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Natural cosmetics are fast becoming a cult beauty buy, but are they worth the hype? Is natural always better? Or can synthetic products do the job too? Learn more about natural cosmetics and whether they're good for your skin with this guide.

Natural cosmetics are one of the latest must have beauty trends - and of course, we assume that natural products are made with entirely natural and organic ingredients. Often, if we see the words "organic" or "natural", 

we automatically assume that the product is going to be much better for us than a synthetic product, and whilst that's often the case, it's important to look at the ingredients list too - as well as the packaging.

The packaging is simply designed to sell the product and according to Dr. Roberta Palestine, it's often just hype - she says: "Natural isn't always better. Synthetic isn't necessarily worse."

So why should we use natural cosmetics? And are they really better for our skin?

Chemicals in Cosmetics

Cosmetics, for the most part, are made up of chemicals. Some of those chemicals occur naturally, whilst others are made in the lab. The reason why many people are making the switch from more traditional cosmetics towards "natural" cosmetics is because they want to steer clear of the chemicals in traditional cosmetics, like parabens, phthalates and petrochemicals.

Makeup companies and the Personal Care Products Council maintain that these ingredients are safe for use in cosmetics, consumer groups such as the Environmental Working Group have commissioned numerous studies that suggest consumers should steer clear of products that contain these products. But who should the consumers believe?

What is Natural?

Natural doesn't have a specific definition according to government guidelines - companies can call a product "natural", even if it was made in the lab.

There are no regulations according to what natural products should contain and how they should be made. However, things are a little different when it comes to the word organic. Organic products should contain ingredients that are derived from organic sources. This doesn't necessarily mean that the product is completely natural, but it's still a fairly good bet.

The Right Products For Your Skin

Generally, skin care experts agree that what matters most is choosing products for your skin type, rather than focussing on whether a product is natural or not. The best way to do this is to visit a dermatologist and ask for a patch test - this helps to pinpoint the specific chemicals that could cause problems with your skin and enables you to make the right choices for your skin care and cosmetics.

Patch tests are more expensive than they used to be, but getting one could save you years of skin problems.

It's also a good idea to keep the list of ingredients that comes with the product you buy so that if it irritates you in the future, you can pinpoint which product or ingredient is causing your problems.

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