You may be familiar with terms like “natural,” “organic,” and “vegan” on your food labels, but what do these terms mean when it comes to your skin care products? And how do you know if switching to all natural products is right for you? I’ve been crafting natural plant based cosmetics and skincare for over ten years, and today I’m sharing the facts about how natural skin care products can help you have healthy, clear skin.
What is natural skin care?
All natural skin care products are made without synthetic ingredients such as artificial fragrances, colors, or other additives that can irritate the skin. Instead, they use natural botanicals like plant-based oils and butters, essential oils, and beeswax.
Using natural skin care products also helps keep skin healthy by promoting pH balance. The potential of hydrogen (or pH) refers to how alkaline or acidic your skin is. Normal, balanced skin typically has a pH of 5 or 6, and a natural beauty routine will help keep your pH where it needs to be (more on this a bit later).
From the inside out.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body and, in many ways, it is an external reflection of your overall health and wellbeing. So, in addition to selecting natural skin care products, it’s also important to follow a healthy lifestyle including drinking enough water, getting restful sleep, and protecting your skin from sun exposure. When combined with a natural beauty routine, these lifestyle tweaks can help us age more gracefully by slowing the loss of elastin and collagen, two key components to healthy skin.
Are natural skin care products better than others?
One of the most important reasons to use non toxic skin care is to avoid the harsh chemicals that can be lurking in many products. For example, the time you pick up a bar of soap or a body wash at the store, take a close look at the ingredients. You may be surprised to find that most mainstream soaps are full of artificial fragrances and other chemicals. These sneaky culprits can wreak havoc on your skin.
Turning back to our discussion about pH, most mainstream soaps are very alkaline and can strip your skin of its natural oils, which causes tight, dry, flaky skin. (And that’s not a good look!) On the other hand, all natural soaps and skin care without harmful chemicals are made with natural ingredients and are scented with pure essential oils. All of this means you can enjoy a finished product that is closer to your skin’s natural pH, and it won’t cause dryness or irritation. (Yay!)
At Willow & Birch Apothecary, our soaps are made with a nourishing blend of olive oil, coconut oil, sustainable palm oil, sweet almond oil, and shea butter for a soap bar that is wonderfully sudsy and leaves your skin feeling silky smooth. Plus, our soaps are scented with natural essential oils in our exclusive Victorian-inspired scent blends! We even make our soaps following techniques inspired by 19th-century soapmakers!
Organic skin care products
There has been a lot of talk about organic beauty products in recent years, and while the hype can be enticing, it’s important to know what’s really beneath the label. The term “organic” is strictly regulated in the food industry, but when it comes to beauty and skin care, those organic labels can be misleading because these products are not yet regulated by the USDA. When it comes to treating your skin to healthy, nourishing botanicals, the most important thing is to look for products that are made with 100% natural ingredients, like our all-natural bath and beauty goodies that are handcrafted in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. (And if you have any questions about our ingredients, just ask—I’m always happy to help!)
And what makes something “vegan”? Natural vegan skin care products are made without the use of any animal products. Nearly all of our products are vegan, with the exception of our lip balms and moisturizing face creams which are made with beeswax from our happy honeybee neighbors at McCoy’s Pure Raw Honey here in the Catskills. And, of course, our products are never tested on animals—our friends and family are always happy to help try out our new recipes!
The powers of plant based skin care
“Natural,” “organic,” “vegan”…the choice is up to you. First and foremost, you deserve to feel beautiful in your own skin! So, make it a priority to build your beauty routine around natural plant based products you can trust. At Willow & Birch Apothecary, we’re focused on eco friendly skincare, and we carefully source our ingredients for quality and sustainability. For example, our palm oil is certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, and we work with a hand-selected group of suppliers to ensure that our botanicals are the very best. Want to learn more about how our products are made? Read these stories about how we handcraft our botanical goodies, like our soaps, face creams, and scented candles!