Guide to Natural Bath and Beauty Products
What are Natural Bath and Beauty Products?
Natural bath and beauty products use ingredients from plants and other natural sources to achieve beneficial results for hair and body care. Good natural products are made with high-quality oils, butters, and essential oils created from plant sources to gently soothe and condition the hair and skin. Here are some often-used ingredients in natural beauty products:
- Plant Based Butters (such as cocoa and shea butter) are used to rehydrate and moisturize skin.
- Essential Oils are used for their numerous therapeutic properties, to add fragrance, and to balance the skin’s natural oils.
- Evening Primrose Oil is used to nourish sensitive or chapped skin and to heal and relieve skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
- Honey is used as a natural humectant and antioxidant.
- Aloe Vera is used for soothing and conditioning the skin.
- Kaolin Clay is used to gently absorb oil and soften skin.
- Calendula is used for treating and preventing dry, chapped skin.
- Carrier oils (such as Sweet Almond and Jojoba Oil) are used to nourish skin and dilute essential oils — which are subsequently used for therapeutic purposes and for making massage oils.
- Grapeseed oil is used as a natural preservative to prolong the life of a product so that there is no need for chemical preservatives.
- Beeswax is used for protecting lips and skin. It is used also to help the skin retain moisture.
- Coconut oil is used for moisturizing and for adding texture and fragrance to natural products.
- Vitamins are used to nourish the skin and target specific ailments.
- Glycerin is used to soothe and soften the skin.
- Salts (such as Himalayan and Sea Salts) are used to soften and nourish the skin.
- Dead Sea Mud is used to remove impurities without irritating the skin.
How Are Natural Bath and Body Products Different From Conventional Ones?
Both natural and conventional products are made to help the user have softer skin and hair. Basically, they are both created to treat common beauty complaints. However, the recipes and ingredients are vastly different.
Conventional products contain chemicals and synthetic materials designed to trigger a specific reaction when used on the skin. While many of them contain certain benefits, they can also cause some unpleasant side effects, especially over time. They can trigger irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals, and they are often created in a way that can have a negative impact on the environment.
Natural products are made using plant based and naturally sourced materials. They are created with the same objective as their chemical based counterparts, but without the side effects, unpleasant odors, and negative environmental impacts. Natural products are often packaged in sustainable ways to reduce our carbon footprint and to make the containers easier to recycle or reuse.
What Products Can Be Replaced With Natural Ones?
Basically any conventional and chemical based beauty product you can use — soaps, shampoos, shaving gels, cosmetics, etc. — comes in a more eco-friendly, natural variety. If you are experiencing irritation or redness on your skin or your scalp, switching to a natural care product can likely help the problem. An easy way to cut out the number of synthetic ingredients you use, and to switch to a more healthy and natural lifestyle, is to simply replace products with more natural versions slowly and over time. That is, each time you run out of the chemical-based products you presently use, replace them with a natural product. By making the switch over time, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a chemical-free lifestyle without an upfront and sizeable cost.
Benefits of Using Natural Bath and Body Products
Whether you want to protect your skin and health or simply want to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, here are some of the significant benefits of natural beauty products:
Less Irritation to your Skin
The synthetic ingredients and chemicals that are used to create conventional skin care, hair care, and cosmetic products can easily injure your skin. Redness, irritation, breakouts, and dryness can occur when you use synthetic products found in your local drug and department store. Natural ingredients are made with vitamins and nutrients that are always used and created to nourish the body and to eliminate irritation. Your skin will look and feel better once you swap out chemical brands for natural products.
There are many fragrances used to cover up the chemical smell of traditional beauty products. Natural products are made to eliminate odor, not to mask it. Opting for products that are more natural can help to relieve the (sometimes overwhelming) smell, headaches, or allergic reactions that can come from the fragrances put into synthetic products. Most high-quality natural products are unscented or use natural essential oils as fragrance, rarely having the need for anything like the “cover up” smell used by traditional cosmetics. As an advantage, products scented with essential oils not only have properties meant to enrich and beautify skin and hair, but also have therapeutic benefits. Their aromatherapeutic properties can help induce relaxation or invigorate the body, depending upon the essential oil that is used in the product.
Reduce your Carbon Footprint
Natural beauty products are usually created in a way so as to reduce the impact they might have on the environment. Conventional products that are heavily laden with chemicals produce waste — from manufacturing processes that can spill into the waterways or pollute the air.
Even by using some of these products, you might be reintroducing them into the water table as they rinse down your drain. Furthermore, many conventional products are not recyclable and so produce massive amounts of waste every year. And while not all natural brands choose sustainable or recycled packaging, they are far more likely to use Earth friendly materials than are conventional brands.
Mitigate Side Effects
Products made with parabens (and most conventionally produced bath and beauty items contain them) can wreak havoc on your endocrine system (your hormone producing glands). Real natural products use natural preservatives, and do not use parabens — ingredients such as grapefruit seed extract can prolong the life of a natural product without triggering uncomfortable or unfortunate side effects in the user.
No Chemical Buildup
You may not notice a buildup or irritation the first few times you use a conventional product, but long-term use can often cause problems. If you’re tired of conditioners that don’t seem to completely rinse out of your hair, or if you’re sick of the redness that appears when you wash your face with a conventional cleanser, opting for a more natural alternative can usually help.
What to Look for in Natural Bath and Body Items
Look for ingredients that are plant based or naturally sourced. A good rule of thumb is to simply look for ingredients that you recognize. Be skeptical of general terms. For instance, the word “fragrance” can mean anything. However, a name such as “Lavender essential oil” is specific and has a singular meaning. Reading labels can reveal what is in a product. If the label is full of unrecognizable names or vague terms like “colorants,” then you are likely not getting a quality, natural product. Buying from a reputable and established brand can also help ensure you are receiving a quality item.
Switching to natural versions of the products you use to care for your skin, body, and hair can improve the way you look and feel as well as the impact you have on the environment. Learning more about natural bath and body ingredients allows you to make positive steps that will impact your health and well-being. Opt for a healthy, more natural lifestyle.