When caring for our skin we have to be as careful as we can to use the best products we can find or afford while making sure that we are not introducing harsh chemicals into our systems unnecessarily. Often we see branding on products that make the skin care solution seem like it is chemical free only to find many words we can’t pronounce when we look at the list of ingredients.
In reality, even the most “natural” product you can find will be required by law to do what it can to mitigate mold and bacterial growth and thus will have some type of preservative added.
The problem is that some companies realize that they can potentially sell more product and lose less of it to spoilage if they can leave it on the store shelves for a longer period of time. So they might really load up the product with chemical preservatives to maximize profits. And it is likely that you’ll be putting an unnecessary chemical load into your system if you use this product, which works against your goal of healthy, radiant skin. Smart consumers are looking deeper into manufacturers who utilize natural preservatives. Your skin care professional will be able to guide you to the most current and best product lines.
If you’re going it alone, then look for natural products whose main preserving ingredients use exotic herbs, flowers, or oils that ancient civilizations used to preserve their goods for later use. Smart companies are figuring out how to add the right amount of these items to preserve their products without introducing chemical poisons to the mix. However, one naturally occurring chemical, alcohol, is often used by natural skin care product makers as a way to ensure that they can continue to sell you a “natural” product. What’s more interesting though is that they often do not put this ingredient on the label. However, if the product has enough alcohol in it, it will very likely do the opposite of what the user intended when purchasing it. If you bought an all natural moisturizer but found your face getting drier and drier the more you used it, this could be the reason.
So what are some of the ingredients you should be on the lookout for when choosing natural skin care products? Natural preservatives such as citric acid, potassium sorbate, or sodium benzoate are effective, natural, and nontoxic in doses you’d find in most products. You should also look for added essential oils such as tea tree oil since these are effective at controlling bacterial growth and extending product shelf life. Some natural products produce their lathers by using corn and sugar. This is a gentle, non-toxic lathering agent that can be found in natural shampoos. If you are looking for an alternative to mineral oil for use in massaging the skin or locking in moisture, try products containing apricot kernel, almond, vitamin E, and other natural carrier oils. These oils can be used directly on the skin to moisturize and soften skin.
Pure essential oils that are extracted from flowers, roots, leaves, and herbs. Some essential oils are great for aromatherapy while others are helpful when applied to the skin. However, synthetic essential oils can be highly irritating just to smell and should not be applied to the skin. Some brands might utilize herbal extracts made from aloe, kelp, green tea, or chamomile leaf. These often also contain synthetic glycerin, but vegetable glycerin is a true natural alternative. You also can typically find oatmeal as an ingredient. This is because oatmeal is an awesome natural skin cleanser. Some cleansers also contain walnut shell pieces but most people would find this too harsh to use regularly.
If you have really sensitive skin be sure to avoid products that contain fruit acids and alpha hydroxy acids. Sure, these are helpful in removing dead skin cells, but just because a company might label this as a natural ingredient does not mean that it is safe for everyone to use. If you are in doubt, just ask your esthetician for some guidance on which products are right for your situation. However, naturally occurring fruit enzymes such as those found in papaya and pineapple are generally safe while also being effective at getting rid of dead skin cells and improving circulation. If you are looking to ensure that your skin care products are as natural as possible but as effective as possible, be sure to get guidance from your service provider. This can save you lots of wasted time, effort, and reduce potential for injury while getting to your skin care goals.