‘Natural’ skincare Product – (What does it really mean!)
What is the meaning of ‘natural’ in skincare products?
The word ‘Natural’ evokes a certain emotion is us, when I see ‘natural’, I picture something ‘green’, something unprocessed, smells of leaves and pine, floral scents, vast open spaces, sound of running water…
I’d imagine it would be different for most of us, maybe smell of the beach, different sounds perhaps, birds, bees…. All sorts, the list can go on and on.
How does this translate into products? When I see this word - natural, I associate it with something free of pointless stuff, I believe these products would be made of ‘real’ ingredients, less processed, wouldn’t read too much like a chemistry book. Where an ingredient is present for an actual benefit to my skin, where it all comes together like an orchestra, like everything has a purpose and it comes together to make something great. It doesn’t need to do everything, it just needs to do what it says it would. I’d like it to have safe packaging, of course it needs to be cruelty free - non negotiable; and as small a carbon footprint as possible.
Like a delicious marmalade made from real oranges and real sugar in a nice glass jar…
Unfortunately in the reality of the cosmetic and skincare world the word natural is ambiguous, vague at best. It’s kind of problematic for everyone, artisans creating great products and consumers looking for good ‘more natural’ products. If you think about it and even talk amongst your friends who like natural products you will realize everyone has a different understanding of it and actually the surprising thing is that it’s very difficult to get everyone to agree and get them on the same page. There basically is no way really pinning down what natural is…
Everything available for sale today, all the products out there, they are all produced from what’s on our planet or what’s in our environment or a combination of stuff. Some of the ingredients are minimally processed – a good coconut oil, while others can be totally man made or synthetic like silicones or carbomers or whatever. They all go through some processing to be free of impurities and safe, they each have their pros and cons.
A good example of how the word natural can be misleading would be a lotion or a bar of soap:
Every lotion has water and water is naturally occurring, when a lotion which is basically an emulsion has 80% water and whatever percentage of oils, butters, emulsifiers and yes a lotion MUST always MUST have preservative since it has water. It’s really in all honesty already 80% natural before adding anything else to it because 80% water... Does it mean it’s great? Don’t know… We need more information.
If we look at soap, we couldn’t possibly make it without lye (sodium hydroxide) and we can’t get lye without processing ie wood ashes in the good old days. But soap is great, a good soap made with great skin foods - oils and butters will have amazing nourishing and conditioning properties. It would do wonders for your skin, produces no plastic waste if packaged correctly, it doesn’t need a preservative. A good bar of soap actually lasts a long time so even an expensive bar in the long run isn’t all that bad.
All this does create a bit of a dilemma or for me - major confusion, so now what do I do when all I want is a good product, something that would help my skin recover from all I put it through (I put it through a lot!!! I live in HK). Because finally I decided to get it together, I decided I’m going to try to do the right thing for myself, my body, I will eat well, I won’t just wear spanx (I might), I will exercise. I will use good stuff on my skin because I'm important. Just putting some concealer on is not good enough for me anymore and yes I may still use concealer :p, I want to look better without makeup too and I want my makeup free days to not be hideous days.
Now what can I do about choosing the right products. To make this more understandable next time we will talk about my skin type, kind of problems I usually have and finally how I got around managing it.
PS. Remember… beauty lies within