Behind The Safer Ingredients Boom

Just because a product is labelled natural, it doesn’t mean it’s automatically safe. Natural skin care that is both effective and affordable is still difficult to come across. And often when you find products that tick all the boxes, their price tags are not sustainable for your wallet.

The natural and organic beauty boom is part of the larger shift in consumer awareness about health and wellness. Consumers no longer want to know just what effect a formula will have on their skin, but also exactly where ingredients come from, their quality, and how they've been treated in laboratories.

A product’s composition and its manufacturing process are two key elements to consider when choosing ‘safe’ skin care. A powerful mix of ingredients is not enough. This should be coupled with manufacturing methods that preserve the raw power of these ingredients and are kind to the environment.

The Ingredients Mix

The use of toxic synthetic ingredients and the mislabeling of natural products are some of the biggest issues in the beauty industry today, so it pays to examine labels closely before buying a product.

Natural ingredients are those derived from natural sources without any added synthetic compounds like parabens, synthetic colors, or phthalates. Synthetic ingredients, on the other hand, are cheaper, more predictable versions of natural ingredients created in labs to simplify the manufacturing process.

However, not all ingredients labeled as 'natural' are necessarily safe. The lack of regulations in the beauty industry has lead to cosmetic manufacturers using this term quite loosely. Clean skin care embraces both natural and chemical ingredients, putting the focus on safety over source.

While new ingredients are constantly grabbing headlines only a few are worthy of long-term acclaim. The latest snake venom shouldn’t replace clinically-proven ingredients like active botanicals, antioxidants, vitamins and peptides. Choose products that have been made using a judicious ingredient selection that includes a proven track record of efficacy, nontoxicity, and nonirritation.

It's also important to take into account that the efficacy of a product relies on the stability of the ingredients, their ability to penetrate the skin, and their capability to act in vivo. Just because a product label lists an ingredient does not mean that ingredient is stable or active once it reaches the skin.*

Transparent and Ethical Methods

Manufacturing methods like cold processing are growing in popularity because they preserve the raw power of active ingredients. As opposed to more conventional production methods, cold processing involves mixing product ingredients together using extremely low to no heat during manufacturing.

Heat-assisted emulsification has been used for years in cosmetics and skin care manufacturing because it works well with certain emulsifiers to solve the problems of product separation. However, the use of heat can damage many of the delicate active ingredients in the final product, making them less effective.

Before you buy a product, you should take a look at the brand’s story and consider their production process. Here are a few things to ask:

1. Does the company practice transparency in aid of a higher cause? The company focuses on transparency because it wants to make a product that is manufactured, transported, sold, and marketed in an honest way that is beneficial to one or all of these: the environment, the consumer, the employee, the community.

2. Does it share information with the public? Information about the company's mission and policies is readily available to the public.

3. Do its transparency practices have an impact on the industry? The company leads by example, using transparency policies to encourage like-minded brands and competitors to increase overall compliance and improve industry standards.*

The Benefits of Natural, Safe Skin care

Truly natural, safe skin care has many benefits for the overall wellbeing of your skin, your body and the environment.

Bring back your natural balance and restore your skin to its native state of health. One of the things people start noticing when they're using high-quality natural products is that they penetrate into the skin almost immediately. They're low molecular weight, so they really sink in. Another thing is luminosity. Because the products are completely biocompatible, they make your skin just glow. Also, the density and plumpness of the skin starts changing. Your skin gets healthier right away.*

Maintain the wellbeing of your skin and the planet. We are what we eat, so feeding your skin with natural ingredients is vital if you are concerned about maintaining your health. Preserving the integrity of raw active ingredients is crucial in achieving optimum skin health because healthy and strong skin can protect and defend itself naturally.

But it's also important to ensure that these natural ingredients are harvested sustainably and that the production and packaging processes are kind to the environment. The cosmetic industry has started producing packaging that is recyclable, using materials that have already been recycled and repurposed for packaging, and even materials that are biodegradable. However the most recent development in this regard is biodegradable packaging, which decomposes in the environment and are made from naturally-derived materials.*

Sources:

Fast Company

JDD Online: Dermatology 

Refinery 29: Brand Transparency 

Beauty Editor