Monday, November 26, 2012

8 Reasons Why You Should Not Use Natural Skin or Personal Care Products

If you have sensitive skin you may think natural products are what you should use.  The word "natural" on any label conjures up feelings of nature, health, and back to basics of what's good for you.  This is why many well-known brands have "natural" on their labels.  However, does this marketing ploy motivate you just to buy the product, or are there any actual benefits or even adverse effects from such a product?

1.  Cosmetics and personal care products are not regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).  As long as medical claims are not made on the label, brands may add any information to help sell their product.

2. Most of the plants and herbs used in personal care, skin care and cosmetics consist of:
  • Dried leaves
  • Dried roots
  • Extracts
  • Essential oils
3. Plants and herbs, like all living things from nature, get rancid over time, unless they are used up quickly or kept for a short period of time in a refrigerator.  Months and years usually are not associated with long shelf life of truly natural plant derived ingredients, unless they are preserved.  The preservatives are usually strong, but they do not have to be on the label, as long as the plant was soaked in it, and it was not a separate ingredient.

4. Plants are usually sprayed with pesticides.  Even organic ones.

5.  Plants have been used for centuries for healing of particular ailments.  When prescribed by a trained professional, herbal medicine can be used as treatment alternatives.  Western pharmacology was derived originally from plants.

6. All plants have side effects, similar to their chemically derived synthetic drugs.  This also means they may have side effects, cause allergies and other problems.

7. Anything that is applied to the skin (creams, lotions, patches) or applied through the mouth (toothpaste, mouthwash, medications under the tongue) are all absorbed.

8. Examples of a few plants can give you an idea of how important it is to use plants only as prescribed by a trained professional, instead of potpourri fashion in over-the-counter skin care and personal care products:
  • Lavendar - In aromatherapy lavendar may help with anxiety.  When taken in extracts, it may cause headache, changes in appetite and constipation. Applying lavender oil to the skin can cause irritation.  Reports have been given that it may mimic estrogen. (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)  
  • St. John's Wart - Its flowers and leaves are used to make medicine.  Most commonly used to treat depression, heart palpitations, moodiness, menopause, chronic fatigue syndrome and other conditions. Do not take if you're taking Xanax, Elavil, birth control pills, and a host of other drugs.   (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database)
  • Tea Tree Oil - Derived from leaves of the tea tree, it may be helpful for topical application of athelet's foot, fungal infections of the nails or mild to moderate acne.  It may cause dryness, itching, stinging, burning and redness. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database) 
  • Aloe - Science shows aloe can be used as a strong laxative.  It used to be regulated by the FDA as an OTC laxative. It may help with burns and abrasions. There is not enough scientific evidence to support aloe vera for any of its other uses such as claimed in skin care products. Use of topical aloe vera is not associated with significant side effects. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database) 
  • Calendula - Calendula is a plant. The flower is used to make medicine. Calendula flower is used to prevent muscle spasms, start menstrual periods, and reduce fever. It is also used for treating sore throat and mouth, menstrual cramps, cancer, and stomach and duodenal ulcers.
    Calendula is applied to the skin to reduce pain and swelling (inflammation) and to treat poorly healing wounds and leg ulcers. It is also applied to the skin (used topically) for nosebleeds, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, inflammation of the rectum (proctitis), and inflammation of the lining of the eyelid (conjunctivitis). Calendula may cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many others. If you have allergies, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking calendula or any products with herbs or plant ingredients. (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database)
As wise consumers, it's important to understand what you are absorbing into your body.  Before you choose a product with "natural" on the label with added herbs, do your homework.

 Cleure sensitive skin care products are made free of any herbs or plants, except butters, such as shea butter or mango butter.  All ingredients are safe and effective to bring about radiant skin, healthy hair, and beautiful smile. 

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