Are natural ingredients always good?
Many natural ingredients in skincare and cosmetics are very healthy, safe, and effective. However, just because an ingredient is natural does not automatically mean that it is good for the skin.
For example, some “perfume-y” extracts are natural ingredients. Even if an ingredient is pleasantly fragranced in its most natural state (like lavender), fragrances are still considered top allergens, natural or not.
Some natural ingredients (like certain heavy oils) tend to clog pores.
Other natural ingredients can cause severe reactions—to people highly allergic to peanuts even the nuts touching the skin can be dangerous.
Think of it this way: pollen, which is natural, causes allergies all over the world. Bee stings are natural as well, but can be irritating, painful, or even deadly. Peanuts are natural but are similarly dangerous for people allergic to them.
If a skincare or cosmetic product contains natural ingredients, this does not necessarily mean that it will not cause allergies or clogged pores, or that it will provide effective therapy.
The general rule is: whether a product is “natural” or not has no bearing on the efficacy of its claims or its safety on the skin.
Better measures of safety or efficacy are valid clinical studies that are well documented in peer-reviewed medical or scientific journals—this includes regularly published allergen lists from contact dermatitis organizations in different countries or large, multi-center studies from multi-country organizations like the North American Contact Dermatitis Group and European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies.
If you would like to use natural products but have very sensitive, acne-prone, pigmentation-prone or very dry skin, make sure that they are still hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, that they are patch-tested, and that their claims are proven by legitimate clinical studies. And, look for the product’s VH-Rating which shows you how many and which allergens are omitted from a formulation.
Click here to learn more about what hypoallergenic is.
Click here to learn how hypoallergenicity can help with most skin concerns.
Click here to read the VH-Rating System’s proven efficacy.
Click here to learn about the VH-Rating System’s validity as a method for substantiating hypoallergenic claims.
Click here for Mythfoliation: Is Natural Hypoallergenic?