Ingredients will come and go but over the centuries natural quality ingredients for skin care never change. Some may be the current hot thing, but most if not all have been used for centuries in and they still hold up in modern natural skin care. Don’t be fooled by modern fancy sounding names, most are just made up to sound good for the expensive marketing campaign that the giant conglomerates are going to spend 20 million dollars on.
Below is a list of the eight best natural additives that you should be looking for in your skin care.
The first ingredient is olive oil. This amazing wonder of nature comes from the most ancient of lands, in fact it was mentioned in the bible and also used by the Greeks and Romans in many of their skin care regimens. Interesting how we have learned so much in modern science about such an ancient ingredient. Olive oil contains polyphenols, which are the known as strong antioxidants and are reported to reduce the incident of skin cancers when applied to the skin directly after UV exposure. Also the vitamin A found in olive oil has been known to be beneficial for wrinkles, age spots, and other skin damaging effects from the environment.
The second natural ingredient is shea butter. Found mostly on the Savannah in Africa, Shea butter is a natural fat that is extracted from the nut of the karate tree. Shea butter is an amazing natural carrier of Vitamin A & E. Many studies site Shea butter for its ability to fight wrinkles because of the high amounts of these two vitamins. The vitamin E is helpful to the skin because it increases the micro circulation which results in better blood supply to the skin, therefore helping the skin recover better from free radical sun damage.
A fruit butter you probably have never heard of, but should of, is cupuacu butter. Grown in the rain-forest of Brazil this fruits’ seed contains the most magnificent butter, and is also known as the plant alternative to lanoline. Studies have shown that Cupuacu butter is highly beneficial for dry and damaged skin. It has properties that promote long lasting skin hydration which means it gives skin significantly more ability to easily absorb and retain water. Because of the high levels of phytosterols within cupuacu butter, the skin becomes more elastic, and consequently is better able to reduce the appearance and development of wrinkles. It also has been shown to help in the healing of eczema and dermatitis.
The forth natural ingredient is squalene. Derived from olive oil, squalene is chemically similar to the skins Sebum, which is the normal lubricant of the skin. It keeps the skin supple and forms a protective bacterial and fungicidal coating that helps moisturize the skin’s surface. It just so happens that the sebum is overflowing with squalene when a person is younger, but as we age we loose the ability to produce this substance in sufficient quantities that is required for soft and supple skin. Because squalene is part of the natural skin lubrication process, tests have shown that it has the ability to provide hydration and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Squalene is easily absorbed into the skin and makes it the perfect natural non-greasy skin care ingredient that also improves the youthful appearance of skin.
The fifth ingredient is honey. Honey is also one of those ancient skin care miracles that science has only recently begun re-discover. Honey is rich in vitamins and amino acids that nourish the skin; it also contains powerful antioxidants, allowing the skin to fight free radicals, therefore helping to reverse the aging process and also reducing the development of wrinkles. Honey is also known as an antibacterial and anti-fungal. A University of Wales study concluded that honey produced an antibacterial effect reducing if not eliminating the incidences of skin infections. It seems that ancient wisdom in conjunction with modern science all agree that honey is one of the finest skin care ingredients in natures collection.
Propolis, another incredible bee ingredient, which is a resinous mixture that honey bees collect from tree buds, sap flows, or other botanical sources. It is used by the bees to seal the hive, the same way we use caulk to seal gaps in our house. However, unlike caulk, propolis contains flavonoids which makes it a proven antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Because of the high levels of vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene skin care ingredients containing propolis are known for their ability to stimulate the healing of skin, especially when it is used for anti-redness and other skin irritations.
The Seventh great natural skin care ingredient is silk protein. Silk protein is obtained by the breaking down the actual silk cocoon so it can be used in cosmetic preparations. Silk protein is used in skin preparations as a natural moisturizer, a skin elasticizer, and may even help to control the growth of melanin in skin that leads to age spots. A Japanese study concluded that a type of silk protein even has the ability to suppress skin tumors caused by chemical and UV radiation. So, silk isn’t just a natural product you should wear, go ahead and use it on your skin.
The final product that must be mentioned is Beeswax. Some people make the assumption that beeswax when used in skin cream formulations blocks your pores. In fact beeswax is non-comedogenic and will not irritate skin or block your pores. It is one of the only waxes that will let your skin breath while still having the knack to keep it hydrated. Beeswax is one of nature’s most wonderful ingredients to use, and does an amazing job as a skin soother and softener. It also has natural antiseptic properties. The mayo clinic even recommends lip balms made from beeswax instead of petroleum based ingredients. Beeswax is an effective multi-purpose skin ingredient that effectively softens your skin and also locks in the moisture while still letting your skin breathe. Look for it in all you skin cream products.
Please use these natural products in your skin care, not only will you be helping the environment by using these sustainable products, you will feel better, look younger, and probably be more healthy overall.
David Rzepka is the owner of Beecology.com, a natural bath and body product company. A beekeeper since 2004, He has tinkered with natural cosmetic formulations using the wonders of the hive. He uses honey, bees wax, and propolis to create some of the finest natural based lip, skin and hair products.