Despite an economic slump, eco-friendly personal-care items have Americans sitting up and paying attention top dolla. Sales are booming despite high food and energy prices, and analysts predict the products’ popularity won’t ebb anytime soon. Chicago-based research firm Mintel reports that sales of natural personal-care products rose 12.5 percent last year to an inflation-adjusted $465 million; it estimates sales this year will hit $513 million. A combination of eco-awareness and concern about synthetic ingredients is spurring rapid growth in the natural personal-care industry, which is growing five times faster than the plain ol’ personal-care industry, according to the Natural Products Association. Some attribute the growth to an aging baby-boomer population drawn to “natural” products; others say consumers unable to afford a vacation or new car opt for smaller indulgences. But some ain’t that small: Lush’s “Dream Cream” lotion, for example, clocks in at over $22 for 8 ounces.