This tile will introduce you to the other side of natural skincare products. You will also learn about organic skincare products and their pros and cons.
Natural skincare products are slow
**Natural skincare products contain tons of antioxidants, hydroxy acids, and retinol derivatives that nourish the skin**. However, the absorption of these active ingredients in natural skincare often takes longer than the synthetic skincare product.
This is because **synthetic skincare products have a unique molecule that makes the absorption of active ingredients quick**. This molecule is called **liposomes**. Liposomes are made in the lab with chemicals identical to the ones that make up your skin.
In synthetic skincare products, **the actives are thoughtfully packaged in bubbles made up of these liposomes**. Skin recognizes them instantly, allowing the actives to cross the skin barrier and do their magic on otherwise cracked skin.
**This makes synthetic skincare products more efficient in relieving skin problems**. It also means a natural anti-aging cream might take longer to stop collagen breakdown and delay skin aging than a synthetic one.
Natural skincare products are not regulated
Although natural skincare products are quite effective, the absence of legal standards is their huge downside. There are zero legal regulations defining what constitutes natural skincare products.
But, taking advantage of the situation that people are more inclined toward natural skincare products and consider them entirely safe, many brands end up labeling their products ‘natural’ as a marketing gimmick. **With no regulation and a ‘natural’ label, brands can drive more traffic and increase sales**.
Some products being marketed as natural might also have artificial ingredients in them. This can result in serious health consequences. Suppose that you have bought a natural moisturizer consisting of honey. What you didn’t know is that the product had parabens as preservatives. If your skin is already sun damaged, these parabens can create rashes and redness.
Similarly, if you have sensitive skin, using a few artificial ingredients can initiate skin inflammation, leading to clogged pores and acne.
Natural skincare products have a low storage life
**Preservatives are an important inactive of synthetic skincare that discourage the growth of germs and stop undesirable chemical changes**. These germs can release substances that may react with other ingredients of skincare products and initiate allergic reactions, damaging the skin. Thus, **adding preservatives increases the storage life of the skincare products**, making them last for quite a few months and sometimes years .
But, these preservatives are made in the lab. That’s why natural skincare lacks these preservatives. As a result, **natural skincare products sustain for only 2-3 months**.
The ingredients expire after this time, releasing harmful substance that can make you sensitive to heat and wind. If used for a longer time, the expired ingredients can suck the skin’s moisture, creating a favorable environment for inflammation.
Not all natural ingredients are always safe
The biggest myth concerning natural skincare products is that they’re always safe. However, **not every natural product is beneficial for the skin**.
For example, coconut oil is a famous cleanser and moisturizer among natural skincare fanatics. However, when applied topically, coconut oil can worsen acne in people with oily skin.
Coconut oil can block the skin pores, leading to blackheads and pimples. A study by the Dermatology department at _Amala Institute of Medical Sciences_ tested the efficacy of coconut oil on rabbit skin.
Their experiment involved the topical application of coconut oil on the rabbit’s skin for 5 weeks. The pathological examination of ear swabs revealed the growth of several bacteria in the ear. These germs resulted from coconut oil’s action on the skin.
Natural skincare products lack consistency
**Synthetic skincare products are formulated to resemble natural ingredients**. During this process, some of them become even stronger than their natural counterparts. Synthetic ingredients are made by research and chemical experiments, and their composition is almost the same every time.
During the lab production, the formulation is noted, concentration is recorded, and every step is taken into account to create the exact same product. **This helps to relieve acne with an anti-acne product and pigmentation with the anti-pigmentation product without causing adverse side effects on the skin**.
However, for natural skincare products, this is not the case. **Natural products can vary in composition depending on when they were grown, where they were produced, and how they were harvested**.
This changes their content from time to time. Sometimes, an antioxidant can be higher in quantity than expected, and sometimes it can be lower. Both cases can make the skincare product less effective.
What are organic skincare products?
Besides the natural skincare buzz, another term widely used in the skincare industry is organic. Many brands use natural and organic interchangeably, which is misleading. The term organic refers to the way the ingredient is farmed.
