Are Natural Cosmetics Really Worth The Extra Green?

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LightSkinnedFace_ZhangQingyunIllustrated by Zhang Quingyun.
There's a two-pronged reason why we love natural beauty products — they're good for us and good for the earth. And, that's why we don't mind shelling out a little extra green for naturally potent products. Essentially, we're paying more for less when it comes to chemical additives and preservatives. But, it's worth it — right?

Not so, cosmetic chemist Kevin Ewell tells xoVain. Natural products are safe, he says, but so are products with traditional preservatives. "It would be easy to make a safe, preservative-free bodywash if you knew the consumer was going to refrigerate and microwave it before it was applied to the body," says Ewell. "But, the reality is that this item will be left in a hot steamy shower with the cap open, the perfect environment for E. coli. So, the role of preservatives is a key part in keeping people safe." And, with that, we're wincing at the thought of all the dollars we've dropped on pricey products with natural claims.

But, says Ewell, natural products are worth the dough when you consider the bigger picture — sustainability. "A big part of the emerging natural and organic [beauty] trend focuses on sustaining our supply of raw materials and reducing the environmental footprint," he writes. And, the smart sourcing pioneered by natural brands is paving the way for better practices all across the board.

According to Ewell, the bottom line is that cosmetics, natural or not, are safe. Whether your favorite face cream is $5 or $500, organic or chemically crafted, it's all a matter of personal choice. Click on over for Ewell's in-depth account. (xoVain)


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