Your skin tells the world your age, environment and emotional wellbeing and many things attribute to how well or
not so well your skin looks and feels so you should take care of it. Healthy skin is reflected from being healthy on the inside.
Eating well, incorporating as much fresh organic fruit and vegetables as you can, drinking plenty of filtered water, enjoying fresh air, exercise daily, wearing a hat when you are out in the sun and not smoking all contribute to healthier, happier skin. And looking after your skin using beneficial natural oils and extracts will also contribute to giving you fresh, healthy and beautiful skin.
It is well known that some commonly used ingredients come with side effects that can include itchiness, dryness and even skin irritation.
What components are needed to make skin care products?
Making skin care products is like baking a cake - you need certain ingredients for it to bake properly, with the right texture and taste great. The same thing applies with your skin care products so they perform well and have a nice texture and feel about them.
"EMOLLIENTS" soften skin and prevent dryness. "Moisturiser" (something that adds moisture) most often describes a finished product and "emollient" (something that softens) is most often used to describe a single ingredient.
Our natural emollients actually nourish the skin, like sweet almond oil, wheat germ oil and organic evening primrose oil. These contain vitamins and essential fatty acids which your skin just loves.
"HUMECTANTS" attract water from the air, hold it within a substance, and then slowly release the moisture into the skin.
Regardless of their ability to moisturise, some humectants are harsh industrial chemicals that coat the skin, much like cling wrap and can cause irritation. The
natural humectants like vegetable glycerin and provitamin B5 (panthenol) are known to be beneficial to the skin.
"EMULSIFIERS" are two or more compounds that allow water and oil to mix (which is called an emulsion). Natural emulsifiers are obtained from various natural sources, for example: decyl glucoside, which is derived from sugarcane.
"SURFACTANTS" are wetting agents, capable of holding dirt and oil to be rinsed away by water - these are the foaming agents.
Natural surfactants are a much better choice for shampoos and cleansers as they gently cleanse without stripping your natural protective oils. Most natural surfactants, like sodium lauryl sulphate and its cousins (sodium laureth sulphate, amonium lauryl sulphate, amonium laureth sulphate), can be harsh on your skin so we don't use the sulphate family in any of our cleansers, choosing
natural surfactants known to be gentle and low allergenic.
"PRESERVATIVES" - Although preservatives do extend the longevity of the products and help keep them free from bacteria, the preservatives themselves are often unhealthy and many cause skin problems.
It is good to remember that all products need preservatives to stop them "going off". The paraben family of preservatives (methyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben, ethyl paraben) are the most commonly used and are well known to cause skin irritation. All GAIA products are free from paraben preservatives.
"ANTIOXIDANTS" may also be included in products and are often confused with preservatives.
Antioxidants are used to prevent the oxidisation of oils in an emulsion (prevent the oils in the product from going rancid or off whereas preservatives prevent the entire product from going off).
They are also used on the skin to help smooth wrinkles and to slow the signs of aging. The
natural antioxidant, vitamin E (tocopherol), offers greater antioxidant activity than its man made alternative.
Plant essences can actually prompt intense emotions
Studies have shown that plant essences can actually prompt intense emotions, sensations, reactions and skin healing as they have an effect on the brain via the olfactory nerves and through skin absorption.
This can lead to changes in skin temperature, blood volume and brain wave activity. The response is completely individual, linked to personal body chemistry, memories and emotions. Our focus is on health rather than beauty - healthy skin is beautiful skin!
When manufactured, consideration is made not only the composition of the ingredients, but we look closely at the growing conditions such as organic and biodynamic farming, and we use as many organic ingredients are possible.
There are many great remedial and nourishing effects from plants on the human body. It is well know that they naturally soothe and stimulate and may help to relieve stress, relax, excite and promote wellbeing.
PURE ESSENTIAL OILS
Aromatherapy is the art and science of using oils extracted from aromatic plants to enhance health, beauty and well being. The essential oils taken from plants are used in Aromatherapy and often described as the plants' "life force" - they are essential to the plants' biological process as well as being the substance which gives them their scent.
The benefits of pure essential oils on your skin and hair are many and varied, depending on the oil you use and how you personally respond to it as the response to pure essential oils is completely individual.
Make sure when you are buying products or oils that they are pure essential oils and not just
fragrant oils, which are in fact synthetic copies of our natural scents.
Synthetic fragrance is one of the biggest causes of skin irritation. It takes approximately 200 chemicals to produce one scent and they certainly do not offer the same therapeutic benefits as a pure essential oil.
Be aware that some products may market themselves as containing "lavender" to calm or relax or other ingredients that you would associate with relaxation. This is often fragrance and NOT pure essential oil and does not offer the same benefits that a pure essential oil does.
GAIA Skin Naturals only uses pure essential oils to create our scents.