What Is Natural Skin Care?
Natural skin care – and what is it really – is a really hot topic but over the years it seems to be cooling somewhat as consumers are being heard – we don't want crap in our skin care!
As big business has begun to embrace the concept, small companies have become more confident as well, although the temptation to include some of those nifty synthetics is ever looming.
To be honest with you, when I first started in, I was passionately natural and mortified at the flavour of many of the skin care and soap making mail lists etc that crucified anyone who would suggest that natural is better or at least safer and really would not even discuss the merits of natural (yup – I know that all natural is not all safe, a good observation and another topic for another day).
But I've seen things soften over the years as we seem to have come full circle, much to my pleasure. It was quite dismal there for awhile!
Thinking big picture, I think that we as a society on the whole have reached our peak for complicated and 'plastic', seeing the futility in it and are retreating back to our roots in simplicity.
It's funny, as things seem to spiral ever more out of control, I see more hope today than I ever did 6 years ago – about the time I threw up my hands in frustration and realized the people either get it or they don't, and if they don't, they'll have to find out for themselves (that probably applies to just about anything :0).
The unfortunate part is that we all need to suffer with them as our environment is forever polluted as a by product of all this stuff – it's kind of like second hand smoke – remember the days when it was the norm almost everywhere? (I used to work in a bingo hall, bet some of you remember those days. I'm amazed that anyone could see the cards!))
All in all, the hardest thing to deal with for me is the question of what will be left for our children, I am at the point of shuddering to even think what will be left for our grandchildren. Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised as I am certainly seeing a rise to common sense.
I can only hope that it will be enough.
And continue to go natural when ever I can, of course.
SO ANYWAY, WHAT IS NATURAL SKIN CARE?
To me, it's fairly simple and boils down to 5 things.
- fragrance – does it contain synthetic fragrance or essential oils – or no scent at all.
- colour – is it coloured using dyes etc.
- preservatives – you will be hard pressed to find any off the shelf product that doesn't contain preservatives but there are some gentler than others, with new choices becoming available every day. It's a good idea to educate yourself on these, I will have more on this coming up. This is one of the biggest reasons to make it for yourself or shop from a truly natural company who will be up on this stuff or producing waterless products.
- biodegradable – as a rule, if you don't have the above ingredients, it's probably a biodegradable product. Packaging is another area to look at. The less the better. One of the biggest problems we face these days is over packaging.
- ingredients list – if a 'natural botanical' shows up last on the list of ingredients, after preservatives and scent which are used at a relatively low percentage, I am not impressed with any natural ingredient claim to fame. Also, if many of the ingredients are chemicals that I recognize as things that I wouldn't choose to use, of course, it gets a thumbs down.
Something to think about - not only do we need to look at the above factors, but we need to keep in mind the method that items are manufactured, what bi products are produced in the process.
Think large scale. What chemical companies come to your mind? Do some research and find out just how many of them have had chemical spills, lawsuits or moved their operations over seas where the laws and regulations are even more lax.
And what ever you can find, in many cases you can bet there is plenty 'buried' out there that we won't find out about any time soon.
Your choices DO effect the world today, on a larger scale than you may think.
Bottomline – if you want to do your best you need to be diligent in researching ingredients. As a rule, the simpler the better.
And my hat is off to all of you who support the natural skin care industry by making, selling and using truly natural skin care products and to all who want to learn and make the right choices for themselves and for the world around us.
Please jump in, I'd love to hear your views and ideas!