Benefits Of Natural Beauty Products
As more and more studies are released on the toxicity of many cosmetic and personal care products, consumers have begun to turn to natural beauty products. Many know the hazardous health effects caused by ingredients like sodium laureth sulfate and parabens, but do you know the additional health benefits provided by natural products?
Certified organic products must be composed of at least ninety five percent organic products. (Keep in mind that ‘organic’ in the name or on the label is no guarantee that the product is healthy and chemical free. Look for the ‘certified organic’ stamp on the packaging.) Organic plant materials are made up of the same minerals, vitamins, hormones, essential fatty acids, amino acids and enzymes as the human body. Because of this our bodies recognize these materials as nutrition and readily accept them through the skin. Everything we put on our skin has the potential to be absorbed into our bodies and circulated to all of our cells; selection of skin care products is as important as the selection of the food we eat.
Natural products have the ability to heal internally and externally. Organic ingredients that are absorbed through the skin can increase collagen production, repair free radical damage and improve oxygen and blood flow to the skin. Externally, natural products tighten skin, diminish lines and wrinkles, repair discoloration, and protect the skin from environmental elements.
There is an overwhelming variety of ingredients used in all natural beauty products and each has its own effect on the body.
Here are some of the most popular and widely used organic beauty ingredients and the benefits they provide.
Natural, organically derived oils like olive, safflower, walnut, avocado, evening primrose and argan are commonly used as moisturizers in natural beauty products. Each of these oils nourishes dry skin without the nasty side effects of chemical, petrolatum based moisturizers. Argan oil is also used to treat eczema, psoriasis and wrinkles.
Organic soy products are added to products to prevent and repair skin pigmentation. Licorice, mulberry, burberry and vitamin C are also useful in repairing skin damage caused by the sun.
Maitake mushrooms, chamomile, oatmeal, aloe vera, licorice, cucumber and feverfew are added to organic products for their soothing capabilities. Maitake mushrooms are used to treat rosacea, oatmeal is often used to soothe poison ivy and skin rashes, and aloe vera helps to heal sunburns.
Rhodiola, better known as golden root, is another ingredient used to heal dry skin. It also provides improved sensation to skin damaged by irritating chemical products.
Pomegranates, berries, green tea and coffee berry are all natural antioxidants used in organic beauty products. Pomegranates and green tea help protect the skin from UV damage, while coffee berry improves wrinkles, diminishes fine lines and helps even skin complexion.
More popular than the other organically derived oils, coconut oil is becoming one of the most common ingredients in natural skin care. Coconut oil nourishes and improves the lipid content of skin cells. Used on the skin, coconut oil heals fungal infections, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. It also penetrates the roots of hair follicles, protecting hair from environmental damage. When used on hair coconut oil also protects from head lice and heals dandruff.
Shea butter is derived from the nut of the African Karite tree and is often blended with natural oils in moisturizing products. Shea butter is known for its soothing anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used to fade scars, heal burns, rashes, and eczema, as well as to diminish skin discoloration and wrinkles.
Much like shea butter, cocoa butter is also blended with oils and used as a moisturizer. Cocoa butter is made from the cacao bean, which only grows along the Equator. Cocoa butter is a natural antioxidant preservative, and increases the shelf life of products it’s added to. Cocoa butter relieves psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis and also protects skin from environmental elements.
Mango butter, derived from mango kernels, is perhaps the most effective natural moisturizer. It contains a much higher concentration of fatty acids than shea or cocoa butter. Mango butter also contains natural antioxidants and large levels of vitamins A, C and E. Mango butter is added to many natural anti-aging products because it promotes cell regeneration.
Tee tree oil, distilled from the leaves of the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree, is added to many products for its antiseptic properties. It can be used as a replacement for the toxic triclosan used in chemically laden products like hand sanitizers and toothpastes. Tee tree oil is also an antifungal and antiviral, and a common ingredient in all natural acne treatments.
Beeswax is commonly used as a thickening agent in natural beauty products. Beeswax contains humectants, which allow it to attract water and keep the skin hydrated. It also forms a barrier on the skin, holding in healthy moisturizers while offering protection from environmental elements. Beeswax has antibacterial properties, and helps prevent bacterial and fungal contamination in products that contain it. Beeswax is also used to heal wounds, burns, dermatitis, and eczema.
Honey is another natural beauty ingredients provided to us by the bees. Honey is full of natural antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, calcium, proteins, fats, amino acids and bioflavonoids. All of these nutrients are absorbed when honey is rubbed on to the skin. Honey works as a natural antibacterial and antimicrobial. It is used to treat burns, rosacea, eczema, and acne. It is also added to anti-aging products because of its ability to heal skin discoloration and protect from free radical damage.
Phytoplankton is a new and exciting addition to natural beauty products. Phytoplankton refers to any sea living vegetation. The high level of omega 3 fatty acids present in phytoplankton makes it a perfect addition to moisturizers. Phytoplankton also contains a high concentration of bioflavonoid and riboflavin antioxidants, enabling it to diminish lines and wrinkles and smooth skin. Phytoplankton also contains UV blocking compounds that protect the skin from free radicals and aging. The zinc in phytoplankton helps to treat acne, while other properties of the ingredient help to heal eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.
For every chemically laden beauty product available to consumers there is a natural, healthy alternative. Familiarize yourself with the health benefits provided by all natural ingredients to find a product perfect for your personal skin type.