Original article can be found here.
There’s no doubt about it - choosing the right skincare can be tricky. More than tricky - overwhelming! Throughout the past decade, more and more clean skincare brands have emerged with countless new “green” and “eco-friendly” products on the market. Why? That’s all thanks to smart consumers like you who are demanding better quality, clean ingredients and better results.
You might often find yourself asking, where do I even begin? In order to wade through the masses, we suggest narrowing your search to natural skincare. Unfortunately, with the rise in popularity of “natural skincare,” the definition of what constitutes natural often seems to be up for debate. As we discuss natural skincare throughout this post, what we mean is; safe for your body, safe for the planet, and plant-based or naturally derived ingredients. Although, here at Life’s Abundance, we like to take that commitment even further by committing to sustainably-sourced ingredients, too.
Why choose natural skincare?
Consider the possibility that what you’re putting onto your skin could very well be absorbed by skin and enter your body. In a sense, skin is seen like a sponge - absorbing much of what we lather, rub, massage, or spray onto it. Although, it’s important to distinguish that what is actually absorbed by skin depends on the molecular size of individual ingredients in a particular product as well as the overall health of the skin barrier (our skin’s outermost protective layer).
What does ‘natural’ mean?
Sadly, not very much. Because this isn’t a term regulated by the FDA, natural can mean very different things from company to company and person to person. To some, natural may just mean synthetically derived ingredients from “natural” sources, sulfate or phthalate free but to others, it can be organic, whole-plant, vegan, etc.
So, how can you differentiate between “natural” skincare claims? Read your labels - you are your own best researcher. Look for latin names on the ingredient list, check for high-quality ingredients, and research the brand’s environmental mission when deciphering which brand or product is best for you.
How can I start switching to a natural skincare routine?
Our best advice is to start slow. Rather than tossing out all of your current skincare and buying new, pick the one step in your routine where you’d like to start. Is it your cleanser or moisturizer? Identify which product is leaving you wanting more or potentially irritating your skin.
Cleansers can be a great place to start because it’s a product that you’ll be using 1-2 times everyday, as opposed to a treatment mask or exfoliating scrub. Spend one to two full weeks using this new product consistently in your routine and then assess the state of things. Look for obvious signs of an adverse reaction like increased dryness, redness, irritation, congestion of blackheads. If these aforementioned side effects are non existent, you’ve found the right option!
We recommend our Facial Cleanser, a creamy, makeup-removing, and moisturizing option for dry, sensitive or balanced skin state. If you’re on the oiler, acne-prone spectrum, the Charcoal & Sea Salt Soap is an excellent, natural bar soap that feeds skin essential nutrients while fighting off harmful bacteria.
After you’ve narrowed down what is working for you, you’re ready to address the next step in your routine that’s ready for a natural upgrade, like your moisturizer, serum or facial oil.
What kind of results can I expect from a natural skincare routine?
The plant-based, naturally derived ingredients that make up each of natural skincare products work effectively over time to keep skin balanced, clear and healthy. On the flip side, many over the counter (OTC) brands promise quick results because they manipulate the skin unnaturally to function a certain way and achieve those promised results. These quick fixes may yield near-immediate results, but they are often at the expense of your skin’s barrier function, and more often than not, do not last in the long term.
Tips to keep mind when shopping for natural skincare
- Read your labels. Are the ingredient’s latin names listed? Are there whole plant ingredients you recognize? Any organic ingredients listed?
- Start slowly. Introduce one product at a time and assess.
- Be realistic. Long lasting results with natural ingredients can take time. Commit to your product for a minimum of two weeks to one month. Skin needs time to adjust from OTC ingredients.
Enjoy your day!
Lisa and Rich Jelinek