When most people read about ethical and natural cosmetic products, they generally tend to wonder what ethical cosmetics are, and never really consider how it affects them. If that is their view, then they have a problem - if not now, then they will have in the future, because an increasing number of harmful chemicals are being used in a large number of cosmetic products to meet the needs of big business.
A lot has to do with the FDA, whose decisions appear to be based on the large Pharma corporations and the support they engender in the senate and congress. Potentially harmful substances, such as sodium lauryl sulfate and antifreeze, are allowed to be used in skin care products where such products are known to be harmful. However, that is totally irrelevant to this article which is intended primarily to explain the terms 'ethical' and 'natural' in reference to cosmetics and other personal care products.
Here are some aspects of ethical products that you should be aware of before you make any decision on which personal care product to use.
Animal testing might be necessary in some instances where it could save human life, and with regard to research into drugs and medicines, it can be argued that animal research has done, and will continue to do, a lot to progress the development of drugs that have saved a great deal of human life and suffering.
While arguments can be made in this respect, and generally agreed to by the majority of people, why should we agree to blinding animals with increasing amounts of corrosive chemicals to determine how much can be used in a shampoo? Highly corrosive and toxic substances such as ethanolamine, antifreeze and EDTA have been tested on animals to the extreme in order to enable big business to produce cosmetic care products that are not harmful to humans. What's wrong with the natural products that we already knew to be non-harmful? Money!
There are many ethical products on sale to cover all of your cosmetic needs and personal care needs without having to purchase those have had caused animal suffering. Hair care, skin care, facial products and many, many more are available online that have never seen an animal because they are natural products such as coconut oil, olive oil or shea nut extracts.
The planet is dying under billions of tons of waste generated to package consumer goods. Surely we can use recyclable packaging for all goods in this modern age when there is no need to use materials that can only be disposed as landfill. Ethical cosmetics and natural cosmetic products use recyclable packaging that does not degrade in landfill and pollute the water table.
Natural Cosmetic Products
Natural products are extracted from natural sources, organically grown where at all possible. A combination of long use as cosmetics and personal care products and scientific analysis has proved them to be safe and effective in achieve the results for which they are being offered. A combination of natural phytochemicals, antioxidants, moisturizers and exfoliants that help keep your skin and hair in perfect condition is surely better than a decocotion of synthetic chemicals produced from crude oil, and used as degreasers, detergents, antifreeze, floor cleaners and so on.
Yes, that is just a small example of the type of chemicals used in today's cosmetics and skin and hair care products. Add to that substances that can cause hair loss and skin lesions and you are getting a pretty good idea of how big business is pulling the wool over our eyes with regard to the contents of their products.
Nobody doubts that natural is best, not even those that try to emulate nature with synthetics, but money comes first and if you would rather pay less for products containing these substances, then that is your decision. However, don't complain when, in several years time, you start to regret it when you develop allergies or your skin starts to erupt with unwelcome spots, blotches and irritation.
The Fair Trade project involves paying workers in developing countries a fair wage for their work and the products they produce for the West. For too long, such people have been exploited and paid a pittance to increase the profits of the fat cats in America and Europe, and the Fair Trade project was developed to resolve that.
You should use Fair Trade products as much as you can in order to be able to say that at least you, personally, are not exploiting these poor people and are doing your best to help them earn a decent living.
Ethical Products are Affordable
If you purchase products that conform to the standards of ECOCERT and use the Cosmébio label, then you will avoid all of these problems, you will feel better within yourself and you can be certain that you are using products that are not only good for you, but also good for the future of your children and grandchildren.
There are aspects of ethical and natural cosmetic products that transcend price, although there is not as much price difference between natural and synthetic cosmetic products as most believe there to be. Natural cosmetics make you look and feel better without hurting your pocket: they are affordable and will do your skin, your hair and your entire body a lot more good than the synthetic products that disguise themselves with the term 'personal care' products.