One truism in the skin care field is this: A product cannot perform better than its ingredients. I’d like to repeat it: A product cannot perform better than its ingredients. If you get nothing else from this book, I’d like you to get this.

Checking ingredients

There are questions to ask yourself as you try to decide which skin care products you want to use. What is the ingredient that makes the product function? If it is an astringent, does it have herbs in it that are high in tannic acid? Does it contain witch hazel? Does it contain essential oil of lavender, which balances any skin type? What specifically is the astringent ingredient?

If it’s a moisturizer, what are the moisturizing ingredients? Does it contain a humectant such as honey or vegetable glycerin that helps bring moisture from the air to your skin? How about high quality oils for lubrication? If you are using a moisturizer to help prevent wrinkles, does it have an ingredient that reputedly helps your skin regenerate itself such as horsetail, chestnut, comfrey, or rosehip seed oil? If you are using a lotion to soothe your skin, does it contain ingredients like calendula or chamomile that are anti-inflammatory and skin-conditioning?

Assuming that the product you have decided on has the desirable ingredients to perform its designated function, now you need to look at possible undesirable ingredients. These, in my opinion, can undo any good the desirable ingredients do.

So you have an astringent and it has witch hazel, calendula, chamomile, and essential oil of lavender, but towards the end of the ingredient list you see the entire paraben family. This includes ethylparaben, methylparaben, and butylparaben. Is the product still valuable? Do the synthetic ingredients take anything away from the herbs? I think you are the only one who can answer this question for yourself.

Like everything else in your life, it’s a matter of acceptability. I do not think using synthetic ingredients is wrong. I do not like to put down synthetic, artificial, and petroleum ingredients. However, I do think the consumer should have a level of awareness high enough to understand the difference between these and natural ingredients. I think we each need to take responsibility for what we apply to our skin.

Many people do not care. Their interest lies in pretty packages or flamboyant promises. That is okay if that is what they want. These people probably aren’t interested in using Lily of Colorado products. We make our products for that small but growing percentage of Americans who do not want parabens, urea, propylene glycol, and similar ingredients in the products they use.

For more information and beauty tips you can purchase Beauty, Health and Happiness–A way of life an online version for only $2.99!