Most of us use some sort of skincare product every day, whether it is soap, makeup, perfume, moisturiser or shampoo. Of all of the products we put on our skin each day, up to 60% of these end up being absorbed into our bodies through our skin.
Here are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to think about making a concerted switch towards natural skincare products.
Better for your healthDepending on what is actually contained in these products that we are using every day, a large portion of this can (and indeed does) end up in our bodies, even though they are applied externally. The most obvious result of this is that harmful chemicals may contaminate our bodies (in fact, it can take months or years for these chemicals to be eliminated from our systems).
Introducing such chemicals and toxins into our bodies puts additional strain on our bodies’ systems for detoxifying. We shouldn’t be ingesting foods that are riddled with chemicals so if we think of it in the same way, we shouldn’t be absorbing any nasty chemicals through our skin either.
Better for the environment
The products that we use in the shower, bath, or sink eventually end up in our waterways and soil in some way or another, which has obvious long term effects on our natural environment. Furthermore, packaging of overly manufactured products can often contain harmful plastics, so bare this in mind when selecting products too. Recyclable packages are best.
Natural products which are organically farmed, that is without the use of fertilisers, pesticides and synthetic chemicals will also have greater benefits for the environment and the sustainability of ecosystems.
Natural products can actually work more effectively
As mentioned earlier, if we think of our skincare products like food (since they are so heavily absorbed into our bodies) then it is obvious that the less natural the product, the worse it is likely to be for our body and its performance. For example, heavily processed foods are not ideal for our bodies to digest and they often lack the pure nutrients required to maintain proper health and body function. On the other hand, purer foods and ingredients are better absorbed by the body and are utilised more effectively, yielding greater health benefits.
Similarly, natural and organic skincare products can often be more effectively absorbed by the body when there is no presence of artificial ingredients and chemicals to restrict or alter the absorption process. Chemicals don’t leave skin looking its best, as they clog pores, accelerate signs of aging, and can cause dry skin. The more natural the product, the more pure and direct the benefits are likely to be and the more effective they are as a result.
The more pure and natural a product is, the less likely it is to cause skin irritations and any other adverse effects on the skin. This is why natural products are generally recommended for those with sensitive skin. Some plant extracts can cause reactions on certain people but compared with their artificial counterparts, they usually cause much less harmful irritation and in much fewer cases.
Remember that just because a product states that it is natural on the box, it doesn’t mean it really is. Sometimes these natural products have still gone through some form of chemical treatment or manufacturing process to increase their shelf life, improve their smell or even their texture. So, you should always check the ingredients list and look for the addition of any chemicals, avoiding any products with long lists of complex ingredients and substances that you have never heard of.
Artificial fragrances, which are usually sprayed directly onto the skin, are amongst the most chemical-filled products, often including phthalates which are thought to have health risks such as effects on the reproductive system. As an alternative, you could use the natural aromas of essential oils.