There’s no shortage of crap cosmetic articles.   Some of these writers apparently don’t use a lick of science or logic. I’ve come to expect it, especially when you see it was written by a “LIFESTYLE REPORTER” or “staff”.  Here’s one I ran across that has mixed messages. But what really made me shake my head is this snippet:

“The demand for natural ingredients is increasing rapidly. This is because people have become very aware of the harmful effects synthetic chemicals can have on their skin”.

“People are becoming aware and believing synthetics are harmful” because of crap like this being published all over the internet. Instead of asking a chemist or toxicologist if this is true, and educating their readers, they repeat falsehoods. Why don’t they question the fact that there are no synthetic ingredient victims?  No bodies, no evidence of harm, no epidemiological evidence of disease. The most toxic things on earth are made by Mother Nature. The beauty industry can be proud of decades of safe products on the market enjoyed by billions world-wide, as compared to other industries.

In terms of finding new and innovative ways to advance skincare, the article says:  “…using traditional age-old ingredients with the help of the latest science and technology in cosmetology, can do just that”.  

What do they mean by age-old? For the past 30 years traditional ingredients (to name a few) include preservatives, emulsifiers, quats, emollients, and silicones.  A great many of them are synthetic or semi-synthetic- the stuff that makes stable, microbe-free cosmetics. If you reach back too far in time, you’ll be in the era of blood-letting, plagues, and drilling demons from people’s skulls. Science uses hazard, risk, and dose to determine the probability of harmful adverse reactions, not the naturalistic fallacy, world-view, or what some blogger believes.

girl with 2 heads

Which way should I think?


Soooo, which is it?  If someone believes synthetic ingredients are harmful (they’re not), they’re rejecting science.   And herein lies the great divide.

The purists make products from ingredients that they deem come only from nature although those ingredients generally come from a lab packaged in plastic. Keep in mind, ultimately everything comes from Mother Earth as the starting material of synthetic ingredients (feed stock). We can’t order raw materials that are the building blocks of synthetic ingredients from outer space!

On the other hand, you have the makers who embrace the high-tech synthetics that vastly improve aesthetics, demonstrate clinical efficacy, and have a history of safe use.  The irony of this polarizing topic is that the skin cannot tell the origin of what is put on it.  Skin doesn’t know or care if it’s “natural”, synthetic, or made in Japan!

I’ve found that using a combination of ingredients accepted by “natural lovers” AND “synthetic users” make the best beauty products. But like many other emotional hot topics, there’s more than 50 shades of opinion in-between. It shouldn’t be an emotional topic because the ORIGIN of an ingredient has no bearing on it’s safety.  And safety should come first.