We hear a lot of talk about the importance of Vitamin C as a cold/flu support for the colder months. Did you know that it also has a valuable role in skin health? Antioxidants like Vitamin C, in particular, provide support to the structure of the skin by supporting collagen production. Vitamin C promotes collagen synthesis. Collagen is a protein and the primary structural component of the dermis that is responsible for strengthening the skin- as we age the building blocks of the skin’s structure deteriorate as our own production of collagen slows down. Consuming whole foods rich in natural Vitamin C can slow down the development of wrinkles, sagging skin, and hyperpigmentation. Nourish your skin from the inside out. Some of our favourite Vitamin C rich foods and herbs include rosehips (right now is the time to harvest time), leafy greens and elderberries.
Green Beauty Myth 1: Natural skincare is chemical free.
“Chemical free” is a marketing term used to communicate to consumers that a product is safe or ‘green’. In reality, nothing is chemical free. Everything is a chemical- air, water, the vegetables growing in your garden are all made up of chemicals. Some face and body care formulators use this term to imply ‘free from synthetic ingredients’ but even safe natural face and body care often contains synthetic ingredients that most of us would consider to be natural -take baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) for example.
We strive to create products that are well-researched, effective, and as close to nature as possible. We always choose whole botanical ingredients over synthetics because nature is intelligent and your skin recognizes and benefits from nourishment more than a superficial quick fix.
As the green body care industry grows, learning how to decipher marketing claims will help you invest in products that not only help you feel and look great but enhance your health and well-being in the process.
Green Beauty Myth #2: 60% of what you put on your skin ends up in your bloodstream.
This is a common myth perpetuated by a multitude of natural wellness and green skincare blogs online. While the intention is cautionary and reminds us to use pure products, this statistic isn’t actually true.
The truth is that anywhere between 0% and 100% of what you apply to your skin can penetrate through the skin’s layers and end up in the blood stream- it all depends what the substance is.
Skin penetration also depends on the overall health of your skin and your environment (temperature and humidity).
Rich carrier oils will penetrate the very top layer of the epidermis (the stratum corneum) and generally stop there, while essential oils can penetrate into your bloodstream. Each ingredient in a product will penetrate the skin differently.
Green Beauty Myth # 3: “If you avoid parabens in skincare then you’ll avoid them all together”.
Many preservatives and other synthetic ingredients that are used in the skincare industry have been used in food for decades. You may try to avoid skincare products that contain parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, etc.) but you may actually be unknowingly eating them. Parabens can be used as food preservatives, common examples being: methylparaben labelled as additive E218 and ethylparaben labelled as E214 found in beer, packaged desserts oft drinks, pickles and other foods. As you know, just because it’s in food doesn’t mean it’s safe or healthy to consume long term.
Our philosophy is always to choose ingredients and foods that are as close to nature as possible. Although there are naturally occurring parabens found in nature like those found in blueberries and mangos, we avoid any synthetically derived parabens. As you can see, the issue is more complex than we are led to believe by the green beauty industry and popular green skincare blogs.
How long should your skincare products last?
With the switch to green beauty, you may need to change how you use your face and body-care products. It’s important to use them up within the recommended time frame to ensure product potency and avoid microbial growth in your products. Natural skincare products are not made to sit on a bathroom shelf for two years and be good to use. A quality natural preservative will have a limit of how long it is effective for in a formula (this is especially true for natural preservatives). You want to use products up within the time frame while the ingredients are as vital and skin-nourishing as possible. If you are currently using lotion or cream products (containing water) with no preservatives, beware, you may be unknowingly applying invisible unhealthy microbes, yeasts, and fungus to your skin with each application. We carefully select preservatives sourced right from nature to keep our products lasting without the toxic effects of conventional preservatives.
All of our facial moisturizers, toners, and body butter are best used up within 6 months of purchase while all of our oil-based formulas like our Sensitive Skin Balm, Cellular Renewal Facial Serum, body oils and deodorants are best used up within 12 months.
Stay tuned for our next post on how to properly store and care for your natural skin care products to get the most out of them.
Are your skincare products nourishing your skin? If you’re using conventional skincare that lacks natural oils or botanical ingredients it’s quite likely that it’s not. Our skin is alive and requires nourishment in the same way our other body systems do. In choosing your skincare products you are choosing whether or not to support your skin’s natural vitality with ingredients that support the health of each cell along with the health of the skin’s microbiome. Anti-bacterial washes, paraben laden creams, and chemical preservatives not only disrupt hormones but also disturb the healthy flora of your skin. All of our products have been carefully formulated to nourish the skin on a cellular level and support the skin’s microbiome resulting in vibrant, glowing skin.
Interested in eco-friendly Holiday gift gifting?
Here are a few tips to consider when purchasing from companies and independent makers who sell herbal products:
1. Do they use at-risk or endangered botanical ingredients? This is the top of our list because there is, unfortunately, a sea of natural bodycare producers who include at-risk oils and plants in their formulas. This has obvious environmental repercussions, but also means that what they are selling as a product with “pure oils” is actually anything but that. Many precious or higher priced essential oils are cut with cheaper alternatives to reduce costs for the supplier. Some product makers (especially those without an aromatherapy education) will not know this is happening unless they are aware to look for adulteration. A few ingredients to look out for and avoid are Sandalwood, Rosewood, Frankincense (Boswellia carterri) and Eyebright which are all commonly found in natural body care but have been terribly over-harvested. Refer to @unitedplantsavers ‘s list for at risk herbs.
2. Ask the product producer about their process. Do they create items from scratch? Do they have a relationship of some sort to the plant material they use?
3. Does the producer have a herbal or aromatherapy education? If they don’t, ideally there would be someone on their team whom they consult for product development to ensure safety (especially with aromatherapy products).
4. Do you get the sense that they have a relationship with nature? We are always weary of natural product producers who suffer a disconnect from the natural world and are instead looking out for a quick way to make cash. Purchase from herbal product makers who have a relationship with nature and express a commitment to environmentally friendly production practices.
5. Look for minimal packaging, avoid unnecessary plastic-wrapped products.
6. Shop local, support herbalists in your area.
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