Do You Prefer Natural Skincare To, Er, Less Natural Ones?

Natural Skincare

Β© Botamochy

If you’ve been following me on BA for a while now, you’ll notice that I don’t review a lot of skincare that are, shall we say, naturally-inclined. When I say natural skincare, I mean plant-based products that are usually from brands like Jurlique, Sukin, Simplicite, Antipodes and so on.

The thing is, the word “natural” is a misnomer because there’s no such thing as a 100% natural skincare product, unless you count oils like coconut oil, argan oil and so on. All of the creams, lotions and potions are created with chemical ingredients to stabilise the product, to give you a pleasant texture and overall to look and smell aesthetically pleasing. But I’m getting ahead of myself here as we talk about preference to plant-based, “natural” skincare.

Personally, I’m not a fan of natural skincare and not something I’d normally be drawn towards. Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with plant-based skincare; they work for many people. Unfortunately, they just don’t work for me as well as synthetic, chockful of active ingredients skincare. It’s not to say I haven’t experienced good natural skincare. Trilogy does great ones, and so does A’kin and Jurlique. But for quick results, my skin tends to prefer more chemical-y ones, if there’s such a term. I’ve seen much better results with the latter than I would with natural skincare products.

The skin knows what the skin wants and it just doesn’t really like natural skincare. Maybe it’s psychosomatic, but my skin tends to break out more when I use natural skincare than when I do chemical ones. Strange, but quite true. πŸ™‚

I’m very interested to know what you think. Do you prefer natural skincare? Do they work better for you compared to the more chemically-inclined ones? Or are you like me and prefer the opposite?

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21 comments… add one
  1. Asha

    Interesting, in India we use a lot of natural-based skin care that’s derived from Ayurveda that uses pure ingredients like red sandalwood or rose water etc etc. No chemical compounds for stability and yes, like you mention, they work slow but long term and tend to be preventative rather than restorative. Not that I use a whole heap but I can’t resist the mud masks/fruit packs. Way better than stupid ridic Glamglow!

    1. Tine

      Oh yeah that I know. There are a number of Western brands who have adopted that Ayurveda-style of skincare too.
      That black Glamglow mask is a bloody rip-off. Can’t believe they charge so much for what is essentially kaolin. I bought one purely because Fleur de Force recommended it but when I tried it, I didn’t like it. Too gritty! πŸ™

      1. Asha

        Same! Got the trial size Glamglow at Sephora Syd and it wasn’t any different from my mud masks from India, if anything a bit worse! We should start a new tag ‘FDF made me buy it’! πŸ˜€

        1. Tine

          Hehehe I very almost purchased the “FDF made me buy it” orange Ole Henriksen facial wipes from Sephora but I put it back because it was getting too hard to justify paying almost 20 bucks for wipes!

          1. Asha

            :O I was planning on picking up a trial size of the same when Sephora opens up here! I die! πŸ˜€

  2. Robert C

    Probably go for the best of both worlds: half natural and half synthetic? For me, I don’t really believe in the natural-side of things. Plus, more often than not it’s the natural stuff that’s not that great for your skin (e.g. daisy extract/ heavy amounts of lavender extract). Won’t ever part with my exfoliating acids though hahaha

    1. Tine

      Yeah, that’s what I go for, best of both worlds. Some natural moisturisers are lovely (e.g. the ones from Pai) but for serums and masks, I’d go for synthetic. As for my AHAs, I need mine as synthetic as they come. πŸ˜›

  3. Emily

    I’m a chemical engineer, and so I have no preference for natural. Partly because it makes no difference to me whether the set of chemicals I want is made by a plant or made by a machine, and partly because I know that anything made in any sort of industrial scale, even if it is made from ‘natural’ ingredients goes through many chemical processes, exactly the same as synthetic. Personally I’m always super wary of anything that claims to be 100% natrual or without any nasty chemicals (so no nasty water then???) as they seem to me to be purely PR spin. I prefer to know exactly what I am putting on my face, using something like cosDNA, and it’s easier to track what I might have a bad reaction to, which I find harder to do with more natrual stuff

    1. Tine

      Great insight, Emily! I agree! Like you, I prefer to know what I put on my face and not some natural goodness-knows-what. Just off topic, I once had a face mask made for me in a LUSH store. The lady was yakking so much as she was making the mask and didn’t realise her saliva went into the mask as she was kneading the doughy mixture. When I went home, I chucked the spit mask. *shudder*

      1. Yolondi

        EEEEWWWWW spit mask!!! Lol that’s so funny. I would have been the same too!

