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CA007's Blog

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#9: Choosing Natural Products

CA007

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I could go on and on about the pros associated with choosing natural skin care products including how it is better for the environment... and how avoiding synthetic colours, fragrances, and chemical preservatives helps to avoid toxic overload or avoid related skin sensitivities etc. However, choosing 'natural' products presents some challenges too.

Labeling.

Many products will have the words 'natural' or 'organic' on the packaging but if you read the full ingredient list you will realize that it may only contain a few of these 'good' ingredients toward the end while rest of the formula is similar to any typical synthetic product found at the local drug store. READ INGREDIENT LISTS CAREFULLY--it is the only way for you to know what you are getting.

Ingredient Overload.

Just like commercial skin care products natural products can have a ridiculous number of ingredients...a complex mix of butters, waxes, oils and so on which seem to go on forever. The problem is this: your skin may have sensitivities to one or more ingredients but it would be nearly impossible to know which is the culprit. I like simplicity. The fewer ingredients included, the less likely I am to have a skin sensitivity.

Essential Oils.

Related to the point above, most natural products contain lots of essential oils. When used with care, essential oils can be great to address a variety of skin problems. However, many can be too potent for sensitive or acne compromised skin. It is important to avoid irritating or over-stimulating the skin so you may have to spend a bit of time researching various oils and trialing a variety of lines before finding the right formula to suit your skin.

Waxes and Butters.

Other common ingredients found in natural skin care are waxes and butters. These are usually included as emollients and thickeners. For acneic skin this can be too heavy and greasy. Personally, I found these thicker textured formulas lead to skin congestion. My pores clog just thinking about putting them on my skin. I found light gels, serums, hydrosols, and oils with a very fluid texture worked best.

Price.

Natural products can be purchased at various price points. I would say that on average you may pay a bit of a premium, but I think it is SO worth it... ingredient quality(i.e. organic), company size/production capacity , quality of packaging(i.e. glass vs. plastic containers) may all be factors that are affecting the price. I would recommend selecting a retailer with a generous return policy or that offers samples prior to purchase to ensure you find something that works well with your skin.

I will say this: I have spent an INSANE amount of money over the last 10 years trying to help clear my acne(ranging from $5-$100 per product, from drugstore to spa lines). Overall, I have found the prices of natural skin care very reasonable (and frequently less than mainstream products). But the bottom line: results. My skin has never been clearer or looked more healthy...to me this is priceless.



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