Natural skin care is normally understood to refer to those products characterised by the lack of synthetic ingredients, such as for example preservatives, petrochemical derivatives, mineral oils, fragrances and harsh detergents.
Typically, natural skin care products are made using 100 % natural ingredients such as for example plant oils, essential oils, herbal and floral extracts (both aqueous and waxy), that have been prepared in the “old fashion way”, without chemical processing or modification. Sometimes, ethically produced animal derivatives, such as for example beeswax, may also be within natural skin care (1).
Natural skin care made with approved organically produced raw materials and practices could be organic certified by the relevant organic organizations.
Unfortunately, there are numerous products in the market that claim to be either natural or that are cleverly marketed for their singular botanical extract or vitamin, amongst a dense cocktail of synthetic ingredients. They are the “pseudo-natural” products (1). To greatly help clarify if a skincare product is really natural, it is recommended to read the ingredients section in the label.
Why is natural skin care better than synthetic?
Products that are made from ingredients that have already been extracted naturally from sustainably maintained plants and crops manifest the essence, the energy, the qualities and the benefits of the source raw material, in ways that synthetics ingredients usually do not.
To put it simply, the geographical location, the soil and the water the plants are grown in, and also the sun exposure, the seasons and harvesting times donate to the mature plants and crop yields in unique ways.
These factors cannot be mimicked in the laboratory or controlled nurseries, because the natural exposure to environmentally friendly conditions facilitates development of subtle differences in the plants. They are then reflected in the grade of the extracted oils, as well as on their specific composition, properties and benefits.
Besides, synthetic ingredients are stated in laboratories using scientific, yet often hazardous processes relating to the use of carbon dioxide, propylene glycol or hexane based methods. Although these chemical agents may only be present is trace amounts in the ultimate synthesised ingredients, it really is unclear what effect they might have as they accumulate inside our bodies, over a prolonged amount of exposure (2).
Of course, a number of the natural extracts and oils may also be affected or destabilised by the natural extraction methods used in their preparation. Therefore manufacturers of natural skincare products give great consideration to the sourcing of their raw materials and how natural ingredients are ready from the latter.
What’s Special About Plant Oils?
Plant oils are made of complex mixtures of different essential fatty acids (lipids). It’s the specific mix and ratio of these fatty acids that determines the unique character of any oil. In addition to the main lipid fraction, there are also other very important bioactive substances like the phospholipids, phosphatides, phytosterols, phytoestrogens, isoflavones and vitamins. These bioactives are referred to as the unsaponifiable fraction of the oil. They normally can be found is small amounts and are unique signatures of the oils (3).
To demonstrate the way the oil composition determines the difference in functioal properties, the typical fatty acid profile of apricot kernel and borage oils as described in Kusmirek (3) are compared below.
1 – Apricot kernel oil is really a combination of 58 – 74% of oleic acid, 25 – 30% of linoleic, with the remainder 4 – 7% made up of palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic and alpha-linolenic acids. The unsaponifiable content is approximately 0.5 -0.75%.
2 – Borage oil is a mixture of 30 – 40% linoleic acid, 8 – 25% gamma linolenic acid, 15 – 20% oleic acid, 9 – 12% palmitic acid, 3 – 4% stearic acid, 2 – 6 % eicosenoic acid. The unsaponifiable content is approximately 1%.
Apricot kernel oil is an excellent nourishing and emollient oil that’s easily absorbed. These properties are attribute to the high percentages of oleic and linoleic acids. Furthermore, http://hadanokime.cloud-line.com/blog/ can be an excellent source of vitamin A, present in the unsaponifiable matter.
Borage oil is known because of its nourishing and penetrating properties related to the current presence of linoleic and oleic acids, but additionally the high content of gamma-linolenic acid confers its regenerating and firming qualities.
The differences in the properties of apricot kernel and borage oils, together with those of other oils not discussed here, demonstrate the importance to blend various plant oils for optimal skincare, in order that the skin is adequately fed, continuously hydrated, smooth feeling and equipped to regenerate efficiently. These are essential to promote a healthy skin glow, irrespective of age.
But, even if the synthetics oils were to replicate the precise mixes and ratios of plant derived essential fatty acids and unsaponifiables, it would be nearly impossible to mimic in to the synthetic oils the contribution from the energy that’s held in the plant, that the equivalent oils were extracted. Thus, natural ingredients will vary from their synthetic equivalents.
What about essential oils and other botanicals?
Essential oils are concentrated extracts of aromatic and other volatile plant substances, sometimes containing growth factors known because of their regenerative properties. They are the source of the scents of nature and could be used to add scent to natural products. Because of the concentrated nature and high cost to produce, only smaller amounts of essential oils are employed in natural skin care. Besides, as essential oils may be irritating to the skin, they ought to never be used undiluted.
In contrast to oils, floral/herbal waters are the aqueous extracts from flowers/plants. Naturally produced oils and aqueous extracts are created through distillation, steaming, or infusion techniques. These are slow and often inefficient processes that increase cost. But, the merchandise generated using non-synthetic approaches are much safer and healthier than those extracted by using artificial methods.