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Holistic Beauty and Skin Health Part 3: A Whole Food Philosophy for Skin Care

By: Jimm Harrison
Posted: August 27, 2009, from the September 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Selecting minimally processed ingredients for skin care products is one way to secure their efficacy. Vegetable oils that have been chemically refined, diluted essential oils and aqueous extracts with minimal plant content will be lacking the integrity necessary for results-driven skin and beauty care. In order to get the best results, research as much as possible to understand exactly what you’re buying, as well as from whom.

When scouting and researching potential products, think food. Look for natural color; thicker, sometimes grainy, textures; and subtle foodlike odors, such as oily, fatty, nutty or green. Also note, there is a short period of time that may be required for both you and your newly initiated client to acclimate to the realness of whole food-quality skin care, including the scents and textures.

Judge a botanical commercial product by its expected results. A product using unrefined, whole extracts should result in an immediate, naturally revitalized appearance and a healing benefit to the skin. Research a manufacturer’s reputation and knowledge of botanical ingredients through the Internet, colleagues and reviews.

Holistically and nutritionally, whole extracts offer more therapeutic benefit. For example, an ingredient expected to have anti-inflammatory effects but missing the very components that give the extract this action will likely be disappointing. However, a whole extract would offer this benefit, because it hasn’t been removed in processing.

Keep in mind that some extracts that have been altered may actually become irritants or create other negative responses due to an imbalance in composition. This is definitely something to watch for when evaluating botanical efficacy and safety.

Refined oils