(image from eatright.org)
When it comes to skincare I can go a long way just with kitchen products. I use honey as a moisturising mask, citrus fruits for exfoliating and my all time favourite skincare products is organic, cold-pressed oils which I use for cleansing as well as moisturising.
When I was in my early teens I visited Bangladesh and we went to my grandparents’ house in the countryside. The countryside in Bangladesh has the most exquisite nature, a very colourful lifestyle and insects that glow in the dark. However, the vain little teenager that I was, I focused mainly on people’s skins. Most local girls had clear, creamy complexions that all the Instagram filters combined couldn’t give me. Since we are talking about the rural areas, it’s pretty safe to assume that the girls didn’t have an arsenal of Cliniques and Kiehls in their bathroom cupboards or slab foundation on their faces every morning. Instead, they used stuff like coconut water and olive oil on their skin. This is a harsh generalisation, but why is it that women in modern societies with all our cleansers, exfoliators and serums don’t seem to get nearly as good results as these girls did with just a few simple products? Was it the absence of synthetic chemicals in their skincare routine or was is something else? I didn’t come back home and abandon my Niveas and L’oreals, but the possibility of getting excellent results with just using minimal amount got stuck in my brain.
As I got older I took a real interest on what our everyday cosmetics consists of and how they might affect us. As I learned how parabens and alcohol might affect our skin, I started avoiding conventional cosmetics and looking for other options and what I had observed in Bangladesh many years ago became convenient. Although not all synthetic substances are harmful, it became very important for me that I knew exactly what I was putting on my face. It felt safer to moisturise my face with avocado oil, because well… it’s just avocado oil and nothing else.
One thing that I also find funny is how conventional skincare products are marketed to the consumers. The ingredient, which manufacturers highlight and on which they base the effectiveness of the product, is most of the time a natural one such as argan oil or aloe vera extract (I’ve personally never seen a product that has Now with PEG-10 Stearate written on it as a marketing strategy). Sadly, the natural ingredient in question is usually very far down the ingredient list, which means there’s probably a minuscule amount of it. So instead of buying an expensive cream which had about 2% of say olive oil in it, I’d just buy a full bottle of olive oil, which was actually the cheaper option.
Switching to non-synthetic skincare has worked for me very well, but it’s not a magical solution to every single skin problem and it doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Which ever one you prefer, I think it’s important to have some idea what exactly you’re paying for and will it benefit you or do the exact opposite. On that note, I’ll go through some of the disadvantages natural ingredients may ha.
- Because of the lack of preservatives they don’t last as long.
- Natural doesn’t automatically mean that no side affects. Like any other natural substance they might cause an allergic reactions.
- Some people argue that oils, honey etc. as such have molecules that are so large that they are unable to go through the pores of our skins and benefit them the same way as actual skincare products. In theory, this makes a lot of sense, however, in practise I have nothing has worked for me as well.