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What are the Benefits of Natural Skincare? | Alice England Natural skincare uses ingredients closest to that found in nature
natural skincare benefits Nettles are a sustainable, natural ingredient
benefits of using natural skincare Our inspiration is in our own childhood experiences with allergies and sensitive skin

What are the benefits of natural skincare?

Advocates of natural skincare are extremely passionate, and with good reason. However, there is a lot of misinformation around natural skincare that makes it difficult to understand the real benefits. Here’s a brief guide to help you make the best decisions for your skin.

What is natural skincare?

This is really where the confusion begins, because the term ‘natural’ covers a multitude of things. What most of us really assume however, is that it refers to products using ingredients that have been used in the form closest to that found in nature. That means plants or botanical oils derived from plants, but it can also mean animal byproducts, such as honey and milk. That’s important to know if you’re looking for vegan beauty products. There is also a general consensus that 'natural' has come to mean free from synthetic ingredients such as parabens (used as preservatives).

Natural skincare is better for the environment

The main reason that natural skincare products are considered to be better for the environment is because of their impact when we wash them into the water system. However, the ingredients used and how they are grown also have a bearing on their sustainability factor.

While there may be an abundance of nettles in the world, other ingredients are in short supply or present ethical issues in the way they’re harvested. It’s fairly common knowledge, for example, that palm oil, found in cosmetic products like soap and lipstick, can be a major driver in deforestation. However, some manufacturers have proactively found a way to make sure they source it sustainably and give back to the environment. For example, Zao, the brand behind one of our make-up lines, is a member of the RSPO (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil), to guarantee the traceability of palm oil.

Natural products tend to be more gentle

We have already mentioned synthetic pesticides, and one of the reasons people like to avoid those is because they can cause irritation to sensitive skin. Research suggests “that synthetic ingredients such as parabens and sulphates may cause irritation in sensitive skin.” However, it should not be assumed that just because ingredients are natural you can’t have any kind of reaction to them.

Reactions will depend on individual allergies as well as the quality of the product, as they do with any skincare item. Reactions tend to be less likely in natural products, especially those that are designed to be gentle, like our Sensitive Skincare line, which contains soothing chamomile.

Natural skincare products are ‘safe’

Much like our comment about products being ‘gentle’, we also need to use the term ‘safe’ carefully. Natural skincare products are safe in the context that, done well, you should have transparency over what’s in them and the label shouldn’t read like morse code. However, much like foods that we eat, being safe in general and safe for individual circumstances are not the same thing.

Some natural ingredients can be extremely potent and that might not be quite right for you because of specific allergies, circumstances or times in your life. For example, certain essential oils are not recommended for use during pregnancy so you should always check. It’s not that the products are unsafe; it’s that they might not be appropriate for the individual at particular times.

If you have extremely sensitive skin, one way to help minimise reactions is to look for products with a minimal number of ingredients (which is often the case with natural products). That way there are fewer things likely to cause a reaction and a greater chance of working out which one it is on the off chance you do react. You will see on our products that there are a minimum number of ingredients, and we also try to ‘translate’ anything that’s not written colloquially into its more common name, so it’s easier to understand. If you’re in any doubt you should ask for advice before purchase to make sure you have the right product for you.

Not all synthetic ingredients are bad

Finally, while synthetic ingredients have been demonised, they are not all bad. In fact, some are entirely necessary. In some cases, a synthetic product that’s been responsibly manufactured, is better than a natural ingredient that’s unsustainable or unethically sourced. Others are important for preservation, and in hair dye it’s sometimes necessary to have a small amount of synthetic ingredients to make the product work.

At Alice England, our brand has been built on creating products that are vegan friendly, cruelty free, SLS free and paraben free. Our inspiration is in our own childhood experiences with allergies and sensitive skin. As a result, our goal is to create gentle skincare products that minimise the chance of reactions and that really work to soothe and nourish the skin. We use plant-based ingredients and keep synthetics to a bare minimum, if they’re used at all, balancing care for the environment with self-care at all times and aiming for optimal outcomes for both.

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