Can you make a U-turn after going natural?


When I started using natural skin care products about two years ago, I was at a dilemma if I should go 100%.  Unlike many who use natural skin care products out of health reasons, I use them because I like the fact that they contain less synthetic ingredients which I believe will interfere with the efficacy of formulations.  However, I recognize that not all such skin care products are created equal and even those labelled as organic may not be 100% natural.  And even some of those that are 100% natural may not do much for our skin given that they contain no beneficial active ingredients.  Still, I’ve persisted on the natural route and haven’t looked back since.  I admit that there are days when I want to veer off track and go back to using some of the non-natural products.  However, there is always a mental resistance and I’ve since found three reasons why I find it hard for me to make that U-turn back to using non-natural products.

Health hazard
Even though my initial motivation was not due to health reasons, I admit that as I read more about how some of those chemical ingredients can disrupt our hormones, I get affected. This is why I cannot go back to using commercial deodorants no matter how effective they work or how affordable they are.

Formulation potency
Natural products have shorter shelf life because they use little preservatives.  While it means I have to use up the product more quickly, it also means that the formula remains more potent as I get to use the products while it is made fresh off the batch.

Smell
I’ve become very sensitive  to the scent of my skin care products and prefer products to smell like herbs or essential oils. While some natural products don’t smell good but I’ll get accustomed to their scent after awhile. In fact, products with strong perfume fragrance irritate my sense of smell now.

The 80/20 product mix for me
As a whole, I’m less inclined to check out skin care products that are non-natural.  I may try out some of the cult brands provided I’m agreeable with the ingredients but it’s usually a short term interest and I’ll revert to my natural range quickly again.  I am more adventurous with makeup since they’re layered over my skin care products but I do try to stick to using mineral makeup or organic makeup whenever I can. Currently, 80% of what I use on myself is natural and/or organic.  On my face, I use products from A’kin and Marie Veronique Organics now.  For my hair, I alternate between Burt’s Bees Very Volumizing Shampoo and EO Clarifying Shampoo.  For my body, I use a combination of natural body lotions from Lavera, La Clarée Oliv’ and Balance Me. As for the 20%, they are products like foot creams and makeup.

Share your natural skin care journey
I know a number of you are into natural and organic skin care like me. Can you share with me your journey to using natural skin care products and if you’ve ever done a U-turn back to using non-natural products? Or are you a consistent “full-fledge” natural or organic skin care lover? If not, do you use some non-natural products like me and do non-natural skin care products still get some of your interest?

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Comments

  1. Jasmine says

    Haha, this question is easy for me to answer. The MOST unnatural item I use has got to be … mascara. Yes. That thing is 100% synthetic.

    I haven’t hit full fledged and I am probably 60-40. Instead of trying to actively go natural or organic, I try actively to keep parabens, phthalates, fragrances, mineral oil, preservatives, drying alcohols and SLS out of my skincare. I also avoid chemical sunscreens. That’s about it for me :3

    I find many products marketing themselves to be “natural” and unsuspecting customers fall for it! Because of this I am wary of “natural” claims and would rather go the other route of cutting out additives. A good example is G@rnier which is chock-full of drying alcohols, mineral oil, fragrances etc … claiming to be natural just because it has a few plant extracts in the formulation. That brand has never worked on my skin.

    • sesame says

      Some of the brands are just riding on the interesting in natural products and using words like natural or organic. Their formulations are questionable but unfortunately, not everyone will read the ingredient list.

      • Jasmine says

        Yes … however, much as we think it is unethical to a certain degree, it pushes shoppers to be more discerning and savvy before buying skincare products. Our skin absorbs chemicals — just like the organs in our body; we should really be more wary of what we slap on :)

        • sesame says

          You’re so right about the absorption. A lot of experts claim otherwise but I still want to be careful especially around those lymph nodes. Eg. around the side of the neck and under the armpits.

  2. Rinka says

    after reading some of your posts, its definitely sparked interest in natural cosmetics. for as long as i can remember, ive been heavily opposed to using products tested on animals so in some ways, going down the natural skin care route seems like the logical next step.

  3. Liesl says

    I uses natural skincare and have tried to go back to counter brands a couple of times to test my skin tolerance. Sad to say, these days my skin can’t take chemical chockful skincare products much and react pretty fast towards them but however, it can tolerate makeup??? I really wonder why it’s so. I’m lucky I’m able to take most makeup so far. I’m a makeup junkie and love to try all kinds of makeup. I try to use natural soaps and shampoos but occasionally I still do use the non-natural. However, for bodycare, I don’t really stick to natural products. Maybe because I’ve yet to find a favourite of mine in terms of texture, scent and performance etc.

