A couple of points to keep in mind:
Natural is a word that is difficult to define. It is not regulated by the FDA* so it holds little meaning on labels on cosmetics and food. Of course some companies hold very high standards of purity and wholeness and for them it absolutely has meaning. The job for us is to decipher who those companies are.
You can read more about high standards to which I hold my Esthetics by Amy products in an earlier (6/28/2013) blog post.
It is a rare bird that cooks every thing from scratch with organic whole foods, and relies solely upon the cosmetic chemistry of her own kitchen for skin care. Even fewer allow their faces to be adorned only with color achieved by pinching their cheeks and eating berries. Most of us allow concessions for some conveniences and shortcuts when it comes to the food we eat and the products we use.
*The FDA’s site states: The FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances. Furthermore the FDA has very little to do with cosmetic regulations. FD&C (Federal Food Drug & Cosmetic) Act does not authorize FDA to approve cosmetic ingredients except for color additives. FDA oversees compliance but doesn’t require approval before marketed. (The FDA regulates sunscreen, because of its classification as an over-the-counter drug.)
So “natural” has little meaning and you can’t count on the Feds to monitor the millions of ingredients that go into products for the skin. They aren’t equipped to do it. They not only are likely to make a mess of it if they tried, but also would make it very difficult for the smaller companies to make products, especially from plants because their chemistry is complex.
Notice I don’t describe things as toxic, dirty or full-of-chemicals.
I am a chemistry teacher’s daughter. Water is a chemical. Chemical is not a dirty word.