Misconceptions About Natural Products

Maybe you’re on the fence about natural products? Maybe you’re like me seven years ago. I thought all natural and organic labels were an excuse for cosmetic and food companies to raise the prices of their products.

Here is what I’ve learned...

You can buy simple and natural products without breaking the bank. In my mind, consumer products with 'all natural' and 'organic' labels meant higher prices ($$$). I was under the impression that organic products were only attainable for those with high amounts of expendable income. While that may have been true a few years ago, more and more companies are developing and selling products at a more affordable price point. Grandma’s Lavender, Thrive Market, and Aldi to name a few. 

Simple and Natural products can be just as effective as Commercial products. Over the last six years I have switched over my health, beauty, and cleaning products to more natural alternatives. I was hesitant at first because I wasn’t sure natural products would hold up to their big name competitors. It was surprising to me that my house could in fact be cleaned without harsh and harmful chemicals. How could my home possibly be clean without the lemony or citrusy scent?! (Am I hitting a nerve yet?) We're led to believe (albeit through fantastic marketing campaigns) you MUST have this ___(fill in the blank) household cleaner or else your home is not sanitized. *Gasp* How dare you live in a bacteria ridden nest pool! (*insert eye roll). You'd be surprised by how effective Hydrogen Peroxide, Vinegar, and Herbs (like lavender) can be for disinfecting.

I switched to brands like Dime and Ilia for make-up. It is more natural make-up and holds up fairly well comparatively. I used Grandma's Lavender Room Spray most often, if I feel like wearing perfume. It has no artificial ingredients and isn't overpowering.

Switching to all natural products doesn’t have to be overwhelming and you don’t have to live in the all or nothing mindset.                                                       I know a lot of us tend to think that change must be implemented in an all or nothing fashion. One of the biggest things I have learned is it takes time and that's okay. A little change can be just as effective if not more so. Switch what you can (or what you want to) and slowly implement it in your lifestyle. As you run out of a product make the decision to either replace it with something new, make it yourself, or ditch it all together. There is no right way to do it. It really is and should be an individualized approach.

Always be skeptical at what is being pitched to you.                              Something to be aware of is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has failed to define clean & natural beauty. That has put the responsibility on retailers to be transparent (or not) with their customers.

Always check the ingredient labels! Even if something is being advertised as all natural and organic. Some companies do what is called “greenwashing”. It is when a company uses misleading packaging to convey a false message. They may be marketing a product as all natural on the label but the ingredient label on the back tells a different story. 

A couple of useful resources I have found helpful as I've switched to natural products have been (the app) Think Dirty and ewg.org

I also found it helpful to familiarize myself with the most common toxic ingredients used in health care products.

These are the top ten ingredients I would look to avoid: 

  1. Parabens 
  2. Fragrance
  3. Chemical UV Filters (Octinoxate & Oxybenzone) 
  4. Diethanolamine (DEA) 
  5. Triclosen
  6. Phthalates-Dibutyl phtalate
  7. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SIS)
  8. Formaldehyde
  9. Polyethylene (PEGs) PEG-10 laurate
  10. Butylated Hydroxyonisole (BHA)                                                                                


When I started to take an inventory of the products my family and I were using daily, it was a sobering realization just how MUCH we used. From Shampoo to Laundry Soap. It was slightly overwhelming to know where to start. 

Here are a few starting points that may be helpful: 

  1. Start with products you use on your face and body. Products tend to absorb quickly into your hands and scalp. Your shampoo, lotion, and hair products are products you likely use daily. It will have a higher impact on your health over time, compared to cleaning products which you might not use daily (but it's still a good idea to switch). 
  2. Find resources (like the app Think Dirty and ewg.org) to educate yourself on what is in the products that you are using. These are resources I have found along the way and have found that they are really helpful to me. 
  3. Have fun! The last thing you want to do is to be stressed out over switching your products. I get it because I was at that point. Some of the products I switched from where products I had used for a long time. I switched my perspective from being in all out panic of I have to switch everything now to I can take my time. I can try new brands, and view it as an experience. At that point it became fun for me. I found brands that I truly liked rather than brands I had used out of habit. But I think most of all I found brands that I like AND that were better for me and my family.  

I hope this was helpful and you have a better big picture of natural products. Now that you do, dive in, educate yourself, have fun, and enjoy a more simple and natural lifestyle!


Emma Kesterson 

Owner | Grandma's Lavender

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