What Natural Products Are Good for the Skin and What Can Hurt

 What Natural Products Are Good for the Skin and What Can Hurt

When we look at trends in skincare products, there is a huge increase in natural products that claim to be chemical free and derived from natural ingredients. But not all natural sources and products are right for everyone, and learning what works for you may take some trial and error. Read on for our best advice on how to approach natural skincare products.

A Quick Warning About Clean Beauty

The clean beauty movement describes a trend in skincare products that seek to be transparent about the ingredients these cosmetics include. There are many excellent clean beauty products that use all-natural chemicals derived from a variety of different plants and substances. But there are some things to keep in mind when looking at “chemical free” products. The FDA does not regulate many of the products that promise to be clean, natural, or chemical free because they don’t contain drugs and aren’t being consumed. This means that some products may not really be as natural as they’re claiming. The movement has also stigmatized the use of products that many people rely on for their specific skincare needs. Just because a product contains parabens or is made from laboratory-produced chemicals does not mean it’s unsafe. In fact, things like parabens (which help extend a makeup product’s shelf life) are very rarely cause for any concern. In very high concentrations, parabens can mimic estrogen and cause health problems, but beauty products use very low levels of parabens. The point is, you probably don’t have to throw away all your favorite products because they aren’t clean and natural enough. If they help you and your dermatologist has no concerns, it doesn’t matter if they’re all natural.

The Vitamins

Vitamins are an integral part of caring for our bodies, whether they’re in the foods we eat or the products we use in our skincare routine. Since vitamins occur naturally in plants, it’s easy to naturally derive them for use in cosmetics. Vitamin A or retinol is found in a number of fruits and can be great for anti-aging skincare. Natural products with vitamin A are safe for most people’s skin, but they can come on strong. For some people with sensitive skin, vitamin A can cause irritation and dryness. It’s important to start using vitamin A in small amounts, limiting its use in your beauty routine to a few times a week. If you don’t notice dryness and are seeing results, you can increase its frequency until you find the right amount that works for you. Vitamins C and E are very helpful for preventing damage from free radicals and helping promote collagen production, which in turn helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Natural products with these vitamins are not usually the source of irritation, so they don’t require the same level of caution as vitamin A.

Oils

There are a variety of plant-based oils that can help moisturize and soothe dry skin. A moisturizer is the foundation of a good skincare routine, so finding one that works well for your skin is important. The problem with a lot of oils is that they can be comedogenic. This means they can clog pores. Coconut oil, while an excellent moisturizer, can lead to acne if you have acne prone skin. Opt instead for rosehip oil, which can help with moisture but is far less likely to clog pores.

Other Plant Derivatives

Not every natural product is an oil or a vitamin. Many natural skincare products use a variety of plant-derived chemicals, from avocado to green tea. Aloe vera is a tried and true antimicrobial that is often used to help repair skin following a burn or other superficial damage. While aloe vera is natural, it can cause irritation in some people. Natural products can cause allergic reactions, just like anything else. It’s important to try these products on your skin in small quantities before fully investing in them.

Bakuchiol is a chemical substance that’s found in some plants. It acts much like a retinoid to help stimulate collagen production, and in some cases, it’s used in products that treat acne. Unlike vitamin A, bakuchiol is pregnancy safe and far less likely to cause dryness and irritation. For that reason, it’s a great retinol alternative for people with sensitive skin. Avocado is rich in fatty acids and vitamins, so it can help treat very dry skin. Much like other oily plant derivatives however, it can clog pores relatively easily.


Natural products are not safe just because they’re clean—they can cause irritation just like less natural cosmetics. If you have more questions about developing a natural and clean skincare routine, reach out to the experts at Northeast Dermatology Associates for a consultation today.

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