Navigating Through Organic and Natural Products — The Need-to-Knows
As the beauty industry slants towards natural, organic, sustainable and ethical products, consumers are increasingly alert and making well-informed decisions about the products they use. That said, it can be daunting and a challenge to differentiate 100% natural products from the widely unregulated brands that claim their products are natural and organic. Hence, we have rounded up some tips to help you navigate through purchasing natural and organic products:
1. Read the ingredients
In the long run, natural products are better for your skin, especially those suffering from sensitive skin as they are concocted without harmful and toxic chemicals.
Phthalates - Often found in fragrances, phthalates that are harmful can be detrimental to the body, with it being linked to allergic reactions and sperm damage to hormone disruption to name a few.
Sulphates - The foam that comes from most soaps are derived from sulphates. While significant research has proven that the amounts of sulphates in beauty products are safe, many develop skin sensitivity to them. Furthermore, some research suggests it can have a drying effect on the skin and hair.
Parabens - Parabens are essentially ingredients used as preservatives, to prevent bacteria growth in products. Something you might not have known is that it causes estrogen disruption and has been linked to breast cancer.
Formaldehyde - This is a colourless, poisonous gas used in more than just beauty products to prevent microbiological growth and spoilage. It causes skin irritations and it has been attributed to causing cancer.
2. Lookout for logos
How do you differentiate an organic or all natural product? It would boast a certified stamp on its packaging such as certified organic, certified natural, cruelty-free and similar logos to inform you of their ingredients.
3. Artificial fragrance is a no-no
While the federal law mandates that a company isn’t required to disclose their product’s fragrance makeup, it is a fact that the average fragrance product tested contains 14 secret chemicals not itemised on the label. A product’s artificial fragrance mixture usually comprises phthalates which can range from safe to harmful. It’s impossible for consumers to decipher what’s safe without the full disclosure so it’s better to err on the side of caution and choose fragrance-free or all-natural fragrances.
4. Don’t support animal-tested products
It’s wonderful that many brands and companies are jumping on the bandwagon of crafting their products without testing on animals. In fact, countries such as India have banned beauty products or cosmetics ingredients which have animal-testing from entering its market. Whether you’re an animal lover or not, it’s neither ethical nor empathetic to see furry friends like guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters and mice die every year around the world from product testing. You’d be horrified to learn that approximately 100,000 to 200,000 animals are used for cosmetic testing every year. Thanks to vigorous campaigns by PETA and its affiliate organisations, beauty companies have respected the activists’ demands and are progressively neglecting the animal testing process.
5. Expensive products doesn’t mean high quality
We’ve been tricked into thinking that expensive beauty is high quality but this isn’t necessarily true. These pricey products claim to comprise fancy ingredients like diamond or gold-infusion to allure customers and make them distinct. According to Dr Wong-Su Ni, President of the Dermatological Society of Singapore, using less-expensive products, followed by good lifestyle habits like applying sunscreen and not smoking can achieve your desired skin effect. She also added that the quality of the products is more significant than the price. In addition, there is no research that backs luxury products being more effective than normal products.
6. Look past the pretty packaging
Brands and companies house their products in attractive packaging as marketing purposes especially since buyers tend to be visually attracted to them. Before buying, first be sure of the ingredients contained within the products and if its aesthetics is pretty, it’s an added bonus.