Produced in Nature or Created in the Laboratory

Health & Beauty


For several years I have been a consultant for Rodan and Fields, currently the leading premier skin care line in the United States; therefore, I spend a great deal of time discussing  skin treatment with women. I am always amused when one of them says she will only use natural products on her skin. While this sounds good, what exactly does it mean? Just over two years ago I devoted my article to the topic of natural vs scientifically produced products.  I believe the findings are interesting enough to revisit.

While there are some synthetic cosmetic products that are not good for your skin or can cause allergic reactions if not used with caution, many are “safe, effective, and on the cutting edge of what science has to offer in the race against aging.”(Fiorella Valdesolo, “Town and Country Magazine” May, 2015). “Synthetic simply means anything that does not spontaneously come from nature,” states dermatologist Dr. Denis Gross. This term would then apply to any ingredient that has been manipulated or modified in a lab, even though it was “nature-derived.” Gross points out that many of the most prized skincare products do occur in nature, but for various reasons are produced in a lab. For example, peptides are links of amino acids that occur in nature and are considered invaluable for regeneration; however, they might not be available for use if they could not be reproduced in a lab. In nature the complex chain of amino acids is simply too difficult to retrieve.

Remember to always use sunscreen of at least 30SPF and to smile.

Some natural ingredients simply work better when combined with synthetics. A good example of this linking of a natural with a synthetic is the use of vitamin C, which is one of the few ingredients that can build collagen, a vital factor in the firm smooth texture of young skin. As we age, our bodies produce less and less natural collagen. Skin creams and serums containing the natural C combined with a little help from science work well in replenishing that loss of collagen. Alone C is only water-soluble; however, states Dr. Gross, “If you piggy back it into a lipid molecule it can get into areas it wouldn’t normally reach, promoting collagen and protecting the skin from free radicals. In order for a product to make you look younger, you need to get a product into both the water-soluble and lipid-soluble phases of the skin.”

Natural ingredients are vital to our health and well-being; however they do have limitations. Perhaps that avocado you smoothed over your face and the cucumber slices for your eyes would provide you more benefit if eaten as a part of a delicious salad.

Remember to always use sunscreen of at least 30SPF and to smile. A smile is an instant face lift.

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