Total Skin Care Blog .com Your Honest Guide to Natural Skincare
“NATURAL” CONFUSIONIs there any subject The honest truth of the matter is that we now live in an increasingly polluted world. And this pollutionin the beauty industry is affecting our health and the condition of ourtoday more confusing skin. Just look at the rates of adult acne and skinthan natural skincare? sensitivities these days. Scientists have proven that over 60% of the products you apply to yourWalk down an aisle in your face and body get absorbed into the bloodstreamlocal drugstore and it seems including moisturizers, sunscreens and anti-agingevery second product boasts products. Because of this, many consumers area “ natural” label or some type looking for natural alternatives to synthetic formulas.of “ natural” claim. Why is this? They feel better applying natural ingredients to theirIn a nutshell, because Canada bodies. You’ll see from the statistics that follow thathas no legal deﬁ nition for what thousands of consumers are making this changeconstitutes a “ natural” ingredient leading to a growing segment in the Canadian beautyor claim, beauty companies are industry. It’s expected to grow at 15 to 30 percentfree to use the term as they like. per year. That’s far faster than traditional skincare andAnd “ natural” is a great marketing beauty segments.word today that increases sales.Legally, anyone can paste a This guide to natural skincare is meant to offer“ natural” sticker on a product honest, concise information that you can use in yourregardless of what is inside. everyday lives. From deﬁ ning “natural” to exploringUnderstandably, this is causing product efﬁ cacy, we hope it will help you makegreat confusion at the beauty better-informed choices and clear up some of thecounter. Consumers and beauty “ natural” confusion.advisors alike have no idea whereto ﬁ nd truly natural skincare Daveproducts. Dave Lackie . Editor . Cosmetics magazine
1. Parabens. These are synthetic preservatives that are potential endocrine disrupters that can affect our hormone levels.POTENTIAL 2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Think of these as harsh cleansing agents that can potentially damage the lipid RISKS layer of your skin and cause irritation. By stripping the skin’s natural oil levels which act as a ﬁ rst-line barrier, viruses can more easily enter into the body. 3. Petrolatum/Mineral Oil/Parafﬁ n. These are non-renewable byproducts of crude oil that contain potentially dangerous impurities.The Natural Products 4. Chemical Sunscreens (Oxybenzone). TheseAssociation in the synthetic sunscreens get absorbed into the skin and can potentially disrupt hormone balances. They areUnited States, a also suspected to cause some free-radical production.72-year-old, not-for-proﬁ t organization 5. Glycols. Think of these petroleum-derivedcommitted to the synthetic chemicals as magnets. They are thought to be able tonatural products draw other chemicals into the bloodstream.industry has identiﬁ edten ingredients 6. Phthalates. Some scientists believe thesethat they believe synthetic fragrance compounds to be potential toxins.could have long- 7. Ethoxylated ingredients like Sodiumterm human health Myreth Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate,risks. These items PEGs or PPGs. Ingredients that are made in part with petrochemical ethylene oxide can result in 1,4 Dioxane,include synthetic a trace contaminant that is classiﬁ ed as a possiblesilicone or petroleum carcinogen. Ethoxylated ingredients are the accidentalcompounds. It’s byproducts of the ethoxylation process so they areimportant to note never listed on an ingredient label.that Health Canada 8. Ethanolamines like MEA/DEA/TEA. Thesemonitors all skincare are foam and viscosity-boosting ingredients that caningredients including interact with other ingredients to form nitrosamines, athese ten and known carcinogen.prohibits any that 9. Synthetic Polymers (PVP/Acrylates).have proven health These synthetic stabilizers may contain residual PAHsrisks. Still, the NPA (plycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), thought to be thebelieves that it is best most widespread organic pollutant.to avoid products that 10. Formaldehyde Donors (DMDM Hydrantoin/contain the following: Diazolidinyl Urea/Methylisothiazolinone). These are preservatives that degrade over time potentially releasing formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
WHAT IS NATURAL?According to led the initiative to deﬁ ne the word natural.Health Canada, the The deﬁ nition is two-fold: ingredients thatgovernmental department come from purposeful, renewable and plentifulthat monitors all skincare sources found in nature such as ﬂ ora, fauna and minerals. And, the products must be made withand beauty products in minimal processing that does not use syntheticCanada, there is no legal or harsh chemicals or otherwise dilute the puritydeﬁ nition for “natural” of the ingredients.skincare products in When Is Non-Natural Acceptable?Canada. Non-natural ingredients are only acceptable when there is no viable natural alternativeAs long as a company does not ingredient available and only when there areknowingly deceive the public absolutely no suspected potential human healthwith it’s labellng, there is no risks.legal guideline that the companymust follow to use the term. Natural Versus OrganicBeauty companies must include Organic ingredients are a big trend these days.a detailed list of ingredients The term “ organic” really does apply to growingon each product package plants and ﬂ owers without any pesticides – alisting ingredients from largest very beneﬁ cial process, especially for food. Inpercentage to least. And it must personal care products, it is important to noteprovide testing results to prove that a product that is 70 percent organic canthat it is safe for Canadians. If still contain 30 percent artiﬁ cial ingredientsHealth Canada spots any known that are potentially harmful. Many scientistsdangerous ingredients, it will believe it is more beneﬁ cial to use 100 percentrefuse to allow the products to be natural ingredients that pose no potential healthsold in this country. risk to consumers and do not contain harmful byproducts than a product that contains someA New Deﬁ nition for organic ingredients. It’s best to read both“ Natural” organic and natural labels very carefully andTotal Skin Care Blog, working with ask questions about how these products areNatural Products Association, processed.
