What's the Big Deal About Natural Skincare Products?!
Updated: Mar 26
Why do I keep hearing more and more about 'all-natural skin care products' and what's it about? Sound like something you've been asking yourself? Or maybe you already know why they are so great and just want to read more about them.
When I started Cottage Market Co. I had this same question in mind but it didn't really take root right away. After years of struggling with all types of prescriptions, from dermatologists and family doctors, I hit that frustration wall where nothing seemed to really work and I was over it. Then came motherhood where I put my self-care on the back burner even further (who hasn't?). Until, that is, I realized that ignoring all of my self-care, both mental and physical, was actually hurting my family more then helping them. I had to un-board the crazy train and really start to take better care of myself so that I was in a better state to take care of them.
One day I decided to look for a fun activity to do with my 4-year old daughter. So along I went down the rabbit hole of my obsession (otherwise known as Pinterest) where I landed on natural bath products safe for kids. Did I think these would actually work? Honestly, my answer was 'no'. I just wanted something fun to do with my extra-girly princess (where she got this from I have no clue - anyone else a beer and sports kinda girl?) Anyways, apparently I was missing the mark on my thoughts of natural products! Apple cider vinegar hair rinses made my hair so shiny! Coconut oil and baking soda mask - did that really just help my brighten my battle-tested skin? Yep! These natural products were working so much better than my store-bought or pharmacy-bought products!! As so it all began....
What is Cottage Market Co.'s definition of "natural' products"? Our definition of natural are ingredients we all find in our kitchen, are paraben free, sulfate free...you know...normal, natural. How is this different from organic? Organic is more specific. These are ingredients that come only come from the earth. Do I like organic? Of course! Am I stickler for alllll of my daily items being organic? No. And I'm not really ashamed to admit that. I realize organic is great for you, and is the most wholesome way to live life. However, I am also a full-time working mother of two kids, a wife, sister, and daughter, head of a zoo of a household, and likely not to overthink everything. Do I feed my kids processed food to save my sanity some days? Of course. So here is where I draw the line. If it's cheap, easy, and quick, I will use natural or organic wherever I can. My personal choice was to start using it on our skin because I had fun making them and I already knew I love them.
Cottage Market Co.'s products are all made with natural ingredients but we love to have fun with color too. We all need that pop of color in our lives! That's why we use skin-safe colorants on all products and even organic colorants where we can too.
SO HOW DOES "NATURAL" DIFFER FROM THE STORE-BOUGHT BATH AND BODY PRODUCTS THEN? AND WHAT DO THOSE REALLY CONTAIN?
Well, natural products do not contain parabens, sulfates, GMOs, or preservatives. Below is are the definitions of each of these and why they are no good for you:
Parabens - These are the compounds used to act as preservatives in our bath and body products, pharmaceuticals, and foods. Recent research has been found that some parabens can mimic your estrogen hormone, thus possibly creating a link to some forms of breast cancer.
Sulfates - A salt that forms from sulfuric acid and chemicals. Sulfates are controversial both because of their production process, linked to environmental pollution, and possible health issues. While there is no direct evidence linking sulfates to cancer, infertility, or development issues, these will build up in our bodies over time so there is no real way to measure their true impact. Why take the risk? Not to mention these are mainly just used in our cleaning products to create lather and give the impression of a stronger clean. We don't really need lather to cleanse Their most common issue however, is skin irritation. For these reasons, we choose not to use any sulfates in our products.
GMOs - Otherwise known as genetically modified organisms - their genetic makeup has been altered from their natural,organic state. Genetic engineering can cause so many dangerous side effects, from organ damage, immune system disorders, infertility...the list goes on. We want to avoid these wherever possible.
Preservatives - They are so many types of preservatives it's hard to list all of the possible ingredients. Cottage Market Co. does not use any of them. Preservatives are used in skincare products to prevent the growth of bacteria, yeast, and fungi that need require water to grow. At CM co., you will find all of our products are anhydrous (they don't use water), thus not requiring preservatives.
SO...WHAT IS THE SHELF LIFE OF CM CO.'S PRODUCTS IF THEY DON'T HAVE PRESERVATIVES?
While there are no preservatives in our products, there are antioxidants. Coconut oil, some essential oils, and vitamin E are all know to have great antioxidant properties. They keep products from spoiling. For all natural products, the recommended shelf life is approximately 6 months. These factors can always vary slightly based on storage conditions and improper usage. Our typical rule of thumb is 'when in doubt throw it out'. With that said, it is also important to note that most preservative-made products only have a shelf life of maybe one year. The FDA does not required your bath products to list a shelf life, thus making them prone to bacterial or microbial growth without you knowing. Every time you dip your hands into a container, you are adding microbes and bacteria. If you keep these products past their shelf-life, the preservatives are no longer working as they should. Sometimes the benefits of avoiding harsh chemicals and preservatives far outweigh their "good" uses.
Why not just avoid all of these harsh ingredients and questions. Control what you can and buy natural products. You know exactly what you are getting and can be comfortable using it.
Hope this helps clear some things up for you. I know it has helped me make better decisions about my product choices. With Cottage Market Co., we promise to list ALL ingredients right on our packaging for you to see. What you see is what you get!
Do you have any thoughts about natural vs. store-bought? What made you decide to make the change? We want to know what thoughts other women have about these issues. Please share them below in the Comments!