All the insight you need into natural skincare

All the insight you need into natural skincare ingrediants will ever need. With everything you need to know about natural vs synthetic skincare so you...
Lucy Alcorn using Vanessa Megan skincare

All the insight you need into natural skincare ingrediants will ever need. With everything you need to know about natural vs synthetic skincare so you can make the most informed choice when buying skincare. So you have peace of mind your skincare needs align with your values when you're deciding what to put on your skin.


What Are Natural Skincare Products

Natural skincare and cosmetic products are formulations that have been created with ingredients sourced directly from nature. These can be plant extracts, carrier oils, emulsifiers, essential oils, minerals, and herbal infusions among other ingredients.

In the beauty and wellness industry the term 'natural' refers to personal care products that have been formulated with ingredients from organic, natural, or naturally derived origins. However, it's important to note that natural in this industry can mean adhering to certain parameters of standards set within the industry regulations. These can all be interpreted differently from country to country with some being much stricter and harder to obtain than others.

On one hand, you have brands that define natural as solely using organic, natural, and naturally derived ingredients to formulate skincare and cosmetic products with while on the other hand, you have those who use a combination of natural, organic, naturally derived, and synthetic ingredients that have been approved for use in the natural skincare & cosmetic industry.

Unfortunately, it's not a straightforward situation of natural meaning 100% when you choose a product of a shelf there is a grey area for synthetics, allergens and harmful ingredients to hide especially when greenwashing marketing strategies are employed to market the not-so-natural alongside the completely natural products that are available to you.

What's the difference between a natural and a natural identical ingredient?

Defining the term ‘Natural’ in the beauty and cosmetic industry isn't simple, unfortunately. There are no clear officially regulated standards worldwide to govern what's acceptable as natural and what's not. Many products on the market have been awarded certification due to meeting the minimum requirements to become classed and certified as natural or organic while still containing synthetic and harmful ingredients them.

This is why understanding how the ingredients in your natural products are defined is so important. As being fully informed with the right information makes you aware so you can make the right decision based on your needs and values and not on what a pretty shiny green or gold tick on a product may lead you to believe.

Natural ingredients

These are ingredients used in their natural state such as cold processed oils, cellular extracts, essential oils, and plant butters which are well-known examples of natural ingredients.

Organic ingredients

Refers to ingredients that have been grown and prepared free from the involvement and contamination of synthetic or artificial compounds and pesticides, throughout all phases of becoming a skincare or cosmetic ingredient.

Naturally derived Ingredients

This is the term given to ingredients that come from nature but have then undergone a process to access and extract some of their properties that are then used to create skincare ingredients such as natural CO2 extracts, surfactants and emulsifiers. These ingredients have undergone an extraction method where the fatty acids and alcohols have been extracted and manipulated to create a skincare or cosmetic ingredient.

Nature-identical ingredients

These are 100% synthetic ingredients that have been lab-created to mimic the function of a natural ingredient. Nature-identical ingredients divide the industry as some believe these ingredients should not be included in natural and organic skincare and beauty products. As they are misleading the consumer to think a product containing them is natural when it's not and some believe that they are completely fine to formulate a product with and sell it as natural or organic.

It's often argued that natural identical ingredients are needed because formulating with their natural alternatives are too hard to source or too expensive to extract. Another reason natural identical ingredients may be chosen over natural ingredients by formulators is that they are much easier and more stable to work with which saves on production time and costs.

Just to be 100% transparently clear Nature Identical ingredients do not align with our values at Intentionally Natural so you will never these ingredients in any of our products. We proudly stand for nothing but natural when it comes to all things beauty and wellness!!


Why it's best to avoid synthetics in skincare

Natural skincare products are gentle on the skin and when formulated properly, adhering to usage rates and dermal limits they work synergistically as they are bioavailable to the skin, unlike synthetics. The skin recognizes natural ingredients and accepts them readily absorbing their nutrients to improve, nourish, and support the health of the skin. 

