“Are your products natural?” It seems like a simple question, but the answer is surprisingly complicated.
“Natural” is a marketing term with no actual definition when it comes to bath and body products. No official body in the U.S. regulates the use of the term for cosmetic formulations. So, people can reasonably disagree about what they consider natural when it comes to ingredients.
The dictionary.com definition of natural is “existing in or formed by nature.” That’s a good start, but includes many things you wouldn’t want in your shampoo and conditioner. For example, poison ivy and crude oil are both natural products that have no place in your shower!
Some people might say that a natural product is free of chemicals, working under the common misconception that all chemicals are manmade. Not so! In fact, there’s one particular chemical that you encounter multiple times every day. You drink it, bathe in it, swim in it, and it’s almost certainly the first ingredient in many of the products you use. Yes, I’m talking about water, which you probably also know by its chemical name, H2O. The air we breathe is made up mainly of nitrogen and oxygen, two very important chemicals. Our bodies are made up of chemicals, too. So, not all chemicals are bad, lots are naturally occurring, and many are necessary for our survival.
Other people might believe that natural products are unprocessed and in their original state. This seems like a reasonable basis for determining if something is natural until you have to decide how much processing you’ll accept. Almost everyone agrees that whole foods, like coconuts and avocados, are natural. Even though they have to be processed, most of us would agree that their oils are also natural products. But, what about more complex processing? An ingredient I love in Watery Mountain Essentials conditioner is bamboo bioferment. Giant bamboo, native to North America, is fermented with Lactobacillus, a type of friendly bacteria found in foods like yogurt. This processing coverts the silica in the bamboo into a usable form that’s a great alternative to traditional silicone, making hair feel silky and easy to comb. Sea kelp bioferment, found in Watery Mountain Essentials body wash, is similarly processed and adds oil-free moisturization, as well as an abundance of vitamins and minerals. I consider these ingredients to be natural even though they’re processed, but others might disagree.
Finally, many of us equate “natural” with safe. We want to know that the products we use are effective and won’t harm us or our families, but few of us have the time to research every ingredient in the things we buy. There is a lot of misinformation online about the safety of various ingredients. Much of this misinformation is presented as fact by individuals with very little actual knowledge, who use scare tactics to gain a following and profit from consumers who want to know if the products they use are safe. It can be discouraging for the average person who is trying to separate fact from fiction, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
So, are our products natural? There’s no easy answer to that question, but you can be assured that at Watery Mountain Essentials we carefully research all our ingredients and only use those we’re proud to include in our formulas and list on our labels. Most importantly, we use our products and recommend them to our extended family and friends. When you purchase a product from us you can be assured it has been carefully crafted from high-quality ingredients. We value the trust you place in us when you purchase our products and hope you enjoy them as much as we do!