Organic products are also made up of plants, but these plants are grown naturally, without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. **Organic skincare products do not contain harmful chemicals like parabens, nitrates, and sulfates**. Moreover, these ingredients do not undergo any type of processing.
**Organic skincare products are strictly regulated** under the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). According to these regulations, there are 3 different labels for organic products.
The first one is ‘100% Organic.’ The products with the ‘100% Organic’ label consist of ingredients grown naturally without additives. The label is awarded to the skincare products that have successfully passed third-party testing.
Organic skincare regulations
The second label used in organic skincare world is ‘certified organic.’ Skincare products with a ‘certified organic’ label indicate that at least 95% of the ingredients in the product are organic.
The remaining 5% includes ingredients necessary for the product to work but are not available in their organic form in the market. For example, some organic skincare products have pectins, which are molecules that act as a cement in skincare products, holding the structure of lotions and creams to provide a smoother texture.
The third label is ‘contains organic ingredients,’ which means the product is composed of ingredients, at least 70% of which are organic. However, other non-ingredients should still not be produced using practices prohibited by USDA, such as genetic modification.
These non-organic ingredients can be additives or colors that are not allowed in ‘100% organic’ products. **Under this ruling, a moisturizer can be labelled as ‘made with organic rose, lavender, and jasmine’ or simply ‘made with flower extracts.**’
How is organic skincare different from natural skincare products?
**Natural skincare products consist of ingredients sourced from natural resources, such as fruits and vegetables**. These plants may or may not be produced organically.
They can contain chemicals from fertilizers and pesticides. They are marketed naturally because their main ingredient is natural plants .
But **organic skincare products are completely free of chemicals**. Their ingredients are grown without the use of artificial fertilizers or pesticides. ‘Natural’ doesn’t necessarily mean organic.
You can go all-natural with organic skincare, but you might not necessarily go organic with a natural skincare regimen.
**Organic skincare products are less likely to irritate your skin or trigger inflammation because organic skincare products are free of chemicals**. Organic skincare products can be richer in beneficial nutrients and less harmful to the skin. This means using an organic skin serum can provide more antioxidants to the skin.
Organic skincare products are contamination free
Plants are the main ingredient of organic skincare products. Mostly, **farmers use pesticides and herbicides to protect the plants from diseases**. Pesticides are chemicals toxic to pests that can otherwise affect plant growth.
But some of these chemicals are also powerful enough to enter the plant. **When such a plant comes in contact with human skin, it can create allergies and irritation**. This makes the skin sensitive to the sun and exposure to the UV rays can cause sunburns on such sensitive skin.
However, organic plants grow without the use of pesticides or any other chemical repellents. **They grow naturally, which makes them free of harmful chemicals**. As such, they have less chance of causing skin irritation or other problems.
Organic ingredients preserve the environment
The side effects of using fertilizers and pesticides in farming are not limited to plants or humans. **Synthetic chemicals impact the environment as well**. The harmful chemicals such as phosphates and nitrates from these fertilizers can enter the lakes and oceans. Once in the water bodies, these chemicals promote the growth of weeds that can suck most of the oxygen, jeopardizing the survival of sea animals.
Moreover, plants take only half of the nitrates from the fertilizers. The bacteria and other microorganisms take up the rest. **Microorganisms convert this nitrate into nitric oxide, which is released into the air**.
High nitric oxide levels can deplete the ozone layer, contributing to **climate change and global warming**.
Organic farming does not use artificial chemicals, so it protects the Earth from climate change, toxic air qualities and habitat destruction.
How to choose a skincare product
Choosing a skincare product is not black and white. It’s a somewhat grayish area, and the product choice depends entirely on your skincare and general life goals. **Neither organic, nor natural or synthetic skincare product has the upper hand over another**.
If you are someone who can wait for the results but want a sustainable solution, then choosing natural/organic products might be a great option. However, synthetic skincare products will be your best friend if you want quick, effective results.
So, your first step when choosing a skincare product is reading the labels. The labels on the front claiming that a product is ‘all-natural’ can lie, but the ones on the back can prevent you from falling for false marketing strategies. If you are unsure about a specific ingredient, search about it online. Knowing what you’re putting on your skin is critical to achieving success in your skincare goals.