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Natural or synthetic: HOW CAN YOU DISTINGUISH THE TWO AND WHICH IS BETTER?

One of the common excuses we often hear for not using natural products is “I would like to, but, all the same, it is not as effective…” this is a mistake! Synthetic does mean better and here are the reasons why.

To qualify as natural ingredients, two conditions must be met:

  1. be derived from plants, minerals even animals

  2. not have undergone any major transformation.

These ingredients can be transformed very simply or treated by green chemistry: cold pressing, distillation, drying, grinding, maceration, oxidation, saponification…

pure vegetable oils first can be certified as cold pressed, pure vegetable butters, essential oils or other ingredients extracted from plants without solvents or refining.

A synthetic ingredient is heavily transformed or manufactured via complex and polluting processes, that often result from heavy chemistry from hydrocarbons. They can be of natural origin but with so many transformations and denaturing that saying they are natural is called Greenwashing. Silicones for example are made from natural sand, but are treated with solvents or other synthetic molecules, deodorized, irradiated. In this category:  If you hear hydrogenated vegetable oil it’s no longer natural

 

 

Choosing natural means opting for biodegradable, non-polluting ingredients which, provided they come from reasoned supply chains (organic farming, sustainable harvesting, no palm oil) do not destroy our ecosystems. But going natural, in cosmetics, also means choosing the best option for your skin.

 Here are 3 arguments

 

  1. Efficiency through excipients, they are substances that promote the diffusion of active ingredients in the epidermis.  As for natural ingredients, there are hydrosols in the aqueous phase, vegetable oils and butters for the fatty phase. Our body welcomes them, especially oils and butters which have a real affinity with the constituents of the epidermis. The lipids of their fatty acids, very close to those of the skin, really penetrate it, are extremely well assimilated. They blend with our own lipids in the hydrolipid layer. They may not offer us an immediate miracle, but an in-depth, long-term action. A notion that is sometimes difficult to accept in our societies of immediacy.

Creams made with mineral oils, paraffin, petroleum jelly or petrochemical silicones in the fatty phase only make your skin feel too comfortable and not essentially breath on its own. Do not forget that skin our largest organ and must allowed to do its job. It is not nourished and can’t manage on its own.

 

2. ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: all cosmetics contain active ingredients chosen for their specific action: anti-aging, healthy glow, moisturizing, nourishing, balancing…

 

Natural ingredients are rich in essential nutrients for the vitality, protection and health of our epidermis: vitamins, fatty acids, amino acids, minerals, antioxidants… Like the plants from which they come, they have a composition complex. They can contain dozens of active molecules! And have what I like to call an all-around synergistic and cooperative effect

 

Vegetable oils and butters, rich in vitamins A, B, C, D, E, H, K and omegas, make your epidermis supple, toned, and protect it from free radicals, hydrate, nourish, regulate… many Essential oils, Small, concentrated penetrating molecules have powerful targeted actions: anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, sebum-regulating… Tea Tree essential oil is thus as powerful as benzoyl peroxide against acne, without the risk of drying out and burn.

 

Synthetic active ingredients are most often made up of isolated molecules, with a very targeted action: each treatment is very specialized but often have a high irritation potential and are quite costly.

 

  1. 3. Extras in the formulation

These are the adjuvants such as preservatives, stabilizers, texturizers, fragrance, and color.

As a chemist there is no going around a preservative but there are things, we can do to use the least amount of preservatives such as keep our product in a cool dry place and also use airless pumps that stop people from putting their finger into the product.

Dyes are known endocrine disruptors, so try to avoid coloring as much as possible.

Ingredients that you have certainly heard of for their irritating effects, strippers for the hydrolipidic film, often allergenic or even carcinogenic. Some are recognized endocrine disruptors, considered a global public health threat by the WHO fixing phthalates, sulphated surfactants (SLS and SLES), synthetic fragrances, EDTA stabilizer, ethoxylated surfactants (PEG)!

 

Green chemistry: RESPECTS OUR EPIDERMIS On the natural side

gentle cleansing agents, derived from vegetable oils: Sodium olivamphoacetate (Olive), Potassium cocoate (Coconut) yes there is little or no foaming, they just… wash! Respecting all skin types.

texture agents based on Corn starch (Zea mays starch), Coconut (Sucrose cocoate)…

We are still testing preservatives from the fermentation of plants: Coconut (Lactobacillus), Radish (Leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate) or antioxidant vitamin E contained in other ingredients (Sunflower vegetable oil, Rosemary essential oil, etc.)

stabilizers from lemon (citric acid)…

In short, ingredients that are not only soft, much better for our health, but also beneficial for the epidermis: nourishing and anti-microbial for Coconut, astringent for Lemon…

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