You may wonder why we need to know the difference between organic skin care products and commercial products. But the same way you feed your body organic food, your skin deserves the same care.
There has been a long debate on whether people should opt for organic skincare products in place of the widely circulated commercial skincare products which have chemicals in them. When it comes to the skin, more research is required in making decisions, so that eventually you do not cause permanent damage to your skin.
Your skin absorbs whatever you put on it so by choosing organic skincare you filter the potential toxins and irritants in products you use. There are valid concerns about certain ingredients in skincare and cosmetics and this also depends on the particular ingredient and the quantity present.
Usually, we do not read the ingredient labels behind because the front label looks catchy beautiful and has a nice name to it, we overlook its contents and go ahead to purchase product that may be very toxic and harmful to our skin.
There are times when the commercial product seems better though, but the question is whether it will damage your skin eventually.
Many commercial brands in the market include a scary mix of harsh chemicals that have a long-term negative effect on the skin. It is therefore pertinent for us to know what most commercial skin care product really is in details.
Commercial Skincare Products
Commercial skin care products are made up of an array of synthetic ingredients and chemicals that act against skin issues. Yet, the possibility of side effects and being prone to skin allergies is high, especially for sensitive skin. These commercial products contain fragrances in the form of chemical, possess very few nutritional additives for your skin, and instead of boosting your skin, nails, and hair, they temporarily mask potential issues.
Most of us like to buy expensive and well-packaged commercial products that are produced in Asia, America and Europe which most times are not suitable for our African skin type and weather conditions. Our weather is hot and less humid in dry season and harmattan, and much more humid in the rainy season, but sometimes still quite hot, and these products are not well suited to be used in such conditions hence the need need to go organic.
Most commercial brands can damage your skin, suck the moisture out of it and cause premature aging. The chemicals in them can cause acne, blemishes and even clog your pores, causing rashes, pimples etc.
Most commercial products are too strong and they strip away natural necessary oils and nutrients, leaving our skin dry, dull and tired. These products are often said to possess “natural” ingredients like essential oils and vitamins, when in the real sense these “natural” ingredients are included in such unsubstantial quantities that they stand no chance at counterbalancing the destruction caused by the other ingredients of the product.
Most commercial skincare products contain parabens, mercury, hydroquinone, ammonia, 1.4dioxane (sodium laureate sulphate (SLS), sodium mereth sulphate, polythene glycol), aluminium chlorohydrate, formaldehyde, lead acetate, phenoxyethanol, toluene, triclosan, dibutyl phthalate which are harmful to the skin and we should avoid.
Basically, commercial skin care products should only be used after studying their effects on your skin.
Organic Skincare Products
Organic products on the other hand are made up of natural oils like palm kernel oil, coconut oil, extracts from plants such as mint, aloe vera, fruits extracts and fruit acids. Organic products exfoliate, cleanse, tone and moisturize your skin without the use of additives and artificial chemicals. Organic skincare products are simply more effective as their ingredients are superior, many contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, they also do not contain synthetic fragrances. Something we must know about fragrances is the fact that not all the ingredients of these fragrances for most commercial skincare products are indicated on the label, as this can include a long list of chemicals. These “fragrances” can trigger allergic reactions, irritation and affect our skin’s pH levels.
Organic products are rich in vitamins A, C, E. which helps repair our skin which looks flaky and dull. It also helps fight free-radicals, promote collagen and fight aging signs. In addition, it also soothes the skin, reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
Organic skincare products are made of ingredients that work together to keep our skin healthy, smooth, and youthfulprovided you choose products that suits your skin type.
Now, in all these, we also need to consider our skin type in choosing the product we use.
There are four basic types of healthy skin: normal, oily, dry and combination skin. Skin type is determined by genetics; however, the condition of our skin vary greatly to the factors both internal and external that it is subjected to, and some of these factors include: climate, pollution, medication, stress, hereditary factors that influence sebum level, sweat, natural moisturizing factors, and the skincare products you use. The best way of identifying your skin type is seeing a dermatologist.
Normal Skin: “Normal” is a term widely used to refer to a well-balanced skin. The T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) may be a bit oily, but overall sebum and moisture is balanced, and skin is not too oily nor too dry. It has fine pores, good blood circulation, soft and smooth texture, fresh, uniform transparency, and is not sensitive.
Oily Skin: This is a skin type with heightened sebum production. Several factors influence the overproduction of sebum: genetics, hormonal changes and imbalance, medication, stress, comedogenic cosmetics. Oily skin is characterized by clearly visible pores, glossy shine, thicker, pale looking skin, blood vessels may not be visible. Oily skin is prone to blackheads.
Dry Skin: This skin type produces less sebum than normal skin. Dry skin lacks the lipids it needs to retain moisture and build a protective shield against external influences. Dry skin exists in varying forms that are not always clearly distinguishable. Skin moisture depends on water supply in the skin deeper layers and perspiration. The skin constantly losses water via perspiration and trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). Dry skin is caused by a lack of natural moisturizing factors and epidermal lipids. Dry skin ranges from a little bit drier than normal skin, through very dry to extremely dry.
Mildly dry skin can feel tight, brittle, and rough and look dull.
Very dry skin if not treated may develop into mild scaling, rough blotchy appearance, itchiness and is more sensitive to irritation, redness, and infection.
Extremely dry skin at hands, feet, elbows, and knees are prone to roughness, cracks, calluses, scaling and frequent itchiness.
Combination Skin: A combination skin is having oily in some areas of your face and dry skin in other parts. This T-zone can differ from a very slim area to an extended area. It is characterized by an oily T-zone, enlarged pores in this area with some impurities, normal to dry cheeks. The more oily parts are caused by an overproduction of sebum, and the drier parts by a lack of sebum and corresponding lipid deficiency.
I am sure some of us are wondering where sensitive skin comes in, in all these. Sensitive skin is skin that is easily irritated by different factors, which are generally well-tolerated by wellbalanced skin, such as skincare products or high or low temperatures, type of soap use, water, etc. for some people it is a permanent condition, for others is triggered by internal and external factors.
While Commercial Skin Care Products look better and more promising than organic products and offer a longer lasting shelf life than their organic counterpart, they gradually damage our outer skin (epidermis) and futher penetrates the inner skin (dermis) unlike the organic products that nourish and nurture the skin.
Images by Vade Ekpenyong
Written by Emmanuel Oladipo Damola and Vade Ekpenying – (Lifestyle blogger at www.lifebeingvade.com)