Natural & Organic Skin Care
Many people are turning to natural and organic skin care to replace chemical-filled beauty products in an attempt to avoid cancer-causing synthetic ingredients and provide a gentler solution for sensitive skin. As the largest organ in the body and one that controls the barrier between internal organs and the outside environment, the skin is particularly vulnerable to harmful effects of synthetic chemicals.
Natural skin care is defined as products for your skin made only from natural ingredients and not containing any synthetic chemicals or other substances. Organic products for the skin are products with ingredients that were grown or harvested in an organic, sustainable fashion, without the use of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or other chemicals.
Natural and organic skin care share the benefit of being free of potentially harmful chemicals. These products are often less likely to be irritating to sensitive skin and more likely to contain compounds that provide natural benefits similar to foods, such as containing antioxidants. Many chemical ingredients in normal skin care products have been linked to problems ranging from cancer to hormonal disruption that can cause infertility or developmental problems. Using natural and organic skin care can help avoid some of these effects on the body. Natural and organic skin care also has the benefit of being better for the environment than synthetics, which can involve unsustainable practices when producing them as well as potentially contaminating the water supply when thrown away.
Some popular ingredients in natural and organic skin care include shea butter, antioxidants, aloe vera and natural oils. Ingredients to watch out for include petroleum by-products and ingredients listed as "derived from natural substances," since these indicate processed chemicals. Fragrances are another danger zone when investigating ingredients, since they are not required to be listed separately and can contain hidden synthetic chemicals.
Since there are no standards in place for labeling skin care products as natural or organic, manufacturers sometimes make products with these claims that don't really fit the profile. Smart consumers should check the ingredient labels to make sure there are no synthetics in the product. Since ingredients on labels are listed in descending order of how much is in the product, the first few ingredients should be effective natural or organic substances.
Just because something is natural or organic doesn't mean it is milder than synthetic skin care products. Some powerful substances have been found in nature and can cause adverse effects on the skin. There are plenty of natural and organic ingredients that people are allergic to, so you should perform a spot test on a small area of your body before lathering on any new product just in case you might have a reaction to something in it.
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