Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Benefits of Natural Ingredients



When shopping for skin care products, you may notice a lot of products boasting about certain natural ingredients that they contain through their labels. As I've mentioned in my earlier post about natural ingredients, to benefit more from them, check if they're listed as the first few ingredients in the label. That would mean that the product contains a relatively larger percentage of that ingredient compared to the rest of the ingredients.  If you're rather clueless about the specific benefits of certain natural ingredients, the following list might help you choose the right product for you. Do keep come back to this post as I will keep adding new ingredients in the list.



Aloe Vera Extracts

Aloe Vera extracts are commonly found in lotions and moisturizers. It soothes dry and flaky skin. Aloe Vera can also be used to treat burns and insect bites, as well as relieve skin inflammation.

Avocado Oil

Not only avocado is beneficial for one's health, the good oils that make it a healthy fruit also function as a nourishing skin care ingredient. Avocado oil functions as a moisturizer that can reduce age spots and scars. Studies have shown that this natural ingredient has anti-aging properties by its ability to increase the collagen in the skin's dermis.

Chamomile Extracts

Extracts from chamomile have soothing benefits on the skin. The essential oils found in chamomile extracts help relieve symptoms of allergies and irritation. It is therefore suitable to be used on acne. Chamomile is also rich in flavonoids, an antioxidant component of chamomile that helps protect the skin from damaging effects of free radicals, most commonly caused by the sun's UV rays.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter is an essential ingredient to chocolates. It comes from cacao beans and is what makes chocolate melts in the mouth. Aside from being a food ingredient, it is also a well known natural ingredient for skin care products. Not only does this ingredient add a sweet and chocolaty aroma to the product, it also has some useful cosmetic properties. Cocoa butter is commonly found in moisturizers due to its hydrating properties. It acts as an effective barrier against the environmental elements that may lead to drying of the skin. Some users of cocoa butter products even claim it reduces stretch marks, but is not yet scientifically proven. Cocoa butter is a comedogenic substance, so to those with acne-prone skin, beware. Avoid applying it on the face as it may lead to breakouts.

Grapefruit Extract

Grapefruit when eaten can provide your body with a rich amount of Vitamin C and Lycopene. But it is not only useful in the diet, it has the ability to reduce inflammation when applied to skin. Skin care products with grapefruit extract increases pH level that may help reduce acne. It is also used to relieve rashes, itchiness and even dandruff.

Green Tea

We've heard about a lot of benefits of drinking tea. But green tea extracts can also be beneficial when applied topically. The high content of catechins found in green tea reduces the oxidative stress to skin cells and inflammation. In simple English, it means that green tea extract can counteract the damaging effects of the environment, such as the harmful UV rays from the sun. I wouldn't suggest using green tea creams as the only sunscreen though while outdoors. But indeed, green tea extract is a highly useful natural ingredient when it comes to lessening the damaging effects of the sun.

Lemon Extract

The acidic extracts of the lemon fruit can be used as astringent. It can remove blemishes and blackheads on the skin. Lemon extract also functions as skin conditioning agent to reduce the appearance of dry and flaky skin. The citrus smell of lemon makes it a common fragrance ingredient to skin care products.

Rose Hip Oil

Rose Hip Oil contains high level amount of Vitamin A, which gives the oil its anti-aging benefits. It is also a fatty acid rich in Vitamin E, which promotes healthy skin. Rose Hip Oil doesn't clog the pores and can be used to treat dermatitis, wrinkles, acne, scarring, hyper-pigmentation, and sunburns.


Royal Jelly 

Royal Jelly is a substance secreted from the pharynx of the worker bees to feed larvae, including the larva of a new Queen Bee. In skincare products, the royal jelly is mostly used as a skin conditioning agent. The substance is also believed to have anti-aging properties.

Shea Butter

Shea Butter is a common natural ingredient found in skin care products, probably because of its sweet fragrance. But Shea butter is not only fragrant, but is also highly beneficial to the skin. The Shea butter is an effective moisturizer and offers antioxidant properties. It contains Vitamins A, E, and F that are all nourishing to the skin. It also has a low SPF property and is noncomedogenic (won't clogged pores). Be careful when buying Shea Butter products. A pure white Shea Butter is already highly processed which means the it may already have lessened some healing properties. Unrefined Shea Butter is creamy in color but it doesn't mean that a product with such color is made of authentic Shea butter.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil, or melaleuca oil, is a plant oil extracted from leaves native to Australia. It is a natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial oil. These properties make it a useful ingredient in skin care products that aim to fight acne. Since acne develops from bacteria, the tea tea oil can prevent breakouts by eliminating the bacteria in the pores.

Witch Hazel Extract

Witch Hazel Extract is derived from the witch hazel shrub grown in parts of North America. It is used in skincare products as an astringent and antioxidant. It can also fight acne and treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. 
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