These days there is a real fear that natural beauty products and what they claim will happen are too good to be true. Ingredients may not be sourced properly or be natural at all — “All natural” says the bottle, but the ingredients list reads differently. Manufacturers may not follow ethical standards — Is the manufacturer conducting animal testing?
Is that virgin hair really virginal? From makeup and skin care to hair products, you’ll learn tactics for various examples of natural beauty products to navigate the market and make sure you’re getting the premium quality you deserve:
“These days there is a real fear that
natural beauty products and
what they claim will happen are
too good to be true.”
1. When “Natural” Makeup Isn’t So Natural After All
“Natural” is an unregulated term used to market makeup and other beauty products, and while the product will have some natural ingredients, it’s still allowed to contain up to 30 percent of synthetic ingredients. Go through the list, and you’ll see such lab-born ingredients as red #11 and ethyl acetate. Latin names are often used to identify truly natural ingredients, using the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI) Latin names. For example, saponified coconut oil is Latinized as sodium cocoate.
Some labels clearly list “coconut oil” while others don’t. These ingredients sound like Pig Latin, but with practice, you’ll be able to understand INCI terminology on cosmetic labels. It’s like how Latin is used to label plants, but INCI identification is optional on cosmetic ingredient lists. INCI terminology is used worldwide. So, once you catch on, you’ll be able to identify real coconut oil while globetrotting.
2.When the Manufacturer’s Ethics Aren’t All There
You don’t want to put products on your skin that have been tested on fluffy bunnies and their animal friends. Never forget Bambi’s mom. What about brands that claim to be eco-conscious but whose product sourcing practices pollute the environment? Researching every company is overwhelming, but depending on your values and skin sensitivity, it’s necessary.
How do you find out if a manufacturer’s ethics are questionable? It’s important to know what your spectrum of acceptable and unacceptable beauty product rules are, and these may shift depending on other factors, such as the location of the manufacturer and your budget. Be vigilant in your reading of various sources and reading the fine print of labels and brand websites, along with these additional tips:
- Shop locally at small businesses: Standards are easier to manage locally, and you can check the fine print while learning more in person.
- Check your inventory: Take a peek in your closet, cabinets or pantry. Take a moment to look at the brands you most commonly use and then check the headlines of news sources you trust for reports of unfair labor practices, animal testing or donations that redirected back to the company CEO.
- Divest: Does your investment portfolio reflect a brand your ethics go against? Are you buying the same brand that wavers on its mission statement to give back? Hold yourself and the companies accountable, by redirecting your dollars to brands that reflect your ethics.
People don’t have time to read every news article. When it comes to checking ethical practices at the door, there are apps for that: The free app Good On You ranks over a 1,000 fashion brands by votes of great, good, it’s a start, good enough and to avoid. You can personalize your ethical preferences and search locally through the app to see if nearby stores carry particular brands. Scan barcodes with the Bunny Free app and other cruelty-free search apps to check their vegan status or get brand contact information to ask more questions, for example.
3.Are Those Hair Extensions Really Virgin?
Virgin hair is important to women when it comes to extensions because virgin hair is the only kind that will ever truly move and flow the same way as one’s hair. Synthetic hair extensions don’t have the same feel.
The term “virgin hair” was coined in the 1920s to describe natural hair, evolving to represent young hair without split ends, free of gray. Today, this term represents hair that has intact cuticles and hasn’t been processed or treated chemically. The best way to ensure your hair extensions are virgin is to check for a 100 percent unprocessed cuticle per strand. Typically, virgin hair is sourced from countries such as Burma, India or Malaysia, where high standards ensure hair is virginal, because it’s faked within the industry.
“With the right knowledge in your
quality check arsenal, you’ll be ready
to spot the differences between the
fakers and the real deal.”
When you shop for natural beauty products, you want to get the best quality while supporting brands that do what they say they’re going to do — like sealing your pores without hurting seals.
With the right knowledge in your quality check arsenal, you’ll be ready to spot the differences between the fakers and the real deal, because you, the flowers and the fluffy bunnies deserve the best.
About the Author
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!
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