Synthetic ingredients have been proven to be much less tolerated by the skin. They deliver fewer nutrients because unlike natural ingredients they are mostly formulated to deliver and act with a singular purpose. Whereas natural ingredients are packed with not only active compounds that perform a precise function but also contain a mix of vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds which positively support and improve your overall skin health. 

Synthetics can also have visible adverse effects on the skin which leads to sensitization and skin trauma. A brilliant and well-studied example of this is the use of bakuchiol over the synthetic retinol. Bakuchiol is known as nature’s retinal and can be used day and night without any adverse effects. Synthetic retinal is known to cause skin irritation, photosensitivity, redness, burning, itching, and pealing.


What is the cost of natural skincare?

When it comes to cost of natural skincare it's important to consider that natural ingredients are far more effective and safer at delivering results than synthetic ingredients are. Synthetics are less effective and cheaper to make so, when you are waying up the cost of investing in natural skincare, you're actually considering an investment in the quality of the result you wish to obtain. If you're investing in quality product a little goes a very long way and many of the skincare products here at Intentionally Natural will last you at least 3 months depending on how heavy handed you are with application, trust me you don't need to drench you skin to see and feel the beautiful results truly natural skincare imparts on your skin.

Skincare in the mainstream market often carries a hefty price tag for a label without much of that being justified when you look at the percentages or the quality of the ingredients that have been used in the formulation. It's unfortunately common that the bigger brands who saturate the market bank on brand name-pulling power and use very minimal potent active ingredients, yet they still carry a premium product price tag.   

 Factors  to consider when shopping for skincare

  • The quantity of the quality ingredients within the product you're considering purchasing. Ingredients are listed in descending order from the highest to the lowest percent, so if a product sales pitch is that it’s full of a particular ingredient or active but it's not stating the percentage or it is low on the ingredient list as stated in the INCI label then it’s best to do a little more research to ensure you're getting a product is going to deliver the results you're after.
  • In all emulsion-based skincare, there needs to be a balance between the water-based and fat-based ingredients. Seek out those who formulate skincare using hydrosols, activated aqua, or water-based ingredients such as aleo juice for example rather than just aqua to formulate with as you get more nutrients and skin benefits from these ingredients.
  • Keep in mind ingredients that are sourced naturally are much harder to extract and can often only be done so at a very small ratio such as Rose damascena flower oil which is a prized ingredient in skincare formulation and carries a hefty price tag which you may wonder why is that? Well to extract roughly 0.5 of a kg of rose essential oil it takes over 2000 kg of plant matter. Furthermore, the dermal limit for Rose damascena flower oil for a leave-on facial skincare product is 0.01% due to its potent concentration of chemical compounds. which goes to show just how pure and potent natural skincare ingredients are yes, they are more expensive, but they pack a punch of nutrients that your skin will drink up and love. (if you are purchasing a product with Rose damascena flower oil in it and its cheap it will contain an adulterated, low quality or synthetic version of this ingredient).
  • Consider the farmers and forages of these ingredients who go to such great lengths to ensure the quality and potency of each harvest. When you purchase truly natural skincare you're not only making sold investments in the health and wellness of your skin, you're also supporting those who value producing quality over quantity and adopt sustainable farming and harvesting practices that work hand in hand with the earth to replenish it for generations to come. 
  • Last but not least, consider your own wellness beliefs and needs so you can make choices that truly align with your values and don't forget when you apply a product topically you essentially feeding your largest organ directly so make sure you're choosing the best and most nourishing option available to you.


Our approach to skincare

At Intentionally Natural we believe that a gentle and natural approach is best. We know navigating the market can be hard, which is why we're here to make it easy. With our carefully curated range of 100% natural, safe and effective skincare and wellness products. So, you can shop with complete certainty you are getting nothing but the best in natural.

Explore: Our full range of 100% natural skincare

Enjoy this article learn more: 

Natural skin benefits of Kawakawa repair balm

Insight into hyaluronic acids skin benefits 

Leave a comment