I don’t know about you but when I buy a product I want it to work. I’m not just talking about ‘did the product clean my skin’ but more is it nourishing my skin and adding nutrients or is it doing subtle damage over the long term? I’m sure you would agree.
What I learnt when asking people’s opinions about personal care and skin care products is that many people discussed their desires and concerns about the industry. Ultimately everyone’s goal is to have beautiful looking skin. Can skin care products actually deliver this? In some occasions, yes.
Of course having great looking skin is a package deal with eating healthy food, drinking plenty of filtered water, having plenty of sleep, keeping active with exercise, limiting stress and breathing fresh air deeply into your abdomen … just to name a few things But a few specific things to look out for in your skin care are ingredients are called active ingredients.
So what are active ingredients? Active ingredients “serve as a vehicle for the delivery of active ingredients that minimize facial lines of dehydration, deliver photo protection, and provide antioxidant properties”  That sounds about right; reduce the wrinkles, protect from the sun and restore the skin. That’s the crux of active ingredients.
But as consumer what do we look for? What’s best? Are all active ingredients the same?
It seems that active ingredients can be found naturally occurring in plants and can also be synthetically made in laboratories. Personally I’m more for the natural side of life since the question needs to be continually asked, ‘what chemicals were used to make this synthetic product & what effects will it have on my body in the long term’. Of course ‘natural’ does not automatically mean safety since arsenic and asbestos are both naturally occurring and they are known to be lethal.
So if you are looking for naturally occurring active ingredients the list is very, very long. Some beautiful ingredients would include blueberry seed oil, cucumber extract, liquorice root extract, nutmeg butter, olive leaf extract, raspberry seed extract, white tea extract, carrott seed oil, date seed extract. Getting the idea? These type of ingredients are shown to encourages cell renewal, help the skin retain moisture, minimizing the effects of aging, wrinkles and fine lines, and protecting skin from environmental damage  This list of ingredients are just a few of the many, many active ingredients available to manufacturers.
So a great indication of a natural active ingredient is that it will be derived from something you could have once eaten / some type of plant. Once upon a time it would have been something that would have nourished your body. Even still, these ingredients can nourish and supplement your skin while knowing that the toxic load in our bodies from chemicals is not increasing because it’s chemical free.
One thing to be aware of is that some companies choose to use the Latin or INCI botanical names for the plant ingredients. That makes it a little harder to decipher ingredients however I look for the brands where they clearly label the ingredient names I can recognise.
So next time you’re out to buy a new skin care or personal care product check the ingredient labels for the active ingredient list. It’s only a small change but if we change just alter 1% of many little things we do that can make a huge difference to our health over a life time.
What’s the latest ‘little 1% change’ you’ve adopted?