It’s all very well us sitting here and telling you that you should be following an all natural skin care and beauty regime. But if you’re a beginner (and we all start at the beginning, the point is you care enough to start in the first place) it can be really confusing when it comes to deciphering and understanding labels. So we’ve put together five little tips for decoding labels, to help you make the most of your natural skin care buys.
It may be the word of the season, but sometimes the term ‘natural’ doesn’t always mean what it says. So you need to be super careful not to be drawn in by this alone. You need to really look, turn the product over and read the small print to be sure that what you’re buying truly is a natural product. It’s worth remembering that, despite all the best intentions, its very unlikely for most products to be 100% natural. There is always going to be some process that your product has been through in order to make it into the jar or tube on the shelves. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be used! If you read the label and are happy that the majority of ingredients are as natural as can be, and there are no nasty chemicals that could damage your skin or upset your hormonal balance, then go for it.
Watch out for ‘organic’ too
Another term that tends to be used freely is ‘organic’ and when we see it, we immediately assume that this is the best product for us. However, that isn’t always the case, and manufacturers have been known to use the term rather liberally too. Organic Chemistry is the term used for a process that produces molecularly exact matches for organic ingredients. In other words, products produced in this way do not contain organic ingredients because they’ve been produced in a lab. For a true organic product (as close to organic as you can get) you need a product that contains actual organic ingredients.
Look for 100% organic as these products are as natural as you can get. Products which state that they are organic or made with organic ingredients are also ok, but will contain a lower percentage of organic ingredients so you’ll need to read the small print to determine that the rest is ok to use.
The term ‘raw’ can also be tricky
We learn that the term ‘raw’ means that a product is being presented to us in its most natural state. A raw carrot is nothing but a carrot, right? No nutrients have been stripped away by steaming, boiling or roasting. In other words, no heat has been applied to the carrot and as a result nothing is lost in terms of nutrition and taste. The same applies to beauty products that state they are raw, or contain raw ingredients. This means, simply, that the ingredients used in this product have not been treated with heat and therefore certain ingredients, such as essential oils for example, have not lost any nutrients at all.
Not all synthetic ingredients are bad
A natural skin care regime does not always mean that synthetic ingredients are bad bad bad! Sometimes, a synthetic version of a certain ingredient is actually safer for us to use, for example Vitamin C. This is an extremely affective anti ageing ingredient, but it needs to in a ‘stable’ form when its added to other ingredients. Using it in it’s natural form just doesn’t work and so it needs to be modified in a lab. It’s definitely worth reading up a lot more on this, so you’re aware of which synthetic ingredients are ok to use.
Some ingredients are SUPER!
Just as we have super foods, we also have super ingredients and there are a fair few that will really take your skin care regime to another level. Here are four such ingredients that you might want to look out for:
- Argan Oil- absolutely wonderful for dry skin.
- Algae extract- a fantastic addition if your skin is dry and lacking in elasticity.
- Carrot seed oil- if your skin cream has this ingredient, you can expect great results when it comes to battling the effects of free radical damage.
- Green coffee extract- this has more than ten times the antioxidant power of green tea, and its most commonly used in anti eye ageing and face serums.