We as consumers are continually questioning the safety of products we use. Every day there are countless number of studies that show some additives are bad for our health. When we hear the messages like: "man-made is bad and natural is good", we may feel that we have the answer. But 'Is Natural Always Safe?'
Firstly, let's define “natural”. The definition of natural is, "Existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind." But what about things that are derived from nature like coconut oil? The oil has been extracted from coconut so I don't think anyone would argue that coconut oil is not natural. But what about MCT (Medium-chain triglycerides) oil, which contains selected fractions separated from coconut oil. Is that natural? Most would say yes because the fractions are separated by a simple distillation process. But what about coconut oil derived surfactants? Are they natural? Now we’ve entered a gray area for many because we’ve just created new products that don’t exist in or caused by nature. In the skin care industry, being 100% natural isn't always possible because everyone's definition of natural may be different.
Secondly, it’s not always ethical to use natural products. Mother nature designed our world with an abundance of ingredients that are good for us. But we should choose to exercise our own judgement in harvesting these ingredients. For example, squalene is a popular ingredient, used in skin care products, due to its similarity to our own sebum (oil). The original source of this ingredient was from shark’s livers. Not only is this unethical treatment of an endangered species but it’s also not practical or cost effective. Fortunately, for the sharks, a process of deriving a similar substance, called squalane from vegetable sources has been developed.
Finally, natural ingredients can sometimes be more toxic than synthetic. For example, bergamot essential oil naturally contains bergapten, which can cause photosensitivity in many people. So, whenever we use this essential oil for any external application, we opt for bergapten free for consumer safety. Another example is mica, which is used in most mineral based makeup. Since it's found naturally in granite, crystals, and other rocks, some may assume it is safe. However, naturally mined mica may contain other minerals like lead, arsenic, and mercury; which can lead to heavy metal poisoning.
So, if anyone asks me if all my products are 100% natural, I tell them:
'We believe safety is more important than being 100% natural regardless of the ever-changing definition. Not all natural ingredients are good and not all synthetic ones are bad. Instead of trying to make our products 100% natural, we rather strive towards being 100% safe.'
"We Believe Being Ethical & Safe Is More Important Than Being 100% Natural"