Beware! There are hidden hazards in botanical skin care products. The name may sound safe and natural, but the ingredients aren’t always that “friendly”.
Before I made an effort to evaluate ingredients and learn about the adverse reactions they can cause, I probably exposed myself to dozens, maybe hundreds of toxins. Of course, that was before consumer safety advocates became involved and before major news organizations began to report the latest research.
But, I still find it very annoying that cosmetic companies are so loosely regulated. They are not required to test their raw ingredients for contaminants. They are not required to test each batch for purity.
Many years ago, when the regulations were first drafted, cosmetics were not believed to penetrate the outermost layers of skin. They believed that the epidermis was like a fortress and that nothing could get inside.
Now, we know that ingredients like artificial preservatives penetrate the skin and build up in the tissues. And, just because they are botanical skin care products does not mean that they are free of artificial preservatives. Believe me.
The word “botanicals” on the label may actually refer to an artificial fragrance that “smells” like a plant. Sometimes, they include a plant extract, just to be honest. But, they still add an artificial preservative, which in my opinion makes them unsafe.
Then, there are the sun-screening compounds. Even organic companies use these compounds. Only zinc oxide has been proven safe and effective at protecting the skin from harmful UVA and B rays. Several of the other organic sun screens are now know to actually “cause” cancer. Wasn’t that what we were trying to avoid?
There are wonderful botanical skin care products, you just have to shop carefully and know what to look for. For moisturizing and lubrication, grape seed oil is effective. For effective preservation of ingredients, cold-press manufacturing techniques should be used and natural vitamin E should be added.
For cleansing, you want tea tree oil, manuka honey or orange oil extracts. You do not want a concentrated fragrance, even one like linalool. It is natural, but it still causes allergic reactions.
For deep cleansing of your pores, a weekly or bi-weekly mask, you may want to skip the botanical skin care products and look for clay extracts. Kaolin and bentone gel, for example, work in synergy to absorb excessive oils and literally “pull” the dirt out of your pores.
To prolong your skin’s health and appearance, you want anti-aging ingredients like Functional Keratin. If you have dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis or even acne, this ingredient is one of the most beneficial in the world.
It reduces inflammation and redness. It relieves itching. It promotes the production of new cells and fibers. It has the antioxidant activity of two kiwis and a serving of broccoli, combined. There’s nothing else like it.
It cannot be considered one of the botanical skin care products, because it is extracted from sheep’s wool. But, if you want something really effective, that’s what you should look for.