Even if you think you know what's bad and what's good, how much worse is the bad and how much better is the good? It's all relative, yet it's unclear who has the answers when it comes to natural vs. synthetic goods.

Quite a bit of time, thought, and money goes into the organic beauty industry, but some people claim there's too much emphasis on the "bad synthetic," whereas the "bad natural" substitutes are left out of the discussion. Given as an example in a recent article are the artificial phthalates versus the natural soybean. The first mimics the effects of estrogen, while the latter is a phyto-estrogen, a plant-based substance that mimics the effect of estrogen in the body. Neither sounds very good.

Even with recent reports of "greenwashing" — giving consumers the impression a product is more enviro-friendly than it really is — I'm not ready to throw in the towel and consider natural, organic beauty goodies a total con yet. Are you?