Moisturising: Should we Only Use Natural Products?

The skin is the largest organ in the body. That’s enough to know you should take care of it. Now we’re in November, the weather will be turning much colder and you’re more likely to have the heating on indoors. These extremes of hot and cold wreak havoc on your skin, sapping it of moisture. It’s important to counteract this with a good moisturiser, the question is – should we be concerned about what we put on our skin? There are many natural, organic products out there but do they cut the mustard?

Firstly, how do moisturisers work?

The skin is made up of the outer layer - the epidermis, and the under layer - the dermis. In between these is also the fatty layer. The epidermis grows upwards and sheds dead skin cells to make way for new ones. According to this article “Moisture is delivered to the skin via blood vessels, but they only supply moisture to the middle layer of the skin — the dermis. From there, water travels upward and outward through the epidermis before evaporating into the atmosphere. This evaporation causes skin to crack and flake. This process happens constantly, but skin isn't always dry. That's because the dryer the air the more moisture it will pull from your skin”. (I.e. winter air and heated house).

Moisturising can protect this outer layer of skin from the elements and help to stop your skin from drying out. Either they trap the moisture in thus providing a protective barrier, or they moisturise the outer layer directly. Skincare professionals advise you moisturise when the skin is wet to trap the extra moisture in effectively.

When only natural ingredients will do

There are mixed reviews on the benefits of natural/organic body and beauty products. Advocates of the natural approach argue conventional products contain harmful chemicals, including parabens, and can strip the skin of its natural oils. What goes onto the skin, goes into your body so organic eaters might prefer to use organic beauty too. Furthermore, synthetic fragrances can cause irritation to sensitive skin.

On the other side of the coin, some argue that tests weed out any harmful chemicals and that the skin benefits from highly scientific potions. One study in the British Journal of Dermatology shows that popular natural ingredients such as tea tree oil, lavender, and jasmine brought on allergic or sensitivity responses in some people too.

There are plenty of natural/organic skincare brands such as Green People, Yes To, Burt Bees, Dr Organic and REN. You can also look for the Leaping Bunny logo to make sure they haven’t been tested on animals.

Sleep is also essential to healthy skin. Maybe you can’t hibernate all winter, but you definitely have an excuse to get an early night!

Emma Waight