Are Natural Skin Care Products Really Natural?
To answer this question one has to understand what the term “natural” implies. Natural implies that the skin care product contains ingredients extracted from plants, earth, sea or animals. Examples would be essential oils extracted from botanicals, minerals such as mica, and zinc oxide which are found in mineral makeup, marine ingredients such as seaweed, or sea salt, or oils and other animal byproducts such as Emu oil which is made from the fat of an Emu bird.
Unfortunately, the term” natural” is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and thus the term “natural” is often used very loosely in labeling and extensively in marketing ploys by the skin care industry. Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not define the term natural or organic. In fact the USFDA does not approve cosmetics before going to the market. The responsibility of the safety of the cosmetic lies with the manufacturer. Except for color additives and those ingredients which are prohibited or restricted by regulation, the manufacturer may use any ingredient in a cosmetic provided that they are safe and properly labeled and can coin numerous terms when marketing the cosmetic that may or may not be true. You can read more about the regulation of cosmetics at the Food and Drug Administration website.
If you are considering purchasing natural skin care products consider these tips:
Read the label – many skin care companies use the term “Natural” when in reality many products contain less than 1% of a natural ingredient such as aloe Vera, or other essential oils as an example. The most prevalent ingredient will be listed at the top of the ingredient list and the least amount of an ingredient will be listed at the bottom. Therefore if you are buying an aloe Vera gel and aloe Vera is not listed at the top of the ingredient list, you are more than likely buying a gel containing an enormous amount of synthetic ingredients