I know over the last few days I’ve been throwing the word “safer” around quite a bit, but what does that even mean?
When it comes to cosmetics, we often equate the term “natural” with safe, but those terms do not necessarily mean the same thing. The two most important things to define here are SOURCE and SAFETY, two things I never gave any thought to until the past few years.
- SOURCE – where an ingredient is from (e.g. is it natural, plant-derived, or synthetic?)
- SAFETY – an ingredient’s potential to impact health
Beautycounter categorizes SOURCE of each ingredient in three ways:
- Natural: produced by nature, without human intervention (for example – essential oils)
- Plant-derived: came from a plant, but has had some kind of chemical manufacturing process (for example – raw coconut oil processed into a coconut-based surfactant, which creates lather in the product)
- Synthetic: made in a laboratory, and often comes from fatty acids, alcohols, and ingredients derived from oil or gas (for example – panthenol, a form of vitamin B, used safely in cosmetics is often synthetic alcohol)
The source of the ingredient does not determine its safety because not all natural ingredients are safe, and not all synthetic ingredients are unsafe!
SAFETY simply asks “does the ingredient in question have the potential to harm a person’s health, and if so, in what way and at what levels?” As we know, this is more than just measuring acute reactions (such as if an ingredient irritates skin or eyes); it’s about LONG TERM HEALTH.
Something incredibly important to keep in mind is that the terms “safe” and “natural” and “pure” are not regulated by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), and there is no agreed-upon definition of either term in the cosmetics industry. Companies often use ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ verbiage on their labels, but those descriptions are nothing more than really great marketing tools.
For example, a product could contain a pure heavy metal (which is natural and of the Earth) but is by no means SAFE for you to use on your body. Label reading of ingredients and/or utilizing EWG.org/skindeep is always a much better picture of the safety of items versus what the products advertise or proclaim on the front of their packaging.
If a company is not focused on ensuring you of their products’ safety through sourcing, you can be assured they have not taken that quality control measure themselves.
As always, this is not meant to create fear or make you think your products are trying to kill you. Just file it away and utilize the tools we have access to in order to determine what is truly in fact SAFER.
When we know better, we do better. We choose safer.
Need help making product selections, choosing skincare for you or your family or picking a color that will work with your skin tone? I’m here to help you choose safer, even if that means non-Beautycounter products. I want to educate you about clean products.
Simply email me for 1:1 help anytime.
#SaferSkincare #CleanerCosmetics #BetterBeauty
#NoSecretsAdded #ThisMatters #Transparency