Natural skin care vs synthetic skincare? Which is better? This debate has been on the lips of many for sometime, but especially of late.
More and more people are choosing natural products over synthetic ones.
But what’s all the hype about natural skin care products? Does it really make a difference? To our skin, our bodies and the environment?
Maybe you're trying to find the answers because you’re worried about harsh chemicals that could affect your body; or perhaps you're looking for an alternative skincare product that doesn't test on animals.
Whatever your reasons are, this article will paint a clearer picture on the topic and help you choose safe skincare products that work.
The natural vs synthetic debate
Natural skincare products should be free of chemical substances that could irritate the skin or immune system. This means free from fragrances, dyes, parabens and Propylene Glycol.
Oftentimes these harsh chemicals can cause allergic reactions, dryness and even breakouts.
So a great natural skincare product should be free from these harsh chemicals.
Scarily though, not all brands that taut “natural skincare” are actually 100% so.
Always remember to read the label of the product before buying it.
The nasties to look out for are listed below:
If you see ingredients such as:
- Petrolatum aka Petroleum Jelly
- Propylene Glycol
- PVP/VA Copolymer
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Stearalkonium Chloride
- Synthetic Colors
- Synthetic Fragrances:
- Diethanolamine (DEA)
Be careful. These ingredients can cause harsh reactions, especially if used constantly.
But it's also important to note that not all natural ingredients are 100% safe either. You could still get an allergic reaction from some of the ingredients, depending on how sensitive your skin is. For example, some essential oils can cause a reaction.
So the best advice is to read the label and see what's inside the product.
Just because a company says that it's natural doesn’t always mean that it truly is.
So don’t just trust any “natural skincare brand,” because the “word “natural” has no regulatory meaning in terms of the FDA. - Quote
If you are unsure about a natural product, ask the company for more information on their ingredients. There should be transparency if a product is truly natural.
Pradiance is a skincare brand that stays true to our promise of natural and organic skincare.
“All Pradiance products are free of harmful synthetic chemical ingredients, including parabens and mineral oils. All our ingredients are from sustainable sources. At Pradiance, we aim to create an awareness of the necessity to use biodegradable ingredients that are 100% earth- and people-friendly.”
If a product is truly natural there are many benefits to using it.
Did you know that 60% of what you put onto your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream? Therefore it can affect your body and your health.
So natural skincare products can definitely be a safer option than synthetic. As we mentioned above many synthetic skincare products host a whole range of harmful ingredients.
Parabens for example can mimic estrogen, leading to estrogen dominance in women; This can cause a number of problems such as breast cancer, fibroids and severe pms symptoms.
Besides this, natural skincare products are rich with ingredients that actually feed the skin with nutrients.
Kigelia, for example, (one of the main ingredients in the Pradiance range) is full of antioxidants, which prevents free radical activity, therefore affecting the vitality and vibrancy of the skin. This natural ingredient improves elasticity and treats sun damage.
Cheap synthetic ingredients won’t feed the skin, and might just add a “quick fix” to the problem, (such as dry skin) but not solve the real issue. Natural products work to nourish the skin from a molecular level and not just on the surface.
But remember once again that not all companies who claim to be natural truly are, so always read the label.
Pros of Natural Skincare
- Can be safer
- Can cause less allergic reactions
- Natural skincare feeds and nourishes the skin
- Overtime it can treat the skin and “heal” it
Cons of Natural Skincare
- Natural skincare products are not monitored by the FDA or SAHPRA
- Not all companies who claim they are natural truly are. Always read the ingredients label
- Some natural ingredients can cause allergic reactions such as peppermint oil.
Synthetic skin care
Synthetic skin care can be harmful, but once again not all ingredients in synthetic skincare brands are completely bad.
As mentioned above, be on the lookout for harmful ingredients, such as parabens, synthetic colorants and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. These are the harmful ingredients to be wary of.
It's also important to note that synthetic means not harvested or directly found in nature.
It also means that it was formulated in a lab, “or that it was harvested from nature and then heavily processed in a lab to create a very refined version of the original raw material.”
An example of the latter part of that sentence is Vitamin C or Willow Bark.
“Salicylates, are compounds found within willow bark, and they have been used for centuries to treat fever and inflammation, but it wasn’t until salicylate derivatives were synthesized in a laboratory that they were able to be mass-produced inexpensively, resulting in the drug we now know as aspirin.” - Quote from Herbal Dynamics Beauty
Drinking an aspirin would be safer than drinking Willow Bark tea for example.
And in the same way some synthetic ingredients can help stabilize vitamin C and increase its efficacy, allowing it to be used safely in higher concentrations.
So is synthetics all evil? The answer is not necessarily. But it's still important to be wary about what's inside the product you are considering. This is why reading the label is imperative to your health.
Pros of synthetics
- Some natural elements can be broken down in a lab to be safer in higher doses such as vitamin c in skincare products or willow bark in aspirin.
Cons of synthetics
- Can be very harmful to your body, especially if it contains parabens or formaldehyde. These ingredients can cause cancer, severe allergic reactions or hormonal imbalances.
- Might just be a “quick fix” to skin problems and not truly nourish the skin from within.
- Many synthetic skincare products are still tested on animals even if they claim not to
What about sustainably sourced and cruelty free?
For a number of people, cruelty free products and sustainably sourced ingredients are incredibly important. We only have one planet, and if more people were responsible about how ingredients were sourced, it would make a difference.
Pradiance only uses sustainably sourced ingredients and all products are cruelty free.
Did you know that many cosmetic companies who claim to be cruelty free actually aren't?
This article was an eye opener:
Some companies don’t test their products on animals in America for example, but pay China to still test their products on animals in China itself.
This could be the biggest problem with synthetic skincare products.
If you would like to check if a synthetic product is cruelty free visit this site.