What to Look for in High Quality Natural Skin Care Products
Natural skin care products have become a hot trend, but as many of us have discovered, this category comes with a wide array of options. While some of these cleansers, oils, lotions, serums and creams are exceptionally good for your skin’s health, others use marketing labels to try to appear better than they are.
How to Spot the High-Quality Natural Skin Care Products You Need
Since the answer isn’t always as obvious as it may seem, I went straight to the source and asked the owner of one of my favorite natural skin care products companies to share her top tips with me. I’ve been using these tips as a guide, and I have to say that they go a long way toward cutting through marketing mumbo jumbo and finding the real deal.
Here’s what Crystal Noble, owner and product creator at Noble Naturals shared with me. To start, she pointed out that when looking for high quality natural skin care products, “the most important things to check are the ingredients list and the expiration date.”
Of course, it’s unlikely that most of us will know what every substance listed on a package will (or will not) do. The good news is that Crystal has advice to help out in those areas, too.
What to Look for in High Quality Ingredients
I found it very interesting that Crystal’s top tip combined not only looking at the ingredients but also at the expiry date. Good point! After all, if an ingredient is past its prime – has gone stale, rancid or otherwise – then it obviously can’t be a part of the best natural skin care products for your face or body.
“Natural skincare can also have a shorter shelf life, so be sure to check the expiration date and if possible, opt for brands that make their products in small batches as it helps to control quality and freshness,” she explained.
Next, she recommended that I “look for products that are rich in nutrition from plant-based oils, butters, and extracts. High quality natural skin care products should offer an array of antioxidants, omegas, vitamins, and minerals to feed your skin.” I love this concept.
We tend to have a skewed perspective about our skin, or at least I do. I forget that it is an organ – the largest one in the body – made up of cells. Just like all the other cells in our body, it needs to be nourished. This comes from the foods we eat, but also what is absorbed from the outside through the creams, lotions, oils and other products we choose.
What Shouldn’t Be in the Ingredients?
“Skip artificial fragrances!” Crystal advised. “If your skincare has a scent it should come from pure therapeutic essential oils which provide benefits to both the senses and the skin.”
What else shouldn’t be found within great natural skin care products? Lots of things, but the Noble Naturals founder pointed specifically to artificial preservatives such as parabens. The reason is that they are known for having a potential lasting impact on a person’s health. After all, when you apply something to your skin, it doesn’t necessarily stop there. This organ absorbs many substances, some of which will pass right through it and into the bloodstream. This is why she cautioned that it is “important to stay away from ingredients with known negative effects on the body.”
Synthetic lathering agents are another type of ingredient that should be avoided. These are common substances in cleansers and soaps, as are ingredients that dry out the skin (which you should also avoid). Harsh and drying ingredients shouldn’t just be avoided because they make your skin flaky and uncomfortable. A cleanser that is too harsh or astringent for your skin type can cause micro tears, explained Crystal. This tiny form of damage is large enough to “allow bacteria to get below the surface of the skin and cause breakouts.”
This made me think back to all the horrible over-drying acne cleansers I’d used through my teen years. To think that they may have been prolonging the problem, instead of helping to heal it! I’ve clearly needed this advice for a long time.
Therapeutic Oils in Natural Skin Care Products
The Noble Naturals take on therapeutic oils is that all skin types will benefit from the healing and balancing benefits of quality therapeutic oils. Crystal was quite emphatic about that: “I’m going to say that again for those who didn’t hear me, there is NO skin type out there that doesn’t benefit from the healing and balancing powers of high-quality therapeutic oils!”
For a very long time, I’ve mistakenly believed that I didn’t want oils in my natural skin care products. The reason was that my skin was already pretty oily. In some ways, that was true. Some oils don’t do well with my skin type. However, my error was in believing that because I’d tried one or two, I’d tried them all.
I was also wrong in thinking that because my skin can be oily, the last thing I should apply is oils. Therapeutic oils are something else altogether. Today, I apply a facial oil under my moisturizer, and it helps to reduce my skin’s excessive oiliness and controls breakouts. Mind blowing!
A “Natural” Label is Not Enough
Finally, one of the most important things to remember about looking for the best natural skin care products is that seeing “natural” or “green” on the label means nothing at all. Those are terms that are not regulated. This is why you need to look past the marketing language and examine the ingredients list.
“So often products are labeled at ‘97% natural’ because they contain 97% water content but the remaining 3% can be a cocktail of artificial, low quality ingredients,” Crystal told me. Just like the word “healthy” or “diet” on food labels, the skin care industry also has its own dubious claims. The best thing we can do is take that extra step to know what we’re putting in our bodies and on our skin. The key to that is in the ingredients list.