Natural Products

The overwhelming desire to tear apart companies, who claim “natural”, “organic”, “free of…” (fill in the blanks) is high today, so instead I will write about ingredients/chemicals, without targeting specific companies or people. It’s only fair, because in the end, everyone is just trying to make a living, even if they use fear-mongering tactics to gear you, the consumer, towards their products.

I am always astounded, by marketing strategies some companies use to lure consumers to spend, that this excerpt from the world renowned scientist Doug Schoon, comes to mind:

“I don’t know of any artificial nail coating products that can justifiably claim to be “organic”… which incorrectly insinuates that the ingredients were grown by organic farming methods. Do you think some manufacturers just don’t realize they are being deceptive? Or, do you think they are trying to deceive you?” This quote can be applied to any product available for consumer purchase.

Aside from Doug’s brilliant mind, he is an internationally recognized scientist, an author and educator, with over 30 years of experience in the cosmetic and beauty industry. Any serious technician, skin expert, aesthetician and the like could benefit greatly from learning from him, either through his numerous educational textbooks or his face-to-face with Doug Schoon series. These are the kind of “tricks” that are widespread in the beauty industry. I’m saying, no one is safe from the attacks in order to steer you in any direction.

My focus with this article, are all too common terms we hear, such as “natural” and “organic” as if somehow chemicals are bad for you? To put this in simple form, everything we can touch is matter, a physical substance that (distinct from mind and spirit) occupies space and possesses mass. This includes you! You are made up of about 99% oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus. We are a beautiful balance of chemicals, yeah, broken down to the bare atoms. Ultimately, everything you can touch is made up of interacting subatomic particles. Without going around the circles too much, that glass of water (H2O) is a CHEMICAL, yet we can’t live without it, even better, air we breathe, oxygen (O) is even a more essential chemical for our survival.

That out of the way, let’s quickly, establish a major drawback with naturals and organics. They have a self-regulating body (association).

Organic ingredients are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms or ionizing radiation. Organics are great if we are ingesting the products.

Currently, the FDA does not regulate the terms “organic” and “natural”, so whatever claim your “moisturizer jar” makes, you have to trust its accuracy, you have to trust the manufacturer. Without getting any deeper, all of the OTC (over-the-counter) products must be made safely. Meaning, they are designed to be rubbed, sprinkled, poured, or applied to the skin for the purpose of beautifying without the effect on the deeper skin structures. Next time, you grab a jar of moisturizer randomly, please remember, it will sit on the surface layer of your skin, and give the appearance of plumper or radiant skin, temporarily, much like your make-up. (This includes natural, organic, and OTC) Let’s not forget all those once upon a time, “professional” brands that sold out to high street retailers!

Companies and manufacturers rely on frightening the consumer with statements, such as: “If you can’t pronounce the ingredient…” In my humble opinion, if they spent half as much effort on their research and development, they might come up with a decent product, rather than scare you away from the competitor. This world would be a much better place, at least for those that have to deal with correcting the misinformation they spread.

Let’s take a random example of Raphanus sativus, a scientific term that describes a species of a common radish. Radishes have great many benefits for our health when ingested in their raw, whole form. Jam-packed with antioxidants that help our bodies fight free radical damage. Extracted components of a radish, (concentrated) can have major impact on the skin, not always pleasant.

I have had the opportunity to use a hydrating moisturizer (Natural Product, self-proclaimed) on many clients, and see first-hand the reactions it causes. 7 out of 10 clients had an allergic reaction to radish root in the product. It stimulates the skin, and the immune system kicks in producing hives, redness, swelling, heat and itch. These are a cause for concern and require plenty of water dilution to ease the discomfort. Natural ingredients are more likely to cause allergic reactions.

This was my experience with a natural product aimed at “erasing” my wrinkles. My face burned for two days afterwards.

In the end, please do your due diligence, make informed choices.  Yes, synthetic products can have negative effects as well, but due to strict control and regulations makes that less likely. Let’s face it, cow manure is organic too!