Skincare 106: Good for your skin and the earth

This is the sixth in an ongoing series on caring for your skin.

As the beauty industry embraces skin care regiments that focus on reducing negative impacts on the environment while keeping your skin healthy, clean and beautiful, many people find themselves wondering how to navigate “natural” products. Kim Chang, licensed aesthetician with the Aesthetics Studio at Baylor Medicine, lays out the easiest ways to get the best of both worlds out of your skincare products.

Q: The basic three steps in a simple skincare routine are cleanse, moisturize and protect. Do “natural” skincare products always contain the ingredients necessary to make this regiment effective?

A: Yes, natural ingredients do have many properties that should cover all the bases of an effective skin regiment. For example, shea butter has a natural SPF and moisturizes. Though the SPF is low, it still gives some protection. Activated charcoal is also another favorite of mine that can attract toxins and impurities to thoroughly flush out and cleanse the skin. Other benefits of activated charcoal include reducing inflammation caused by acne and balances the skin from excess oil.

Q: Aside from the environmental impact, what are some of the benefits of using “natural” products on your skin?

A: For those who have highly sensitive skin, natural products may be a great alternative. Also, those who haven’t seen much difference in their skin using non-natural products may just need a change in products to boost their overall skin health.

Q: From mushroom extracts to pineapple juice and even papaya, the inclusion of ingredients that you can typically eat have found their way into skincare products. Are there actually benefits to products that contain these?

A: Some fruits have natural enzymes which act as a natural exfoliator that can slough off dead skin. Though this may sound great, some foods, like cucumbers, also have other active properties that may cause allergic reactions in their raw forms. It is best to stick to skincare that is made for the skin and not try to create your own poultice from your fridge.

Q: What are your quick tips for someone who is trying to figure out whether they should use a “natural” product or a more manufactured product?

A: See your doctor or esthetician first to formulate a skincare routine to reach your skin care goal(s). Finding a skincare professional that you can trust to create the plan with you is important. There are so many different products out there that it can be overwhelming. A professional can direct you in the right direction and guide you as you both try to find the right products together. A combination of both may be the answer.

Learn more about the Aesthetics Studio at Baylor Medicine

-By Aaron Nieto

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