THE NATURAL SKINCARE MARKETJust how big is thenatural personal care Packaged Facts, a market researcher publisher in the United States agrees with this analysis. Accordingmarket today? to its most recent study, sales of natural and organic personal care products in the United States grewThat’s a tough question to from $2 billion in 2001 to $6.1 billion in 2006.answer. Since the category The ﬁ rm predicts that sales will top $10.2 billion byis so new, there is little data 2012. The company’s retail analysts believe thereavailable. Market Research ﬁ rm are two factors driving these sales: the ﬁ rst is publicKline Group estimates the total concern over environmental crises, fair trade practicessales of natural products to and the fear of possible cancer-causing chemicals.be approximately 3 percent The second is an aging baby boomer population thatof the market. Based on that is looking to prolong health.number, the current Canadianmarket for natural products “Overall retail sales of natural cosmetics and toiletrieswould be about $120 million. in Canada account for a smaller share of overallThat total is expected to double market sales, although demand is growing, especiallyin the next ﬁ ve years among younger consumers,” says Euromonitormoving from niche category to International’s Lauren Beth. “Demand is likely to growmainstream. While still a small further as Canadians become more aware of thecategory now, natural beauty impact of the chemical compounds used in variouscompanies are posting annual consumer products on their health and environment.gains of anywhere from 14 to New regulations that require manufacturers to list all30 percent, far ahead of the the ingredients in the products on product labels willindustry average. And retailers likely further boost consumer conﬁ dence and provideare making more space for more information regarding the content of productsnatural products in store. with natural claims.”
Setting the Natural Standard1 Any natural personal care product must contain at least 2 There can be no ingredients with any potential suspected 3 You can not use any processes that signiﬁ cantly or adversely alter the 95% truly natural human health risks within purity/effect of the natural ingredients. an allowable 5%. ingredients. “ Natural Products Association Certiﬁ ed” seal This seal is the new certification seal controlled by the Natural Product Association in the United States. Companies that comply with the above guidelines will have permission to use this seal on packaging. Expect to see the first seals appear on products this fall from Weleda, Trilogy Fragrances, Farmaesthetics, Badger, Aubrey Organics and Burt’s Bees with more to follow. It is designed to help consumers quickly identify honestly natural products. For more information, visit www.TheNaturalSeal.org.
DO NATURAL SKINCARE PRODUCTS ACTUALLY WORK?Do natural skincare products really work? ingredient so we have to make our product slightlyBesides the obvious question about potentially synthetic. The second oneharmful ingredients, the biggest question is suncare. Because titaniumregarding natural skincare products is do they and zinc are the only naturalreally work? As recent as ﬁ ve years ago, many natural suncare ingredients, whenskincare creams had the consistency of glue and smelled you use them you geteven worse. And the efﬁ cacy in many cases didn’t match some whiteness to thetraditional beauty brands. But scientists such as Celeste product which affects theLutario, who specialize in natural formulas at Burt’s Bees are aesthetics. So those aremaking great strides in both performance and texture. She really the only two productswas most recently the research and development manager we haven’t hit parity forfor Chanel skincare and she’s brought that expertise to the beneﬁ t and aesthetics tonatural skincare category with great results. mass market synthetic“The ﬁ rst thing my girlfriends ask is do natural skincare brands. We get the sameproducts work?” laughs Celeste. “And that’s the big quality.”misconception out there right now: If it’s natural, it doesn’twork as well or isn’t as aesthetically pleasing. I can tell youwe’ve been pretty successful at getting parity with mass How naturalbrands on the market recently. In fact, we just did a test ingredients interactyesterday where we looked at all our categories against with the skinnatural, pseudo-natural and mass market brands. And themajority of our products hit parity with popular mass market “ We haven’t testedbrands. There were only two exceptions: One is in haircare this completely yet, but we know that thebecause there are some ingredients that we call quaternary skin accepts naturalcompounds or ‘quats’ (conditioning agents of haircare) ingredients betterand those aren’t made completely naturally yet. If a quat is than synthetic ones,”not used in a hair product, the hair has the consistency of explains Celeste.straw or a bird’s nest. There is no natural alternative for that “Researchers have proven that approximately 60% of skincare products get absorbed into the body.”
