You and your skin
Skin is the largest organ in the body, so, it stands to reason that the products used are kind to the skin, gentle and full of benefits.
We know that searching for skincare products can be daunting these days, especially ones that tick every box! Buzzwords like paraben-free, fragrance-free, and clean sound amazing, but what do they really mean?
The same confusion runs throughout the beauty industry, from eyelash adhesive ingredients to hair dyes. While some beauty brands truly are adopting clean and sustainable measures to produce their products, others manipulate labels for their own gain.
We believe that you can become your own skincare expert, you just need a little guidance on what certain words and phrases mean. We want you to have the knowledge, and confidence, to read skincare product labels and know what’s in them, what you love about them, and what to avoid.
So, let’s get started!
Natural vs. Clean
The word natural sounds great right? So it’s a no-brainer as to why it’s now used in skincare. Consumers’ desires have changed, more and more they are drawn to products where benefits come from plants and fruits, not nasty synthetic chemicals that can harm the skin, cause irritation and allergies.
When “natural” is used in skincare, it generally means that ingredients for that product are sourced from nature. These could be from marine sources, plants, and fruits.
Fragrances in natural products are generally made with essential oils like lavender, rose, or peppermint. Or, they can be naturally scented, meaning the aroma has come from a natural source like fruit extracts.
Is there anything wrong with natural? Well, it doesn’t necessarily mean “all-natural.” A product does not need to be made up of only earth’s finest ingredients to be given the label, just high levels.
Long story short, “natural” is always a good way to go, just take a look at the ingredients list to ensure all are safe.
When “clean” is used in skincare, it refers to products that are free of harmful ingredients, such as; paraben-free, fragrance-free, petrolatum-free and so on.
The bit that gets tricky is not all “clean” ingredients are “natural”. As the science of skincare has evolved, so too has the ability to produce safe man-made ingredients.
With this in mind, “clean” is certainly a good direction to go in.
Synthetic fragrance and preservatives
“Synthetic” refers to ingredients created in a lab. The use of synthetics have been linked to causing allergies and reproductive complications, amongst others! Scarily, brands are legally able to hide the dangerous toxins that they are using under the term “fragrance”.
So, stay away from synthetic. Opt instead for natural fragrance, fragrance-free, or naturally-derived ingredients.
Parabens, sulfates and mineral oil
We know you’ll probably be a little stuck on what these ones are, so here’s the breakdown.
Parabens are a type of preservative used to prolong shelf life in beauty products by preventing mould and bacteria. The most common names of these are butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben. However, it is believed that parabens disrupt our hormones by mimicking oestrogen. This can link to breast cancer and reproductive issues.
Sulfates are used in products like shampoo and toothpaste. They have properties that enable lather, which is why they are widely used. Although sulfates do not affect everyone, they can cause those with sensitive skin types to experience varying levels of skin irritation.
Mineral Oil is a clear, odorless petroleum-derived oil, commonly used for its moisturizing and protective properties. It’s perfect for those who suffer with dry, sensitive skin, but isn’t recommended for oily or acne-prone skin as it can clog pores.
These three ingredients are best to be avoided!
We care about what you put on your skin, and you should, too. It’s always best to read up on your labels!