The benefits of natural skin care products.

Discussion in 'Skincare' started by ChrisC1977, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. ChrisC1977

    ChrisC1977 Well-Known Member


    As some of you know, I have adopted using products that are 100% natural. But natural products does not always mean good for skin. So I continue to research and experiment with new products. One thing I have noticed is that since I have started using a locally made milk and honey soap for my son who has eczema in the fall and winter months...his eczema has reduced in severity by 50%. I will keep trying until I can find one that will end it completely.

    I urge my fellow TSD members to look into natural skin care products and research ingredients and how they relate to skin health. Find what is right for you and members of your family. You skin is porous and soaks up what you put on it. And the skins surface is directly influenced by the soaps you use.

    Words to look for in natural soaps that are beneficial include but not limited too:

    1. Glycerin
    2. Chocolate
    3. Goat's Milk
    4. Olive Oil
    5. Clay
    6. Activated Charcoal
    7. Oatmeal
    8. Beer
    9. Coffee
    10. Sugar
    11. Cocoa Butter
    12. Rosehip Oil
    13. Soy Wax
    14. Exfoliants
    15. Vitamin E
    16. Various fruit and nut oils

    Some ingredients to avoid and that may eventually be damaging to your skin and your overall health:

    1. Lard
    2. Tallow (Yes, I am sure to catch flack for this)
    3. Phthalatates
    4. Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl, Ethyl)
    5. Propylene Glycol
    6. Petroleum Distillates
    7. Alkylphenol Ethoxylates
    8. D.E.A and T.E.A
    9. Petrolatum
    10. Synthetic colors and fragrances

    Now, I admit that I do not follow this 100% But I do put a strong effort into it. I invite you to research these ingredients and invite your own opinions in this thread up for discussion. We have learned how things affect our body including damaging DNA, creating cancers, and affecting organs such as your liver and brain. So share your thoughts. No matter if you agree or disagree.
    Abu Lam'yaa and Slipperyjoe like this.
  2. JayPo007

    JayPo007 Well-Known Member

    The all natural stuff my not be my fav but my skin seems to like it more. SWMBO like the scents better as well.
  3. Sara-s

    Sara-s This Pun for Hire

    I would add Shea butter to the list of ingredients to look for. I always use it in the natural soap I make. It is a nice gentle moisturizer that is known to reduce irritation.
  4. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    This kind of post really should be backed up with reference links so folks can see why you are claiming what you're claiming. It's just more beneficial to everyone that way.

    Just my $0.02 worth. :)
  5. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    You just listed my 26 favorite food groups.;)

    I am surprised to see Tallow in the bottom list with Lard. While I agree that eating those are not very healthy, I would be interested in seeing some data that backs up any claims that as a skin product, they are not good for you. A better thread title for this would be "The pros and cons of natural and synthetic skin care products" as both Tallow and Lard can be said to be a natural product.

    I am shocked that lanolin did not make either one of your lists.
    GDCarrington likes this.
  6. Dawn

    Dawn New Member

    First of all, not all substances are trans dermal so not everything will soak into the skin. Some will only penetrate top layers some will go all the way down. Emu oil and caffeine are good examples of trans dermal. Oils have many different properties, some are used because they sit on the skin which form a barrier and some soak in to help with hydration.

    Not all "glycerin soaps" are good for your skin because most contain SLS or SLES (sodium laurel sulfate/sodium laureth sulfate) which were originally used as industrial degreasers. In fact, many folks like your son, have difficulty with the commercial bars, e.g. Dial, Irish Spring, because they use these harsh surfactants. They are cheap, have a long shelf life and they clean. The problem is, they irritate problematic skin. Handcrafted soaps do better but if not formulated properly, they can also be drying. As far as natural goes, you are correct in that just because it's natural doesn't mean it's safe. For instance, wintergreen, the natural essential oil, is dangerous for anyone who is on blood thinners. It intensifies the medication's effects. Some essential oils, can be skin irritants, such as, cinnamon and clove, to name a few. Then there are several that cause phototoxicity, which can cause the skin to burn more easily. Lastly, many essential oils have cautions for pregnant women.

    Shea butter isn't always a good choice for folks with latex allergies as the shea nut has naturally occurring latex but if you don't have a latex allergy it does well to form a barrier. I've not heard of lard or tallow being unfriendly to skin. Many naturalists aren't fond of those ingredients simply because they are animal byproducts and for no other reason than that. One ingredient you should look at for your son is Dead Sea minerals. Eczema is not curable to date, so all you can hope for any product to do is to help alleviate irritation that could be causing flare ups.

    I think the main reason you need to watch out for synthetic fragrances is because many contain phthalates. The fragrance industry is catching on that many of us want fragrances without them and more and more are coming to market. Phthalates are used in fragrances to make them last longer. Why I like using synthetic phthalate-free fragrances in addition to essential oils is because you can mimick fragrances that you are unable to get through pure essential oils. Many essential oils just plain stink and must be blended to mask their odor. Some essential oils are very volatile which doesn't make them practical to use and lastly many are quite expensive. Often times, synthetic fragrances will also contain essential oils. We never know what's in them because these mixtures are considered to be trade secret formulas. So one can always wonder.