“ Think of it this way: the way a plant survives is by carefullybalancing all the minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that it contains.So when you use a plant in a natural skincare product, thoseingredients stay balanced. Your own skin recognizes this balanceand will accept it much more readily than a synthetic version. Theway the synthetic cosmetic industry does it is they mimic one ofthose pieces found in the plant. They’ll look and say ‘Oh, thoseAHAs get rid of wrinkles. Let’s ﬁ nd out that chemical makeup,mimic it, concentrate it and use it in a product.’ The issue withthis method is the body wants to stay balanced. As soon as youput that concentrated material on your skin, the body feels it isout of balance so it almost feels it is hurt. It will immediately startproducing other chemicals that it normally won’t to compensate forthat concentration. That’s why when AHAs ﬁ rst came out, you sawa lot of redness. When you apply synthetic AHAs on the skin, it’salmost like a little burn. The body feels it’s being burned and hurtso it starts sending all these healing chemicals to that area. So thenit heals the skin. Then most people repeat this process every day.And the skin never feels it is in balance. Over time, you may actuallybe hurting your skin.”Evaluating Potential Long-Term Health RisksProperly identifying ingredients with potential long-termhealth risks is an ongoing process. Researchers aroundthe world in laboratories and universities are constantly testingingredients and how they react in the body. The top natural skincarebrands are constantly monitoring medical journals and toxicologyreports that publish the results to make sure they are using the safestpossible natural ingredients. (Health Canada also monitors thesejournals and studies.) Europe is far more stringent than other regionswhen it comes to ingredients with potential long-term health risks,so any change in European regulation is carefully analyzed. You’llnotice that the best brand will adjust their formulas as soon as anyingredient in a product shows any kind of possible harm.
HIGH-TECH VERSUS NATURAL SKINCAREHigh-tech skincare brands are pushing Natural skincarethe limits of anti-aging technology companies looktoday by formulating products that at skincare frompenetrate deeper into the skin and a very differentactually work to manipulate skin cells perspective.and even DNA. They want to make the skinNanotechnology is a prime example. Scientists healthier so it looks better.are now experimenting with how to change strands These natural chemistsof DNA to slow the aging process and even reverse focus on the lower layers ofit. And while this science offers great potential results, the skin where the cells areit also ignores the intelligence of the body’s own being produced and asksystems. Can this manipulation cause potential long- themselves how can theyterm damage? “ My theory is that this can cause harm make everything healthy?because of the way it is manipulating the body,” says They want to do everythingMs. Lutrario. “ When you start to get into very detailed they can to make thetechnology where you get into the blood stream cells fully moisturized andand you’re manipulating on how the body reacts to ensure they have the propersomething, the potential for something to go wrong chemical makeup. So, 28is much higher. The cosmetics industry over the next days later when those cellsten years is going to have very significant scientific make it to the skin’s surface,breakthroughs. They want to manipulate the body so they create this beautifulthat it doesn’t age. When you start dealing with that, radiance. “If you keepin my opinion, you always have dormant cells that have everything moisturized andthe potential to go haywire. And when you start messing nourished, the wrinkles willwith these things, the potential is greater. I’m not saying go away.” Wrinkles comeit is going to happen. But the potential is there.” from unhealthy cells.
WHAT GOES ON, GOES INSkin cells take about The most damaging factors for skin aresix weeks to progress sun damage and free radicals that canfrom the lower layers of destroy the cells. So you’ll notice thatthe skin to the surface. natural skincare products will contain antioxidants, essential oils with theAnd skincare chemists proper balance of vitamins, minerals andwant to keep those cells amino acids. Chemists will choose theas nourished, hydrated best essential oils for a speciﬁ c purpose.and healthy as possible Remember, approximately 60% of what isthroughout their life. applied to the skin gets absorbed into theThis results in beautifully lower layers of the skin.radiant skin.
