Chemical Free Skincare
Author: Anna Wilen Clark
Is there such as thing as Chemical Free Skincare?
It sure sounds great in theory, but is chemical free skincare something that is truly attainable, or is it just a ruse for mainstream skincare companies to make millions off of unsuspecting consumers? “Chemical free” skincare is a pretty hot trend right now, but what does the term really mean? Well, according to the Oxford dictionary the word ‘chemical’ means “a compound or substance that has been purified or prepared, especially artificially”. Keep in mind that ‘especially’ does not mean ‘necessarily’! Basically, by this definition, almost everything you buy for your family and for your home is a chemical!
Let’s face it. Absolutely none of your lotions, cleansers, toners, or soaps come 100% ready-to-use from nature. (Even tallow has to be harvested, rendered, and then shaped into bar soap or packaged some other way!) The core ingredient of many skincare products is purified water, and if you really think about it- the rest of the ingredients must be purified too so that the product is safe for use! This may be done via heat or by ingredients that act as preservatives or have antibacterial properties. In the world of beauty, there are always formulas that must be concocted, and ingredients that must be mixed. Sometimes heat and refrigeration have to be added to the process; sometimes they don’t. Then the products can be packaged and sent to the consumer. All skincare products fit into the definition of ‘chemical’ because they must be ‘prepared’ in one way or another. When it comes to mainstream skincare, sometimes the individual ingredients have to be first processed, purified and prepared before they can be put into the main formula of the product, which must also be processed, purified, and prepared?
What? That was a little hard to follow wasn't it?
Essentially, almost everything in the modern world can be considered a chemical. While the word does have some synonyms with negative connotations-‘toxin’ for example- it also has positive synonyms like ‘substances’, ‘elements’, ‘compounds’, ‘naturals’, and ‘organics’. (Yes, there are organic chemicals.) Thus, “chemical free” is not actually what we need to strive for in our skincare. To avoid including chemicals of some form or another in any skincare formula is, by definition, impossible. ‘Toxin free’ or ‘harmful chemical free’ skincare is really what we are after when we look for safe products for our families to use.
By using a blanket term like the word ‘chemical free’ on the label, companies are able to swindle consumers into believing that they are purchasing a product that is superior to others, when it actually is not. This way they can trick consumers into paying more for their product. It is all about the profits. Producers of all sorts of consumer goods have played the same game for years with words like ‘natural’, ‘organic’, ‘patented’, and ‘eco-friendly’. Companies parade technical vocabulary around to make consumers feel good about their products, but a take quick look at any of their ingredient lists and you’ll see that the regulations on putting these words on the labels are simply not very strict.
The bottom line?
What’s actually in a product is much more important than the label that’s put on the outside of it. Simple ingredients from all-natural sources are what really make for great, glowing skin. Beef tallow makes for supple, smooth, spectacular skin. “Chemical free” skincare may not exist but Paleo Skincare does!