Natural skin care focuses on various ingredients that come from natural sources and are not synthetically derived. Since ancient times, people have relied heavily on plant extracts, herbs, and other natural components for their skin care and cosmetic needs. Practically all traditional medicines from different countries have used natural ingredients to care for and heal skin issues.
Thousand of years may have passed, but the use of natural ingredients in skin care remains today. Thanks to the many scientific studies conducted in the past decades, specialists are now more aware of the benefits of exploring the fruits of mother nature. Research and development are becoming more focused on using botanical rather than synthetic ingredients that can harm the skin.
If you want to know the many scientifically-proven cosmetic benefits of natural skin care elements and the list of ingredients you need to avoid, continue reading below.
Are you aware of your buying behavior when you are purchasing best skin care products? Do you tend to buy an item with an attractive packaging or one with a good smell? Unfortunately, many of us are swayed by product packaging and other factors apart from the most essential: the ingredients.
The next time you buy any skin care products, you must remember to read the list of ingredients. Make sure that the item you are buying contains botanical ingredients for good skin care. Here are the specific benefits of using skin products with natural skin care ingredients:
One of the most serious skin concerns of people nowadays, regardless of gender or age, is photoaging or premature skin aging. This is caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun and other artificial sources (tanning beds for example).
When you experience this condition, your complexion tends to look much older than your actual age. Some of the most common symptoms of photoaging include wrinkles, uneven skin tone, dryness, freckles, “sun spots,” “age spots,” and/or “liver spots” (which consequently have no connection to the liver!).
To help protect your skin from the unpleasant signs of photoaging, make sure that you use anti-aging skin ingredients from natural skin care products. A study published in the Journal of Drugs and Dermatology revealed that many natural ingredients contain high antioxidant properties that can aid and prevent photoaging.
Some of these natural skin care elements include goji, acai, blueberries, camu camu, olive oil, coffee berry, mushrooms, and green tea. Botanicals are potent sources of antioxidants like Vitamin C, lycopene, polyphenols, anthocyanins and many others.
The skin is prone to inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. These skin diseases will not only affect the appearance and texture of your complexion but will cause you to experience severe discomfort primarily due to itching and pain. If they remain untreated, your confidence and self-esteem will also suffer because people tend to view skin diseases negatively.
The key to addressing inflammatory skin diseases is to reduce the level of inflammation in the body. Plants and other natural skin care ingredients help toward this end as they provide anti-inflammatory properties. Several clinical studies show that natural ingredients are known to be effective in the treatment of inflammatory skin issues.
Some of the most common botanicals for reducing inflammation and irritation are aloe vera, chamomile, witch hazel, calendula, and comfrey.
You may not believe it, but there are certain bacteria that live on your skin but do not cause any harm. Some species of bacteria, however, can invade your skin and cause serious infections. In order to prevent this from happening, it is best to use all natural skin care products considering that such ingredients provide antimicrobial/antibacterial benefits.
Traditional medicine has long relied on plants and other products of nature not only in preventing but treating skin infections as well. Many studies support the fact that plants are rich in antimicrobial/ antibacterial benefits.
Natural skin care elements known to contain strong antimicrobial benefits include chamomile, almond oil, tea tree oil, many essential oils, and honey. Priobiotics like lactobactillus and fermented extracts can also support the good bacteria that maintain healthy skin.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, there are many skin care products on the market that are not made from natural ingredients but with man-made chemicals. These chemicals attempt to mimic the positive effects of natural skin care ingredients, but the harmful effects of some should not be ignored. Apart from minor skin irritations, many of these lab-created chemicals cause serious health concerns as well, like cancer.
Now, not all synthetic ingredients are bad -- in fact many have valid uses and have been studied and found to be harmless. They can also be useful for creating more uniform and consistent products as well as for those with many plant allergies. But, some of them are known to cause issues and are best to avoid when it comes to what you put on your body.
