A few days ago, my esthetician gave me a beautifully packaged organic skin care product as a little gift. She uses only natural and organic products, and this one says it's free from petrochemicals, sulfates, parabens, glycols, and synthetic colors, all of which is a good thing! So I was interested and a bit surprised to read the ingredients label, which, in addition to olive oil, sweet almond oil, and some other very nice ingredients, also lists Disodium EDTA, Parfum (fragrance), Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Erthylhexyl, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzonate, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Benzoate, Anisyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate.
Here's what the EWG has to say about a couple of those:
Evidently, at least in the country where this product was made, it's okay for a product to use the word “Organic” prominently on the package, yet still contain quite a few chemical ingredients.
This is just an observation, not meant to knock the product, but just to point out that names and claims alone may not tell the whole story. We need to fully read the ingredients list to be sure of what we're getting along with the natural or organic ingredients that are much more prominently mentioned.
Some may feel that 80% or 85% natural is acceptable, and I agree it's absolutely better than 0% or 50% natural. But it's also nice to know that if we don't want 15% or even 5% of what we put on our skin to be less than 100% good for it, those products do exist, and I personally believe they're much better for us, especially since I recently read that the average woman is exposed to a total of 500 chemicals in personal care and beauty products every day! That's why just a touch of Benzyl Salicylate in any one product is concerning.
The lesson here is, take the time to read labels, and learn to recognize the added stuff you may want to avoid. What's said about healthy eating is also true of the food (e. g. personal care products) we put on our skin: If you can't pronounce it, you probably don't want to eat it -- or put it on your skin!