Natural Versus Synthetic Ingredients
In May of 2009 Cosmetics design-europe.com featured an article that centred on a discussion by chemists in regard to natural versus synthetic ingredients.
Cosmetic chemists say that natural ingredients are not necessarily safer or more effective.
At a cosmetic science symposium, chemists strongly opposed the idea that natural ingredients are inherently safer than their synthetic counterparts.
A number of speakers at the conference, organised by the UK Society of Cosmetic Chemists, spoke out against the media frenzy surrounding ingredients such as parabens and other synthetic preservatives.
Natural Sells On Fear Of Synthetic
For cosmetic consultant John Woodruff, ingredients should be chosen on safety and efficacy regardless of their natural or synthetic status.
“We owe it to the consumer to provide the most effective, safe product possible. Our choice of ingredients should depend on safety and efficacy not unfounded safety scares and efficacy studies that owe more to f folklore than to science,” he said.
He went on to accuse some companies operating in the natural sphere of selling on fear not science, and damaging the reputation of the industry in general.
I felt compelled to share this portion of the article and to offer my own comments. I fully agree that pure, fresh ingredients for any use on our planet are essential. I am an advocate of organic foods, I choose home cleaning products that are not toxic, and assess carefully my purchases to be as planet friendly as possible. And long ago, I mean 18 years ago before “green” was even the buzzword, eliminated cosmetics that were not pure.
There is a difference in pure and organic and I feel that the word organic is being broadly misused when it comes to cosmetics. If you want organic, puree a fresh tomato and put that on your skin. Then dispose of the remainder because you know how long a fresh tomato will last! The point is a totally organic skin care product will not remain fresh on your shelf very long and if it does, then it is not organic.
I believe we can merge the best of science with what nature has to offer us in a safe way that results in a much higher quality product. I have seen it time and again. I am basing this on experience as well as intelligent pharmacology that good, honourable chemists and labs use.
You know we have a food shortage on this planet and if we attempt to make every skin product totally natural the amount of plants that will be harvested is massive, leaving us with less and less for food.
I use very few parabens because of the bad wrap they have been given by those who do not fully understand chemistry and misinformation that has left out the whole story. There is a point though when we must ease up some and put things in perspective and balance.
The article went on to say that by using less synthetic preservatives with the balanced amount of natural preservatives such as essential oils a solution could be offered to keep pure, safe cosmetics on the market. This is of course what I have been doing all these years.
Kevin Roden, from Thor Specialties, also argued that natural is not always safer; adding that in the case of preservatives unapproved natural alternatives may be more toxic than approved synthetic ingredients.
This is a discussion that will continue for some time and my team of chemists are very in touch and aware of current research. We are careful however, not to fall in the trap of the “green” craze for financial gain and marketing and label value.
Would love to hear your comments.