I was going to label this post “Natural Beauty Products: Hype, Hoax, Healthy, or Headache?” but I decided that was a little too wordy. : )
Whether or not to use natural/organic beauty products is something I struggle with. It just seems like one area that it is difficult to adapt to while still getting the desired results.
On one hand, there are organizations such as the EWG, who through projects such as their Cosmetics Database hope to educate consumers of the harmful ingredients lurking in their beauty products. On the opposite end of the spectrum are all of the companies that most Americans regularly use—big name or drugstore brands that are readily available and rarely questioned by consumers.
I used to use these brands, and trying new beauty products was something I enjoyed. Who doesn’t want silky hair, smooth skin, and everything else those advertisements promise that their brand will give you?
But as I became more educated on the dangerous ingredients in many of these products, as well as more aware of what I put into and on my body, I started to seek out more natural and organic beauty methods.
I’ve already mentioned the fact that I have quite a mane, and unless I pull an Elisha Cuthbert, Ginnifer Goodwin, or Carey Mulligan anytime soon, I’m
stuck with responsible for making my head of hair manageable and presentable. The thing is, it is quite a challenge to tame those tresses (and clean the rest of me!) using natural products. But I like a good challenge!
So far I have tried various brands of “natural” shampoo, conditioners, lotions, and cleansers, but I have yet to find one that is:
- available near me
- delivers the desired results
- has a good rating on the Cosmetics Database
I have also tried other do-at-home treatments such as sugar scrubs, coconut oil as a moisturizer and conditioner, castile soap, avocado facials, olive oil, rubbing limes on my face…I’ve done just about everything but the no ‘poo method (where you just wash your hair with vinegar and baking soda!) and most of these haven’t turned out so well. I still use the sugar scrub occasionally but after getting some in my eye I was rather disenchanted with the process; the coconut oil works well for shaving but it clogs the drain and when I try it on my hair it makes my head look like a grease bomb; I still use castile soap to wash my hair but it while it does seem to clean, it seems to leave my hair horribly tangled.
A couple months ago I even went so far as to make a detailed chart comparing the products I previously used and those that I was using at the time. I can get pretty hardcore about this beauty product overhaul business! I did it more for fun than anything (yes, for fun. Don’t laugh) but while it may have been just a big waste of time, it does highlight how difficult it is to find the “perfect” cosmetic. In fact, after making the above chart, I ended up returning some of the products I had purchased because some of these so-called natural products procured EWG ratings that were not all that different from their conventional counterparts (yet cost a lot more)! There is actually somewhat of debate within the natural cosmetics circle as to what qualifies as truly natural, certified organic, etc. As well as some companies that claim to be organic but still use harmful ingredients.
I think it is important—as always—to retain a balanced approach to this information. We shouldn’t get paranoid or obsessive about it, nor should we just shrug it off. As long as we do the best that we can and make an effort to not remain ignorant with the evidence available to us, sometimes I think that there is only so much that we can do. After all, there are far more important things in life than skincare or shampoo. Still, it is an interesting topic!
Do you use natural cosmetics? What do you think about the state of our beauty products? What tried and true methods are part of your routine? Any tips or brands to recommend?
- Check out this handy guide to shopping for safe cosmetics
- Learn some tips for DIY facials based on your skin type
- This website has some more info on the truth about beauty
- Avoid these 15 Toxic Ingredients in Personal Care Products
“‘Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:7). ___________________________________________________________