Published: 11/15/2015 - Updated: 12/27/2017
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
It’s becoming more and more fashionable to use cosmetic ingredients made from plants or the ocean, which have beneficial skin properties. Beauty rituals help us take care of ourselves even better, and consequently make our faces more beautiful, with a generally healthier look to hair and appearance.
But why are natural ingredients becoming so much more popular in cosmetics than synthetic ingredients
The CTFA (Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association) is the organization in charge of regulating the ingredients that can function in cosmetics. The CTFA has classified certain synthetic ingredients found in various cosmetic products as dangerous.
Just for an example, certain lipsticks (including Vaseline) contain “mineral oils” as one of their ingredients. They may appear harmless under this title, and they generally hide the truth that they are derived from petroleum, which are feared because they are highly carcinogenic. Compounds with the syllables paraffin- and methyl- elude to this type of derivative, which is often times found in certain cosmetic products.
Facing this potential risk, natural ingredients seem to be a healthier solution.
There are a lot of ingredients today, some of which are very well known, like aloe vera or argan oil, which are more commonly used. However, there are other more modest primary active ingredients that are no less effective. There’s a long list of ingredients like this, and you would be surprised at the incredible properties of each ingredients. But we couldn’t possibly talk about all of them here. In this post, I’m going to talk about a few ingredients that you could become familiar with and add as a new step in your beauty routine.
Jojoba oil is highly recommended both for facial skin and for the body. It’s properties are similar to other, more expensive oils, like rose hip oil or liquid gold oil. They are known for their moisturizing and antioxidant effects.
One way to fight acne, psoriasis and other skin problems is to use jojoba. It cleans deeply and has an antimicrobial effect, disinfecting pimples and flaky skin. Dermatologists prescribe plant-based oils for fighting these conditions.
The vitamins in this oil make it a true antioxidant, perfect for anti-aging treatments meant to reduce the formation of wrinkles. Some of these vitamins include Vitamin C and E.
The unsaturated fatty acids are in charge of keeping skin healthy and moisturized. Because we need these oils in order to live, one good way of getting them (in addition to your diet) is through natural cosmetics.
Also known as common ivy, this creeping plant can grow to 30 meters in height. It is capable of climbing on any type of place or thing, be it trees, rocks or homes. In fact, it can even be used as a decorative plant.
But it is also a functional plant. Its primary active ingredients are considered to have more medicinal properties than beauty properties. For example, it has an amazing anticoagulant vasoconstrictor effect. It also has antibiotic characteristics, which is why it is used as a disinfectant.
It can be consumed internally or externally. It is generally taken orally to remedy constipation or digestive troubles for people with sensitive stomachs. On a cosmetic level, it is commonly seen in the list of ingredients in anti-cellulite creams, or creams that are designed to reduce body mass.
Mallow extract, which belongs to the Malvacaea, contains a lot of active compounds that are perfect both for the face and the body. It is rich in mucilages, antioxidant vitamins (especially vitamin C), betacarotenes and flavonoids.
Just like jojoba oil, mallow creates an intense moisturizing effect and prevents the formation of free radicals that damage cells. This is because of its antioxidant vitamins.
Some people benefit from mallow by use of moisturizing serums, or in anti-aging treatments. It’s also commonly used in anti-cellulite products. Some cosmetic manufacturers use it regularly in their products because it offers various benefits for skin care.
Sweet almond oil
And lastly, we’ll take a look at another oil. Sweet almond oil is slightly better known than jojoba oil, but is equally eclipsed by argan oil. Because it is an oil, it is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and other active ingredients.
It helps to regulate water levels in cells, but unlike other oils, it is highly recommended for sensitive skin. It is commonly found in natural cosmetics and beauty treatments for these types of skin. Some women apply it to their abdomen during pregnancy to prevent the formation of stretch marks. Using a couple of drops on red areas can also be effective at calming skin and reducing irritation.
It is also beneficial for hair. A lot of shampoos contain almond oil because it makes hair soft and strong, from roots to ends. People that have damaged or dry hair often times recommend these active oily ingredients with vitamins to regenerate hair and to bring it back to life.
This is a summary of the lesser known active ingredients for beauty. There are a lot more, like tea tree oil, marigold, or witch hazel. If you’re passionate about the world, I recommend that you do more research because there is a lot of variety out there, and a lot of these products have very interesting properties.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 12/27/2017
About the author