Natural Skin Care – More Than Skin Deep

8 Mins read

Does Natural in Skin Care indeed suggest Good?

Although Webster defines “natural” as “now not synthetic, artificial, [or] acquired with the aid of external manner,” it’s far the uncommon cosmetic component that suits that description. Even water utilized in cosmetics is commonly distilled, deionized, or otherwise purified. All alongside the continuum of “herbal” merchandise, alternatives were made to emulsify, stabilize and keep–to make the products clean and creamy, maintain them clean, and supply them with an acceptable shelf lifestyle. Even if consumers want merchandise that needs to be refrigerated, vendors and stores will no longer order them because of the added costs of transport, storing, and greater legal responsibility.

A growing variety of purchasers seeking that type of freshness have been firing up their blenders and following recipes for self-made treatments.1[1] Even these are a name for important oils, alcohol, glycerin, lanolin, etc., which can be a protracted manner from their herbal origins. As suggested in Strong Voices, the e-newsletter of the Breast Cancer Fund, “Approximately one-0.33 of cosmetics and the body care corporations role their merchandise as natural in one way or another . . . But, as you may anticipate, a few companies are greater natural than others” (Volume 7, Summer 2005).

Skin Care

Most folks who are searching for “herbal” merchandise are seeking out components whose assets they recognize, and this is why many organizations now list the source along with the medical call of the aspect, as in sodium lauryl sulfate (from coconut) or lanolin (from wool). Turpentine comes from pine timber. My grandmother, born in 1901, swore that turpentine helped her arthritic palms, and they might also have rubbed them with lard (from bacon) afterward to preserve them as gently as I remember. Perhaps lard and turpentine are “natural,” but are they desirable for the skin? Along with that, what’s the definition of “properly?” Again, there are no simple answers. If you have determined this article through the Eco-Mall, it’s far secure to assume that you are seeking for out pores and

skincare that:

  • (1) is pleasant to the surroundings (“green”);
  • (2) does no damage to animals (commonly referred to as “cruelty-loose”); and
  • (3) does not harm the human body and ideally does correct (is “frame-pleasant”).

Let us look at “herbal” skincare in mild of every one of these troubles.


A problem rarely addressed with the aid of the beauty industry is whether products are environmentally friendly. The LA Times2[2] has suggested that patron products and cosmetics pump a hundred heaps of pollutants every day into southern California’s air, 2d most effective to automobile emissions. This pollution comes not only from the propellants in sprays and aerosols but also from fluorocarbons, ethanol, butane, acetone, phenols, and xylene. Here’s how it works: These chemicals evaporate, and when the sun shines, they integrate with other pollution to shape ozone, a number one aspect of smog that could motivate complications, chest ache, and loss of lung function. This takes place outdoors and in an interior that could seriously compromise the air exceptional in our homes and offices.

There is a category of chemical compounds known as PPCPs (pharmaceutical and personal care products) that, till these days, have obtained pretty little interest as capability environmental pollutants. PPCPs incorporate all pills (prescription and over-the-counter), diagnostic sellers (e.g., X-ray assessment media), nutraceuticals, and different chemicals, such as fragrances, sunscreen retailers, and skin anti-getting old arrangements. When phthalates, for example, get into rivers and lakes, they affect the duplicate of aquatic species; musk fragrances are acknowledged to bioaccumulate.3[3] Skincare merchandise may include botanical elements grown with pesticides and chemical fertilizers that are not environmentally friendly. A few might also use genetically changed plants for their botanical ingredients.



“Cruelty-free” is typically understood to mean that the products are not tested on animals; now and again, there aren’t any animal-derived elements in the goods. This would mean the absence of lanolin (from wool), Beeswax or honey, dairy merchandise, and so forth. Some labels, specifically nation, there aren’t any animal substances.


We recommend four criteria for comparing “body-friendly” skincare merchandise:

· Toxicity
· Exclusiveness
· Comedogenicity
· Effectiveness

1. Toxicity

Our July article mentioned several components we opt to avoid in pores and skin care merchandise. To recap, we listed mineral oils, petrolatum, propylene glycol, parabens, phthalates, SLS, and SLES. We also called sunscreens into a query. Toxicity (to humans) of pores and skin care elements can be divided into three awesome categories:4[4]

a. Carcinogenic, relating to elements contributing to cancer
b. Endocrine-disrupting refers to chemical substances that disturb the body’s hormonal balance and might intervene with its capability to grow, develop, or function. Endocrine disruptors may also be carcinogenic.
C. Allergenic, tense or sensitizing, customers might also have allergic reactions or touch dermatitis (itching, redness, rash, etc.). Individuals with a couple of chemical sensitivities may additionally become very unwell while uncovered to be sure of those chemical substances.

Many “herbal” skincare businesses include parabens, SLES, and different merchandise ingredients. A widespread note about preservatives: By their very nature, preservatives are poisonous. To keep the products from spoiling, they must be deadly to microorganisms, molds, and yeast. Another preservative this is gaining use as an opportunity to parabens is Diazolidinyl Urea. This preservative has no longer been banned in Europe, even though a few authors declare it far carcinogenic because it is a formaldehyde donor. Although formaldehyde is a chemical naturally within the human body, formaldehyde in the gaseous nation is a known carcinogen. From all studies, we have a review, Diazolidinyl Urea, which forms formaldehyde, no longer shapes formaldehyde gasoline.

