Natural vs. Unnatural

Hi there!

Today I want to discuss something about natural products. You probably noticed the ongoing trend that everything must be healthy and organic and stuff, it is really hard to miss. But is it justified?

There is no clear yes or no answer to that. When it comes to food I prefer organic and natural, the so called clean-eating. But that does not mean that it is perfectly fine. Organic only means that it is grown with limited use of things like synthetic pesticides. It does not say anything about the way it has to go from a farm in, for example, Chile to the store in, for example, Germany. So it may be organic, but is it really ecological responsible? No it is not. But food is just one thing.

Another thing is cosmetics. You know I like cosmetics and I can read the ingredients just fine due to my Bachelor of Science and due to the fact that I do my research.
The thing is that somehow weird myths arise which might have been proven scientifically once but also have been numerous times busted scientifically and still people do not want to believe the truth.

An example is mineral oil. People say it is unnatural. That is not true. Mineral oil is made, as you probably know, from crude oil. And crude oil is made from…? Right, plants, animals and other natural stuff which happens to be compressed under numerous layers of earth.
What is true is that crude oil has to be filtered and purified numerous times till the mineral oil is obtained which is certified for use in cosmetics. Mineral oil is the best moisturizer I have ever encountered. It prevents trans-epidermal water loss, the process which maintains the dry skin in eczema. It does lay a film over the skin but it does not clog any pores. Fact is, it is natural.

I work in a kind of drugstore and it is unbelievable how often people ask for fluoride-free toothpaste. It would be fine if the people who ask for that would know why they would not want it. Most of the time they have read or heard somewhere that fluoride is unnatural, that it is unhealthy and so on. I wonder whether no one has been paying attention in high school. Everybody has had at least 2 years of chemistry. Fluoride is a natural occurring compound. It is less present than for example carbon but it can be found in seawater (so also in the highly hyped sea-salt…), soil and rocks. And in plants, so it can also be found in natural toothpaste. Plants do not actively use fluoride but it can happen that it gets incorporated. It can build up in plants and therefore come into any product made from that plant. Again, it is natural. Whether it is healthy or not is another question but it is licensed to be used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals for a long time now (and the European Medicines Agency is strict), so I think it must be quite safe.

It are, again, blind believers which are truly convinced that it is true which make it so hard to counteract. It can make me really angry sometimes. Stop believing éverything. Be critical. Do your homework. Yes, you can google it but keep in mind that google is like a graffiti wall, everything can be written on the internet but not everything is true. I will write an article about how you can identify trustworthy sites from not trustworthy sites anytime soon.

What is your opinion on this matter?

Love,
C

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