Beauty care lowdown: Is natural really better?

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In Canada, debate is growing over whether products designated as natural or organic are actually safer and more effective.

“When I hear people say that natural products are better, I always point out that there are a number of things in nature that are very bad for us,” Dr. Lisa Kellett, dermatologist and director of DLK on Avenue, tells Global News. “You can have an adverse reaction from poison ivy; if you ingest too much of the foxglove plant, you’ll die; likewise, strychnine causes seizures. Just because something is natural, it doesn’t mean it’s good.”

The report also notes that cosmetic ingredients are far less regulated in North America—where just 600 products are banned—compared to Europe, which has blacklisted 1,400 compounds.

Experts point out that while some compounds, like parabens, are denounced by beauty bloggers as endocrine disruptors, they are actually naturally occurring in products like blueberries, strawberries, olives, and carrots.

The question remains an important one, however, given the large amount of products used by consumers. According to Global News, the average woman applies 168 different chemicals to her body daily and eats seven pounds of lipstick in her lifetime