Clean Beauty ~ Is Natural Always Better?

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Skin care ingredients are complex, and choosing the best ingredients for your skin is an expertise that very few master. The shift toward healthy skin care products is definitely gaining momentum. But over the years, we’ve found that ‘natural beauty’ means different things to different people. 

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From our experience, it can either mean “aging gracefully using topical skin care combined with non-surgical + non-invasive facial procedures” or “using topical skin care products that are clean, natural and non-toxic”. Sometimes clients want both. You have to specifically ask them what ‘Natural Beauty’ mean to them, and then design a skin care plan that will answer their skin concerns while respecting their request for a ‘natural beauty’ approach.

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Although Botox and fillers have been all the rage in the last decade, we can definitely see a trend for skin care solutions (products + procedures) that steer clear from these cosmetic procedures. Women are realizing that it’s ok to age and it’s ok to have wrinkles, but they want to look their best for their age while maintain healthy, radiant, glowing skin as long as possible. 

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Also, the request for ‘natural’ skin care products has skyrocketed within the past few years. People are looking for natural or organic skin care, but are misled by a lot of information found on the web, along with misleading marketing from cosmetic companies. 

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Are ‘Natural Ingredients’ always good for you?

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Unfortunately, this branch of cosmetic (pun intended) remains largely unregulated, which means that cosmetic companies can claim that their product is ‘natural’ and ‘paraben-free’, even if it contains a formaldehyde-releasing preservative, for example DMDM Hydantoin. Is the product paraben-free? Yes. But who wants to have formaldehyde on their skin (a known carcinogen) and how natural and healthy is this product for your skin? 

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Moreover, it is false to say that all natural ingredients are safe for the skin. Consider the following examples:

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  • Poison ivy is natural. You don’t want to have it on your skin. 
  • The juice and oil in limes contain light-sensitive chemicals called furocoumarins (psoralens). On their own, furocoumarins are harmless, but when they come in contact with UV rays from the sun, they chemically transform into something very unpleasant for the skin. The resultant rash – which is much larger than just the point of exposure – is as red, blistery, itchy and uncomfortable as poison ivy. 
  • Celery and parsley also contain psoralens that can react with UV rays and lead to a similar skin rash.
  • Botanical ingredients can irritate the skin to the point of developing peri-oral dermatitis – a skin issue we’ve observed more and more over the past 3 years or so.

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Similarly, not all natural ingredients are suitable for every skin type. If you use coconut oil as a moisturizer and you have dry skin, chances are it will help temporarily with the pulling feeling (it might only give you temporary relief though, but more on that in a future blog on oils). But if you have combination, acne-prone skin, the use of coconut oil on your face will lead to an increase in clogged pores and therefore more “bumps” and ultimately more acne breakouts. Same goes with argan oil. All natural, organic even, but not necessarily the right choice of skin care when you are trying to improve specific skin health aspects. 

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Are ‘Natural Ingredients’ always effective or better?

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This is an excellent question. Depends on what treatment outcome you are looking for. 

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If you want to improve your dry skin condition, coconut oil might give you temporary comfort. But you cannot expect it to increase firmness, reduce brown spots and shrink pores – because that’s not what coconut oil does. 

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Aloe vera gel is actually a decent, oil-free moisturizer and can improve hydration, as well as help reduce redness and inflammation. But it is unreasonable to expect aloe vera gel to work on deep wrinkles, firmness and brown spots if nothing else is added to it. 

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We’ve seen multiple women at the clinic who want natural products to help them work on their brown spots, so they use lemon juice. Bad idea. In theory, the citric acid from the lemon juice might help with exfoliation, and the slight amount vitamin C help marginally reduce pigment transfer but the immediate problem is greater: lemon juice has a very low, acidic pH that does not respect the skin’s natural pH of 5.5 and can lead to irritation and change the delicate pH balance of the skin. And when you do that, you open yourself up to a whole other set of skin problems, including infections and irritation. 

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Are you interested in natural products that will give you visible results? We get it, and want to accompany you on your quest to healthy skin. During your 1-hour personalized consultation, we will be more than happy to recommend a skin care routine that is natural but effective, while respecting your lifestyle and budget. Stop wasting money on products that don’t work and book your consult today! 403-287-1477

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