In a kickoff segment, we introduced three types of eco-friendly beauty products: organic, vegan, and natural.
In this article, we go into more detail about natural cosmetics and suggest natural brands and products for the curious or full-on green lifestyle.
Photo by Daniel M. Viero, courtesy of Flickr.com
Here’s the skinny on “natural”: Natural beauty products contain elements and byproducts of elements that occur naturally on our planet or are otherwise “found in nature.” Products that contain artificial, manmade additives are therefore not natural, because such ingredients do not exist without mankind’s synthesizing of chemicals. Such inorganic, unnatural ingredients include preservatives like parabens and methylparabens, foaming agents like sodium lauryl sulfates, antibacterial additives like triclosan, and plant life that is tagged as a genetically modified organism (GMO).
Natural products contain elements that occur naturally in animals (e.g., beeswax, rabbit fur) and plants (e.g., rose essence, argan oil). As such, natural products may or may not be organic or vegan, depending on their ingredients and sources. These include hair tools made from boar bristles, such as Acca Kappa’s Styling Control Plus Brush, which features 100% pure boar bristles, an upper handle made from kotibe wood, and a lower handle made from soft foam rubber for easy gripping and comfort.
Other ingredients found in natural beauty products are those elements made from non-living or “inorganic” entities, but which still exist in nature. In cosmetic and beauty products, the main source of inorganic and natural ingredients is minerals—especially titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which have anti-inflammatory and sunscreen-like properties.
Mineral makeups attract lovers and haters, but those that are 100% natural feature enticing and incredibly vibrant palettes to choose from, including Naked Cosmetics’ Color Collections and Mineral Pigments made from 100% oxidized mica. Each collection contains 6 colors that are individually lidded. Made of pure inorganic minerals, Naked Cosmetics therefore contain no talc or talcum powder (an asbestos-like mineral which is also a known carcinogen), oils, waxes, or other fillers. This means you can mix them into any of your other bases and creams to use as coloring in eye shadows, eyeliners, lipsticks, nail polishes, blushes, bronzers, and even temporary hair highlights.
A favorite hair, face, and body product we love is Italy-based Davines’ Authentic Replenishing Butter, made with 98% natural ingredients and organic carthame oil. It is one of the first professional-grade, total-use hair care products, which means it works great for face, hair, and body. Not only do we love the design and brand’s aesthetics, we also fall hard for its high percentage of natural and organic ingredients.
The Authentic Replenishing Butter regenerates and nourishes the skin and hair follicles with organic safflower oil, and works great as a pre-shampoo treatment for dry hair and a deeply nourishing cream for face and body. Like other natural cosmetics on the market, Davines’ Authentic line of products are free of (or have very low levels) of manmade, inorganic ingredients, such as sulphates, parabens, artificial dyes, silicon, and ethoxylates.
Photos courtesy of http://www.beautyscene.nl/
Remember that there are no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations governing “natural” cosmetics, so always read ingredient lists and labels. A good rule of thumb is to look for high concentrations of ingredients with words you can pronounce. Fruit extracts, minerals, essential oils, and vitamins all occur naturally, and are easy words to remember. A 100% natural product may have a very short shelf life, however, as it will be free of manmade preservatives. This may result in a higher price at the checkout line, because of a store’s higher costs to stock and replenish such products. Also, if it’s safe to eat, then it’s safe to put on your skin. Have fun, and enjoy recreating and posting lots of natural looks found here and else where in GreenOptions.com community forums.