The Great Debate|Natural Vs Synthetic

As a trained makeup artist, ever so often I’m treated to comments and questions like, “Oh my God, I need your help, it’s three weeks to my wedding and the acne on my face doesn’t seem to be going anywhere despite the new cream and soap I was assured will get rid of it…,” I also hear things like, “you have oily skin, how come you don’t have acne, what do you do?” or “please can you prescribe a lightening cream for me, I think I’m becoming dark!” In summary, as a makeup artist, I ought to be a dermatologist as well,lol.

Truth is I struggled with certain skin issues as well for some time, my face is so oily, I stopped applying lotion on my face and somehow I think it worsened the whole situation, I started on the lotions again but it was difficult getting one that was suitable for my face as my body seemed to accept every abuse that was thrown at it; thus, the struggle and journey for the perfect lotion for my face began.

I happened on a tonne of information in the course of my journey, found out what oils I was supposed to stay away from, what ingredients in lotions were doing more harm than good, I read up on the commercialization of skincare products, the whitewashing that went on in the industry and the supposedly active ingredients that were terrible on the human skin.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not believe that commercial products are terribly bad, on the contrary, there are some pretty good ones out there. I do not believe that methylparaben can give you instant cancer or propylene glycol can make you drop dead, but I was particularly concerned about was the fact that the industry was rife with products containing healthy ingredients at non-significant quantities, thereby resulting in products that were not necessarily fulfilling the claims of the marketing department.

I read about glycerine- an important humectant being stripped from some commercial soaps and being sold to companies that produce lotions and creams, in natural or organic soaps, the glycerine is an important component of the soap, it’s a direct result of the saponification process. I read about fragrances whose compositions that were trade secrets so nobody could actually tell what was going into them, I read about some cosmetic stabilisers that were actually bad for the skin and so much more that if I went on could leave you staring at your bottle of lotion like it was poison.

This is not to say that natural automatically means safe, for example, essential oils applied directly to the skin causes a whole lot of irritation and problems you do not want to know about, ingesting non-food grade tea tree oil could prove disastrous to the health, bitter almonds and its oil are poisonous until properly refined, we all know how deadly ricin (a deadly chemical warfare agent) is but believe it or not it’s gotten from the hull of the castor seed…yep you heard that right.

So why natural you may ask… well, I like to know what exactly goes into any products I would be applying on my skin, as well as what the nutritional benefits are. Manufacturers of synthetic skincare products seem to focus more on aesthetic appeal, paying less attention to the health benefits and this is very important because the skin absorbs about 64% of what we put on it. Before the advent of industrialisation and the pollution that came with it, our parents lived longer, there were lesser known skin problems, what little there was could be treated at home from common garden plants. Their skin looked healthy, the air was fresher and there less irritating ingredients to work with, besides I like to also think that I am empowering the local economy by sourcing my ingredients from local wholesalers and retailers.

Before the advent of industrialisation and the pollution and degradation that came with it, our parents lived longer, there were lesser known skin problems, what little there was could be treated at home from common garden plants. Their skin looked healthy, the air was fresher and there were less irritating ingredients  to work with, the focus was on natural plants and herbs. Besides I like to also think that I am empowering the local economy by sourcing my ingredients from local wholesalers and retailers (only 3% of our stock are imported).

Would love to hear your thoughts on this issue, please let us know what you think by leaving a comment in the comment section below. Stay beautiful.

 

 

 

Image credit: totalhealthmagazine.com

 

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