The Ultimate Question: Is Natural Skin Care Really Better?

 Whether it’s a way to detox your skin or make more impactful choices as a consumer, switching to a natural skincare routine can elevate not only your complexion but also the earth in which you live. But what does natural skincare entail exactly? And is it truly better than its conventional counterparts?
 
As recent as even ten years ago “natural” skin care was automatically assumed as safer and pure, but we now know there’s more to it—a lot more. Because even with natural skincare ingredients, there are still certain criteria you should look for. That’s because natural skin care is better—but only  if it incorporates green innovation: the conscious and ethical considerations of all elements of the business, from the soil, the seed, the local communities and all other middlemen to the packaging and the formulas themselves. 
 
Here’s what you need to know as you transition into a natural skincare routine fueled by green innovation.
  
Truly Natural Skin Care Should Use the
Best Processes to Ensure Optimal Extraction and Efficacy From Plants
Green chemistry is the process of identifying and isolating key nutrients while capitalizing on their synergy with other natural ingredients in each formula. The goal is to achieve maximum effectiveness through cutting-edge technology by ensuring that every ingredient has a purpose when it comes to benefitting your beautiful skin. 
 
At LUXE Botanics, we prioritize keeping our consciously-sourced ingredients as close to their natural composition as possible to provide the highest benefit to you. 
 
For example, our Marula oil is made from fallen fruits and cold-pressed to best capture its natural essence. We use no chemicals or heat to extract this lush, nutrient-dense oil. 
 Shop the Marula line here.
Our organic ingredients are wild-harvested, meaning they’re hand-picked exactly as they’re found in nature, allowing us to have a lower impact on the earth while delivering the highest quality.
 
By using natural ingredients combined with green chemistry, we ensure these nutrient powerhouses are more bioavailable—meaning they’re more easily absorbed and used by the body than synthetic ingredients for better results.
 
With green technology, you can also avoid unnecessary chemicals and take advantage of nature exactly as she intended—with harmonious ingredients specifically designed for your skin to thrive.
 
Natural skincare formulas can certainly have some beneficial components, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the product is better, safer or even more effective. For example, there are certain ingredients that play important roles in formulas, but they should be sourced responsibility to add value to skin care.
 
Below are examples of ingredients that make excellent additions to formulas—but only if the ingredient itself is natural or naturally derived:
 
Surfactants. Surfactants help stabilize oil and water combinations. Examples include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium stearate.
 
Surfactants can be unnecessarily harsh on skin, stripping its natural oils and causing tightness, dryness, irritation and itching [1]Surfactants also pollute our environment, harming aquatic life and endangering human health.[2]
 
Emulsifiers. Used as a thickening agent, emulsifiers can damage the skin’s natural barrier, drying it out and causing transepidermal water loss, (essentially, the evaporation of water), which can contribute to aging skin.[3]
Emulsifiers are often derived from petroleum, including polyethylene glycol and ethylene glycol. Others, including laureth-4, can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a suspected carcinogen.[4]
 
Emollients. Emollients are designed to reduce water loss from the skin. So why aren’t they the gold standard in natural skin care?
 
The problem is that emollients don’t actually moisturize—their job is to help the skin feel smoother without affecting its water content.[5] Examples include petroleum and lanolin (which is derived from sheep!).[6]
 
Parfum. Parfum, also referred to as fragrance, is a term for thousands of different chemicals that can have toxic effects.[7]
 
Some of these substances are naturally derived while others are synthetic and can not only be irritating to the skin, causing skin reactions such as contact dermatitis, but have been linked to respiratory and neurotoxic symptoms as well. [8][9] 
Truly Natural Skin Care Should Harness Proven Ingredients at Active Percentages 
 
Green innovation honors the balance and intelligence nature has perfected to deliver a highly effective, natural and sustainable product that elevates your skincare routine for succulent, amazing skin. But remember, just because a product is natural doesn’t mean it’s effective. It all depends on what ingredients it uses and at what percentages. (In the most extreme example, imagine a formula with an extraordinary ingredient like marula oil—but what if the product had just one drop of marula in it? It wouldn’t make a difference!)
 
Without the necessary chemistry to be effective enough to work, yet gentle and nurturing, natural products can fall short of giving you a gorgeous glow.
 
How can you know a product’s ingredients are harmonized to optimize their effects? First, the ingredients should be proven to work for their specific use in skincare, ideally through research.
 
Next, the active ingredient should be flanked by other natural, soothing ingredients that enhance the properties of the formula. Don’t trust ingredients that don’t have a proven purpose, or lack safety data.[10]  
 
Truly Natural Skin Care Should Commit to Sustainable Sourcing and Ethical Business Practices
 
If a product is natural itself but doesn’t take into consideration the natural world around it, is it really natural? In a word, no! 
 
This is why you should look for skincare companies that prioritize sustainable sourcing and ethical business practices when it comes to choosing the ingredients, the packaging, the shipping packaging, the logistics the business partners—all which making sure they give back to the whole value chain and making conscious business decisions about who they work with.
 
At LUXE Botanics, we do this is by ensuring our packaging and ingredients (including the way things are packed and transported from the lab to the customers) are all carefully dealt with in ways that do not harm the environment and are respectful to the climate change crisis. We ensure every human in our supply chain are treated and compensated fairly, and that all relationships are mutually beneficial. 
 
In addition to these considerations, look for companies that consciously source their ingredients and invest in organic and sustainable harvesting methods to provide not only ethical sourcing and fair-trade working conditions, but ingredients from as close to nature as possible. 
 
Find brands that don’t rely on animal ingredients or animal testing to produce their product, and consider companies that are mindful of their impact on our ecosystems. Some skincare products marketed as “natural” contain chemicals and even microplastics that can impact ocean life.[11] 
  
Takeaway: Natural Skin Care Is Better—When It’s Done Right
 
When considering, “How can I take care of my skin naturally?” you want to be discerning about what ingredients you use. Just because a product is marketed as natural doesn’t automatically mean it’s safer for you or better for your skin. And when you find something that’s truly natural, visibly effective and beneficial for the communities and environments in which your skin care comes from, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of healthy skin while creating ripples of opportunity and innovation around you.

 

Naturally Yours, The LUXE Botanics Team

  1.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14728695
  2.  https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/be9f/db01c1aa20d4e04441f20b2108dcf5b6f5e3.pdf
  3.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10675696
  4.  https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/703422/LAURETH-4/
  5.  https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/moisturizers-do-they-work
  6.  https://cosmeticsinfo.org/ingredient/lanolin
  7.  http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/fragrance/
  8.  https://nationaleczema.org/fragrances-perfumes-eczema-allergy/
  9.  https://noharm-uscanada.org/issues/us-canada/fragrance-chemicals
  10.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1253722/
  11.  https://www.fws.gov/refuges/features/OceansOfTrash.html

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