If you are a long-time user of commercial skin care products, there are some things you should know before switching to an all-natural skin care routine. It is a rewarding experience, but the important thing to know is that it can take time for your skin to adapt to the change.
Many skin care products on the market today, including those that say "natural" on the bottle, still contain a lot of hidden toxins.
They are usually loaded with synthetic perfumes and preservatives. "Parfum" on a label can indicate up to 30 different unnamed chemicals, and you have no way of knowing what they are because perfume formulas are "trade secrets" and not required by law to be disclosed on a label.
While some products may claim to use wonderful, popular ingredients, they usually include a very small percentage of that ingredient, suspended in a cocktail of other additives and chemicals that cosmetically improve the feel or appearance of your skin. Don't be fooled - it's not the "silk extracts" or "argan oil" in your $12 supermarket shampoo that is making your hair feel soft. It's the other chemicals in the bottle creating the effect.
But is it worth it? Using cheap, mass-produced products loaded with unnecessary additives for most of our lives increases our bodies' toxic load. It can undermine our skin's ability to remain balanced, and cause us to rely heavily on the products to maintain their condition.
Why do young children have such beautiful, flawless skin and hair (aside from the fact that they're young?) Could it be because they haven't yet started the daily ritual of plying themselves with a myriad of chemical-ridden products?
In the same vein, why do (most!) men use nothing but a bar of soap and a toothbrush and yet don't have dry skin or problems with their hair? It has a lot to do with the fact that they don't rub cosmetic chemicals all over their themselves every day.
Many commercial products are designed to ensure your dependence upon them. The more you use them, the more you need them. Read my blog post How Moisturiser Works to understand more about why this happens.
Truly natural products, on the other hand, are hard to come by and are sometimes more expensive than mass-produced products. But as any who have made the switch will tell you, it's well worth it.
Instead of paying for products that are made mostly of water and cheap fillers, you are paying for high concentrations of luxury, skin-loving ingredients that have been carefully prepared by hand in tiny batches just for you, with no toxic additives included.
Most products of this type contain little or no preservatives and only plant-based organic ingredients. They don't last forever and are made to be used up quickly.
Your skin is an organic, living, breathing organ that is constantly renewing itself. Your skin care supply should do the same.
Best of all, a well-made natural formula will help your skin rebalance over time and allow it to look after itself with minimal assistance from topical products. For some people this improvement comes quickly, but for others there can be a transition period. Using water-based, alcohol-containing products can dehydrate the top layer of skin, making it harder for natural products to do their thing.
But with a bit of perseverance and an understanding of what your skin really needs, you can find the natural skin care routine that works for you.
After using fragrance-free or perfume-free products for a while, you can begin to appreciate the beautiful earthy scents that can be created from nature using essential oils and delicate floral or herbal infusions. Artificially perfumed products seem really offensive to the nose once you have detoxed your skin care products - you will be amazed that you ever tolerated those overpowering scents day in and day out, without even noticing how strong they were.
When we go back to basics, whether to detox our diet, our lifestyle or the ingredients in our skin care products - our bodies always thank us. It feels good using products that we know are healthy, because we know what's in them. You'll never want to go back!