enough in beauty products to be harmless.

In addition, a lack of preservatives could make cosmetics equally harmful and unfortunately, natural preservatives don’t work as well as synthetic ones.

Cosmetics which don’t contain water don’t need preservatives and some brands are selling a powdered form of various items which can be rehydrated when you want to use them.

The only way to know what’s in your cosmetics is to read the labelling carefully and make your choice based on the information you have.

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