Is Natural Always Safe? Gray Matter
We consumers are always questioning safety of products we use. Every day there are countless number of studies showing some additives are bad for our heath. So when we hear the message like: "man-made is bad and natural is good", we may feel that we have the answer. But 'Is Natural Always Safe?'
"IS NATURAL ALWAYS SAFE?"
First, let's define what is 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 naturel 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 oil, which contains selected fractions separated from coconut oil. Is that natural? Most would say yes because the fractions are separated by simple distillation process. But what about coconut oil derived surfactants? Are they natural? Now we entered into gray area for many because we just made new products that do not exist in or caused by nature. In skin care industry, being 100% natural isn't always possible because everyone's definition of natural may be different.
"Being 100% Natural Depends On Its Definition"
Second, it is not always ethical to use natural products. Mother nature designed our world with abundance of ingredients that are good for us. But we, as a conscious being, should choose to exercise our own judgement in harvesting these ingredients. For example, squalene is a popular ingredient in skin care due to its similarity to our own sebum (oil). Most people do not synthesize enough of this vital oil, which can lead to rough, dry aging skin. The original source of this ingredient used to be from livers of sharks. Not only is this unethical treatment of endangered species but also it is not practical or cost effective. Fortunately, no more sharks have been harmed for our youthful skin as the process of deriving squalane (similar to squalene) from vegetable sources has been developed.
"Synthetic Ingredients Can Be A Great Substitute"
Finally, natural ingredients can even be more toxic than synthetic. For example, bergamot essential oil naturally contains bergapten, which can cause photo-sensitivity 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 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 & mercury, which can lead to heavy metal poisoning.
"Natural Ingredients Can Be More Toxic."
So if anyone asks me if all my products are 100% natural, I would say:
'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"