Natural Skin Care Products: A Look Back and So Many Reasons to Look Forward
There are so many ads and commercials that elevate the good things about using natural skin care products and following a natural skin care routine, but there aren’t as many sources as possible to help correct the lingering concerns traditional skin care product users have about natural skin care.
There are those underlying myths and misconceptions, that we’d like to help clear up for you. We always base our information on factual studies, and we’ll include that information here for you so that you can once and for all feel confident about using natural skin care products.
Many years ago, I recall standing in the isle of Target, looking at all of the skin care options. Two things struck me immediately: Why did you need 5 products to cover all of the things you’d like to correct with your skin (sun spots, scarring, discoloration, signs of aging, antioxidant protection, etc.)? And what were all of those strange hard to pronounce ingredients in each container?
After my education, preparation, and working with ingredients, I realized that #1: Big manufacturers don’t like to stack products with good ingredients because that minimizes their product selection and big manufacturers do not like to put in the percentage of valuable ingredients that are necessary to make a difference because they have to cut corners financially.
In our case, we don’t have to cut corners, because we don’t mass produce products that will sit on shelves. Our products are made to order, only when you place your order, and no products are pulled from an inventory shelf. Less waste, more quality ingredients.
I do realize that people do have some beliefs and misconceptions though, about natural skin care products.
The Historical Quest for Natural Skin Care that Improves Skin
Though we usually think of skin care as modern day products that have been tested and tried with up to the minutes ingredients that make a difference, skin care has been a part of the human routine for thousands of years. Though cosmetics have likely existed for even longer, the first evidence of cosmetics stems from Ancient Egypt, approximately 6,000 years ago.
Not only was skin care a fixture of everyday routines, it was were also extremely important culturally. Aside from beauty purposes, Ancient Egyptians used natural skin care for a variety of reasons, the first being for mummification, burial traditions, and honoring their Gods and Goddesses.
While that may be a bit far off from how we typically use skin care today, they had similar reasons for using them in their everyday life. Ancient Egyptians also used cosmetics to protect them from the elements — mainly sun rays and insects.
Since standardized skin care didn’t exist, Egyptians created their own natural skin care products using items they could collect from their surrounding (like olive oil, ostrich eggs, dough, essential oils — from herbs and plants, and milk).
Queen Cleopatra herself allegedly took beauty baths in sour milk. Exfoliating scrubs couldn’t be grabbed off the full shelves of big name beauty stores, and instead had to be handmade using sand and aloe-vera. Some of the best skincare secrets stem from Egyptians – like using aloe, myrrh, and frankincense. These products, particularly frankincense, were believed to possess anti-inflammatory properties and were used as anti-wrinkle creams by Ancient Egyptians.
Similar to Egyptians, Greeks and Romans also used natural skin care to protect their skin from the elements. Sand and oils were used to protect their skin from the sun. This wasn’t always to prevent sun damage, as this was not a widely known issue at the time. It was predominately to avoid getting tanned skin, which was commonly associated with the lower class, or those who worked regular jobs typically outside.
As skin care moved to Europe and the Middle East, new ingredients and methods were invented and introduced. The first cold cream was developed using rose oil and water, and then melted beeswax into it. They used the mineral alum to treat scabs and used olive to fight acne.
The popularity of skin whitening did not die down, though, and Europeans took it one step further. They combined vinegar and lead to make a whitening treatment and used it to get rid of freckles and whiten their skin.
During the Elizabethan Era, many Europeans used this whitening treatment. At the time, it wasn’t popular to wash their faces and/or bodies, so typically, they piled on layer after layer of the whitening foundation to achieve a look as pale as possible.
By the 1920’s, a shift in beauty ideals caused slightly tanned skin to be seen as desirable. Natural skin care and cosmetics, in turn, followed this trend. Tinted face powders and lotions that emulated a tan were introduced. Creams and lotions that emulated tanned skin became very popular. While this marked a major shift in beauty ideals, it certainly wasn’t the end of the negative thoughts towards dark skin at the time. Tanned skin was only desirable in the summer, as it was seen as being achieved during leisurely vacations and travels (instead of outside labor). So, skin whiteners were again introduced in the fall season and marketed as allowing people to get rid of their summer tans and help them achieve their desired pale skin again.
Here are the top 5 myths people have about natural skin care products and proof that they just aren’t true.
Top 5 Myths about Natural Skin Care Products
Myth #1: It's ineffective. It’s a common misconception that, without fortifying synthetic additives, natural skin care products are less potent or effective. The truth is, the majority of commercially available products contain these preservatives out of necessity, because they are diluted with water, reducing their overall efficacy. Our products do not contain any water. This fact makes them more effective, concentrated, and filler free. You’re only getting the good stuff with our products.
Myth #2: It's dangerous. Fears persist that chemical preservatives are necessary to prevent bacterial growth. In reality, those harsh, chemical based preservatives are only needed in water-based products, like those most commonly available on the market. We don’t mass product our products, so there’s no need for a super long shelf life or need for products to sit in inventory until it’s sold. We just don’t operate that way.
Myth #3: It's complicated. Some people assume that all natural skincare routines are needlessly complex. Using such basic ingredients must mean meticulous rules and a complicated application process, right? Not so. With just a handful of the right products you can look and feel your best in less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee. We purposely stack ingredients in our products, so you don’t need as many if you’re goal is to keep your natural skin care routine simple.
Myth #4: It's just a fad. As with any emerging industry, some might suspect that natural skincare is just a fleeting trend with no science to back up its claims. But things like herbs, salts, berries, honey and essential oils have been used throughout human history as cleansers, sun protection, insect repellant and yes, to promote healthier skin. Now we have a very long list of medical studies to back that long history of natural ingredient use.
Myth #5: Organic skincare is too expensive. Finding and purchasing natural skin care products have never been more affordable or easy. It’s true there are some brands out there that present “hype” and raise their prices above and beyond reason, but trust, us, natural skin care does not have to be expensive. It can be easily obtained by anyone from anywhere. That’s why we offer free shipping in the US and free returns. Besides, we can’t out a price on our health and well being, and natural skin care products are 100% better for you than synthetic, traditional skin care products that contain a lot of chemicals and fillers.
Medical Studies Agree that Natural Skin Care is Just Better
The National Institute of Health has performed many studies showing how various natural skin care ingredients are the way to go when it comes to choosing effective, quality skin care:
The inclusion of botanicals in skin care products is becoming ever more popular. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits do prove to be beneficial for a number of conditions that dermatologists routinely treat, such as rosacea, photoaging, and skin cancer. The published effectiveness of prescription retinoids is well known but equally well known is the irritation and redness often caused by the initiation of therapy. Using more naturally derived ingredients, like Retinol, can provide significant effectiveness with less irritation. Many botanicals hold the promise of utility to reduce such inflammation. This is one of the best and most practical reasons to include botanicals in skin care protocols.
A perfect example of a very effective natural skin care product - our Natural Lightening Cream with Arbutin, Kojic & Niacinamide:
There is no shortage of research documented to show the benefits of using natural skin care products versus traditional skin care products. You can completely avoid those chemicals, pointless fillers, and damaging synthetics by starting to purge those items out of your routine and replacing them with some quality natural skin care products that are sure to make you look and feel better.
Jeanette @ Claribelskincare.com | Owner, Formulator & Herbal Expert