Do Natural Remedies Actually Work?

We all want to believe that natural is better. We think that eating natural is best (it pretty much is) and that natural remedies should be just what we need when it comes to healing and protecting our bodies. But this isn’t always the case.

nature-sunny-red-flowers

There is a huge trend towards natural products because of the chemicals that many items contain. Sure, these chemicals are considered safe but only in small doses. Did you know that of the nearly 10,500 ingredients present in cosmetics and skin care that almost 90% have not been evaluated for safety by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review or the FDA? (Source: Treehugger) If you are applying makeup or lotions and creams daily then it can add up. For right now, nobody knows for a fact how these chemicals will affect us long term.

But, Leslie Baumann, director of cosmetic dermatology at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine said in a Scientific American article, “Natural’s not always best.”

What does she mean by this? Well there are some myths out there that seem to persist no matter how many times it comes up that they are false. Maybe people just want to believe that natural remedies are best. But it is important to separate the fact from the fiction.

Free Radicals
This isn’t a chant to get crazy political dissidents out of jail. Free radicals are spewed out if a product contains polyunsaturated vegetable oils like grapeseed, sunflower, and safflower. If the product isn’t using very high quality oils, then they can degrade due to long term storage, heat, light, or air exposure. Free radicals are a source of aging which nobody wants to accelerate. Make sure if you get products with these oils in them that you use them quickly before the oils degrade. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant that can fight off these free radicals.

Is Natural really natural?
Unlike “organic” the terms “natural” and “all-natural” are not regulated when it comes to labeling. You have to adhere to specific requirements to be labeled organic, not so for natural. So make sure you read the ingredient label to see what is really in that “natural” product.

Leave out the fragrance
It pays to smell nice. Not pay as in money, but it can pay in the sense that artificial fragrances can cause health problems. For some people they can cause allergic reactions. If possible, try to get your products fragrance-free.

Check SafeCosmetics.org
This site can help you figure out what you should and shouldn’t be putting on your face. They go through “chemicals of concern” which are ones that science has found are linked to adverse health impacts. Read up and get in the know.

Not sure? Do research
If you aren’t sure what an ingredient is on a label, do some research. Maybe it is time to go through the items in your daily routine and see how they stack up. Do what’s best for your health!

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