Natural Skincare is a term that has come up in the last.... 10, 15, 20 years? It is hard to have an exact time yet it is now part of the day to day language. And what does it really mean?
Are there regulating body for that term? Any minimum or maximum of ingredients? Are there some no nos and absolute ingredients?
Well the answer is no. No regulation, no minimum, no maximum. It is a broad term that can be used almost any way a company sees it fit to use.
The practice of the making of "natural skincare" points though towards some common elements. You could say tacit understanding.
Here are some based on my experience of 11 years as a maker and opinion as a user for the last 25 years.
An alarm came up back in 2004, Reading University in England found that paragons (synthetic preservatives in skincare) was accumulating in the tissues of the breast. Originally it was assumed that the parabens were broken down by the liver. Reality showed that when the parabens are applied to the skin, it bypasses the liver, remain intact and accumulate in the fatty tissues of the breast. The skincare making companies of the time were quick to state that the parabens did not cause breast cancer. Yet the question remained: why do they accumulate in the tissues of the breast?
This brought discomfort to the large community of skincare users.
A very interesting book published by two Canadian researchers (Bruce Lourie and Rick Smith), "Toxin Toxout" points out that at the time of publication (2013) that 80 000 synthetic chemicals have been identified up to now. We know their action but we do not know about the synergy (the combined effect which is greater than the single effect), they create affect us.
This kind of information brought on a new level of awareness of what we apply on our skin which is the largest organ of our bodies. The skin does absorb what we put on. This has lead to the "natural skincare" revolution with the creation of natural products.
The first culprit to disappear from the list of ingredients were:
- Synthetic preservatives
- Artificial perfumes
- Petroleum ingredients
Some wellknown brand did join on this new approach and off they went advertising on TV how their well popular brand of moisturiser were now (at last) free from parabens, perfume and petroleum ingredients. Better late than never we might say.
Here is a sneaky little piece of information. The cosmetic and skincare industry is not obligated by law to list the complete list of their ingredients. So they can say our products are free of this and free of that yet they do not have to disclose the full of ingredients (by the way we give the complete list of ingredients for each of our products on the label as well as on the website).
Cosmetic companies are only obliged to list the active ingredients. If they add filler they do not have to let you know.
So back to the initial question: what is a natural skincare?
These days it relates to a cosmetic or skincare product that are as close to nature as possible with ingredients which are naturally occurring and or vegetable base excluding synthetic preservatives, artificial fragrances, petroleum ingredient, laurel sulphate being some of the most commonly listed. Those ingredients are linked to disrupting the endocrine system which orchestrates many if not most of the metabolic reactions taking place in our bodies. Many people also report reactions to the conventional skincare like rash, swelling of the skin, redness and itchiness being some of the most often reported.
"Natural skincare" can be written all over a label without meaning much. It can even be a brand of skincare which as little natural ingredient in it. As a consumer I encourage you to read the labels and ask questions. Be involved and informed. You are putting the money on the table and you choose what you put on and in your body. It is your territory. Be sure to look after it as well as you can.