Does the skin care products you put on your face end up being absorbed into your body through the skin?

skin careMany believe that what you put on your face is absorbed into your body through the skin.  However, due the skin’s function of protecting us from the environment, unless the ingredients or products are manipulated in some way to make them penetrate, the likelihood that they will enter the body is unlikely.  One major exception are products using nanotechnology, which allows ingredients to enter the body via the bloodstream.

What are the best natural ingredients for acne and why?

natural acne ingredientsThere are a variety of excellent natural ingredients to treat acne. (The main ingredient you’ll want to avoid is mineral oil. Here are just a few!

Benzoyl Peroxide: A well-known acne fighter that comes from benzoic acid from fruits.

Sulfur: A mineral that functions as a mild antiseptic and exfoliating agent and astringent.

Kava root extract: (Piper methysticum) is antibacterial, prevents breakouts and promotes healing.

Curcumin: From Turmeric, which is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibitor

Vitamin A: A well-known anti-acne, anti-aging vitamin that exfoliates and renews skin

Lactic acid and Salicylic acid: Both exfoliate the skin and help prevent accumulation of dead skin cells

Can natural skincare products really be effective at treating acne, wrinkles and skin issues like hyperpigmentation?

Absolutely! The effectiveness of natural skin care for acne varies depending on a number of factors, however. Where the products are sourced, the formulation, and the percentage of active ingredients will all have a great impact on a product’s anti-acne efficacy.

For example, synthetically sourced ingredients may not be readily accepted by the skin and may do more harm than good.  Many people come to believe they are allergic to a certain ingredient as a result of this.  However, when people try the same ingredient from a natural source, they often find they have no adverse reaction and better yet, their skin improves.

Do natural skin care products expire more quickly?

In general, the shelf life of natural skin care products is usually shorter than the shelf life of over the counter drugstore products with chemical based ingredients like parabens.  If natural skin care products have no preservatives or employ the natural lower activity preservatives as listed above, then they will expire more quickly.  Some companies require their products be refrigerated due to not using preservatives.

Can skincare be natural or organic if it has preservatives?

Yes, skin care can be natural or organic even if it has preservatives, so long as the preservatives are from natural or organic sources.  (That’s right—natural preservatives do exist!) Below are some examples of some natural preservatives: 

Phenoxyethanol, which is derived from sugar

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride and Capryl Glycol, which are derived from coconut and coconut oil respectively.

Cetearyl Glucoside, which is derived from vegetable derived cetearyl alcohol and glucose

Dehydroacetic Acid, which comes from larch trees and/or pine needles and has a low sensitizing potential.

Potassium Sorbate, which comes potassium salt of Sorbic Acid from berries


Sodium Chloride, which comes from evaporation of sea water, or rock salt (halite)

Important note! Even though some preservatives are naturally derived, they still might have a chemical name, as above. It doesn’t mean they’re not natural, even with the long, complex, chemically-sounding moniker!

Other natural preservative that show antimicrobial activity are grapefruit seed and rosemary extracts, tea tree, neem seed and thyme essential oils as well as Vitamin E and C. The preservative effect of most natural agents is primarily based on their antioxidant activity preventing oils and fats to become rancid.

Why does skin care need preservative ingredients?

Have you been confused in the past looking at “organic” skin care labels and wondering how they’re allowed to use preservative ingredients? Unfortunately—unless the product is freshly produced and used quickly!—preservatives are necessary in natural skin care products to prevent mold growth, contamination, prevent spoiling, and to kill bacteria and fungi.

Other changes that can be prevented by the use of preservatives:

• Loss of viscosity as natural product becomes thinner

• Emulsion break (separation of water and oil)

• Cloudiness of previously clear products

• Loss or change of color or a bad smell

• Drop in pH as natural product becomes more acidic