As more people are becoming aware of the effect of pesticides and synthetic ingredients on our environment and health, more women are interested in using natural skin care products. With the increasing demand comes more widely available natural skin care products which may be chemical-free, completely organic, or even vegan. It is estimated that, during a typical skin care treatment, a woman’s skin, hair and nails come in contact with over 100 chemicals, many of them harmful to health. In her lifetime, the average woman will ingest around four pounds of lipstick, and lipstick can contain tar, aluminum and many other poisonous or carcinogenic substances. Therefore, natural skin care products are more in demand these days, as awareness of health increases.
Natural skin care products are available in the following forms:
· Shampoos and conditioners
· Skin conditioners
· Skin toners and hydrators
There are also natural perfumes, moisturizers and skin treatments. Natural and organic cosmetics are free of synthetic dyes and the color can be obtained through plants and minerals. They usually have a shorter shelf-life than conventional cosmetics, and should be replaced often. Natural cosmetics are available as foundations, lipsticks, eyeliners and other beautifying products. Many natural cosmetics use animal products such as beeswax and lanolin, and vegans, those who avoid animal products completely, should find cosmetics using vegetable oils such as palm and shea butter.
Many consumers of natural beauty products enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy along with cleansing and conditioning their skin and hair. Aromatherapy is the art of affecting one’s sense of well-being through the use of essential oils from flowers and herbs. Some blends stimulate while others relax. Many natural skin care products are available in sets which include a shower gel, soap, shampoo and conditioner, a scrub and cologne. Orange, bergamot and cedar have stimulating effects and refresh the skin. Many report a tingling sensation after using natural citrus and cedar products. Jasmine and Ylang-Ylang soothes and prevents stress.
Natural skin care products are usually made of bases and essential oils. Depending on the product, the base may be a wax or a cream made of moisturizing oils and plant butters. Unrefined shea butter from Africa is a common choice and Tamanu from Madagascar is prized for its soothing properties. The best essential oils are expeller pressed, which means that they are extracted without chemical solvents. The bases and oils are combined to produce skin creams, cleansers, perfumes and lipsticks.
Skin masks and treatments are in-depth processes and require several types of natural skin care products for an entire treatment. Mud masks may contain real, vitamin-rich mud or clay from certain regions of the world known for producing nourishing products. A mask, which draws out the impurities from the skin and improves circulation, is usually followed by a hydrating spray. Rosewater is often used for this purpose, because of its nourishing and moisturizing properties. The skin is cleansed using a scrub, made of crushed peach pits or another rough material that sloughs off dead cells. Cleansers are used according to one’s skin type; those with dry skin may use a cleanser with a fruit such as avocado or banana, and those with oily-skin or acne find tea tree oil cleanser to be quite effective. A moisturizer completes the treatment, and is made of oils from plants such as cocoa or palm that gently add moisture without clogging the pores.