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Benefits of Natural



For commercial personal care products, you’ll find that most of the time the beneficial nutrients make up only about 10% of the ingredients, and they are always listed at the bottom of the ingredient list. The rest of your money is going to the chemical and petroleum companies whose cheap fillers and potentially harmful ingredients usually make up the other 90%.

Natural Ingredients

The FDA has tried to establish official definitions and guidelines for the use of certain terms such as "natural" and "hypoallergenic", but its regulations were overturned in court. That means that cosmetics companies can use these terms on ingredient labels to mean anything they want, with the result that it means almost nothing at all. The term "all-natural" has considerable market value in promoting cosmetic products to consumers, but a close look at an ingredient label reveals that the plant extracts make up only a small percentage of the product. Additionally, when a plant is added to a cosmetic, preserved, and stabilized with other ingredients, it loses its natural qualities.
True Soap

The "true soap" we see for sale in stores, is made by combining fat from plants or animals and an alkali, called "lye". Lye refers to sodium hydroxide (caustic soda, NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (caustic potash, KOH). When combined, a chemical reaction called saponification occurs - resulting in soap and glycerin being produced.

The handmade soap maker leaves the glycerin in their soap. In commercial soap making, this ingredient is removed and sold as a by-product. Many people consider soap to be a synthetic product since it is the result of a chemical reaction between fats and lye, and/or because lye is usually manufactured in a factory setting in modern times, and some consider it to be synthetic. However, the lye, used to make soap, is no longer in the soap in the form of an ingredient in the finished product. The fatty acids and alkali have chemically changed into the finished product we call "true soap".

The FDA interprets the term "soap" to apply only when the bulk of the non-volatile matter in the product consists of an alkali salt of fatty acids and the product's detergent properties are due to the alkali-fatty acid compounds. Therefore, since the FDA considers "true soap" to be a safe enough product, it is exempt from ingredient labeling requirements. "True Soap", made with ONLY natural raw materials and lye, can be labeled as "natural soap".

The glycerin formed during the cold and hot process soap making, is the result of the saponification process. Naturally occurring glycerin is left in the raw and finished soap. Glycerin is considered to be part of the "true soap" rather than a separate ingredient. It occurs as a result of the natural biological process. However, the process necessary to remove glycerin from raw soap is not considered minimal processing. It requires more processing than what could take place in a household kitchen, a farm, or even a vineyard. "True Soap" may be labeled, as "natural soap" ONLY if the ingredients that go into the soap are lye plus 100% natural ingredients! Soap labeled as "natural soap" may not contain the addition of any synthetic or artificial ingredients including but not limited to artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, man-made vitamins, solvent extracted oils or additional glycerin.
Natural Moisturizing Factors

One of the primary elements in keeping skin healthy is making sure the structure of the epidermis (outer layer of skin) is intact. That structure is defined and created by skin cells that are held together by the intercellular matrix. The intercellular matrix is the "glue" or “mortar” between skin cells that keep them together. It helps prevent individual skin cells from losing water and creates the smooth, non-flaky appearance of healthy, intact skin. The components that do this are often called natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) or ingredients that mimic the structure and function of healthy skin.

While the oil and fat components of skin prevent evaporation and provide lubrication to the surface of skin, it is actually the intercellular matrix along with the skin's lipid content that gives skin a good deal of its surface texture and feel. The intercellular matrix is the skin’s first line of defense against water loss. When the lipid and NMF content of skin is reduced, we experience surface roughness, flaking, fine lines, and a tight, uncomfortable feeling. The longer the skin’s surface layer is impaired, the less effective the skin’s intercellular matrix becomes. In other words, the skin's healing process is impaired. Some ingredients that mimic the lipid content of skin are apricot oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, jojoba wax, lanolin, lecithin, olive oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, shea butter, and sweet almond oil, which can all be extremely helpful in making dry skin look and feel better.

All of the skin's supporting NMFs and lipids are present in the intercellular structure of the epidermis, both between skin cells and in the lipid content on the surface of skin. When any of these ingredients are used in skin-care products, they appear to help stabilize and maintain this complex intercellular matrix. Although none of these very good NMFs and lipids can permanently affect or change skin, they are great at temporarily keeping depleted skin from feeling dry and uncomfortable.

More important, all of these ingredients, and many more, can help support the intercellular area of the skin by keeping it intact. This support helps prevent surface irritation from penetrating deeper into the skin, working to keep bacteria out, and aiding in the skin's immune/healing system. Selecting Natural Moisturizers, whether they are labeled as being antiaging, antiwrinkle, serums, lotions, or sunscreens, allows your skin to do its job of repairing and regenerating itself without the impedances brought on when skin is suffering from dryness and excess irritation.
Age Spot There is no such thing as an "age spot." The skin can develop brown patches for many reasons, but the characteristic small ones on the hands, arms, and face are caused by sun damage. These are possibly indications of precancerous conditions and should be watched carefully for changes.
Melasma (or Chloasma) These are brownish discolorations of the face, hands, chest, and neck. Pregnancy is a common cause of melasma, as well as taking oral contraceptives. However, unprotected exposure to sunlight is one of the major causes.