The use of natural beauty products has been on the rise over the past years and it seems like it’s not going to stop anytime soon. According to a research done by IBIS World, the organic cosmetics industry grew by almost 16% between 2014 and 2019. This is possibly due to the fact that in general, customers have become more conscious about their health and well-being. We are also becoming more aware of the potential harm that chemicals have on our health that apparently traditional skincare products are full of those.
Celebrities are also getting onboard with the natural and organic beauty trend, some have even created their own natural skincare brands. Gwyneth Paltrow, for instance, demonstrated how natural and organic her Goop skincare line is by dipping a McDonald’s french fry in one of her moisturizers and eating it. Miranda Kerr has been also skeptical about using traditional skincare products and therefore established her own natural brand KORA which she believes is the main secret for her youthful and radiant skin.
Having in mind the growing demand for natural skincare products, many skincare brands have emerged on the market positioning themselves as all-natural made and clean. But clean and natural is not a standard in beauty but rather a label that varies from one brand to another. What this means is that without a formal labelling structure, many brands can label their products as they would like to – basically, for the most part, beauty companies regulate themselves. They can use buzz words such as natural and organic without a concrete explanation to back up those claims. This is why just because some skin brands are claiming to be natural, it doesn’t mean that they include man-made ingredients in their products.
One way to tell if a product is truly natural is to pay attention to the ingredients list that can be found mostly on the backside of the package. A good rule of thumb is to know that natural ingredients can all be found in nature and their names should not sound like something made in a lab. If they are hard to pronounce or understand, chances are they are man-made chemical ingredients.
Things like parabens, drying alcohols, artificial colours, perfumes, sulfates, phthalates, and silicones are not something you should see on the ingredients list of a natural product. Natural skincare brands would rather use things like carrier fatty oils, essential oils, purified water, natural fruit extracts and glycerin – ingredients that are gentle and leave one’s skin feeling nourished and balanced.
Synthetic fragrances are usually added to skincare products for the purpose of creating pleasant smells or to mask the odour of the nasty chemicals used. This is why you also need to pay attention to the smell – truly natural products rarely smell strong but instead have a very mild scent.
Apart from paying more attention to the smell and the ingredients used, another important factor to consider is how the product was processed. Heat is usually used in the process of making beauty products to kill bacteria, to mix ingredients together and extract the active component. But heat can actually destroy the bioactive properties of the natural ingredients and this is why products that have been labeled as cold-formulated or cold processed are a much better alternative.
Also, always make sure to check the brand’s website in order to find out whether the brand has been certified for its claims. The Australian Certified Organic Standard, for instance, is one of the most respected and rigorous standards in the world of organic production. So, if the product uses the ACO logo, then you can be sure that its natural approach claim is true.
Last but not least, just as celebrities and beauty go hand-in-hand, it seems that natural and eco-conscious products also match. This makes sense, given that the consumers are also becoming more eco-conscious. That is why most natural skincare brands are also concerned with the environment and the well-being of animals. Their packages are usually made from materials that can be recycled and the production process doesn’t include animal testing. In order to prove all this, brands should have certifications that can guarantee the eco and animal friendly procedures.