Skincare: Beneficial Ingredients

In last week's post, I talked about what ingredients to avoid when choosing skincare. Many of you (hi!) were surprised, as was I, to see commonly used natural ingredients like witch hazel on that list. Here's the thing: Certain natural  ingredients can have both beneficial and harmful properties.

If you reference my favorite Ingredient Dictionary, you'll see that witch hazel in particular can be very complicated: "Commonly used plant extract that can have potent antioxidant properties and some soothing properties. However, witch hazel’s high tannin content (tannin is a potent antioxidant) can also make it sensitizing if used repeatedly on skin. The bark of the witch hazel plant has a higher tannin content than the leaves. Producing witch hazel water by steam distillation removes the tannins, but the plant’s astringent qualities are what most believe give it benefit." 

Here's a list of natural ingredients with only beneficial properties:

  • Clays
  • Chamomile
  • Bisabolol
  • Seaweed
  • Kaolin
  • Amino acids
  • Ceramides
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Grapes
  • Green tea
  • Chocolate
  • Licorice
  • Oats
  • Soy
  • Willow Herb
  • Coconut oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Canola oil
  • Shea butter
  • Honey
  • Mica
  • Olive oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Argan oil
  • Carnauba wax
  • Meadowfoam
  • Rice Bran oil
  • Turmeric
  • Rosa canina Fruit oil
  • Palm oil
  • Omega fatty acids
  • Corn oil
  • Glycerin
  • Lecithin
  • Aloe vera
  • Jojoba oil
  • Pomegranate
  • Algae extracts
  • Sea whip extract
  • Feverfew extract
  • Bearberry
  • Mulberry
  • White tea
  • Cocoa butter
  • Sesame oil
  • Borage oil
  • Ubiquinone
  • Acai oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B3
  • Goji Berry
  • Coffeeberry extract
  • Evening Primrose oil
  • Tamanu Oil
  • Curcumins
  • Silybum marianum extract

All of this can get really confusing. Wouldn't a product that is all-natural, all-organic, packed with antioxidants be gentle, non-irritating, and good for your skin? And while some good marketing does equal an all around great product, some of it is just good marketing for a product packed with ingredients that are a bit more complex than they're letting on. It's really important to do your own research and decide for yourself what works for you and your skin. I hope these lists have helped you find skincare that is helping your skin, not harming it. As always, if you have specific questions about these ingredients or specific products, contact me. I'm here for you!

XOXO, Pam