Natural Ingredients vs. Synthetic Ingredients
Do you know the difference between natural and synthetic ingredients? When it comes to skin care products, are natural ingredients really as effective in keeping your skin looking young and healthy? Are synthetic ingredients really that bad for your skin? We were confused too! So we looked it up. Let’s break down what makes up natural ingredients and synthetic ingredients.
Chemicals aren't always bad
At first glance, you might think that natural would be better than synthetic. We typically associate natural ingredients as those that come from the earth, and those that are often plant-based. We think of synthetic ingredients as man-made, chemical ingredients. In reality, these assumptions are both correct AND incorrect. What a confusing debate!
All products are made from chemicals. Yes, even items that say they are 100% natural and chemical-free. How can something natural also contain chemicals? Because everything on earth derives from a naturally-occurring element. Chemicals, like the ones on your periodic chart in high school, make up these elements. From the water you're drinking to the chair you're sitting on, chemicals make up everything.
How natural is natural?
Before you can use natural ingredients in a skin care product, they have go go through synthetic processing. This makes them more functional and viable over time. For example, orange extract cannot last in skin care products without being treated first. And yet, a chemically synthesized extract of an orange can. Conclusion? All ingredients go through some kind of synthetic processing, so not all synthesized ingredients are necessarily bad.
However, you should absolutely avoid certain synthetic ingredients. Skin care products with strong detergents (often used for long lasting scents), alcohols, sulfates, parabens, and other harsh ingredients can be hard on your skin and can cause negative reactions. Over time, these harsh ingredients can damage your skin.