You hear the words clean beauty and you’re already on your way to emptying out your hard-earned monies. We get it, though—even we were sold on it when Hollywood icon Gwyneth Paltrow harped on about the importance of clean beauty like nobody’s biz! But is natural the real deal when it comes to healthy skin? Here’s busting some popular myths around it…
Myth #1 – All natural skincare products are organic
Skincare brands use a lot of different ingredients in their products. Some of them may or may not come from a natural, (or to use the latest buzzword- “plant-based”) source. The ones that do, don’t need to necessarily be organic. The definition of what is organic can vary from brand to brand.
When you opt for a natural skincare product, it simply means its ingredients are derived from nature. This does not necessarily imply that these ingredients are organic. When a skincare product is organic, it means its ingredients do not have synthetic pesticides, sewage sludge or petroleum fertilisers and cannot contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms) at any cost. This goes to show that not all-natural skincare products are deemed organic. It’s best to choose wisely next time we go ham buying skincare products!
Myth #2 – All natural skincare products are safe
Certain natural ingredients can be abrasive and harsh on the skin. Essential oils are made with natural ingredients but some can cause serious irritation to the skin. In fact, citrusy ingredients can even make your skin overtly sensitive to the sun. So not everything that’s natural is safe for the skin.
Myth #3 – Natural skincare products are chemical-free
Just because something is made in a lab, does not mean it’s toxic; and just because something is completely natural, does not mean it isn’t toxic.
We can’t blame you for thinking otherwise. It can be difficult to ignore the brands that don’t have any FOMO as far as the global “natural” trend goes. What happens then is misleading marketing mayhem, which causes them to include one or two natural ingredients while also using a host of synthetic ingredients, dyes and fragrances. This is possible because the folks regulating this aren’t as hung up on what exactly constitutes “organic” or “natural.”
Myth 4# Natural products are more eco-friendly
We hate to burst the “sustainable” bubble but the reverse of this is actually true. Deriving natural, ingredients from plants could actually wreak havoc on the environment.
Case in point—palm oil that’s naturally derived from the palm fruit. However, the problem here is that the production of palm oil involves deforestation as well as habitat degradation and is known to affect animal habitats. According to the World Wildlife Fund, an equivalent size of 300 football fields is cleared each hour in tropical rainforests in order to produce palm oil! If that doesn’t sound damaging to the environment, we don’t know what does!
Finding alternatives to these ingredients that are synthetics which, are safe for you and for the planet, would be an ideal way out of this environmental dilemma.
So what can we do?
Instead of jumping on to the clean beauty bandwagon, look at products as synthetic vs. natural. Lookout for safe and effective ingredients. Also, get to know the evils of skincare: the bad, harmful and unsafe ingredients. Set different parameters when choosing your skincare.
Read the ingredients
Start with the products you own—paying attention to the ingredients list will help you with a Kondo-esque, less is more, approach to skincare.
Get to know your skin
Pay attention to your skin—does it change with your mood? Does the weather impact it in anyway? How does it feel when a product is applied? Nobody understands your skin better than you (unless you plan to queue up outside the dermat’s clinic).
This simple two-step process will help you make informed decisions for the health of your skin before you empty out your wallet on that ‘trendy’ skincare product you’ve been crushing on!