Why are you using, or thinking about using, natural skincare? Is it because you’ve read about all the scary things that could happen if you use toxic cosmetics? That’s not the only reason to steer clear of toxins.
Fear is Not the Answer
Forget scare tactics, fear-mongering, and the C-word. These go against the whole foundation of the health and wellness movement. There are some pretty popular health advocates out there shaking things up and bringing awareness to toxic ingredients in food and cosmetics, and those are good things. But fear should not be the reason for improving your health.
We now know that healthy thoughts play a huge role in not only how we feel, but our overall health. Yes, sometimes fear is a catalyst for change. A trip to the doctor’s office may result in a healthier diet or new exercise plan. A family member getting a scary diagnosis often prompts changes in our own lifestyle. Great, use that if it feels right.
But what about those of you who are on the fence with this whole toxins thing? Maybe you think it is sensationalized or just aren’t that worried about synthetic ingredients in your skincare. Or, maybe, it simply sounds too difficult to make the switch.
While opting for healthy ingredients in cosmetics is one more rung on the wellness ladder, there is another benefit to using natural skincare. And it has nothing to do with potential future diseases or environmental pollution. Natural skincare makes your skin look and feel better.
What’s Really Bothering Your Skin?
Natural skincare is not only healthier for skin, body, and the environment, but also makes your skin happier. Wonder how this can be true? Take a good, honest look at your skin. You’ve found products that work for you, but if you are still seeing breakouts, clogged pores, shiny or dry skin, or sensitivity it is likely due to chemicals in your skincare. It’s true.
I experienced this first hand. A decade ago I described my skin as ultra-sensitive. I only used Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer. Anything else left my skin red, hot, and irritated. Sounds like super sensitive skin, right?
Then I got into natural skincare and discovered something. My skin wasn’t all that sensitive. It was reacting to the chemicals in mainstream beauty products.
Here’s the deal. Most of us are sensitive to chemical ingredients in one way or another. Whether that looks like acne, dull skin tone, or irritation, synthetic ingredients do not work with our skin the way natural ingredients do.
Take the aforementioned Cetaphil for example. This cleanser (which is made of water, alcohols, SLS, propylene glycol, and parabens) is widely recommended by doctors and dermatologists to treat all skin types, from acne prone to dry or sensitive. And it does seem to abate these skin issues. But you may notice that it stops working over time and your pimples come back. Or your dry or sensitive skin has healed, but you also have clogged pores or waxy feeling complexion. These are reactions to chemical ingredients.
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients responsible for unhappy skin. Alcohols and harsh cleansing agents (like SLS) are drying. This causes everything from redness and irritation, to acne. Silicones and plasticizers block pores and cause irritation. Even if a product claims to be noncomedogenic (or non-pore clogging) it may still contain these ingredients. Fragrance ingredients are another source of skin irritation. If you look at the list of cosmetic ingredients to avoid, you will notice that most of the ingredients come with a note on allergic reaction or skin irritation.
Why Your Skin Likes Natural Ingredients
Since the skin absorbs a large portion of what is applied to it, it only makes sense that absorbing vitamins and nutrients from natural ingredients is better than toxins. When choosing skincare, consider what the ingredients do for skin and which will benefit you most, then choose products made with those ingredients.
Of course, natural ingredients can irritate skin too. Some essential oils disagree with delicate skin types and others should only to be used when diluted. We are all different and so is our skin. Know which ingredients your skin reacts to and look for those when reading ingredient listings to avoid eruptions or skin problems.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t times when you may need to use a chemical skincare treatment. Some stubborn skin conditions, like cystic acne or psoriasis, may require prescription medication or treatments that include synthetic ingredients. The idea is to tailor your skincare routine to suit your own skin type and issues.
If you are tired of hearing how bad everything is for your health, take a break from the fear mongering and do something good for your skin. Natural ingredients may be the answer to your skin issues, and can make your complexion look and feel better than you ever thought it could.