It’s definitely something that you’ve heard before – whether it’s marketing, from a friend, on Instagram, wherever – there’s a widespread idea that natural products are always better than their non-natural brothers and sisters.
But – what if they’re not?
While it’s always a good idea to be conscious of the kinds of products that you’re using and putting on your skin, it’s kind of a fallacy to assume that a product is good or better just because it comes from a natural origin. Cyanide is a completely natural compound – and a poison. Lead occurs naturally – and it’s also a poison. Get my drift?
However, just because something is natural, doesn’t mean it’s bad – it’s all about having the right balance. Here are 9 things you need to know if you’re in the market for natural skincare.
1) ‘Natural’ and ‘Organic’ Are Not Regulated Terms
In many countries, labels such as ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ are totally unregulated- meaning that there is no standard that the products must legally meet to be considered natural or organic. This means that even if you think that you’re buying something 100% natural, you may not be. Most of the time, a product can be labelled as natural if it contains a small or certain percentage of ingredients of natural origin.
2) Organic Products Expire Faster
Alongside the idea that natural is better is the idea that parabens are bad – a faulty study falsely linked them to breast cancer, and all synthetic preservatives have been absolutely vilified ever since. The thing is, parabens, among other preservatives, are essential for stopping the growth of nasties such as bacteria and fungi in our beloved beauty products.
3) Natural Ingredients Wreak Havoc On Allergies
Essential oils are a common go-to ingredient in natural skin care – but unfortunately, they are one of the main culprits of skin irritation and skin allergies, causing irritating skin conditions such as eczema and contact dermatitis.
4) Natural Remedies Are Not Always Skin Safe
One of the major key aspects of a great skincare product is the simple fact that it’s formulated to be safe and effective for skin. Of course, natural ingredients can be included products like this, but a lot of ‘natural remedies’ just aren’t skin safe – for example, lemon juice is probably the most commonly advised natural remedy for many skin issues.
But, lemon juice on it’s own is way too acidic to be safe for skin, and can actually cause even more damage – even though it’s ‘natural’. On the other hand, a properly formulated product containing Vitamin C delivers all the brightening results, without the damage.
5) There Is No Such Thing as Chemical-Free Skincare
A major argument for natural skincare and against synthetic skincare is the idea that natural products are ‘chemical free’ – the truth is, everything is made of chemicals! The water you drink. The air you breathe. The blood in your veins – it’s all chemicals. Chemicals isn’t a dirty word – without chemicals, we literally would not exist.
6) Diet Has Little Effect on Acne
While not a natural product by strict definition, there is a lot of advice online suggesting people avoid certain foods that may cause skin issues – mainly, a supposed link between acne and dairy. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of concrete evidence to suggest that avoiding dairy actually stops acne (sorry!) and you’re better off using a combination of healthy eating and good skincare to help tackle troubled skin.
7) It Creates Misinformation About Synthetic Products
The ‘natural’ label creates an immediate opposing label to skincare – meaning, everything that’s not natural is ‘unnatural’. But the thing is, this misinformation means that people aren’t making the best decisions about what to put on their skin!
Many people falsely believe that conventional sunscreen causes skin cancer (eyeroll) and that coconut oil is a great natural alternative, when we all know that any oil + sun exposure is a surefire recipe for sunburn (and possibly skin cancer…)
8) Just Because You Can Eat it Doesnt Mean it Belongs on Your Skin
While we discussed earlier that many natural remedies can cause more damage than good for skin because they’re not formulated to treat skin well – there’s also a flipside of natural skincare remedies not really doing anything at all.
For example, yogurt is commonly touted as a moisturizing and exfoliating mask all in one, supposedly thanks to lactic acid present in dairy. The thing is, there isn’t enough lactic acid in yogurt to make a difference on your skin.
9) Both Natural and Synthetic Ingredients Can Break You Out
A lot of green skincare advocates point fingers at Vaseline and Mineral Oil as the main culprits for causing breakouts and pimples, solely because they’re ‘chemical’ ingredients. The thing is, they’re both very inert and both incredibly effective at keeping skin moisturized.
On the other hand, coconut oil is perhaps one of the most hyped natural products ever – for skin, for hair, as a health supplement, but the thing is, it actually scores as highly comedogenic in skincare tests. Meaning, it’s actually incredibly likely to break users out – just because it’s natural, didn’t mean it was better for those it broke out!
So, what’s the bottom line with natural skin care?
Neither synthetic or natural skincare is inherently bad – but it’s a different story if the ingredients are just not effective at all. But don’t worry – there are products out there that are properly formulated with the perfect blend of lab-created and natural ingredients to deliver the best results, including those at [n]fibrecare. [n]fibrecare’s products are developed with achieving the best results for your skin in mind, while still being potent, eco-friendly, and gentle, even on the most sensitive of skin. All of the product formulas are only developed with science-proven, effective ingredients – so what are you waiting for?