Is Natural Better?


Everything says “natural” these days but is it just a marketing term? 

Skin care products are all about marketing hype. Juicy high margins drive wild claims. The latest being the all “natural” label. But is this a real advantage? Are the products labelled as “natural” really even natural? Does it matter?

“Natural” can mean so many things. Every skin care product is really natural unless it is prescription. The new trend of potent cosmeceuticals have blurred the line between natural and synthetic. But the ingredients in these products are still natural. For instance, sesame oil is considered to be a powerful wrinkle fighting peptide but it comes from the sesame seed. It is “natural”.

natural skin care

The current skin care product do-it-yourself craze on the internet is a good example of where everything “natural” is considered to be good. I write a lot about different DIY at home solutions for your skin. For instance, I recently wrote about 5 DIY Skin Exfoliants that you can make at home. This is one of my most popular articles. So many readers have reached out to me with DIY variations of their own favorite exfoliants.

Skin care companies are following this trend. All you need to do is walk down any skin care aisle at your favorite store and see all the products that say “natural” on the label. However if you talk to a dermatologist, they are likely to tell you that the label is misleading at best.

Poison ivy is natural, but would you knowingly put it on your skin? Being natural doesn’t imply that something is good for you. That makes it very hard to navigate the various skin care offerings out there. People are just assuming that natural is good. And like with the case of poison ivy, that is a dangerous assumption as the opposite is in fact true.

"Natural" Poison Ivy
“Natural” Poison Ivy

Complicating this even further in the eyes of the consumer is that the word “natural” isn’t regulated by the FDA. For this reason, manufacturers do not even have to prove anything is “natural” about their products. Nothing needs to be specified exactly. This leaves the door open to ambiguous marketing claims and boasts.

“Natural” is simply a marketing terms that is designed to generate sales. Additionally, using these DIY skin care products can drive less than desirable or even adverse effects. Products that contain oils, especially those from seeds or lemons, sounds great on the surface. However, for some people it is a very bad idea.

Now using these oils and lemon seeds on your skin might not necessarily be a bad thing. But you need preservatives in products. This is especially true when you add water. That is because when you add water, the product can grow bacteria. Generally your immune system will react in your defense, but not always.

My favorite skin care products contain something that isn’t at all “natural” but it works wonders. That is petroleum jelly. When you put it on your skin and then remove it it leaves a fine finish. Almost like a shoe polish. And the best thing is, nobody is allergic to it. As opposed to many oils and lemon seeds and other stuff. So “natural” is not always better.

Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum Jelly
Is Natural Better?
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Rhonda is a skin care enthusiast who enjoys hacking through ways to turn back the clock on aging. Without an professional training or education, she's become an encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to proper skin care practices.