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Are natural skin care products really better?

Are natural skin care products really better?

We hear it all the time - and have asked the question ourselves:  should I use 'all natural' products on my skin? It's a question worth exploring.  

These are the chemical compounds that make up a natural banana, straight from the tree. It’s a little example to remind us all that every natural item is made up of chemicals - in fact, are usually baskets of many chemicals.  We have to be careful not to lump all chemicals - which are just scientific names - together as ‘bad’.  Likewise, all ‘natural’, or common named ingredients, aren’t necessarily all ‘good’ or effective.  Many people find them irritating to the skin, or unduly harsh.

We love certain plant-based ingredients and use them in our products: aloe and seaweed extract for soothing, fruit extracts for antioxidant protection, shea butter, cucumber, ginkgo biloba and other leaf extracts chosen for their signature benefits.

It’s important to be aware that, some natural ingredients are strictly limited in skin care products because they are known to be toxic or harmful in significant quantities.  Essential oils are known to be high risk for irritation on the skin.

What is 'natural' skin care anyway? It's a term used to describe products made only with ingredients straight from nature.  But these are not usually the most potent forms of skin-healthy ingredients.  For example, rubbing an orange slice on your skin will not provide the same benefits as a Vitamin C serum.  Why? Because many helpful and healthful chemicals are extracted from plants and fruits and used in pure form because they are more effective (and not harmful) when more concentrated.  

When we want an honest, objective perspective on skincare, we turn to Michelle, aka @labmuffinbeautyscience.  She has a PhD in chemistry and is a respected voice in the skincare space.  Her explanations about specific ingredients, her Myth v. Truth series on instagram, and her general fact-based, easy to understand explanations are incredibly helpful when you want to cut through the noise and hype to find safe, effective products for your skin.

We especially like this vlog from Michelle on the 'natural' v. 'chemical, debate (special props for citing James Kennedy's awesome breakdown of the ingredients of a pineapple!) We at The Good Chemist have built our core collection on the concept of nature plus science - blending the most effective, research-proven skin-improving ingredients with mild straight-from-nature ingredients for both effectiveness and safety.  

As an example, our Youth Boost daily serum blends three well-studied oligopeptides for skin renewal, vitamin c for damage repair, hyaluronic acid for moisture and goji, noni, mangosteen and acai fruit extracts for further repair and prevention against premature aging.  The serum is light, non-irritating and is a consistent hit with our customers for the dewy, supple look and feel it delivers with consistent use.  It's a great alternative to a retinol product if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you find vitamin A products irritating to your skin.

Enough from us: let's let @labmuffin take you on a tour of the myths and realities of this topic!

(For more of her awesome content, follow @labmuffinbeautyscience on Instagram, or visit her website:

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