It would seem logical that anything natural is presumed to be better for you and your skin, right? Well, that’s not always the case. We dispel the biggest myths surrounding natural beauty and why you need to know the truth.
Myth 1: Natural is more gentle
Products containing natural ingredients are not necessarily gentler on skin. Santa Clarita, CA, dermatologist Bernard Raskin, MD, says some natural products can be as irritating, if not more so, than non-naturals. “Many allergies are caused by exposure to natural ingredients in certain products.” Some strong botanicals like lavender and tea tree oil can leave those with sensitive skin red, irritated and itchy.
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Myth 2: Natural products are free of chemicals and preservatives
Brandy Monique, founder of Fig + Yarrow, says most natural products are not totally free of preservatives, nor should they be. While they may contain fewer preservatives, there needs to be a preserving system in place, otherwise fruit-, vegetable- or plant-derived ingredients will spoil. Sam Stewart, cofounder of natural skin-care line Mad Hippie, says, “Our brand uses preservatives to ensure against microbial contamination and mold. We opt for safe ones like sodium levulinate, from corn, and sodium anisate, from fennel.”
Myth 3: Natural won’t make you break out
This one couldn’t be further from the truth. Natural products can clog pores and cause sensitive skin to become reactive just like other products. Stewart says those who are allergic to natural ingredients, plant extracts and antioxidants can experience a breakout. Many natural beauty products contain essential oils, like thyme, cinnamon and fennel oil, which oily or acne-prone skin types may find to be too heavy. Tammy Fender, founder of Tammy Fender Holistic Skincare, says essential oils need to be used in the right dosage and be utterly pure to be beneficial.