Nonetheless, while utilized in high sufficient concentrations, or maybe in low concentrations with the aid of persons who’re exceptionally touchy to it, Diazolidinyl, urea-along with almost each other preservative-has been shown to purpose touch dermatitis. There also is “herbal” merchandise that claims to apply no preservatives. Most of those comprise grapefruit–or another citrus–seed oil extract. As referred to in Part I of this series, cosmetic chemists I even have spoken to insist that those citrus seeds would flip rancid if they were no longer sprayed with preservative, that that preservative is focused on the oil while it’s miles extracted, that this preservative inside the extract is what’s maintaining the skincare product; and that the preservative used is commonly a paraben.

There is also skincare merchandise, which can be bought in sealed containers with airless pumps or sprayers. Although it can add extensively to a product’s value, this form of packaging and delivery is enormously applicable. It keeps air and airborne contaminants out of the product and makes it viable to decrease or even cast off preservatives’ usage noticeably. Of the massive listing of likely beauty elements, a relative few individually pose excessive danger, but many people use an array of merchandise daily. It can be that those dangers are up or that single substances react with others to create poisonous combos, called synergistic toxicity.

2. Occlusivity

The skin is the body’s biggest organ. The lungs breathe, and so do the pores and skin, so to talk: The “breathing” pores and skin presents an go out for pollution and chemicals–respiratory in the form of sweat. Lotions and salves that occlude this exit might also start with melting the pores and skin via retaining moisture from escaping. It may also truly inhabit the character’s overall fitness, besides weighing down the pores and skin and inflicting it to sag and age. Nutrients implemented to the skin that improves the pores and skin’s health might also have a tremendous impact on the whole frame because they’re absorbed into the bloodstream through the pores and skin. When we pick frame-friendly pores and skin care, essential criteria come into play:

The goods now are not poisonous to our pores and skin or our bodies, and they are not occlusive, transmitting vitamins in and toxins out.5[5] The bonus comes when the components that might be allowed also convey the skin into stability and nourish it. This is the subject of Part III of our collection of articles: What Nutrients and Ingredients are Important for Healthy Skin? (past due September 2005). Here we cope with substances not unusual to “natural” skincare that can be occlusive and comedogenic.

Look up “occlusivity” on the internet, and you will find many references to occlusivity and its blessings. The reason agencies tout the advantages of occlusivity is that it holds water within the pores and skin. When water cannot break out, the skin remains smooth and moist, which sounds good. Imagine wrapping your skin with plastic wrap and sporting it around all day-an, a severe instance of occlusivity. It would quickly stink in because the toxins that usually get away with sweat and typically evaporate into the air get trapped in the pores, skin, and plastic. Now consider that the same pollution cannot depart the bloodstream because the skin’s respiration is blocked. Where will they cross? In a few cases, they fester underneath the pores and skin and shape deep-down blemishes; in extreme cases, where occlusive lotions are used all over the body for prolonged intervals, they may deposit within the liver, uploading to the frame’s toxic load.

Sometimes it may be beneficial to apply occlusive salves for a restrained time. If you want to climb Mt. Everest, for example, or ski at a high altitude wherein the air is thin and dry, and you’re close to the solar, putting on a lotion that holds the water inside the skin is an excellent idea. It’s appropriate for toddlers with diaper rash to use a salve that maintains the water far from the skin! Most of us don’t have consistent conditions, and treatments that preserve water over time are unwanted.

Standard cosmetics professionals may additionally disagree with this reasoning. Paula Begoun in Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me (5th ed., 2001) states: “According to many ‘natural’ cosmetics groups, mineral oil (and petrolatum) comes from crude oil (petroleum), is utilized in the enterprise as a metal-reducing fluid, and consequently can damage the skin utilizing forming an oil movie and suffocating it. This silly, routine misinformation approximately mineral oil and petrolatum is frustrating. After all, crude oil is as herbal as some other earth-derived substances. Mineral oil and petrolatum. It can preserve air off the skin to some extent, however. It does not suffocate the skin!” (pp. Eleven-13). She also states that antiperspirants “can’t take into the skin. (p. 14). I maintain that anything rubbed onto the pores and skin could be absorbed so long as the molecules are small enough to pass through the pores and skin membrane; this is how patches work to deliver medicine. Although Begoun makes an amazing factor that crude oil is “natural,” I agree with making knowledgeable choices about which earth-derived materials we follow to the pores and skin, and crude oil is not on my list.

It should be noted that there are degrees of occlusivity: If an aspect is occlusive when used by itself, it’ll be less so when utilized with non-occlusive ingredients. A small quantity of Beeswax used to emulsify jojoba and water may be less occlusive than rubbing Beeswax by me onto the skin. With that in thoughts, besides mineral oil and petrolatum, here are some of the more common occlusive substances observed in “herbal” pores and skin care:

a. Beeswax and other waxes
b. Castor oil
c. Cocoa butter
d. Dimethicone
e. Honey
f. Lanolin
g. Sunflower oil and other vegetable oils

3. Comedogenicity

Unlike occlusive oils like mineral and sunflower oil, which no longer penetrate, comedogenicity refers back to the tendency of a substance to get into the skin’s pores and clog them. This is particularly bothersome in face care products, wherein clogged pores may also result in zits and blackheads. The phrase comedo is the clinical period for blackheads, so comedo+genic way “friendly to blackheads.” Some beauty-ingredient glossaries equate “non-comedogenic” with “non-occlusive,” but that could be a misunderstanding; whilst Beeswax, mineral oil, and zinc oxide (among others) are acknowledged to be occlusive, they’re non-comedogenic.

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