IS NATURAL the same AS SAFE? – best.of.mind.body


I may be the only one who has the preconceived notion that anything that is “natural” is safer.  I realized that I am biased against anything non-natural. I assumed that if it’s natural, then it’s better. Apparently that’s not the truth.

I thought, you can’t go wrong by choosing “natural,” can you? It just seems safer to choose natural over synthetic or artificial.

I no longer  tolerate making uninformed choices: because I think, or someone told me, or I read something, etc. I pull my sleeves up and start researching.

Have you noticed how many shelves at your local drugstore are taken up these days by cosmetics, vitamins and herbal supplements? Studies show that more than half of Americans take some sort of supplement, including products with unusual names like gingko biloba and valerian.

You wouldn’t be the first person to wonder what these herbal products are, and if they are safe or effective. You may also wonder who you can ask about them.

Herbal or “natural” products are extracts of plants or food (the leaves, stems, bark, or flower) that claim to have medicinal value and be beneficial for human health. However, it is important to remember that “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “safe.” Because herbal supplements and vitamins are not regulated by the Food & Drug Administration, there is no guarantee about their safety or effectiveness.

Not only is the Food & Drug Administration not looking in to this herbal supplements and vitamins, they are also not looking into cosmetics. This means cosmetics company’s can do what they want.

Mainstream cosmetics companies are talking more about the “natural” ingredients they are using in their products. And often, companies and consumers equate “natural” with “safe.” This has a lot of Clients wondering, Can products be safe if they contain synthetic ingredients?

The short answer is yes. Synthetic ingredients can be safe, and natural ingredients can be toxic. Of course, there is a lot of overlap between safe and natural, and the vast majority of Beautycounter’s ingredients are natural or plant-derived. But the source of an ingredient (where it comes from) is not inherent to its safety (if the ingredient can impact someone’s health).

Beautycounter uses many ingredients that are certified organic, natural, or naturally derived, and we use some of the safer synthetic ingredients too. It is important to know that “organic” and “natural” do not have legal definitions in the cosmetic industry; companies can say that a product is organic when in fact there are no certified organic ingredients in it, or there are only a couple. A lot of products in the beauty aisle also make claims about health: “hypoallergenic,” “natural,” or “doctor-approved” may come to mind. Unfortunately, a lot of these terms are meaningless.

Beautycounter uses organic ingredients when they can. Organic ingredients are marked with an asterisk in the ingredient listing of any given product.

This is just one reason why I choose beautycounter for my makeup and personal care products. When I see they are made of natural ingredient, I know that in this case natural is safe.

I encourage anyone who would like natural and safe makeup and personal care products to check out beautycounter . If you want to know more about the products You already use, see if they are safe and how they compare to other products, check our EWG.

The Environmental Working Group’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action.

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Cassandra Rose

I’ve definitely noticed that there are a lot of beauty products that claim to be organic and natural…only to have a HUGE list of ingredients that are hard to pronounce and understand. I’m always careful when I see the natural label and do research before buying anything to be safe.


    Are there natural products that you recommend? I am always interested in hearing what others use.

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