THE GREATER GOODIs it time to take a closer are becoming more demanding of the companies they do business with andlook at the companies won’t permit activities that pollute orbehind your favourite lip otherwise damage the environment.” Hegloss or foundation? says the younger generation in particular is concerned that they are left to clean upIn this new era of environmentalism the mess left by earlier generations. Theyand social responsibility, how a want a healthy environment to leave theirbeauty company produces a product children.is becoming as important as whatit produces. Is a beautiful lipstick So what can you do? Begin by askingworth the price if its manufacturing questions. Visit websites and read annualcauses your water to be polluted reports. Many cosmetic companies haveor garbage dumps to be filled 1-800 consumer hotlines you can call withunnecessarily? questions. If you want to see changes to your favourite brands, write the presidentThere’s a new generation of skincare and ask him or her to make changes. Andcompany that believes it’s equally important most of all, be discerning about whatto respect nature, our communities and companies you do decide to support. Yourhuman rights as it is to manufacture body dollars have great inﬂ uence.lotions and lip balms. This philosophyis called “ The Greater Good” and it isbased on two simple and profound beliefs:Natural products work in harmony withour bodies to promote balance and well-being; and we should respect, preserveand improve the precious resource of ourenvironment. These companies believe thatif you take care of the environment and ourcommunities and produce products thatrespect nature, the proﬁ ts will follow. It’s aforward-thinking business model.“ Consumers are becoming more savvyand educated thanks to the web,” saysAlan Middleton, a professor of marketingat the Schulich School of Business. “ They
SAVING THE BEESWhat would happen population: Approximately 70 percent of fruitsif the world’s bee and vegetables are pollinated by bees.population suddenly There are more than 20,000 different speciesdisappeared? of bees and an estimated thousand more thatHow would farmers pollinate have yet to be identified by scientists. A recentfruits and vegetables without bee symposium in Toronto hosted by manythem? It’s a question that of the world’s top bee experts establishedscientists around the world this problem is more than a North Americanare asking with the mysterious phenomenon. Bee colonies are disappearingdisappearance of a significant across Europe and Asia as well. And it is notpercentage of the world’s bee just domesticated bees, but wild bees thatpopulation recently. are dying. These researchers claim pesticides, loss of habitat, disease and pollution are primeIt’s called Colony Collapse contributors to this sudden decline. The bees’Disorder (CCD) and it’s become fragile systems can’t handle the sheer volumea great threat to the world’s food of chemicals and pollution in the air.
Natural Skin Care Stress Cleanliness Stress is a trigger for most skin Good daily hygiene is critical. If you conditions. Address the cause of your sweat a lot or wear a lot of makeup ensure stress. that you clean your skin before bed. Breathing, meditation, exercise, Clean with gentle, natural soap in tepid relaxation techniques and rest all assist in water and dry thoroughly afterwards. reducing stress. Prevent skin irritations by using non- Clothes abrasive products, including sharp blades for shaving. Wear clothes that ensure you don’t get too hot or too cold. Sunlight Cotton or natural fibers allow your skin 15 - 30 minutes of sunlight a day to breathe. benefits most skin conditions. Choose clothes that are loose without Avoid staying in direct sunlight in late restrictions or rough-textured, scratchy morning and early afternoon. surfaces. Use full spectrum lights in your home and place of work. Nutrition Water is needed to help the body flush out toxins. Drink at least 8 glasses a day. Be conscious of your reaction to food and work with your Naturopathic Doctor to determine if allergies are part of the problem. Whole grains, fruits and vegetables provide the skin with needed nutrients. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine as they can constrict blood vessels that nourish skin. This increases the appearance of deep wrinkles, aging and decreases the ability for skin to heal.
Use cosmetics sparingly and allow your materials and prevents premature aging ofskin time to breathe naturally. the skin. Avoid brushing open, inflamed or oozing areas of skin. Go at least 5 days without cosmetics andnotice the difference it makes to your skin. HOT AND COLD CONTRAST creates a pump-like action that aids in healing by Avoid skin products with alcohol or acid stimulating the circulation of white bloodbecause they dry the skin. cells to an area. This technique is great for Many cosmetics have creams, fillers and treating acute infections, increasing musclesubstances that block the pores and sweat tone and strength, and healing varicoseglands decreasing natural detoxification. veins. Start with an application of hot water Use natural products. Chemical and end with cold. Apply the hot twice asdeodorants, antiperspirants and cleaning long as the cold and repeat 3 - 5 times.products often destroy the natural CASTOR OIL PACKS applied topically toprotective bacteria on the skin. unbroken skin increases local circulation, Match your skin care products to promotes removal of toxins and stimulatesyour skin type and use natural oils, herbal healing of underlying tissues and organs. Itcreams or ointments. is absorbed into the lymph circulation and can improve digestion, relieve constipation, Topical or prescription creams often stimulate detoxification of organs, enhancesuppress the signs of skin concerns and immune function, reduce swelling andprevent the body from detoxifying through decrease menstrual irregularities.the skin.SPECIFIC SKIN CARE TECHNIQUESGENTLE MASSAGE causes localstimulation of the nervous system, reducesmuscle tension, improves lymphatic andblood circulation, aids in healing, controlspain and reduces swelling. Avoid scratchingor rubbing as this can disrupt the naturalhealing process of the skin.DRY SKIN BRUSHING loosens up deadlayers of skin, opens pores and helps toretain the natural oils of the skin. Thefriction action tones the skin, improvescirculation, helps elimination of waste