Skincare: Nature vs. Technology

facewashChoosing skincare is more confusing than ever. So many products are labelled ‘natural’, and in some cases they even get organic approval, yet they still contain synthetic ingredients and preservatives. For the most part this has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the product itself – these chemicals are typically added so that these products are able to spend more time sitting on shelves than they do being used by consumers.

Often people are pretty careful about what they choose to put into their bodies, only to have a more relaxed approach about what gets the green light for use on their skin. Regulation around skincare manufacture is almost non-existent as it is seen as being “not for consumption” and therefore not requiring strict rules around what is deemed safe. Generally, the only topical products closely monitored are those with medicinal claims.

This is in complete opposition with the medical industry embracing the technology of delivering medication via the skin. It is, after all, the largest organ we have! Nicotine patches are incredibly effective, and even skin patch birth control is being trialled – so we know that the skin is one of the most effective delivery systems we have for chemicals, yet the products we use every day as part of our skincare routine slip through the net.

It has been estimated that we expose our systems to an incredible 200 chemicals daily simply by using regular personal care items – and this doesn’t include household cleaning products, medications, environmental pollutants, or chemicals in our food and drink! While 200 sounds like a huge number, the dosage is incredibly minute. This seems fine and dandy until you consider the fact that these toxins are stored in our bodies and build up through daily exposure.

Accumulation is an incredibly important issue. Have you noticed how people tend to develop sensitivities and allergies to products despite the fact that they have used said product day in, day out for years? I believe that the people whose bodies rebel against the chemical onslaught immediately with a sensitivity or allergy reaction are actually the lucky ones…

So, besides making your own from scratch, where can you find high quality natural and organic skincare (without burning a hole in your pocket)?

My suggestion is that you visit local markets and support cottage industries. Get familiar with the ingredients, and decide which ones you wish to choose and avoid, and chat with the people who make the products. The great thing about buying skincare and personal products from artisans is that they are generally made regularly in small batches, so you can usually ask them to prepare products without particular ingredients, and they don’t need to use high-tech synthetic preservatives so that they can stay on the shelves for years.

Top Pick: Verissima Natural Skincare

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“At Verissima, we want you to know that in all honesty you are using a product that I have created, that I personally use on myself and my children and that my family use. I take the time to find the best ingredients, ones farmed sustainably and that retain all their health giving properties and along the way I get to meet fantastic people.”

– Natallie Wright (owner and creator of Verissima Natural Skincare)

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