If your health is compromised or if you want to avoid health problems, consult your physician about what they would recommend you avoid or continue using, but know they might not have the time to give you a full list and you will need to become an ingredient expert! We also suggest that the next time you apply or use beauty products on your skin, read the product labels and avoid skin care products that contain the following toxic ingredients:
Parabens are commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics, shampoos, body washes, face care cleansers, and many other products. It is relied upon by manufacturers primarily to prevent bacterial growth in the products.
While the effects of parabens may appear harmless initially, a 2004 study suggests otherwise as a positive link between parabens and breast cancer have been suspected. Apparently, when one uses skin products or cosmetics that contain parabens, these chemicals are absorbed by the skin. In the study, parabens - and above all methylparaben, have been found to be present in breast tumors.
Methylisothiazolinone and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (sometimes also listed as MIT, MI or MIC) are becoming very popular in personal care products as well recently, especially with companies looking to carry the "paraben-free" label inexpensively.
However, methylisothiazolinone is a sensitizing ingredient, and for many people, repeated use can lead to contact dermatitis and other issues. It's also been associated with neurotoxicity. In the European Union, it is restructed in rinse-off products and banned in leave-on products for these reasons. So, check ingredients lists for this one as well especially if you're prone to sensitive skin. Its most often found in soaps, shampoos, cleansers and hair styling products.
Sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS)/ Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are chemicals that can be found in cosmetics and personal care products, particularly soaps and shampoos. While sulfates have always been known to cause skin and eye irritation, there are assessments that reveal its degenerative effects on the cell membrane. They can also be drying and stripping to skin and hair. Alternatives are vegetable and plant-oil based surfactants.
Many personal care products on the market today like cosmetics and lotions contain phthalates, which act as a softener and are also present in many fragrances. While phthalates are only supposed to be applied or used externally, there is evidence that shows that these chemicals get inside the body. In one study, the urine of babies who were bathed or shampooed with products containing phthalates was found to contain high levels of these chemicals.
These seemingly innocent and common chemicals have also been found to be positively linked to many serious health issues. The toxic effects of phthalates are correlated to infertility, obesity, asthma, allergies, testicular dysgenesis, and breast cancer.
While many of us enjoy using products that leave a nice scent on hair and skin, check to see if fragrances being used are pthalate-free.
Triclosan is a chemical ingredient that is most commonly found in hand soaps and other skin cleansing products. This chemical is best known for its antimicrobial properties.
While triclosan’s bacterial effect may seem beneficial, there are pieces of evidence that imply that it can help build resistance in bacteria. This means that triclosan makes certain bacteria antibiotic-resistant, thus creating more serious problems later.
It is important to note as well that not enough evidence exists to support the hypothesis that washing with soaps containing triclosan is more beneficial than simply washing with regular soap and water.
Similar to parabens, formaldehyde is also a common ingredient in cosmetics and skin care products to prevent the growth of bacteria. Unfortunately, formaldehyde’s harmful effects cannot be overcome by its minute benefit.
Several studies suggest that this chemical can cause serious allergies, skin irritation, and worsening of certain skin conditions, even in small concentrations. Apart from its minor negative effects, it is important to stress that the International Agency for Research on Cancer labels formaldehyde as a human carcinogen, meaning it can cause certain types of cancer.
You usually will not see formaldehyde listed on an ingredient label, especially outside of nail polishes and adhesives. But, certain ingredients can release it over time. The two most common are quartenium-15 and DMDM hydantoin, and common offenders are hair straightening products and nail products.
It is evident that the demand for all-natural skin care products in the market has been consistently growing in the past couple of years. Because of easy access to information, many people have become aware of the advantages of using natural skin care products and also the harmful effects of those that include toxic chemicals. Given the findings from scientists, it is clear that man-made chemicals can go too far in the quest to beat natural skin care ingredients and lower prices, and the shift to gentler, all-natural products will continue in the years to come.