According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the “natural” wave has come to the personal-care aisle in a big way. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential negative health effects of chemicals found in many conventional products, and some are switching to “natural” alternatives because they’ve already experienced adverse effects. Instead of chemicals, alternative products are often made with herbs, essential oils, and other plant-based ingredients. One entrepreneur summarized a guiding principle behind natural personal care this way: “What you put on your skin, you should be able to eat.” Of course, natural products in the personal care aisle, including cosmetics and those for beauty support, have been available for a long time in co-ops and other niche stores; the difference now is that luxury brands have also gotten on the “farm-to-face” bandwagon. Companies realize that consumers want “pure” ingredients in their cosmetics as much as they want organic and pure food ingredients. 17% of sales within the $3 billion “prestige” skin care market, represented by department stores and high-end shops, are for “natural” products. As of 2011, the overall market for organic personal-care products reached $7 billion, and organic products were the fastest growing category in that market. Here is a quick run-down on some of the natural ingredients the Los Angeles Times covered, with the help of noted herbalist and author, Rosemary Gladstar:
- Aloe vera. Used for burns or as a moisturizer.
- Argan oil. Used as a conditioner for face, hair, and nails.
- Borax. Used as a cleanser.
- Calendula. Used to heal skin and for hair highlights.
- Sea buckthorn oil. Used to nourish the skin.
Source: Los Angeles Times