Myth: "All Natural" Beauty Products Are Best
Pure Truth: First of all, there are not really any 'all natural' products available for commercial sale. Unless you make them yourself, and are prepared to refrigerate them & use them within a few days, you really can't find any. This is because, just as in food products, the ingredients are perishable.
Just think what would happen to a jar of 'natural' ingredients sitting on your vanity... The smell alone would keep me from opening the lid, let alone touching it! So beauty products, like foods, use preservatives to give them added shelf time. When you buy products, they have to last through storage with the company, shipping and still have some time left for you to use them. As for the term 'natural' it is not even regulated. This means any company can call their product natural, no matter what it contains.
Myth: Chemicals Are Bad For Your Skin
Pure Truth: Not all chemicals are bad for your skin. Just as medicines are chemical or synthetic versions of medicinal plants, so the science of chemistry brings us beauty products. Many natural ingredients have been re-created in synthetic form for ease of use & distribution, which can also make them cheaper to supply.
Myth: Product Packaging Does Nothing But Add To The Price
Pure Truth: Many people believe there is no importance to the packaging of beauty products, that the bottles and jars are just made 'neat looking' in order to make us buy the products. This can be true, but with some of the 'new' beauty ingredients, packaging has a much larger, more important role. Some ingredients are considered unstable, meaning they are affected by sunlight and air exposure. For those ingredients, like retinol and some antioxidants, the packaging is a big deal. If you want to get some use of what you paid for, look for packaging that limits the products exposure. This may mean a dark colored container, or those similar to pharmaceutical products.
Myth: Buying Beauty Products Is a Gamble
Pure Truth: If you want to avoid buying products that simply don't work, being an educated consumer is your best bet. For the best information on cosmetics ingredients in the US, go to the http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/cos-prd.html, the FDA site. This site also has information on labeling & label claims.
There are also several websites with product reviews, done by independent consumers, just like you. The best sites will post the reviewers' information, so you can get an idea if the reviewer's skin type, age etc. is similar to your own. Two review sites are http://www.cosmeticconnection.com and http://www.emakemeup.com/reviewboard/cgi-bin/main.cgi. You may also try the various message boards devoted to beauty. These boards are a great place to get information on new products or companies before you buy. And reputable companies will allow exchanges and refunds. If the company you are considering doesn't, look for another... In the competitive beauty game, you can always find a company that is more like to cover your bet.
Deanna Ferber is President of GlamKitty, a cosmetics and skin care company dedicated to helping Busy Women with 9 Lives find their own Tabby Chic (tm). Take a 'paws' in your day at http://glamkitty-beauty.com