Friday, February 28, 2014

The debate between natural/organic skincare vs the normal non-botanicalones

(photos sourced from here and here)
The other day when I wrote about my journey to discovering natural skincare, a comment to me caught me by surprise and I'd like to clarify on this blog on why I am on that journey and iron out any misconception if I had ever made it sound like natural/organic products produce better results.

1. Providing options
First of all, as I've shared many times in the span of 1 year, I'm a little frustrated that many good brands and products do not work on my skin in the long term. I find that some of them do give me great results but only for 6 weeks tops. Thereafter I'd see bumps on my skin that's so hard to remove and I just had to look at the ingredients and find out why I keep getting such a reaction.

With the amount of research I have made (based on the resources I get online), I believe that I might be sensitive to perhaps one of the most popular ingredients present in a majority of products around - the silicone. I read so many views and concerns despite it's known benefits to keep skin hydrated and such. With this suspicion, I have went through hundreds of products and their ingredients list and what surprised me was that you'd be luckier to find products without silicones present if you look in the natural/organic section of skincare brands. 

Hence, why I am here and why I needed to find out for myself by eliminating ingredients which many people say give them bad reactions and see where it leads me. It may give me the answer I am searching for, it may not. I am not an expert and only through testing them out can I say for sure if there are better options out there which don't contain harmful ingredients like mineral oil, silicones, parabens, etc. This is a personal choice as I find that other women out there could take products with say, mineral oil without experiencing any bad reactions.

This doesn't mean I am an all-natural convert. I'm just trying to find the right skincare for my skin so I could just stick with it and use the range for the next 10 years or so.

2. Basic belief of nature
When I mentioned that natural/organic skincare is thought to be safer for usage in the long run, it is due to the belief that we come from the earth beneath us and that when we are gone, we too become one with the earth underneath us. Hence, I guess I would understand it when people who preach and promote usage of natural products as their contents are safe enough for the environment = safe for us humans.

As much as I like that thought, I also believe that things are not as simple and straight-forward. Our skin make is complex, our body system is complex. We need water, we need to eat healthy food, etc. so that it all shows on our skin.

We've all read or heard of how processed foods these days can bring harm to our system, triggering illnesses that weren't even an issue before, inducing quick hormonal changes to little girls' bodies and such. All these kinda support the argument that chemicals and additives may not be good for us in the long run. I am not saying I fully adhere to this belief because in the pursuit of youthful skin, a little boost here and there would help. But as I've said, that basic argument that all things natural are safe-r. Perhaps?

3. Not necessarily good
With all that agreement, I now present to you some negative arguments towards those beliefs. 

I feel that life is a perfect balance that everything has a flaw and nothing is 100% perfect. Everything has its side effects and I've even argued that online with some mommies who were pushing the idea of cloth diaper vs disposable diapers. I would go for disposable diapers for its convenience. But if you argue with me on environmental issue, I don't believe that using cloth diapers are any better in securing a safer environment than mommies who use disposable diapers on their babies because cloth diapers use a lot a lot of water and detergent for cleaning and we know that detergents are harmful to the ecosystem, while water is an extremely priceless resource in our environment. If only you knew how it feels like living without water or better yet, having plenty of water but unclean water, then you would probably look at issues in a broader picture. Then, you also have got to look at the cost factor. A cloth diaper isn't cheap and how many cloth diapers do you really need, and for how long? This is just an example.

Now, before I start getting hate mails from advocates of natural lifestyle, please note that I choose my options because I believe in my reasons while I won't impose that you follow my lead because this is just an avenue for me to share my views.

This argument of life's perfect balance applies to this point - that just because it is a natural product, the contents may not necessarily be good for you. Take sugar and aspartame as another example. You are healthy, you can consume sugar moderately but if you are diabetic, you have no choice but to take a substitute, also in moderation. A substitute doesn't necessarily be good for the health but it works in assisting those that cannot take sugar. And if you want a healthier option, they say take Stevia, an organic sugar substitute that's supposedly safe and good for you.  

A lot of brands claim they are herbal or botanical because they don't have harmful ingredients in their list but if you look closely, there may be contents substituting preservatives or fragrance that could still trigger a negative reaction. Our skin do not react the same way and what's good for me may not be good for you. For this knowledge, I'd refer a lot from Paula's Choice. I don't take all the info 100% and I'd still look into other information sources before I make my decision.

And so I continue my search...
I must say that I've tried several products under the organic/natural skincare but not without hits and misses. I haven't yet found that perfect one yet at the same time I've also accidentally discovered some products gifted to me that contain silicones which provided me a better outcome than those natural ones.

Perhaps I should persevere longer, but unfortunately I am not that patient when it comes to seeing the  results on the texture of my skin. I mean I am willing to pay big bucks when it comes to good skincare and good skincare costs a lot. And so I find it hard to keep using the same products that do not work to improve skin condition or at least maintain current healthy skin condition.

Just take what I share here with an open mind. I provide you the options to choose or at least create some sort of awareness. If I like them, I'll let you know they work for me. And if they don't work for me, they might not be bad for you until you try them out. 

But no, I have yet to conclude if natural skincare is actually more effective than the general technologically enhanced chemical mixed ones. There are non-botanical products that I'd still reach out in an SOS. Therefore, my search is still on.

Please share with me your views.


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