These days, just about any and every skincare product on the market claims to be natural. But how many are really natural skincare products, and what does natural even mean when it comes to the stuff you put on your skin?
Just because it says natural on the packaging, it does not mean it’s natural on the inside.
As there are still so few labelling regulations for moisturisers, toners, cleansers, scrubs and other pampering goodies, using the word natural does not really mean much. A look at the ingredients list will give you a far better idea of how close to nature any given product is though, and luckily for you (and your skin), most products will state what’s inside… even if it’s in very, very small print.
But is natural really the most important thing to look for in skin products, or is this just a marketing ploy that manufacturers have cottoned on to in order to bring in more sales?
Natural Skincare Ingredients vs Manufactured Ingredients
Not every natural ingredient in skincare is good for your skin, and likewise, not every chemical in a product is bad for your skin. Some examples of tried-and-tested skin-friendly natural ingredients include oatmeal, clay, jojoba, aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil, almond oil, honey and cocoa butter to name just a few.
Some chemicals are safe for using on the body in small amounts, and even though they sound scary, are required in order for the product to work. Take soap for example. Lye (also known as sodium hydroxide) is present in all foaming soap. On its own, lye is extremely dangerous but when combined with fats, a chemical reaction turns it into a natural soap base that is gentle enough to use on the most sensitive skin (especially when additional skin-rich ingredients are added to the final soap mixture).
Ingredients that are not so great include parabens, alcohol derivatives, paraffin derivatives and a wide range of preservatives, colourants and fragrances that are sneaked into products to keep their shelf life. Some ingredients are found in other products – even pesticides!
Ultimately, only you can decide what you want to put onto your skin. Remember though that the skin absorbs a great deal of what is applied to its outer layer – so much in fact that harmful chemicals may not just be hurting your skin; they could be absorbing into the rest of your body too.
The next time you’re stocking up on your favourite body wash or facial care products, take a moment to see what is in them and do a bit of research online to see what you are truly giving your skin. This will help you make an informed decision before purchasing any type of natural skincare products.