  4. Kate

    Generally I feel non-natural products provides much faster result but could not sustain the good result as long as natural products. So I use a combination of both! For exfoliating lotions, sun care, hydrating serums I tend to go for chemical ones. For face oils, night cream I switch around natural ones. Why not choose the best of both? All the excuses I try to convince myself so I can use more products *wink

    1. Tine

      Hahaha you and me both sister! πŸ˜‰ *high five!*

  5. Adrianne

    I use both and I echo what was mentioned in other comments about how natural products don’t tend to work very fast, but I like the idea of them – their sales pitch/marketing gimmic worked on me lol. I do like using natural oils (especially tea tree, argan, coconut oil). Admittedly I don’t spend a lot of money on beauty products but I noticed that making better food choices really helped to improve my complexion. Hehe, the stuff you put into your body is also important, not just the products used on the body :p

    1. Tine

      Hehehe oh no judgment. I see the amount of beauty stuff I have and I’d admit that 99% of them were purchased after great marketing spiels πŸ˜›

      Oh yes most definitely! The type of input into our body is very important too!

  6. Paris B

    You know, Tine, 2 years ago, this would have been me to a T. I would wave away any mention of natural skincare in my regimen and stick to my chemical laden creams and potions. Now, I straddle the divide a little more and I think it’s simply to do with the fact that the natural (whatever that means) skincare brands have stepped up their game. Now, they actually work, without killing your skin. I had a very bad reaction to a natural/organic skincare product the first time I tried it, and stayed away till Antipodes came into my life. Now, I sing its praises, and I also realised that out of all the brands I use out there, this is one brand that consistently delivers with its products. That it happens to be a natural and organic brand is a bonus, but what is more important to me is the efficacy.

    So, while I’m not swearing off treatment chemicals like peptides, retinols, AHAs, glycolics, acids etc because they work so well for skin, I am not averse to trying SOME natural brands for certain products like facial oils, creams, cleansers, which work very well for me. I think natural skincare has its place, even if I’m not into the whole lifestyle, and I think they’re alright to use, if you aren’t looking for quick results, or are looking for something more basic for the skin. I hesitate to use the word “gentle” because we know that nature isn’t gentle in the least, but it often feels less abrasive on skin.

    So for example, I’d cleanse with a natural balm cleanser, 2nd cleanse (chemical), acid tone (chemical), hydrating lotion (chemical), serum (chemical or natural) face oil (natural) and moisturise (natural or chemical). If I mask, I like to do a glycolic mask (chemical) followed by a soothing repair mask (natural). A good mix that keeps my skin happy. So I think what’s more important than looking at whether it’s a natural or chemical product, is more to look at whether it is a product that delivers on its promises, and does what you need done for your skin, or doesn’t.

    Sekian, my thesis haha πŸ˜€
    Paris B recently posted..Your Say: Do you buy backups of your favourite beauty products?My Profile

    1. Tine

      Hahahaha good thesis!

      I’m looking at the beauty products I use on a regular basis and I must say that 100% of it are chemical. I reckon it’s because my skin has broken out far too many times by natural products that I tend to steer clear even if there are good ones. My aversion to them could be why I’ve failed to see that natural skincare has stepped up their game. I’ll try my best to be more open-minded to new natural skincare products. I do have an Antipodes serum that is waiting to be used. Fingers crossed it’ll work for me as well as it does for you!

  7. Winston

    I agree with Paris. Natural skincare have really stepped up their game probably because of the experience they gained over the years. Natural ingredients do work and have become so popular that we see the same trend now in haircare. For instance, Argan Oil, it’s found in so many products by so many haircare brand these days. Organic/natural ingredients are a good thing in modern haircare- we now know that certain chemicals are not good for your skin, then why would you use that on your scalp? 😊
    Winston recently posted..Versace Ready to Wear Spring Summer 2016My Profile

    1. Tine

      I find it strange that while argan oil used to work very well on my hair when I started using it years ago, it’s now getting too heavy for me, even though I’ve reduced the amount of oil I use. I’m using a different oil now (marula oil) and so far, so good!

      1. Winston

        There could be many reasons why it has become too heavy for you. Every person’s hair is different, so I recommend to go with whatever that suits your hair type.

        With hair oils, you only need a small amount and you apply it even on the length of your hair but only starting from ear level.

        Also, if pure oil is not your thing, there are other beautiful hair cream/treatments that incorporate the powerful benefits of argan/macadamia/camelia oils, which will definitely be less heavy and manageable.
        Winston recently posted..β€˜SOCIALIZED’ – Toni&Guy’s 2015/2016 CollectionMy Profile

  8. Cocoa

    My skin prefers skincare with more natural ingredients. Not the pure oils but those with fewer ingredients, no alcohol, no mineral oil, no fragrance, etc.
    Cocoa recently posted..Travel Theme: Mellow – Water Monitor Lizard at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, SingaporeMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Good to know natural skincare works for you! πŸ™‚

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