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New Research in Natural Ingredients

By: Sherrie Berry
Posted: June 28, 2011, from the July 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
New Research in Natural Ingredients

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It is a challenge to say the least. What’s more, if you want to start a fight in the skin care industry, all you have to do is put a couple of chemists in the same room and then ask them what makes a formula natural. OK, OK ... maybe there won’t be a fight, but you are sure to enjoy an exciting debate on the subject.

Cara Welch, PhD, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for the Natural Products Association (NPA), comments, “It’s all about efficacy. If you place two products next to each other, one conventional and one all-natural, and they are both truly effective and share the same price points, it’s a no-brainer that an informed consumer would choose the product with ingredients that have been proven effective, natural and safe for hundreds or even thousands of years.”

The key words here are “informed consumer,” and that is exactly what consumers are nowadays—informed. Remember, a growing number of informed consumers are interested in purchasing a natural alternative that can often outperform a synthetic counterpart. The question is: Since this is the new buzz, are you, as a skin care professional, ramping up your research and rushing to satisfy your clients’ interests and demands? If you are, you will no doubt bring new revenue to your business.

Up-and-coming natural ingredients

To get started in your search for the best all-natural ingredients, listen up, because they may be different from what you imagine. Dihydrogen monoxide may sound dangerous to those with a limited knowledge of chemistry or who hold to an ideal of a chemical-free life. There even was an attempt to ban this chemical—it’s a good thing it didn’t pass. If it had, everyone would be without ... water. Yes, dihydrogen monoxide is the scientific name for water. This just goes to show how the lack of scientific literacy and an exaggerated analysis can lead to misplaced fears.

Many natural and organic ingredients and organic blends have names that might raise a skeptical eyebrow. Have you ever picked up a jar of natural personal care product and read polyglyceryl-2 dipolyhydroxystearate? This very long word sounds like some horrible chemical containing unwanted toxins and metals, but it is actually a friendly ingredient. The simple organic terms that were once familiar are now being synergistically married with some very powerfully anti-aging and active compounds that are equally natural, but have the funkiest, tongue-twisting names.