With all the choices available to us, it can be difficult deciding between skin care products. Whether you go by your current skin care needs, brands or price, you also need to go one step further and decide between natural, organic and commercial formulations of that skin care, which only adds to the confusion.
Therefore, you’re probably wondering which variety of skin care is better—a product with natural or synthetic ingredients for the best results?
Knowing How to Distinguish Between “Natural” and “Organic” Is a Good Starting Point
When it comes to skin care, the word “natural” takes in a lot of territory. Basically though, the term means all or most of the ingredients in the product come from natural sources and has no synthetic compounds.
On the other hand, “organic” suggests that its ingredients are all plant-sourced and farmed without using synthetic chemicals, irradiation or pesticides to possibly contaminate its integrity.
However, regulation is lax regarding labeling so it is safe to assume the formula may not be as pure as you may have been led to believe. Deciphering the label’s list of ingredients is the key. This will tell you exactly how “natural” or “organic” that product really is compared to the manufacturer’s claim.
Become Familiar with Natural and Organic Skin Care Seals
In the United States, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will issue the USDA Organic Seal only if the product meets their 100% organically produced or 95% requirements without the formula containing synthetic preservatives, petrochemicals, or ionizing radiation. Either of those USDA Organic Seals will also show the certifying agent’s name and address.
You also might run across the Natural Product Association (NPA) seal that insures 95% of the ingredients is natural (Flora, Fauna, and Mineral) or naturally developed with some additives that pose no risk to health.
Another highly respected seal to look for is the Ecocert. This follows the strict guidelines set by the USDA and the France-based organic certification organization, Ecocert, regulating more than 80 countries that 95% of the product is organic.
There is also another type of classification from the USDA revolving around “made with organic ingredients,” which means 70% of the ingredients must be organic and only three of those organic ingredients are allowed to appear on the label. You will not see a USDA Organic Seal.
Unfortunately, it also means that 30% of that product may contain ingredients that could possibly put your heath at risk. Thus, your best defense is carefully reading your labels.
Learn What Ingredients to Avoid in Your Skin Care to Safeguard Your Health
Now that you know what you’re up against, you need to dissect the formula to truly judge.
Parabens may be linked to potential problems with the endocrine system.
Phthalates are synthetic fragrance compounds that could risk your health to toxins. These often are used in formulas to mimic the authentic essence of the essential oil, which was replaced to save costs.
Synthetic Fragrances are just as dangerous since these are chemical cocktails of ingredients.
Formaldehyde and Phenols are preservatives known to cause irritation. These ingredients are also under scrutiny for their role in relation to cancer.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate is a tough cleansing agent that can possibly damage the secretions found in the skin’s lipid layer.
Petrolatum and its by product Mineral Oil can form a film on the skin that traps toxins instead of letting the skin breathe to release them.
Oxybenzone and Avobenzone are ingredients found in chemical sunscreen that the body absorbs in its fatty tissues that could be responsible for hormone disruption.
Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA) are foaming agents that bind with other ingredients to form nitrosamines, a known carcinogen.
Coal Tar Dyes also need your attention because they are linked to cancer. These are artificial colors produced by mixing toluene, benzene or xylene, petroleum distillates. They show up as a color and number like FD&C Red 6 or FD&C Yellow 5.
You also need to watch out for volatile plant extracts. Valuable natural ingredients basically lack a pleasing scent with the exception of a few like cucumber or coconut, which are safe. Ingredients such as lavender, mints, citrus, ylang-ylang, and rose extract are considered volatile plants extracts that can cause irritation in sensitive individuals that can lead to collagen breaking down.These are just some bad ingredients that should be on your radar. For a complete list of chemicals that you should be concerned about, you can visit Safe Cosmetics Organization