Looking into the cosmetic industry and publicity maneuvers undertaken by manufacturers, we can easily come to the conclusion that great emphasis is put on everyday skincare routine these days. True. Various beauty treatments and a multiplicity of products available on the market do speak volumes.
What has also come to the public attention is the fact that more and more cosmetics are claimed to be natural or made of carefully selected organic ingredients, they are very often vegan and cruelty-free. This relates to a wide range of products, but today we’d like to focus on one of the undoubted buzzwords of our time — natural face serums. We’ve investigated the topic to give you all the facts you may find useful. Read on.
1. “Natural” or “naturally-derived” face serum?
First of all, a face serum that is labeled “natural” is not necessarily synthetic-free.
Many products contain naturally-derived ingredients i.e. components of natural origin (obtained from plants, minerals, etc.) that can be chemically processed in order to enhance their performance. By contrast, natural ingredients are not subjected to chemical modification and their molecular structure remains unchanged.
Chemists would say that it is the molecular structure of a given ingredient that matters, not whether the ingredient has been literally taken from nature or synthetically produced in laboratory conditions. Consequently, a conclusion can be made that it is the ingredient that matters and “synthetic” doesn’t have to mean “dangerous” or “harmful”; it is a probable, flexible interpretation of what the ingredient processing means and what is allowed within the process that may cause concerns.
2. Loose interpretation
However, crafty advertisers simply take advantage of the fact that the definition of “natural” is not as unambiguous as most people would wish, so they don’t hesitate to use the term freely, bombarding consumers with catchy phrases. Beware of such greenwashing — do some reading about the facial serum you want to purchase to verify the authenticity of declarations made by its brand and study the list of ingredients very carefully. Remember that it is a frequent tactical move to mention all the good stuff on the front label of the product, whereas all the less noble chemicals are squeezed into the vastness of components listed in a tiny font somewhere at the bottom of the back label.
3. Good ingredients matter
Browsing through various products, we differ in our expectations. Some people want to take good care of their sensitive skin, some want assistance in fighting signs of aging, others are focused on minimizing the effects of sun damage. Despite having different aims and skin types, we all desire trustworthy products that will not interfere with our health.
High-quality natural face serums are supposed to be composed of naturally occurring and scientifically tested ingredients and lack chemical substances that may have a detrimental effect to your health and skin. What looks good on the list of ingredients then? Here are some suggestions:
Natural seed oils can help improve the condition of the skin in many ways. They are said to:
- provide dry skin with a satisfying level of moisture and softness,
- make mature skin plump and smoothed out,
- protect sensitive or irritated skin from the negative influence of external factors,
- have a considerable soothing effect on inflamed skin,
- stimulate collagen production that may lead to reducing fine lines and wrinkles and fighting dark spots.
The list is not exhaustive, but it shows why many products that aim at hydrating and soothing your skin contain ingredients such as argan oil, castor oil, or oils derived from coconut, avocado, olive, or almond. A good anti-aging serum is also likely to have a combination of natural oils, like argan, rosehip, or pumpkin seed oil.
Natural essential oils are also worth attention as they preserve products in a natural way and help counteract acne; if your face serum smells amazing, it is possible that some essential oil deserves the credit.
One of the most recognizable acids that are commonly used in a wide variety of skincare cosmetics is hyaluronic acid. The main reason for this is that it can help moisturize even the driest skin. What is more, thanks to its unique properties, it prevents water from evaporating too quickly, which ensures better and long-term hydration for various types of skin, including oily skin.
Glycolic acid and lactic acid managed to gain popularity due to their anti-aging and exfoliating properties: they help reduce wrinkles and minimize the appearance of large pores, boost collagen production, improve skin thickness, and support the process of acne treatment. If you need something that can be even more effective in removing dead skin cells, you can try salicylic acid — one of the key ingredients of serums for acne-prone skin.
Those components of really high concentration are extracted from plants, fruits, flowers, etc., and are renowned for their beneficial properties. They are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that protect skin from microbes, prevent free radical damage, and reduce oxidative stress. Depending on the material they are derived from, certain botanical extracts can for instance delay the skin aging process (pine bark extract, olive leaf extract, algae extract), prevent infections resulting from cuts, bites, and cold sores (eucalyptus extract), or soothe skin redness and fight acne (chamomile extract). So, if you want something that will help revitalize and renew your skin, botanical extracts should be on your wish list.
Various vitamins are indispensable components of natural facial serums and they can support a wide spectrum of processes. For example, vitamin C is an exquisite anti-aging ingredient, vitamin E effectively heals and prevents inflammation, whereas vitamin B3 can strengthen your skin and improve its elasticity. And it is only a handful of properties those valuable components have.
4. Things to be alert about
A natural face serum should be free from ingredients that are potentially harmful. The topic seems to be somewhat controversial, but, although there are many conflicting opinions circulating, many sources agree upon the following:
Although they seem to have a positive influence on your skin by making it silkier, they block pores and may lead to many problems such as dryness, irritation, or aggravation of acne-prone skin conditions.
- Chemical preservatives
The presence of preservatives is necessary because they prevent cosmetics from being contaminated by microorganisms and thus make them usable for a longer period of time; however, many synthetic preservatives used in conventional products are believed to be linked to serious health issues, including hormonal disruption.
Mineral oils or paraffin — chemicals obtained from refined petroleum — are reported to be carcinogens and thus should be avoided.
- Artificial fragrance
This issue calls for greater transparency because companies are not obliged to reveal their list of components that make up a certain scent. What you need to know though is that if you can find such words as “fragrance” or “perfume” among the ingredients, it means they are not natural (the existence of natural ingredients would be mentioned clearly). Some synthetic materials are linked to skin irritation, allergies, headaches, and even cancer.
- Artificial colorants
They are also believed to have a negative impact on your skin, making it irritated and causing allergic reactions and acne.
5. Raising awareness
Issues such as environmental sustainability, animal rights protection, or zero-waste policy are now subjects of heated discussions, generate huge public interest and lead to the emergence of various groups of activists. And this is reflected in the cosmetic industry as well.
If you firmly reject any connection with brands that use animals for testing, you refuse to choose products that contain ingredients obtained from animals, or if you just want to be environmentally friendly, before buying a face serum, look for a certified logo (e.g. vegan or cruelty-free) or carefully study the ingredient list.
Natural face serum — your skin, your choice
Regardless of your age, skin type, and preferences towards certain ingredients, natural face serums are worth giving a try. As you can see above, the list of benefits that may result from using them can hardly be squeezed into one article.
So, don’t hesitate any longer and start shopping around. As this is your own skin at stake here, you need to select the best-quality beauty products sold under a reliable brand’s name. Such is ours, so check our Vegan Skincare Products and choose your natural face serum.