Natural Skin Care Products vs. Regular Skin Care Products

Posted on March 24, 2012


Over the past few years, there has been more emphasis placed on cosmetics using only the finest “natural” ingredients — natural meaning ingredients found presently in today’s environments whether it be an organic oil derived from a vegetable seed or a wheat protein found in plants. But are skin care products categorized and labelled as “natural” & “organic” better than non-natural ones?

It is perceived that natural ingredients are generally less harmful to your skin and cause less irritation, if any. And just by common sense perception, natural usually has a positive connotation of it being ‘good’ and ‘healthy’ for you.

Synthetically made ingredients found in most skin, hair, and body products, such as parabens (a class of chemicals widely used as highly effective preservatives by cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies) are now frowned upon by skin purists if used in cosmetics. Why? Parabens have been found in extremely low concentrations in breast cancer however there have been no proven direct links between parabens and cancer. So one can argue that the use of some synthetically made cosmetics ingredients is harmful to your health.

But in terms of efficacy properties, do organic skin care products perform just as well or better than regular products just because they are comprised of more natural ingredients? I would say in general NO. How many of you have bought a ‘natural’ shampoo or conditioner that only uses plant and seed oils and other great-sounding stuff but find out that when you use it in the shower, that your hair gets all dry and your scalp feels flaky? I can raise my hand to that. I am not dogging on the more natural products but I have found that most of the time, they are just inferior in product performance and efficacy than compared to regular grooming products. At some times, I just even think that companies devoted to organics just throw in a hodge podge of natural ingredients into a product just only to have a nice clean looking ingredient list that skin purists would die for and caring less about how the product performs.

An enormouse amount of time and money have been spent to develop chemically made ingredients found in cosmetics and grooming products so that they maximize the performance of their role in a product. However not as much time has been used to research the effects of the more natural ingredients and their side effects whether harmful or beneficial. So the debate now is do you pay more for natural skin care products that don’t work as well as regular skin care products in general and that don’t have the research testing behind them? Or do you continue to use the regular stuff because it’s better performing and less expensive but suffer the risk having some harmful chemicals be in contact with your skin? Of course the ultimate goal is to find a product that is organic and concurrently works better than its non-natural counterpart!