When it comes to skincare trends, one has been standing out in recent years, and that is the so-called “natural” skincare movement. The truth is that the world of “natural” beauty is nuanced and complicated. While the term “organic” means ingredients grown without using pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers, and antibiotics, the labels “natural” and “clean” are open to interpretation, as they do not have a formal definition, regulated by the law. That often means that the use of these words is simply a marketing strategy and products designated as natural or clean are not necessarily safe or better, just like synthetic doesn’t mean that it is bad for the skin.
Natural and naturally derived
These two labels are often mentioned as synonyms but they do not mean the same. We have witnessed that natural skincare is an uncertain area, as each company can create its own definition. However, the term naturally derived usually means that the ingredient comes from nature but it is chemically processed which doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. When brands use plant-derived ingredients, they want to make sure consumers can obtain the beneficial effects of the plant source minus the potential risks of the said plant. That is why the ingredient needs to be chemically processed in some way to be safe for application on the skin.
Science and nature
The source of the ingredients doesn’t always determine its efficacy or safety. There are a lot of natural ingredients that are safe but there are many that can be incredibly harmful. It often depends on concentration and formulation. Natural skincare lovers don’t use products with “chemicals” in their ingredients lists but the reality is, all matter around us is made up of chemicals. We are made of chemicals, water is a chemical, everything we can touch, see, or breathe is made of chemicals.
Glycolic acid, for example, is a fantastic brightening ingredient that will get overlooked by natural skincare enthusiasts because of the “chemical name”. Glycolic acid is actually derived from sugar cane, so it is a plant-derived ingredient that has been processed chemically to make sure that it is stable and safe to use on the skin. Plants in their pure form don’t have a long life and 100 % natural products do not belong on the skin, as they can disrupt the skin barrier, cause irritation, contact dermatitis, rashes, or breakouts. All-natural skincare products lack scientific evidence about their potential benefits and have a short shelf life that can lead to contamination with harmful microorganisms.
Another example is resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant, found in grapes. But to get the full amount of benefits in a safe form for the consumer, grapes need to be slightly processed. And that is the beauty in the fusion of technology and nature. At Science Skincare we use native botanical ingredients, such as Kakadu plum, Noni fruit, and Manuka honey to give you the power of the nature in safe, stable, and effective formulations.
It is essential to know that not all natural products are good or safe and synthetic doesn’t necessarily mean bad. Choosing the right skincare products often requires a research in order to find ingredients with beneficial properties, backed by science.