Chemical vs. Natural Ingredients: What’s Best for Perfect Skin?

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Chemical vs. Natural Ingredients: What’s Best for Perfect Skin?

People looking to accent their natural beauty have used some form of beauty products to enhance the appearance since the beginning of time. As a result, beauty products have always been in demand. Products such as foundations, eyeliners, creams, face washes, and blush in various forms have been used by women for thousands of years. Continuing in this tradition, ALODERMA has developed a line of skin care products built around Organic Aloe Vera harvested and turned into skin care products within 12 Hours of Harvest.

However, one question not asked by many until recently is what is in your skin care and are natural or chemical ingredients best?

Commonly Used Chemical in Beauty Products

There isn’t anything unfamiliar about chemicals in beauty products. The ancient Greek women used products made from heavy metals on their skin. Cleopatra was known for her heavy lead outlined eyes.

While Cleopatra’s eyeline might have looked pretty cool, when unregulated, chemical beauty products can hold some dangerous toxic chemicals that you probably don’t want to be putting on your skin. Fortunately, with the increasing size of the beauty market and increased regulatory scrutiny, most of the truly dangerous chemicals have been removed.  Nowadays, chemicals are usually added for shine, shimmer, texture, and better absorption.

This isn’t just in cosmetics and skin care, there are also chemicals in hair care products and soap as well. Studies show that excessive use and application of chemicals in these products can appear later in the body, which can slowly build up in the body over time. Talc, for example, is often found in different types of make-up and there have been a number of recent issues associated with its use, or rather trace chemicals found in Talc. Coal tar is used in hair color and eye shadow. Some products, like nail hardeners, are loaded with chemicals. Sometimes there is still even lead in eyeliners and lipsticks.

Are all of these chemicals bad?  Certainly not.  In fact, the vast majority of chemicals in skin care are actually benign and are entirely safe and/or safe in the concentration they appear in products.

What are specific types of chemicals to avoid in your products? Here are a few to watch out for:

Artificial Coloring: artificial dyes are present in most of your skincare staples. Here are some of the harmful effects of these chemicals:

  • When absorbed into your skin, artificial colors can lead to irritation, blocked pores, inflammation and sensitize the skin.
  • Artificial dyes have been primarily associated with acne troubles; they disturb the natural oil balance in your skin’s microbiome and lead to increased blemishes.
  • The toxins present in these chemicals can also be absorbed into your body, causing further damage from within.
  • Research has also shown that some dyes, especially the ones made from coal tar, are carcinogenic (cancer-causing) in nature.
  • Artificial dyes can also affect the neurons and cause allergic reactions, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Parabens: Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as artificial preservatives in cosmetic and body care products since the 1920s in order to help with shelf stability (preservative). However, the concern with these chemicals is that scientific studies suggest that parabens can disrupt hormones in the body and harm fertility and reproductive organs, affect birth outcomes, and increase the risk of cancer. They can also cause skin irritation.  At ALODERMA, we don’t have Parabens in any of our products.

SD alcohol: While many alcohols are largely benign and in fact, beneficial in skin care. But just because they’re alcohols doesn’t mean they all have the same properties on your skin. For example:

  • Glycerin and glycols are humectant moisturizers that hydrate skin
  • Sucrose is table sugar
  • Cetyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol moisturizer that feels oily

So yes, some alcohols can be beneficial for your skin. However SD Alcohol is not. Specifically, SD alcohol 40 is a type of denatured alcohol used in cosmetics and skincare products. It is mainly used as an anti-foaming agent, astringent, antimicrobial agent, and a solvent. When high concentrations of denatured alcohol are used in the formulation of skincare products, this ingredient can cause drying and irritation. Denatured alcohol can also cause erosion of the skin’s surface layer, leading to a weakened skin barrier. At ALODERMA, none of our products contain SD Alcohol.

At ALODERMA, we do not add artificial colors to any of our products.

Mineral Oil: Mineral oil is a colorless and odorless oil derived from petrolatum; when used in cosmetics, it's highly refined and purified and, therefore, should not contain contaminants found in unrefined petroleum, however it is still known for clogging pores, especially when combined with other potential pore clogging ingredients. However, given it is refined from petroleum, we at ALODERMA consider it a no-no and have elected to make all of our products free from Mineral oils.

There are many other chemical ingredients that can cause potential problems and we would encourage you to discover more on your own on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Website, where they have exhaustively catalogued and rated virtually all ingredients you are likely to come across in skin care products.

What About Commonly Used Natural Ingredients in Beauty Products?

Natural beauty products have natural, ideally organic, ingredients that are grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or growth hormones, which can all make their way into final products in trace amounts. While it is rare to be able to create a fully shelf stable product using only natural ingredients, the products should prominently feature natural ingredients the primary and active ingredient and contain limited or no harsh chemical ingredients that score above a 1 or 2 on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Encyclopedia of ingredients. ALODERMA products have been designed with this in mind and all feature a minimum of 65% Pure Organic Aloe Vera by weight with most featuring more than 80% pure Aloe Vera so that they are gentle on your face.  Look for plant derived active ingredients that can cause impacts your are looking for in your skin care.

Since the human skin works like a sponge, natural skincare products are safer for skin health. Think about what you put on your skin the same way you think about what you put in your body.

When to Use Chemicals

There are pros and cons to whether to use skincare products with chemicals or without chemicals.

The Pros to using products with chemicals are:

  • Chemical based preservatives can help make products shelf safe, which is critical for most people.
  • Most anti-oxidants are chemical based

Cons for chemical skincare products

  • It can cause skin allergies
  • The product is non-organic and some chemicals can accumulate in your system.
  • Chemicals in product can lead to chronic issues such as headaches and migraines.

Pros for natural skin care products

  • Natural skin products are suitable for all skin types
  • Natural skin care products are now widely available
  • The products are now at affordable prices
  • Natural products contain significantly fewer chemicals
  • Natural products tend to be much more environmentally friendly

Cons for natural skin care products

  • Unlike ALODERMA, many Natural Skin Care products don’t have true product traceability, so it is hard to truly know what is in the product you are buying (i.e. they don’t own the farm or the factories where the ingredients come from)
  • Natural skin care products aren't waterproof
  • Without chemical additives, they aren’t shelf stable, especially after being opened.
  • There aren’t many color options available

Which One is Better?

In an ideal world, all ingredient and products would be 100% natural, but that just isn’t realistic unless you want to make your own skin care at home.  Shelf stability is just too challenging for most all natural skin care products. There are several reasons why natural skincare and beauty products are better than chemical beauty products.

At ALODERMA, we use chemical ingredients sparingly and always feature Organic Aloe as our primary ingredient.  Further, we always look to utilize natural botanical extracts to enhance our products for our target purpose and skin type.  However, we believe chemicals are necessary to create the best skin care products possible without sacrificing quality. Within this scope, we always focus on product and ingredient safety first to ensure we are adding the cleanest and safest chemical ingredients on the market to our products. This is an area we are constantly re-examining in order to ensure we deliver our customers the most natural, effective, and price conscious products possible.

It’s your skin, and it's the only one you have. You owe it to your skin to give it the best care that you can. All ALODERMA products are made with Pure Organic Aloe Vera within 12 Hours of Harvest to guarantee we deliver customers the natural power of Aloe to address their specific skin care needs.

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