Looking to purchase natural skin products?? Scroll to the bottom where I recommend a few of my favorite companies.
When I say natural skin products, I am very serious about the ‘natural’ part. Here is my definition of “natural”, in context of skin products:
“of or from the Earth, can be crafted using low tech or mechanical means from plants, minerals, and other nature-derived substances. In a state of least refinement, still maintaining life and vibrancy from its Source.”
I am much less apprehensive of normally occurring bacteria than I am of chemicals. I am all about common sense and using our senses to assess the situation/product. Transparency is a must. If ingredients are not being disclosed, I assume there is something hidden.
Simple natural skin products are wonderfully effective (pure, raw ingredients used singly) yet I also appreciate the beauty and use of combinations, mixtures and concoctions. Synergy is powerful too.
Developing an Eye for Ingredient Lists
It’s super easy to spot synthetics in a list, with some education and experience. Generally, the words are long, difficult to pronounce and may be accompanied by numbers before the letters.
We do currently live in a world where chemicals are so intricate in our societal fabric that it’s hard to be totally pure. And 78% natural is better than 20% or 0%! While the focus of this site is on the 100% pure and wild, the following list may help you decide between the better of the two “okays”. Best is at the top!
Unrefined, steam distilled
Parabens, sodium laureth
No list at all!
Also, be mindful that on an ingredient list, the amount of each ingredient is listed in order. So, the first three ingredients may make up 70% of the formula, while the last three only 1%. Of course, the actual formula is generally proprietary while the ingredients are on the list.
Perfumes usually don’t have ingredient lists (scary!).
Using Your Sense of Smell
It becomes quite easy to smell a rat once you know what they smell like! Artificial fragrance is often found in so-called “natural” skin products. It is generally strong, has a longer life (it lingers for a long time), can be irritating or even create difficulty in breathing deeply and it smells nothing like nature!
Truly natural aromas come from essential oils most of the time and are written as such:
__ essential oil
Essential oil of __
Pure essential oil
Attar of ___
As compared to synthetics:
__ oil (deceptive!)
Fragrance (this is cover for many chemicals)
__perfume oil (have to investigate this one-could be natural or synthetic)
Pure aromas from plant substances are therapeutic; they can be uplifting, cleansing, calming, spirit-provoking, and so on. They are often more subtle, definitely divine and hold the essence of the plant.
Other ways to scent a natural skin product:
- Flower waters (hydrosols)
- Oils that have scent (ex: coconut oil)
- Extracts and tinctures (I use vanilla tincture for perfumes)
- Herbal oils (not very strong, however, highly aromatic herbs like lavender, mints, cinnamon can deliver scent)
- Raw herbs in a finished product (ex: cleansing grains)
Using Your Sense of Sight
Synthetics colored with dyes are unnaturally bright and hues that rarely occur in nature.
Think bubble gum pink, neon yellow, lime green and bleached white.
Natural skin products can be very colorful, using herbs that have dye substances and mineral pigments. I make a pink to dark purple lip balm using alkanet root. The color depth depends on how much alkanet root I use. I’ve also colored my rose cream pink using alkanet oil.
Using Your Sense of Touch
Natural skin products can be rawer in their texture. Think about each of these to understand what I mean: sugar grinds, pastes from herbs and liquids, sticky honey, smooth coconut oil, protective staying power of beeswax and a separation of oil and water in creams.
There are many, many chemicals available to bind creams to prevent separation, remove stick, create a “lighter” feel, etc. If it feels fake, it just may be.
Become an Expert
When becoming experienced with natural skin products, use the lists above and your senses to guide you. Purchase prepared products, bulk ingredients and compare, make your own and take notes. If you do have synthetic products, compare with the all natural ones for scent, sight and feel. Soon enough you will be able to tell just by the packaging a truly natural skin product and can make an informed choice!
Mountain Rose Herbs is a very dependable place to purchase natural skin products, including raw ingredients and prepared creams, oil, cleansing grains and powders, essential oils and lots more!
Just Natural Skin Care is also an all natural brand and they also have lovely hair care products.