In the last decade, people have become increasingly aware of the harmful chemicals present in our everyday items. And with much of the population embracing an environmentally and health conscious lifestyle, there’s been an evolution in consumer products - the beauty industry being no exception.
From small startups to big name brands, companies are dedicating entire lines to all-natural products. Sephora recently launched their collection dedicated to clean skincare products, Tata Harper continues to prove serious skincare can be achieved without a drop of artificial chemicals, and many other organic beauty brands are working hard to deliver natural beauty products that consumers are asking for.
While this chain of supply and demand might seem like it would drive down prices in the market, eco-friendly and plant-based beauty products still often come with a higher price tag. So, how do you decide if you should spend your hard earned cash on that organic tea tree oil toner, versus it’s cheaper drugstore counterpart? After all, everybody loves a good bargain. But in the realm of beauty - they often come at cost. Here’s why natural beauty cosmetics and organic products are totally worth the extra money.
Organic and clean beauty brands carefully craft their products to contain high concentrations of superior quality ingredients. They eliminate harmful chemicals and by products, and are also made without cheap fillers. While common fillers like petroleum and mineral oil are not necessarily harmful, they’re inactive ingredients that offer no real benefit aside from helping to fill up the bottle or tube of whatever product they’re used in.
When you see an inexpensive drugstore product claiming to feature natural ingredients for skin or haircare, it’s important to keep in mind that only a trace of the ingredient is actually required in order for the brand to market it. Just like with food, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of reading what’s listed on the back of beauty products. Ingredients are always listed in descending order, starting with the largest amount in the product. So while a cheaper product might boast “made with coconut oil” on the front of the bottle, flip it over and you’re likely to find that key ingredient listed all the way toward the end. With natural and organic beauty brands, on the other hand, you can count on finding these beneficial, results-producing ingredients at the top of the list. By using formulas with a high-concentration of beneficial ingredients, natural beauty products offer way more bang for your buck.
As discussed above, natural and organic beauty products contain a higher concentration of active ingredients. This often means that less product is needed at a time, and fewer applications are required per day or week. In other words - you get a product that will last longer, while also giving you better results! Notice a lot of natural and high-end products come with droppers, that’s because a little goes a long way when you’re working with a high quality product. It might feel like you’re dishing out extra money at the time; but, in the long run, it’s actually a better investment both economically and in terms of achieving the results you’re after.
In order to maintain inexpensive prices, non-organic cosmetic and beauty brands typically mass-produce their products using ingredients cheaply manufactured overseas. This process severely diminishes the quality of the overall end product. Shortcut techniques, like machine harvesting, strip ingredients of their benefits. Poor regulations have negative environmental and social repercussions. And while a long shelf life might seem like a good thing, it’s usually a sure tell sign that the product contains empty fillers and harsh chemical preservatives.
With organic and natural brands, you can rest assured that such practices are not part of the making. Organic farms don’t use growth hormones, so you’re left with superior quality ingredients. And since raw materials without chemical preservatives have a quicker expiration date, clean products tend to be produced in smaller batches - meaning more attention is given on precision and quality.
There’s a common misconception that natural products are ‘untested’. In fact, quite the opposite is true. It’s a long, intense, and expensive process for a product to get certified as organic. Even after an organic beauty brand makes it through the application, there are numerous inspections throughout the year that also cost a hefty fee. While this does add another dollar or two to the price tag, consumers can be sure that what they’re paying for is actually what they get.
Regulations on non-organic beauty products are slim to none. Only a super easy approval process is required in order for a product to be approved for commercial use. In an Elle article featuring skincare expert Sunday Riley, she reminds us that, "’Dermatologist tested' doesn't equal 'dermatologist endorsed.'" As consumers, it’s important to stay educated on the products we’re using on our bodies, so that we don’t fall for misleading marketing gimmicks.
The beauty industry doesn’t exactly have the hottest track record when it comes to being eco-friendly. However, natural cosmetics and hair products are changing the game. From growing and harvesting raw materials, to packaging and disposal, natural and organic beauty brands are taking measures to ensure the entire lifecycle of their products are environmentally and socially friendly.
With brands like LUSH helping to pave the way with their no-packaging concept, and others continuing to drive cruelty-free and ethical initiatives when it comes to sourcing materials, consumers are now able to take action on the impact their beauty products have on our world.
Even if you can’t swap out your entire beauty product collection - replacing just some of your products can make a huge difference for both your body and the environment. Plus, there are a TON of DIY concoctions that are actually super inexpensive. Just like with cooking, pure and fresh ingredients are bound to produce a better tasting dish than something prepared with artificial flavors and processed foods. The same goes for beauty products!
By: Stephanie Hernandez
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