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Natural Skincare... What does 'Natural' really mean?

Natural Definitions

It does seem these days that it is fashionable for more and more companies to use the word ‘natural’ in their advertising verbiage, while having little or no care for the accuracy in what they say. Especially when I read the label on one or other ‘well-known’ brand of liquid soap or skin-care product with the words Natural plastered over the front of the label, while on the back of the label there is a warning stating ‘if this product gets into the eyes, immediately wash out with water’.

But the Label says...

The front label will have carefully selected words such as ‘contains essence of all things nice’ yet again when we read the label on the back we find that the product may contain ghastly things such as sodium hydroxide (known as caustic soda that is used as a drain-cleaner), sodium chloride (common salt), disodium phosphate (a corrosion inhibitor in cooling systems and also found in Natural labelscleaning and sanitation products), to name but a few. The list may also contain big words that few of us will understand, such as methylisothiazolinone. Known as Neurotoxin the European Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products suggested that companies should limit the maximum concentration of this ingredient to 0.01%. Yet I find this listed as an ingredient in many commonly-used products on sale in supermarkets today.

We should ask ourselves why these ingredients are used when potentially they can be harmful. Indeed never mind what harm they may do to our bodies where they are readily absorbed through our skin, what harm are we doing to our planet when we pull the plug and wash the residue down the sink? Indubitably we can only be harming the fish in the sea by such thoughtless action?

The Skin is Wonderful!

Our skin is the largest eliminatory organ in the body. It is a two-way membrane and has two principal layers. The dermis composed of tough elastic connective tissue with a rich network of blood vessels and nerves, and the epidermis, a protective outer layer without the blood vessels. Toxins are eliminated through the skin via perspiration and absorbed through the skin into the body’s circulation system, through hair follicles and sebaceous glands, but not through the sweat glands. One square inch of skin contains approximately 65 hairs, 100 sebaceous glands and 650 sweat glands. Thus it is that every square inch of your skin is like a thousand open mouths, absorbing into the body most of what is put on it.

SkinThe skin is a waterproof jacket for the body an active and versatile organ of sensation and of adaption to a changing environment where it prevents rapid absorption or evaporation at the surface of the body. It is a fairly good shield against injury – after all it is like a bit of leather – and it heals quickly if it is damaged, unless a large area is lost, but it does suffer far more injury than any other part of our body. Because it is open to inspection, the skin often shows signs of illness of the body as a whole, while allergy and irritation by noxious substances (perhaps those as mentioned above) may cause many kinds of dermatitis (eczema), the commonest of all occupational diseases.

The Risks to the Body

It does make me wonder why some skin-care producers claim that their products penetrate the skin. As far as I can see, if they did, the products would then be labeled as “drugs” and should be governed by much stricter regulations. However, given that the skin does absorb many of the toxic ingredients in skin care preparations, I wondered if this is why we find that the skin has more unexplained diseases than other organs. Of course we also have to accept that many skin diseases are aggravated by anxiety and thus I suppose that a skin specialist has also to be a bit of a psychiatrist as well. But the fact is that in most cases there is an underlying physical disorder that flares up at times of emotional stress. Yet given that skin lotion manufacturers use ingredients that we would never dream of eating, why indeed do we put our bodies at risk by putting them on our skin.

It is my opinion that revolution is occurring in health-care, a system that focuses on health and treating health, with natural non-toxic therapies. The old paradigm was that the human body functioned like a machine. The new paradigm focuses on the interconnectedness of the body, mind, emotions, social factors, and the environment in determining the status of health. As part of this revolution Moss-Grove want to make a little bit of contribution to this, but do so in an honest way by preparing our products using only carefully researched and resourced, authentic products that can be truly considered as being ‘natural’.

Our Natural Deodorant

DeodorantIf you read the list of ingredients on the Moss-Grove Natural Deodorant you will see that they can all be found (apart from the therapeutic essential oils – that won’t harm you) in your kitchen cupboard. Thus the Moss-Grove philosophy is: if you can eat it – then you can almost always safely put it on your skin.

With this same ethos in everything that we do, we hope that our customers are assured that we are a trustworthy company who use the word ‘natural’ in the correct manner.

Image credits: Flavio Takemoto

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This blog is written by Jim Steele

The founder of Moss-Grove Natural Products.
To find out more about our natural product range, click here.