Monday, August 22, 2011

How Can You Identify Natural Skin Care Products? Tips to Avoid False "Natural" Product Labeling

Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed and confused when shopping for natural skin care products?

I know I have! In fact, these days it seems there are more and more natural skin care products on store shelves with the word "natural" on the label.

What does this mean for us? It means that while our options have increased in number, so has the number of deceptive product labels. It also means that you may be purchasing chemical-filled beauty products without even knowing it!

It is important to remember that your skin absorbs at least a good part of whatever you put on it. So guess what - if you apply chemical substances to your skin, they are eventually going to make their way into your body.... And serious health problems can result. Chemicals in skin care products have been linked to everything from allergic reactions, to hair loss, and even to illnesses as serious as cancer!

And - get this - while most mainstream beauty products contain harmful chemicals that can damage our health, we might not know this right away. The beauty product industry is not regulated to the degree that the food industry is (although there are some changes occurring recently in this area), so you may be shocked to find out that your "natural" shampoo actually only contains 2 or 3% natural ingredients! (The rest is often - you guessed it - toxic chemicals that may harm your health.)

So what can you do to protect yourself from these deceptive labeling practices, and make sure you are getting only truly natural skin care products?

Here are 4 helpful tips for identifying and purchasing natural and organic skin care products:

1. Be sure all ingredients are clearly listed on the label before purchasing.

2. You should be able to identify or at least pronounce the majority of the ingredients. (If scientific names for plant extracts are listed, you should at least be able to identify the words "extract" or "oil" to determine that it is a natural ingredient.)

3. Don't fall for the word "natural" on the front of the bottle - always be sure to check the ingredient list!

4. Purchase from local manufacturers if possible; if not, purchase direct from the manufacturer to ensure the most freshness - all-natural beauty products don't contain chemical preservatives, so their shelf-life may be shorter than their conventional chemical-filled counterparts.