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Why natural color cosmetics aren’t really natural

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PERRY ROMANOWSKI 
Element 44 Inc, Chicago, USA

Abstract

A growing trend in the cosmetic industry is so-called “green beauty” which has led to the proliferation of new products and brands marketed as organic and natural. Like many other beauty industry trends, this one comes from the food industry which has also seen tremendous growth in non-processed, natural and organic foods targeted to consumers who are focused on health and wellness. While this trend makes sense in the food industry where there is an obvious difference between a tree-grown banana and a manufacturing plant produced Twinkie, it makes less sense in cosmetics where every product is the result of chemical processing. There is no bush that produces blush or leaves that make lipstick.


A growing trend in the cosmetic industry is so-called “green beauty” which has led to the proliferation of new products and brands marketed as organic and natural. Like many other beauty industry trends, this one comes from the food industry which has also seen tremendous growth in non-processed, natural and organic foods targeted to consumers who are focused on health and wellness.

While this trend makes sense in the food industry where there is an obvious difference between a tree-grown banana and a manufacturing plant produced Twinkie, it makes less sense in cosmetics where every product is the result of chemical processing. There is no bush that produces blush or leaves that make lipstick.


However, since the FDA maintains that the term “natural” has no legal definition, green beauty marketers have taken a broad view of what they consider natural. They include ingredients isolated from plants, but some also include laboratory-synthesized materials that originated from natural feedstocks. Some hold the position that if an ingredient exists in nature, then it is natural. This is t ...




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