    I've recently happened upon something that really has me wondering why we even have the FDA. Many of the powdered mineral makeups that became so popular contain titanium dioxide (TD). TD is a mineral that is mined. It works wonderfully for blocking UV rays and is often used in sunscreens and makes things white. The mineral is harmless on the skin and I've even seen it in non-dairy creamers. Where it is a problem is when it's inhaled as it's known to cause lung cancer. So here all of us women are brushing that stuff onto our faces, inhaling small amounts and totally unaware of that fact. I'd be willing to bet if they put a warning label on their product, sales would plummet.

    I've probably gone into more detail than anyone cares about but I really have become hyper-sensitive about "natural" statements. I think folks see "natural" and they let their guard down and that shouldn't be the case. You are right though, handcrafted soap is awesome! =)
  7. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Great post, Dawn.:happy088:
  8. johnus

    johnus Well-Known Member

    Tend to agree. Alway felt that if you couldn't eat it; drink it; or smoke it; you shouldn't rub it on your skin.
  9. ChrisC1977

    ChrisC1977 Well-Known Member

    PLANofMAN likes this.
  10. ChrisC1977

    ChrisC1977 Well-Known Member

    Agreed! Enjoyed reading the information!
  11. Dawn

    Dawn New Member

    Great links. One thing to ponder about soap, oils and comedogenicity. When the oils are combined with the base (either NaOH or KOH) the fats change form and become salts of fatty acids. So I'm not entirely sure, an oil's comedogenicity would be a big concern when you're talking soap. Yes, many soap makers add more oil than can be absorbed by the base so you can have free fatty acids imbedded into the soap but again, I'm not sure it's enough to worry too much about because of the way soap works. In my opinion, an oil's comedogenicity would be most important in a leave on product such as a lotion.
  12. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    I can't help but notice that "all" of the ingredients on this site that they claim "are likely to clog pores" are, in 99% of high quality shaving soaps and creams, some of the primary ingredients. That site is making my [​IMG] detector go off.
  13. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Good link. They offer data to back up their statements.
    Not a bad link per se, but it doesn't offer any evidence to back up their statements.
    Looks good, but outdated by a few years already. As Dawn said many fragrance companies are making phthalate-free fragrances now.

    As per the discussion, the use of the word "natural" is not regulated. It's marketing hype far more than some realize.
  14. ChrisC1977

    ChrisC1977 Well-Known Member

    I would agree that there is marketing strategies embedded in many of the data sources. Soap makers that use only vegetable oils, etc will have bad things to say about tallow for instance. And Those that use tallow will trumpet the benefits of using tallow soaps. I think it is safe to say, that it is up to the individual...And if something works well for you, then great. I do tend to try and learn as much as I can these days about what I eat, drink, and use on my skin. I am sure that not all the information I look at is true.
  15. Ryan B

    Ryan B Knight of the Soapocracy

    I'm not trying to poke holes or anything, but don't preservatives help improve the longevity of a product? Wouldn't the products degrade with time?
  16. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Yes, that is true, and preservative free shaving cream will only remain at it's optimum shaving consistency for about 12 months after opening. Add preservatives and the shelf life can go up to about 25 years. Of course, there are plenty of stories about people finding 25-30 year old shaving cream that didn't have preservatives that shaved perfectly fine.

    Going along with "just because it's natural does not mean it's safe" theme going on here, there's a lot of companies who replaced parabens (a preservative "theorized" to increase risk of cancer. No substantial proof linking parabens with cancer has been released) with grape seed oil, a natural preservative. Sounds great right? Until you find out that grape seed oil contains "natural" parabens.
  17. Queen of Blades

    Queen of Blades Mistress of Mischief Staff Member

    Moderator Supporting Vendor
    Works well and safe are 2 different subjects. Which are we discussing?
  18. ChrisC1977

    ChrisC1977 Well-Known Member

    Well as back to the origin of the post...Safety and health related concerns would be the primary focus. It does seem that most of the evidence for the pros and cons of ingredients used in soap making is supposition. I have not really come across hard scientific evidence my self. It has mainly been feedback from peoples personal experiences along with feedback from soap makers which is a combination of knowledge and fear inducing strategies to sell their particular brand.

    I will admit that I am not a soap maker and do not know the ins and outs of the ingredients we are discussing. I am in the midst of a few professionals in this thread that have knowledge greater than I. I do know from my own personal experience, that when I started using natural skin care products my skin seemed to respond better. My son's eczema has been reduced dramatically. One could argue the reasons as to what lead to the improvement.
  19. johnus

    johnus Well-Known Member

    Reading all of this only unforced my preference for purchasing products made in the EU. I feel that their safety regulations are stricter and less political, and actually enforced. Choice between an EU product and a US one, I'd go with the EU.
  20. Falcon43

    Falcon43 Active Member

    This is a very interesting read, as this is not something I have put much if any thought into. I have just gone by how the product seems to react for me (not very scientific but it seems to work for me). As I follow this, I find I have much to learn. Thank you for getting me thinking about this as I do try and use products that are at least healthy for me.

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