What is Natural Skin Care?
Natural skin care is generally understood to check with those merchandise characterised by the absence of artificial ingredients, like preservatives, petrochemical derivatives, mineral oils, fragrances and harsh detergents.
Typically, natural skin care merchandise are created using natural ingredients like plant oils, essential oils, herbal and floral extracts (both aqueous and waxy), that are ready within the “old fashion way”, while not chemical processing or modification. Sometimes, ethically created animal derivatives, like beeswax, may be gift in natural skin care (1).
Unfortunately, there are numerous products in the market that claim to be either natural or that are cleverly marketed for their singular botanical extract or vitamin, amongst a dense cocktail of synthetic ingredients. These are the “pseudo-natural” products (1). To help clarify if a skin care product is really natural, it is recommended to read the ingredients section in the label.
Why is natural skin care better than synthetic?
Products that are made from ingredients that have been extracted naturally from sustainably maintained plants and crops manifest the essence, the energy, the qualities and the benefits of the source raw material, in ways that synthetics ingredients do not.
Simply put, the geographical location, the soil and the water the plants are grown in, as well as the sun exposure, the seasons and harvesting times contribute to the mature plants and crop yields in unique ways.
These factors cannot be mimicked in the laboratory or controlled nurseries, as the natural exposure to the environmental conditions facilitates development of subtle differences in the plants. These are then reflected in the quality of the extracted oils, as well as on their specific composition, properties and benefits.
Besides, synthetic ingredients are produced in laboratories using scientific, yet often hazardous processes involving the use of carbon dioxide, propylene glycol or hexane based methods. Although these chemical agents may only be present is trace amounts in the final synthesised ingredients, it is unclear what effect they might have as they accumulate in our bodies, over a prolonged period of exposure (2).
Of course, some of the natural extracts and oils may also be affected or destabilised by the natural extraction methods used in their preparation. For these reasons manufacturers of natural skin care products give great consideration to the sourcing of their raw materials and how natural ingredients are prepared from the latter.