    • sesame says

      I think the reason why your skin can handle makeup is because the ingredients tend to sit on top on our skin rather than get absorbed. Moreover, they’re applied over the skin care products so there’s some protective layers there to prevent makeup from penetrating (if it can even do that).

  4. cluvy says

    I got into natural skincare due to influence from your posts (: I haven’t turned full fledged natural skin care yet because I’m yet to be a working adult. meaning not enough $$ for all these skincare. I use all natural for facial skincare. And the rest :s the usual stuff. I want to change over to natural skincare but it can be so expensive. anyway, I did try using the non natural skin care products on my face on occasions I’ve run out of supplies. I always end up with breakouts.

    For body and hair products, I’m always tempted. sadly. new products are simply irresistable and some can smell so nice!

    • sesame says

      I agree that body and hair products can get a bit tricky. I get distracted too and would try different counter brands some times.

  5. Rennie says

    I think it was about two years ago that I also discovered the benefits of using organic/natural products. I had a massive breakout from using a product and discovered that it was highly comedogenic and irritating to skin due to its sythethic ingredientss. Since then I am very into natural products and often look at ingredients before purchasing. As far as using organic/natural products, I unfortunately has not gone all out. While all natural/organic products are more forgiving on our skin, it can also irritate the skin more if your skin is allegric to a natural ingredient or a combination of its ingredients. Since I have sensitive skin, this occasionally happens to me. Right now I have about 50-50 natural/sythetic products.

    • sesame says

      You raised a good point about natural products having the ability to irritate. So far, it has not happened to me w.r.t. skin care products but I have experienced major breakouts with mineral foundations.

  6. Raelynn says

    for skincare and bodycare i would go for natural/organic as much as i can, but it is extremely difficult to find good equivalents for counter makeup using natural lines. hence aside from my mineral makeup, the rest eg eyeliner, eyebrow pencils are still regular over the counter. oh oh, and sunscreen. still sticking to chemical. naturals arent working out for me.

    whether i will make the u turn for skincare and bodycare, not in a million years. but the marketing that chemical lines do are so tempting. hahahaha.

    • sesame says

      It’s true, they are tempting but I usually get turned off once I see their ingredient list. And you’re right about makeup…the options are limited for now.

  7. says

    This is a timely post! I’m tempted to try the new Hada Labo range but i’m not sure if i should make the U-turn…still weighing the options. Most of the facial and body products i use are either organic of natural. But when it comes to my makeup, NOTHING’s NATURAL … …

    • sesame says

      I used the Hada Labo for a short period of time. Now I keep the lotion and serum for once or twice a week treatment purposes. Use them on my neck too. Much as I wanted to try the lotion, I couldn’t bring myself to replace the products with my natural range. I’ll write a review soon this week so you might want to check it out to see if you want to try it.

  8. zzzmadison says

    i regret to say but i’m not on the natural skincare journey yet haha.

    just dun feel the need for the switch. the most ‘attractive’ natural product to me is the deodorant. but somehow not so confident with its reliability..

    • sesame says

      Natural deodorants are tricky. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. My best bet now is using baking soda.

  9. says

    I am natural with all my skincare products, well i try to be anyway, but as you said not all are created equal, it’s hard to find a good one that suits your skin..

    i am still looking for a good natural sunscreen and still can’t find one that suits me, i tried MV, it’s just looks very powdery on my skin, and i also try using mineral makeup, they just seem to make my pores very obvious, a very hard choice for me on sunscreen/make up

    • sesame says

      Sunscreen is quite a challenge. Took me a long while to find MV and I like it still. I know some women said the formula dulls their complexion. In this case, the other one you might like to try is this that I reviewed:

      http://www.vivawoman.net/2010/01/14/sweetsation-therapy-moisturizer-with-spf30/

  10. N. says

    I resist a good part of it…but its tempting and over here theres near to 0 in natural skin care products…which saddens me. So Yes ive made a turn where I used creams my dermatologist recommended me, though they had ingredients I’m strongly against using….but they were effective, that I’ll say.
    So the reason why I’m interested in natural products it’s health wise. I’m really scared of what I put or not in my body, so that is the main reason for me. Health.

  11. Zephyrlite says

    I made the u-turn the other way. I made a switch from synthetic to natural/organic and then back to synthetic when I realised that the natural/organic stuff just didn’t work for me. In fact, my skin was in a worse condition with these products and went right back to normal with the synthetic products. Weird! Anyway, only my hair seems to appreciate natural/organic products.

    • sesame says

      Natural products may not suit all. Some people break out more and some develop allergy. Well, at least you’re using something that is working for you.

