‘Green’ chemistry is progressing at breakneck speed. We are living in an exciting time for skin care formulation, with numerous developments in areas such as natural sugars and synthetic proteins.
Yet the common perception still remains that chemical products work better than natural ones: if you are environmentally conscious and want to know what you’re putting on your skin, you choose natural skincare products, but if you want a real result you need to use chemical based products.
It seems as consumers we have been pre-programmed to favour chemical products. In the results of an efficiency test I read a couple of years ago, natural and chemical clothing detergents were scored as equally efficient. When provided
with this information, however, the consumers interviewed admitted they did not believe the results, suggesting that mistakes must have been made in the study.
If we are convinced our clothes are whiter when we use a chemical detergent, there is an explanation. Most laundry detergents
contain optical brighteners, chemicals which trick your sensory perception. Optical brighteners work by leaving a molecular residue on your clothes which reflects ultraviolet light. Rather than providing a deeper clean to brighten the fabric, these detergents leave behind a layer of chemicals which merely give the appearance of vivid colour.
This in turn creates a health risk. The ultraviolet-reactive molecules can cause your skin to become photosensitive and more susceptible to burn in sunlight. Increased exposure to ultraviolet rays can also increase the risk of skin cancer; one very good reason to avoid detergents containing optical brighteners.
Similarly, in years gone by we used skincare products containing mineral oils, paraffin and other petrochemicals which gave
the skin a lovely soft feeling by clogging the pores. We know now that these chemicals actually break down skin particles and speed up the ageing process. Quite the opposite effect of what we were hoping for.
I urge everyone to read and learn about natural products so that you can make an informed choice about what products are best for you. Having used both natural and chemical products extensively, I regard The Organic Pharmacy’s certified natural and organic product range the best in the world. Not only do they please my environmentally conscious side, they are also the most efficient products I have ever used. That’s two very good reasons why we have chosen them for our spa.