Natural Skin Care ... What does "natural" mean?

Natural Skin Care ... What does "natural" mean?
As the number of people who are concerned about toxins in our environment grows, more and more skin care companies are jumping on the "Natural" and "Organic" anti-aging/skin care bandwagon.

But what does "natural" and "organic" mean when we see them on a mainstream manufacturers skin care product label?
  • How do we really know if the skin cream product is really natural?
  • How do we know if herbal skin care products are safe and non-toxic?
  • Is an "organic" product actually natural and made with organic ingredients?
  • What really are the best organic and natural alternatives to synthetic and mostly toxic chemicals?

Natural skin care - is it really any better for us?

Our skin is the largest eliminatory organ in the body. It is a two-way membrane. Toxins are eliminated through the skin via perspiration and absorbed through the skin into the body’s circulation system, through hair follicles and sebaceous glands, but not through the sweat glands. 

One square inch of skin contains approximately 65 hairs, 100 sebaceous glands and 650 sweat glands. Every square inch of your skin is like a thousand open mouths, absorbing into the body most of what is put on it.

Can skin care products be truly natural and proactive?

Skin care manufacturers are not supposed to claim that their products penetrate the skin. If they did, the products would then be labelled as “drugs” and would be governed by much stricter regulations. However, it is now recognised that the skin does absorb many of the toxic ingredients in skin care preparations.

This is both good and bad. Good, because it means our skin can be nourished from the outside with some wonderful organic and truly natural ingredients. Bad, because some/many skin care manufacturers can use harmful chemical ingredients that would never be allowed to be taken orally, but are still absorbed into the blood stream through our skin. 


No where does the idea of “natural” or “organic” take a more gratuitous bruising than in the skin care industry. 

If we first take the word "natural" and look it up in the Concise Oxford Dictionary we would find this description of natural thus; “existing in, or caused by nature; produced by nature; not artificial; true to nature; uncultivated.

It seems pretty clear what "natural" actually means to me! Does natural mean the same to you? However, when vested interests in the skin care industry get hold of the word natural - they put a whole new slant on it. 

It may seem pretty clear to you and me exactly what we mean by natural but for the marketing men they obviously haven't read the dictionary and start bending the interpretation of natural to suit themselves when comes to their skin "care".

Many so-called natural skin "care" products have labels with long lists of chemical names, some followed by the phrase “derived from …” (some natural substance). This is grossly misleading for consumers who are looking for genuine safe skin care products.

Synthetic Chemicals are anything but natural!

When chemicals such as Cocamide DEA or Sodium Hydroxysultaine are followed by the words “derived from coconut oil” the consumer is led to believe that these synthetic chemicals must somehow be "natural".

While this may be true in some cases where a natural oil or extract is actually used, it is ultimately irrelevant because what you end up with after the chemical solvent extraction and processing is usually anything but natural, pure or organic. It is just another chemical concoction with some rather awful sounding long names to describe the process the original "natural" substance went through.

by Narelle Chenery