It's amazing how many typically chemical-filled products are now available in 100% natural versions – cleansers, moisturisers, shampoos, even sun cream and deodorant. But why are they becoming so popular, and why should you make the switch from conventional to natural skincare? We give 4 key reasons that are hard to ignore.
#1 Natural skincare products are less likely to irritate the skin and skin conditions.
Normal skincare products are packed full of chemicals and preservatives which can easily irritate, inflame and dry out skin. Have you ever noticed how dry your skin becomes after using heavy duty cleansers? This is because the chemicals in many skincare products strip the skin of its natural oils. Natural products, on the other hand, replace these chemicals with natural ingredients, such as essential oils, plant oils, fruits, sugars and salts which are much more soothing and gentle – great news for people who suffer from dry skin, sensitive skin, acne, prickly heat, eczema or psoriasis.
#2 If you don't like what these chemicals do to your skin, just imagine what they're doing to your insides.
The skin acts less like a barrier and more like a huge sponge, so whatever we put on our skin tends to be absorbed into the body. Though usually found in safe levels in individual products, it is easy to see how these chemicals can build up inside our bodies when we use a variety of these products every day. One particularly problematic chemical group is parabens – these have been shown to mimic oestrogen, which can disrupt hormone levels and has been linked to incidences of breast cancer and reproductive problems. Many chemicals in skincare products are also thought to be carcinogens, and linked to conditions like asthma, fertility problems, diabetes and neurological disorders. In addition, synthetic chemicals tend to strip away your natural protective oils, leaving your skin more vulnerable to absorbing toxins – both from the products themselves and from air pollution – and more at risk of developing bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
#3 Natural skincare products can actually be good for us, instead of just being 'not harmful'.
Nature is great at providing everything we need to be healthy, so it makes sense to harness this natural goodness. Natural skincare products tend to include more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nutrients like omega-3s. These products are great for the skin, but as we've just covered, the skin is highly absorbent, so all these good nutrients will be absorbed into the body to promote healthy organ function, cell function, immune system and digestion. These healthy ingredients also replace and renew our natural protective oils to stop the skin becoming damaged by pollution, and protect against infection.
#4 Better for you, better for the planet.
For the most part, natural products are just better for the environment. When the ingredients of natural skincare products run off our bodies they are less likely to damage our water supply and oceans, because everything in them is found in nature already. This is not true of most conventional skincare products. One example is microbeads, which have recently been in the news as they have been shown to be damaging marine life. These tiny plastic beads are usually found in exfoliators, but they are not biodegradable so when they make their way into the ocean they stay there, and are often absorbed or eaten by fish and other marine life. Natural exfoliators and scrubs tend to use salt, or microparticles made from ground nuts or nut shells instead, which are not harmful to the environment. In addition, brands that make natural products tend to have better sustainability practises, often use organic ingredients and are mostly against animal testing.
So if we've managed to convince you that natural is the way forward, or if you're just curious about the kinds of natural products available, have a look at our massive range of natural skincare products, and see what takes your fancy. There's no need to commit to changing your entire skincare regime – even swapping a few products here and there will be hugely beneficial.