When it comes to skincare the term ‘natural’ is thrown every which way, so much so that it seems to have lost any meaning. In fact, there’s actually no legal definition for the word as it relates to personal care. Even so, the trend for consumers looking for natural skincare is ever increasing, but what does it really mean and say about the integrity of a product?
Just like eating habits, the level of ‘clean’ you require in your skincare depends on your perceptions and desires. Are you vegan? Gluten-free? Only eat organic? Then you probably want to look for products labeled with those certifications. I’m personally not concerned about gluten and while I love to have as many plant-derived ingredients in my skincare as possible, I also want it to be effective and safe. Consider an ingredient category such as peptides, which are often engineered in a lab to give them more bang for their buck and improve stability. Maybe not so natural, but I definitely believe in the power of their benefits and want them on my skin.
Having been in the beauty industry longer than I care to say, I’ve come across the gamut of companies that boast the natural claim—from thoughtful, well-crafted products to blowing-smoke-up- your-you-know-where marketing. So how do you cut through the hype? One way to encourage your natural confidence is to look for organic products with either the US-NOP (National Organic Program) or Ecocert label. There are also a couple of NGOs, the Natural Products Association and NaTrue, that offer a certification label for natural claims. Though please keep in mind that there are many fantastic indie and small lines out there that may not yet be in a place where they can afford these costly certifications.
So how do you know if your skincare products meet your natural requirements? Start conversations with the companies who make them. Ask about their ingredient supply chains and why they include certain things in their formulas. Do your homework when it comes to ingredients, it’s your right as an informed consumer to know what you’re putting on your skin!