The demand for natural products is now on the rise. This has caused some major brand names to replace ingredients in their products with natural ones. Others have had to discontinue product lines that customers are shunning due to its use of harmful chemical ingredients. While others have faced lawsuits from customers, claiming to have dire medical conditions, as a result of toxic chemicals in the products.
If you’ve been buying the same personal care items for years, you might want to read the labels next time. Here’s a short rundown of why going for natural products is better for you and the planet.
What is a “natural” product?
A simple search online of the phrase “natural product” will primarily tell you something similar to the following:
Natural product (n.) – A chemical substance produced by a living organism — a term used commonly in reference to chemical substances found in nature that have distinctive pharmacological effects. Such a substance is considered a natural product even if it can be prepared by total synthesis.– [GCIDE]
Natural product (Noun) – Any compound produced naturally by a living organism; especially those compounds that are useful commercially.– [Wiktionary]
Other terms used to label natural products include: organic, chemical-free and eco-friendly. “Organic” usually refers to fruits and vegetables grown without the use of chemical fertilizers.
Organic product – An organic product is made from materials produced by organic agriculture. There are different types of organic products. However organic product is more known for food items like organic grocery, organic vegetables, organic certified foods, etc….– [Wikipedia]
Organic products should have at least 95% or more of organic ingredients from plant sources.
Ingredients in organic products are processed to preserve most of their benefits. For example, cold-pressed oils are more potent in effect than those that use other processes for extracting essential oils. However, this also means that they have shorter shelf life than products with preservatives added to them.
Natural products use organic ingredients too, but the extraction process may dilute or alter their effects. For example, the addition of chemical preservatives will make the product last longer. This might also dilute the potency of the ingredients.
Note that a product can be natural and organic, but not all natural products are organic. Also, not all products labeled natural or organic are actually 100% natural or organic. It is always best to read the labels on the products you are buying.
Why Go for Natural Products?
Switching your personal beauty stash to natural products may seem daunting at first but doing so will return many benefits.
Less Chemicals, Less Irritation
Commercial products usually have chemicals, artificial colors, preservatives and fillers which can cause breakouts or even strong, allergic reactions. This is because your body rejects these chemicals.
With natural products, there are less of these chemicals in the product. The product is able to work better with your own body chemistry, giving you better results. When was the last time you took a home remedy instead of over the counter medicine? You felt better but didn’t get drowsy so you didn’t need to call in sick.
Smell Better, Feel Better
We may not notice it, but good smells do make us feel better. But not all good smelling commercial product is good for your health. Some of them actually come with harmful chemicals which can cause eye irritation and even migraines.
Artificial fragrances cover up the smells of other chemicals used in many health and beauty products. Natural products usually smell like their natural ingredients. For example, putting on a moisturizer infused with lavender essential oil also feels like an aromatherapy session.
Gentle but Lasting Effects
If you have been using natural personal care products long enough; you will notice that usually never claim to work overnight. However, the improvements become more noticeable as time goes by.
A simple experiment is to replace a good-smelling commercial product with a natural product that smells the same. The natural product might not smell as strongly as the commercial one; but you will be experiencing less breakouts than before. Also, you might have less headaches as you keep on using it.
Safe for Kids, Good for the Planet
Natural products are generally safe for kids too. So if your kid is curious about an item in your beauty stash, they won’t get irritated. If they have allergies, then pick an item that doesn’t contain that ingredient.
Whatever you put on your skin, you also pass on to the planet. Whenever you take a shower with chemically-laden products, these chemicals end up in our oceans. The plastic containers that we throw away after using these products contribute to the environment’s pollution as well.
Invest in the Health of the Planet
The good news is, that more and more companies are switching to biodegradable, recyclable, eco-friendly packaging. This may make the item more expensive than before; but in the long run, the benefits are long-lasting and far-reaching. Think of it as paying extra now for a better product that also helps us reduce pollution on our planet.
Are you ready to go for natural products next time?