What "Natural" Means in Your Personal Care
The natural beauty movement is growing more popular by the minute. It’s great to see consumers searching for healthier products for their families. Unfortunately, the complete lack of oversight on claims such as “natural” and “good for you” in the body care and cosmetic world results in misleading products and broken trust. Cosmetics and personal hygiene aisles are filled with products claiming to be natural, when truthfully, it’s an unregulated term used at the discretion of any company. Words like natural, organic and handmade should not be treated as marketing terms—these meaningful words inform the choices you make for your family. The most important thing you can do is stay knowledgeable about the people, processes and ingredients behind the products you use. A reputable company will clearly proclaim who they are, where they’re made and a glossary explaining every ingredient they use and why. Here are some ways you can avoid being tricked into not-so-natural products.
Be familiar with the right authorities
If a product or ingredient is truly organic, it will be certified so by organizations that oversee food, like USDA, Ecocert and Oregon Tilth. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics are great places to get started.
Healthy products come in all prices
High-quality, naturally-derived ingredients are more expensive, but they’re not worthy of the premiums some brands charge. Don’t be swayed by price, marketing campaigns or deceitful packaging. Get to the heart of the product: what is it made of, how is it made and who makes it?
"Cosmetics and personal hygiene aisles are filled with products claiming to be natural, when truthfully, it's an unregulated term used at the discretion of any company."
Be aware of betrayal by language
Watch for registered trademarks on phrases that seem like health claims. Something like “therapeutic grade” or “98% natural” sounds promising, but there are no third-party organizations to certify products as such.
Decide what ingredients matter to you
It should be easy to determine what’s in a product and what’s not in a product. Stay away from products that cut ingredient details short.
Today, more than ever before, consumers are empowered to determine what natural means to them. Everyone deserves transparency, sincerity and responsibility from the brands they choose. Making smarter choices sends a message to every industry: we know what’s happening, and we deserve better!