With more and more women becoming conscious about the ingredients used in cosmetics, the demand for natural cosmetics is on the rise. There are more natural beauty products on the market than ever before. But are all natural and organic products the same, and are you getting what you expect when you buy a product labelled ‘natural’? We look at the truth behind natural cosmetics and which natural cosmetics brands we use everyday.
1. Natural cosmetics come in different categories
Yes, even when brands scream ‘natural’, the cosmetics may be widely divided as those containing some ingredients collected from nature; the all-natural products having every single ingredient sourced from nature; cosmetics made with organic ingredients (where ‘organic’ represents a standard of products); and cosmetics made with 100% organic ingredients. While we tend to believe that natural cosmetics will not have any chemical components, that’s definitely not always true.
2. Cosmetics and labels
There are no hard and fast rules so far as labelling cosmetics are concerned. So even if that lipstick contains a hint of strawberry flavour, it may be labelled as ‘natural’. Different agencies around the world certify cosmetics as ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ based on different sets of criteria. So whether the organic cosmetic you bought contains 100% organic components can only be decided from an analysis of the ingredients.
3. Check to see what you’re actually getting with natural cosmetics
Concerned about parabens and SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate)? Plenty of ‘natural’ beauty brands and products still contain parabens and SLS so don’t assume a product with the words ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ on the label is free of all those questionable ingredients. Also, check to see if your natural cosmetics contain fragrance – while you may love the smell of that lip gloss, fragrance in makeup is mostly always synthetic, even if it’s labelled as aromatherapy.
4. Natural cosmetic certifications
How do we know that cosmetics we buy are natural and chemical-free? A good way to know is to check for accreditation with noted certification agencies. In Australia, Australian Certified Organic is an agency that checks cosmetics and their ingredients with its world-leading certification scheme Cosmetics Organic and natural Standard, COSMOS. Check with Australian Certified Organic to see if your natural cosmetics brand is everything they say they are.
5. Truth about mineral makeup
If you thought your expensive and branded mineral makeup is pure and natural, then you may be in for a surprise. While mineral beauty products include ingredients such as natural minerals, remember that minerals have been part of the cosmetics industry long before the ‘mineral makeup’ concept swept the market. Also most cosmetics include chemicals to increase their shelf life, and mineral makeup products are no exception. Mineral makeup products can also contain synthetic minerals which may cause irritation and allergic reactions. So before you reach for the latest mineral foundation or bronzer, do your research first.