As a millennial myself, I am all about natural. Whether it is food, fashion, or beauty. I try to consume pure and natural ingredients in my diet, natural textile in my dress, and natural ingredients in my beauty cabinets. And I am sure, many women like me would like to pursue natural in their lifestyle.
In terms of beauty, when I buy beauty products, I like to see those products' ingredients and try to make sense out of it. Is it really natural? What makes these beauty products natural? I intend to have a potent, pure, safe to use, natural beauty product in my beauty cabinet. After I dug down to this subject further, I realized that, with natural skincare standards, the term “natural” is not regulated.
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States governed the word “organic” but nothing in terms of "natural." The beauty and wellness industry identified their own standards when it comes to natural. But as a consumer, we need transparency in this topic.
That's why I would like to have a blog post to talk about what is natural skincare. Also, why should we use natural skincare, and later on, how the beauty and wellness industry is categorizing natural skincare based on natural ingredients types.
But first, why natural skin care?
The natural vs. synthetic debate has become very intense and polarized. Which is better or safer? What should you use? Will synthetic products give me cancer on and on! There is so much information out there, and it makes me feel dizzy sometimes.
Women in our generation gravitate towards natural products because of health safety reasons, or you are allergic to synthetic ingredients. And yes, I will not deny there are some people serious about changing lifestyles, and they would only want to use natural ingredient products! (and I truly admire them).
Generally, people think being natural is safe because it is coming from nature in the purest form. But tell me one thing, when you get those beauty products from the market, how many ingredients you can figure out. Honestly, I didn't. I didn't understand why Sorbic Acid claims to be "natural" in 100% pure natural beauty products. It is worth the thought.
But before I go into details about that, for my satisfaction, I came down to my logical reasoning about why everyone should use natural beauty and skincare products first.
Here they are:
1) Everyone should treat their skin as an organ of the body! Let say you don't have breakfast; you will get headaches or stomach pain. For next time, you try to be diligent about taking care of your liver/tummy, right? You will make sure to have breakfast in a sufficient portion, so you don't get headaches or stomach pain.
I said sufficient portion because a person should eat what you can digest – that's what you will do! So the same theory applies here. These are some of the underlying reasons to choose a natural skincare product. You will listen to your skin and provide necessary nourishment using natural ingredient products.
Take care of your skin with appropriate timed care using pure and natural ingredients that should be your mantra.
2) Again, going back to food, if you eat processed food every day, you will have other problems such as weight gain and constipation; you always try to balance, right? Make sure you incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables.
Same way, if you use synthetic chemical peels regularly, it might damage your skin, or some synthetic material might prone to cancer. So instead of using those synthetic chemicals on your body, you will try to add some freshness of natural products.
3) When you go out for grocery shopping, you read labels. I always do that for every food item! So why not apply the same practice here! It is good to identify that you are using petroleum jelly for years on your skin, and it's not right!
So there are several reasons you want to choose natural skincare. And Human beings are natural by-products as well. It is good to select the best natural elements from the environment according to your skin type and use it safely.
Organic Vs. Natural
Many people do not know there are two categories, Natural & Organic. Natural ingredients can be organic, but not all organic ingredients can be natural. Thankfully, the term organic is very much standardized compare to Natural. If a label says organic skincare, it should have an official seal, like the USDA NOP, certified organic seal. If a natural skincare line is coming from Europe, it may have the ECOCERT label.
But "Natural", in the beauty industry, has been used very loosely. When a brand said a natural skincare brand, that does not mean they are not using synthetic ingredients like emulsifiers, surfactants, and preservatives.
So, to identify natural ingredients vs. synthetic, you need to know names. So, for further clarity on this topic, I came up with four types of natural ingredients used in the beauty industry. You might not know what's particular brand’s mission and standards in terms of “natural” beauty products.
But I would like to still help you by the below categories, so that you can understand your natural beauty products.
Types of Natural Products:
*1) Natural I: Beauty products contain this form of ingredients, are directly come from nature. Such as vegetable oils, butter, orange peels, lemon peels, dates, chickpea flour, etc.
*2) Natural II: These natural products consist of naturally derived ingredients but not in natural form. Examples of natural solubilizers. These ingredients do not have a fundamental structural change in chemistry, but these are derived from natural ingredients. For instance, Sodium Citrate - Vegetable-based aqueous thickener and emulsifier(Derived from natural ingredients). Coenzyme Q10 derived from plant material.
*3) Natural III/Synthetic I: This category is a bit controversial. As it will replicate natural ingredients but synthetically derived without using any natural sources, I would say these ingredients are those where you touch a grey area. I wouldn't call it natural, but some brand believes that it is natural. Example: Citric Acid, Sorbic Acid, etc.
*4) 100% Synthetic That means these products are not natural. If you are like me and you have a desire is to use skincare product natural ingredients, you would not like to buy products from this category. • Reference - For detail discussion on this listen: /formulabotanica.com/category/podcast/
This article was not very conclusive on what you can define as natural skincare products. But if you are a buyer who wants to make sure what you are putting on your skin or hair in a safe and natural state, it will probably give you a quick guide on this. It would be great if clean and indie beauty brands come forward and become transparent about their ingredient selection process. For me, I came up this synopsis:
Body butter, lip balm, bath salts consist of 100% natural ingredients. While shampoo, conditioners, and facewashes are type 2 natural ingredients. These products contain ingredients like emulsifiers, humectants, surfactants, etc. These ingredients will help you perform the function of the product.
I mentioned in my first blog post, Welcome! & about, we are here together, I am a regular girl like you, and we will figure out the best way possible when it comes to beauty & wellness. In general, I would say - make your decisions based on your desired results and do your research. It will help you define natural and synthetic ingredients and find proper skincare for your needs.
I hope this article will give you a little sneak peek of natural skincare. Follow me on Instagram & Facebook for regular tips, tricks, and some knowledge on skincare. Comment below your thoughts.
Note: All my articles are my research and personally experienced thoughts.