Clean, green, natural, and organic are all words we see EVERYWHERE these days, and are currently used to describe "Green Beauty." They are basically just words stating that products are non-toxic, but because there isn't a standardized definition of "clean," this can mean different things to different brands and consumers. The truth is, you're probably not going to die using traditional skincare products, BUT there is a lot to learn about the beauty industry. It may seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn't have to be. It's really as simple as reading the labels. You need to be a smart consumer, and educate yourself on the importance of good ingredients, as well as which potentially harmful ingredients that you should consider cutting from your routine. Luckily, I'm here to help, so you're not overwhelmed by the overload of information out there. This will be lengthy, but necessary, so let's get started!
What is Green Beauty?
Well it depends on who you ask, but basically it's a phrase used describing products that are free of certain controversial ingredients like phthalates, sulfates, and parabens. Instead, products are made with plant-derived ingredients without the use of synthetic chemicals. Many of our everyday personal care products have ingredients that have been tied to cancer, hormonal imbalances, and other health risks. If you look on the back of your traditional skincare products the first ingredient is usually water, then chemicals, and maybe a few natural ingredients. The concentration of the active ingredients is much higher in green beauty products, and the efficacy is better. You are definitely getting a higher quality product when choosing this option.
The FDA doesn't define the term "clean" (or "green," "natural," or "organic," for that matter) in the context of cosmetics labeling or ingredients, which means virtually anything can be deemed as such — whether it's harmful or not. Unfortunately, many cosmetic companies know the influence that these words can have on today’s consumer, but have not truly embraced the philosophy, essentially only using it as a tool to sell a standard product, hence the word "GREENWASHING." That is why it's your job to research and make sure you are really getting, or not getting what is listed on the back of your favorite products.
How can I tell if my products are actually "SAFE?"
First of all, you have to learn what ingredients are safe, and which are considered toxic, harmful, etc. Like stated in my previous blog, unlike drugs, the FDA doesn't review cosmetic or personal care ingredients for safety before they hit the market.
Here are a few things to look for when choosing any and all beauty products:
1. "Dermatologist Tested" or "Hypoallergenic:"
According to FDA, manufacturers are NOT required to perform any tests or provide evidence that products were actually tested by a doctor. Because there is no regulation that defines what the term means, and there is no law that says that a product must pass the test. it just has to be tested...by a dermatologist.
A product might be made with essential oils instead of synthetically made fragrance oils (which can be allergy triggers), but also contain questionable chemicals. Fragrance-Free does not necessarily mean no fragrance. It might contain synthetic fragrances that are used to cover up the chemical smell of other ingredients, and all of those chemical smells can cause headaches in many people. Natural health and beauty products are either unscented, meaning they smell like their natural ingredients, not a cocktail of chemicals, or they are scented with natural essential oils, however everyone has different sensitivities, and essential oils can cause sensitivity reactions in some people, so always be cautious.
Watch for hyping what's NOT in the product. Make sure all of the ingredients listed actually meet that qualification.
This word can give the illusion that the product is "of nature," when in fact, it's not. Synthetic surfactants, preservatives, and fragrances aren't "natural." Some major brands claim their products are natural, yet they contain few or no organic ingredients. There are several mislabeled personal care products on the market, but that doesn't mean they are bad either. You just have to do your own research.
You should be in the habit of reading cosmetic labels just as you do food labels and learn which chemicals to avoid.
Some of the ways we are exposed to cosmetic ingredients are by breathing in sprays and powders, swallowing chemicals on our lips or hands or absorbing them through our skin. Cosmetics frequently contain enhancers that allow ingredients to penetrate deeper into the skin. Every day the average woman slathers, lathers, rubs, and sprays about a dozen different skin care products on her body, containing nearly 150 different ingredients, and the average man uses about six products daily, including nearly 100 unique ingredients. Since our skin acts more like a sponge than a barrier, we absorb nearly all of the chemicals we regularly expose ourselves to.
And here's the worst part, Federal law allows companies to leave some chemical ingredients off their product labels, including those considered to be trade secrets. So, even if we do read the labels, we really may NEVER know what is actually in these products.
Ultimately, it's up to you as a consumer to decide whether or not you want to put certain ingredients on your skin. I truly believe there is NOTHING that is actually 100% natural, chemical-free, toxin-free, etc., but I do believe we can be cautious when it comes to these potentially harmful ingredients, and limit what we subject our skin and bodies to.
There are no trade secrets here at Naturally Redefined Beauty Company. What you see is what you get. If there is anything you want to know, or any ingredient you have a question about, PLEASE ask us, and we will give you as much information as possible regarding such product.
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog, and we hope you learned a thing or two. This information is not intended to scare you, but to make you more informed about things you may never have thought about. We just believe knowledge is power, and the more you know, the better.
And always remember,
"Life is full of tough choices, but your beauty routine shouldn't be one of them."
DISCLAIMER: Natural products may not be safe for everyone. Our products contain oils and butters from natural nuts, seeds, and fruit. If you have allergies, are on certain medications, are trying to conceive, pregnant, or are nursing, we ask that you please read the label carefully and consult with a doctor BEFORE purchasing. We are not medical professionals and the advice and products from Naturally Redefined Beauty Company make no claim, and are NOT intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All products are for external use only.