Well, here’s the question I get asked quite possibly a thousand times a day! (Slight exaggeration, but nearly)…‘Is natural best?
Not surprising really when natural and organic brands have been dominating the shelves of your local boots for years now, AND, let’s face it everyone has at least one friend who has another friend that is a “skincare specialist” hosting parties for the latest all natural, all vegan, all organic product It seems.
So are natural beauty brands really the way forward? I do have a short answer, but there are always two sides to every story. There is so much scare mongering on the web these days and every month it seems there is a new cult trend, brand or group that believe and preach that their way is best, but it’s always helpful to take a rational and realistic look at the facts.
Yes – There are many things in nature that do us an absolute world of good, some of our most amazing medicinal breakthroughs have come from plants. Codeine for example came from the humble poppy, but then again so did Heroin, and in skincare we love to use plant extracts, vegetable and aromatherapy oils, coconut, olive, argon, aloe and chamomile.
BUT (you knew there was a but coming), just because there is so much good in nature, that does not necessarily mean that non-natural is bad. Synthetics are purely just man made ingredients designed to do a specific job or even mimic something found in nature, and there is a major plus side to this, CONTROL!
When ingredients are synthetically made in a lab, clever scientist boffins can control exact measurements, potency, size and PH. They can carefully monitor it’s effects, run clinical trials, adapt it and tweak it until it is absolutely perfect; nature on the other hand is unpredictable.
For example one yield of Lavender from a Lavender field can behave in a completely different way to the next yield. Ever noticed that sometimes different batches of the same product can look a slightly different colour, that’s why! And to think you would buy a pot of cream without a preservative in, to me is ludicrous. I don’t want my eye cream riddled with bacteria after a few weeks. Hello Pink Eye. There are also some things in nature that can seriously harm us, poisonous plants, snake venom, toxic algae to name a few. Nobody is suggesting you use these things on your skin but I always think it’s a good example to help keep things in perspective.
At the end of the day I guess it comes down to personal choice and your own beliefs, but if you’re going to go down the nature route, you literally have to go AU natural or there’s really not much point. Make up, toothpaste, washing powder, deodorants etc., etc….where does it end?
For me, I like to know my products have technology in them and that they’re going to give me results (see my earlier blog on cosmeceuticals) I like to know they’ve been tested and scrutinised by the absolute scientific genius brains of skincare research and development teams, and not just because my friend’s cousin’s auntie who runs the local skincare party said it was good!!…(we’ve all been there eh?).