Submit your skincare questions to Dr. Agnes, CEO of Herborium and natural medicine expert
Everything we put
into and on our bodies affects our health and the health of our skin.
And everything that goes into our bodies can be classified as either
natural or artificial. These days, believe it or not, when a product is
labeled "natural," some or many of the listed ingredients may actually
be artificial or, contain an insignificant amount of a natural
ingredient which may do not provide any real benefits. Just because
something says it's natural, doesn't mean it is. It also does not mean
that it is good for you. Using the word "natural" has become a
marketing gimmick, and as a result, you may often be lead down the wrong
A product labelled
"natural" might not mean what you think it means. And you might be
paying extra for a product that isn't much better than the one that's
not labelled "natural."
definition of "natural": means derived from or made by nature. The FDA
defines natural ingredients as those derived from natural sources, such
as lecithin derived from soybeans and corn. But did you know the
majority of soybeans and corn are genetically modified here in the US?
found in nature are synthetically produced and are referred to as
artificial ingredients. Actually, there are some ingredients that are
found in nature but are still produced synthetically. For example,
vitamin C or ascorbic acid is often produced in a lab even though it may
be derived from an orange or rose hips.
The term "natural"
is broadly used to describe foods, drinks, supplements and even
cosmetics that are minimally processed and free of synthetic
preservatives; additives, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners;
stabilizers, emulsifiers, growth hormones, antibiotics and hydrogenated
oils. The key phrase when we're talking about "natural" labels is
broadly used. It doesn't mean that every ingredient in the food or other
products has all of the above-mentioned characteristics, or that the
product is 100% natural.
First of all,
don't get too hung up on a product being labelled "natural." The most
important thing to do is read the label. If you've never read a label
before, look near the bottom or a side of a product for where it says
"ingredients." The ingredients are listed in descending order of
predominance by weight or percentage, which means the ones listed first
are the most predominant in the product, and there is a lesser amount of
the ingredients listed last. And please take note of this: if the only
natural ingredient is listed last after the other artificial
ingredients, you can bet that the product is not really natural.
So, review all the
ingredients. Do you recognize them or even use them when you cook? Or
do some sound like an invention out of a sci-fi movie? If it sounds
manmade, chances are it's an artificial ingredient-and isn't something
you want to put into or on your body. And if you're not sure, just
double check with a trusted source online. There's a wealth of knowledge
out there that can help you stay healthy.
Once you've been
reading labels a while, you'll become a pro, and the whole process will
go much quicker. Most importantly, you'll be able to rest easy knowing
that the things you and your family are eating and using aren't
negatively affecting your skin (or your overall health).
With all that is
said, here is a word of caution: although eating truly natural foods or
using mostly natural skincare products may be a great adjunct in
treating acne, it will not treat your acne. To treat acne, you need to rebalance the body and "reprogram" the sebaceous glands to produce a "normal" amount of sebum.
now that you're on your way to becoming a pro at reading labels,
remember how you're one step closer to not only helping break the cycle
of acne but also creating a healthier lifestyle for you and your loved
With a Promise of Clear Skin,