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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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In a holistic model, organic will be presented as the desired choice, though some ingredients are not available as organics. In this case, exceptions are made if the benefit outweighs the desire for an organic product.

Synthetic or natural?

The argument of natural versus synthetic in skin care can be a confusing topic. It has been stated that synthetics have no value or purpose in a whole food diet, but many times, synthetic supplements are acceptable for their value in support of the whole food diet and skin care philosophy. Here is where the line between synthetic and natural becomes blurred.

Natural, unlike organic, has vague definitions. Some ingredients used in skin care are necessary for emulsion, texture and stability. These are mainly synthetic, though they may be labeled as derived from a plant source. A surfactant, or cleanser, may be derived from organic coconut oil, but it must go through a reaction process with a base to become soap. This is no longer truly natural or organic, as the coconut oil has been synthetically altered from its extracted form. Yet it has a place as a whole food-type product due to the fact that there are no effective cleansers that are not synthetic.

Stretching the boundaries

There also are energetic or life force properties that contribute to a whole plant extract. Life force is defined as the vital principle or animating force within living things. This is an important aspect to a whole food philosophy for those businesses that include energy work. Flower essences contain no plant compounds, only the energetics and life force of the plant. It is believed by intuitive producers that gentle, precise processes retain the vital energies and reinforce the therapeutic value of any extract.

Similar to life force is information at the quantum subatomic level. Plant extracts retain the memory of environment, geography, insects and information from seeds passed on through eons of evolution. This memory-information, it is believed, aids in healing, and a synthetic made in a laboratory will likely not have this influence of nature’s depth.

In practice