This section of the website is a glossary for the less easy-to-understand ingredients which appear in products in The Green Beauty Bible - some natural, some synthetic. It’s not a complete guide to all cosmetics ingredients – just a tiny, tiny fraction – but it should help you better understand the ingredients lists for products that feature in our ‘green’ book.
There may be some people who question why we feature products in The Green Beauty Bible which contain any synthetics at all. The reason is this: if we didn’t, our book would literally have been a pamphlet. Because unless you do make your own – from kitchen cupboard ingredients – almost all cosmetics include ingredients that have been modified from their natural state to make them last, or to boost aspects of their natural powers.
Frankly, if you sit and read this section from start to finish, you’ll probably swear only to use olive oil on your skin in future! But we believe in moderation in all things; there are question marks of one kind or another over many ingredients – including totally natural ones. But just because an ingredient can be a problem – say, irritating or allergenic – it doesn’t mean it will be. Even potential carcinogens – though there are very few that feature here – are only potential cancer-causing ingredients, and we think it’s important to remember the big picture: factors such as what you eat, drink, getting enough sleep, staying as unstressed as possible are every bit as vital as your beauty products. That’s why all our books contain so much lifestyle advice, too.
While we love what botanicals do for our skins, we know and understand there is also a place for synthetics in some skincare, to make them safe and give them a shelf-life (or, say, to stop your mascara from ending up on your chin by the end of the day.) It’s up to you to make an informed choice about whether you want a botanically-charged product with some synthetic ingredients, or one that uses ingredients that are closer to their natural form – and our ‘daisy’ rating, given to each product, is designed to make that a little easier to find out what’s what… It’s not perfect – but we’ve done our best to make shopping for natural (and more natural) cosmetics a little easier.
If you become more interested in ingredients, the most informative book on our own shelf is A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients by Ruth Winter, published by Three Rivers Press, and available through www.amazon.co.uk if you click here. You may also be interested to look at www.cosmeticdatabase.com‘s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database (though be warned: it’s easy to become paranoid, if you do…)
Finally: remember that, although quantities of different ingredients are not given on labelling, the ingredients are listed in the order of quantity. So if a product label starts with: aqua, petrolatum etc. – you have a pretty accurate idea what the main ingredients are…