Natural vs. Synthetic
Looking over the ingredient list for most cosmetic products, from eye shadow to body lotion, there are usually about two or three dozen ingredients, most of which are unrecognizable. These ingredients are often synthetics, many of which are petroleum-based, and some of which are toxic to the skin and the environment.
Eco-friendly cosmetics, on the other hand, are specifically created with the well-being of the consumer and the environment in mind. Environmentally friendly cosmetic companies provide plant and mineral-based products, which are not only non-toxic, but nurturing. Through supporting these eco-conscious businesses, the green body care and make-up market will continue to grow.
There are few regulations for cosmetics and information about the long term effects is difficult to access. Whether an actual product should be considered toxic or not is left for the consumer to decide. The reality is many conventional products are made from substances — fragrances, dyes, preservatives, and bases — which on their own have been shown to have serious negative effects. For information on the potential effects of cosmetic ingredients, the public-interest group, Skin Deep provides well-researched data on most products on the market.