Is Natural Always the Best? No
Is natural ALWAYS the best?
We live in the era of natural shampoos, organic nail polishes and conditioners (no such thing, more about it in other posts) and "all-natural" beauty.
Today I won't be digging into why there is no such thing as "100%" natural for the absolute majority of beauty products out there, but rather discuss whether natural beauty components are always the best for ourselves and the environment.
My opinion is - NO. Natural is not always the best. Let me explain on three very popular cosmetic ingredients:
These are some of the most widely used cosmetic ingredients worldwide. Lactic acid is traditionally produced from milk and is present in our Mint, Lemongrass and Cinnamon shampoos. Pro-Vitamin B5 is in all of our shampoos and conditioners and does amazing things to hair and skin (also part of many anti-burn creams) and is traditionally derived from honey. Mica is a mineral that is used in mineral make up aka pigments used in eye shadow, lipsticks, etc.
To make these ingredients naturally, tonnes and tonnes of milk are used, hundreds of millions of bees are farmed (lots of times fed sugar to produce honey fast) and kids are employed to dig for mica in India (where most mica comes from).
At the same time, all three of those ingredients can by synthesized. This way the products containing them can be used by vegans, are kinder to animals and people, but also are much more environmentally friendly.
Heard of Amazon burning to clear pastures for cows? What if industry demanded less milk along with meat?
The point I'm trying to make here: don't be hung up on "Straight outta nature" marketing. Most of the time it is just that - Marketing.
Science is a beautiful thing and needs to be used to our advantage. For me, here are the criteria for cosmetic ingredients:
- Is it an effective and high quality, well performing ingredient?
- Is it safe to use and been proven so?
- Is it clean (biodegradable, water/soil-safe)?
- Is it as close to nature as we can get?
- Is it ethical and kind? Can we source this "closer to home"?
What are your thoughts?