Face-Off: Natural vs. Conventional Beauty Products

April 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

photo by emily weiss

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to mess with a good thing. Having obsessively tried many beauty and skincare products over time and settled into a skincare routine I (Lauren) am rather attached to, I’d hate to think about changing that regime and the awesome, effective products I love. But two articles I read last week–from Vogue and The New York Times–made me think. Is that youthful complexion, super hydrated skin, or perfectly rosy flush worth exposure to potentially toxic ingredients?

Here’s the thing: The jury seems to still be out on the exact harmful effects of certain synthetic ingredients, found in many beauty products, that may get absorbed by our skin. And like Vogue’s fashion writer, it might take pregnancy before I’m inclined to temporarily shelf all my favorite products. But I do think it’s kind of disconcerting that while scouring food nutrition labels has become second nature for most of us, we might be forgetting to examine those cosmetic labels. Because when you do…gosh there truly are a lot of ingredients that make my head spin! Yours too?

I love seeing more companies than ever trying to make beauty products with fewer chemicals and more natural ingredients. That’s definitely an important reason why brands like Fresh, which uses natural ingredients like sugar, soy, rice and clay, and Caudalie, whose skincare is infused with vine and grape extracts, are two of my favorites. But I certainly can’t claim that I’m paying close enough attention that I’m avoiding all bad-for-you chemicals like parabens or phenoxyethanol that may be lurking in products sold by big beauty brands.

I think we’re only going to see more natural beauty products on the market, which is a great trend as we become more aware as consumers of not just what’s going in our bodies, but also what we’re putting on our outsides.

I’d love, love to discuss because I know many of you probably have strong opinions on this topic! What’s your threshold–do you use only ultra-holistic, all-natural beauty products like those sold at Whole Foods? Maybe you even make your own food-based products at home? Perhaps like me, you pay some attention to ingredients? Or do you think we’ve all just become overly neurotic and don’t overthink your beauty purchases? I’d love to hear your stance!

Image by Emily Weiss for Into the Gloss

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