  12. Altessa says

    I wanted to introduce more natural/organic products into my skincare regime. Since I was running out of shampoo, I went out to get A’kin’s organic shampoo. However I developed rashes all over my body because of it. I guess I was sensitive/allergic to the ingredients in the shampoo. :(

    That’s a pity though, because I like and want to use more organic/natural stuff. However that scare with the shampoo has made me very wary.

    Ironically, mainstream drugstore brands never irritate my skin.

    • sesame says

      Unfortunately, it’s quite hard to say for sure but some people just can’t use natural stuff. Some of their ingredients do cause allergies.

  13. Astarte says

    I hope you don’t mind the rather late reply.

    I actually have a sort of “rule of thumb” when dealing with various skincare products. Basically, if I feel that I would be unable to ingest a spoonful of the product, then I definitely do not want it on my skin. (I don’t actually try this out, just in case :D )

    I’ve read a couple of articles that said most of the water our bodies use is actually absorbed through skin and not drunk. That’s what made me have second thoughts about the products I use. With most shampoos, toners, moisturizers, etc. if you tried to ingest even a tiny amount, you’d probably poison yourself. However, when you put it on your skin, the ingredients bypass your digestive system, they absorb straight into the blood.

    That’s how this little way of measuring products came to be.

    • sesame says

      Hmm…that’s interesting info on the water because I’ve learnt from speaking to some skincare experts that our skin do not absorb so much water through the skin or we’ll be bloated if we soak ourselves in a tub of water. I don’t know…but it’s something to look into for sure. :) I believe ingredients used in our skin does get absorbed especially when we apply it on areas where our lymph nodes are located.

  14. says

    I have been on the natural skincare journey for a while now, however there are not enough suitable products out there to cover all bases yet. At the moment the products I use are face cream, body lotion, soap, natural deodorant (but not in this hot weather, can’t take the risk!). I find that make up choices are limited and that is something I use the most on a daily basis. But I will continue the journey because I believe that using mostly natural will reduce some of my toxic intake.

    • sesame says

      I agree with your about limited choices with makeup. I don’t use natural/organic makeup all the time. But I think it’s still okay because most of the makeup tends to sit on top of my skincare products so I’m not too worried. But I would love for more options.

  15. Michelle says

    I went back to non-natural products after splurging on Suki, Skin Pharmacy and so on. In the end, the benefits to my skin were minimal compared to drugstore and department store brands but the cost was so much more. Many of the SAs and site staff were often insist that the products would work even though I had relayed the information.

    The only organic/natural products I use now are cosmetics.

    • sesame says

      I guess mileage really depends on individuals. Some swear by natural/organic while some find them too hyped up. I find some brands ok but some are just meh.

      • Michelle says

        That’s all true, varies for everyone. For some brands, the ingredients were pretty good. What irked me was the design of the containers. The products cost a bomb but the containers weren’t air-tight or started to leak.

        It costs little to adopt one of those common Japanese-style air-tight bottles you find in Daiso or elsewhere. Yet, they couldn’t even do that.

        • sesame says

          Actually I just got into a discussion about this with someone in the industry and he also agreed that it’s quite ridiculous the prices that organic brands charge. All I can say is evil marketing.

          But for the containers, I prefer glass bottles or pump bottles for organic stuff cos these bottles will maintain the integrity of the ingredients better since they do not use those stronger preservatives. That is – if I have to pay more. If they charge a lot and give me cheap plastic bottles or tubes, I’ll definitely give it a pass.

          • Dianne says

            I agree with you on the price of some organic products. A lot are very dubious and do not even use ingredients from organic farming. In general, organic products should be cheaper than professional beauty brands and non-organic ones as the natural ingredients are so much cheaper and do not require extensive research and formulation.

            However, I am wary about judging products based on their packaging. Let’s take a prestige skincare counter brand and a professional skincare brand for example. The prestige ones will definitely use glass bottles etc. etc. but when you have a close look at their ingredients, some are cheaper ingredients compared to the ones that professional skincare brands use. What you’re paying for is their packaging which will be thrown away, the brand and of course, their ADVERTISING cost!

          • sesame says

            At the end of the day, consumers just need to be more savvy but majority are not like that. They just buy based on what catches their fancy and many a times, price aside, it’s the packaging and advertising.

  16. Dianne says

    I suffered from serious adult acne and used everything from prestige to drugstore brands (some certified organic as well) but only professional skincare products sold in beauty salons actually helped my skin. I feel that organic and natural products do not really address skin problems and are better suited for maintenance only. All hype but doesn’t cure anything. I should have just used distilled water on my problem skin! Can’t get any purer than that!

    • sesame says

      Something like adult acne, if it is cystic type, is usually a result of internal issues.Topical products can control superficially but to get rid of them, it’s best to address the root cause. Have you determined the cause of your acne?

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