When it comes to skin care products, it's often assumed that natural ingredients are better for the skin than synthetic ones. While this may be true in certain cases, it's important to recognize that not all natural ingredients are beneficial and not all synthetic ingredients are necessarily toxic. Chemicals that cause harm to human health or the environment are found in everyday household products, from cleaning sprays and food packaging to furniture and kitchen utensils. Some toxins end up inside our bodies or remain in the soil, water, and air that surround us for decades and sometimes longer.
Some natural ingredients can have powerful effects on our body. Botanicals such as tea tree oil, eucalyptus, and rosemary can cause allergic reactions or skin irritation, and people have varying degrees of sensitivity. Natural products aren't necessarily free of harmful chemicals, and synthetic ones aren't always worse for us. The chemical structure of a synthesized compound is exactly the same as that of the natural compound it is supposed to supplement, such as ascorbic acid, which is the main form of vitamin C.
It'll taste the same, smell the same, and work the same in your body. This is true in most cases, however, sometimes there are additional and unforeseen products. For example, naturally occurring vitamin E is called d-α-tocopherol and synthetic vitamin E is called dl-α-tocopherol. The difference between the two is that “dl” refers to a mixture of d-α-tocopherol and l-α-tocopherol.
There is no evidence that the “L” version is harmful to the human body, but it is approximately 1.4 times less effective than naturally occurring vitamin E (research article). Since this is a debated topic, it's understandable that consumers want to opt for natural sources of vitamin E, but that doesn't mean that synthetic vitamin E is toxic. Explore our digital archive dating back to 1845, including items from more than 150 Nobel Prize winners. A product can contain a mixture of natural and synthetic components, while some chemicals are processed to mimic those that are naturally produced.
Humans make synthetic chemicals using methods different from those used by nature, and these chemical structures may or may not be found in nature. Melatonin is a popular natural “sleep aid,” and naturally occurring melatonin comes from the pineal glands of animals, which may contain viral material. Avoiding the overexploitation and depletion of natural resources is an area where lab-synthesized ingredients can have an advantage over their natural counterparts, but determining if an ingredient synthesized in the laboratory is more environmentally friendly in general requires deeper analysis. Squalane, a natural oil found in shark livers, is used to make cosmetics and personal care products, such as deodorants, skin care products and sunscreens.
On a personal level, “both natural and synthetic skincare have their benefits, and much of it depends on your preferences,” says Dr. Alexis. That's why natural traditionally had a reputation for not being high-performance, but now there are some extraordinary natural ingredients available. Much less is known about the toxicity of natural and naturally occurring pesticides, but some studies show that they can be just as harmful and carcinogenic.
Synthetic skin care or “artificial skin care” is, in essence, skin care made from synthetic ingredients that have been made in a laboratory, often from natural ingredients. With the growing popularity of natural skin care, synthetic skin care has had a bad reputation. Squalene, for example, is a hydrating ingredient traditionally extracted from shark liver, a great example of not-so-good natural skin care. With the growing popularity of natural skin care, there have been some debates in the beauty industry stating that synthetic skin care should be avoided altogether.
They claim that their certification is the best way to avoid any washing of green in the natural skin care industry and, at the same time, avoid forage ingredients that could exhaust wild places. Natural brands claim to be sustainable because they use ingredients that come from the soil, while chemists argue that natural ingredients are unsustainable because they exhaust resources. .