Why should I go natural?


Did you know… Typically, women use around twelve beauty products and toiletries in a day – cleanser, toner, moisturiser, soap/shower gel/exfoliating scrub, body lotion, foundation, mascara, eye shadow, lip stick, blusher, etc, etc. This can expose you to up to 175 different chemicals. And it has been estimated that women can absorb around 2kg of chemicals through their skin each year.

Now that’s scary stuff.

Watching what you put on your skin is absolutely as important as watching what you eat!

I found a study once that proved that eating lipstick would be better for you than putting it on your lips. That way, at least you would have the digestive enzymes to help absorb it. And a report from scientists at the institute of Child Health at University College London found that using body scrubs and strong soaps on the skin could be behind a recent rise in eczema, asthma, hay fever and rhinitis, because they strip natural oils from the skin.

Let’s take a look at some of the bad guys…

Mineral oils (found on ingredients lists as parafinnum liquidum, petrolatum) – these form a layer on top of the skin that doesn’t allow the skin breathe. They are skin irritants, allergens, and potential carcinogens (substances that cause cancer).

Mineral oils are found in face and body lotions, baby oils, lipstick.

Detergents (sodium lauryl sulphate, cocamidopropyl betaine, ammonium lauryl sulphate, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA) – cause skin irritation. They can promote the formation of cancer-causing substances known as ‘nitrosamines’ in products during storage.

To look at Sodium lauryl sulphate in particular, it was originally created for industrial use. When rinsed from the skin, the product will have cleaned the area, but will also have taken moisture from the top layers of the skin. In addition to this, when SLS gets into rivers and ponds, it can affect ducks and other water foul by ‘cleaning’ the natural oils from their feathers. This causes the feathers to lose their waterproofing, which can cause the birds to sink and drown.

Detergents are found in shampoo, body wash, shower gel, bubble bath, liquid soaps.

Fragrances (parfum) -parfum is a mixture of dozens of synthetic chemicals that are linked to asthma, skin irritation, nausea, mood changes, depression, lethargy, irritability and memory lapses.

These fragrances are found in most fragranced products.

Preservatives (parabens {methylparaben, ethyl paraben, butylparaben, propylparaben, etc.}, formaldehyde quaternium, methylisothiazolinone) – cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. Can be neurotoxic. Some, like parabens, are suspected hormone disrupters; they mimic the oestrogen hormone, and have been detected in breast cancer tissue, and in a 2004 UK study, they were found in 18 out of 20 breast tumours.

Preservatives are found in most, if not all (except natural products, of course!), cosmetics and toiletries.

Bacteriocides (triclosan, benzalkonium chloride, chlorohexidrine) – kill bacteria, but can also react with water to form chloroform gas. If inhaled in large quantities this can cause depression, liver problems and cancer. Can cause skin irritation.

Bacteriocides are found in anti-bacterial face wash, toothpaste and mouth wash.

Aluminium (aluminium chlorohydrate, aluminium zirconium) -is a neurotoxin linked to Alzheimer’s disease. May also contribute to heart and lung disease and fertility problems.

Aluminium is found in deodorants and make-up products.

Phthalates (dibutyl phthalate {DBP}, diethylhexyl phthalate {DEHP}) – these are hormone-disrupting plasticisers that ‘fix’ a product to the skin. Can cause damage to the liver, lungs and kidneys. May affect fertility and foetal development.

Phthalates are found in hairspray, nail varnish, and perfumed products.

What’s so good about natural skincare?

Well for a start, they don’t contain any of those nasties we’ve just looked at!

I have so many customers approach me, complaining of sensitive skin. When I ask about the products they use, they run off a list of products, all of which contain chemicals, detergents, and preservatives. And there’s the answer to the problem. The chemicals in the products they’re using are actually causing the sensitivity.

You may have noticed, when buying a moisturiser, or other product, that the ingredients list is so long, and full of unpronounceable names, and you know what? So many of these ingredients have nothing to do with your skin – they’re there to extend the life of the product, or to make it a pretty colour, or to make it smell nice – but these don’t benefit the skin in any way.

What’s more, even though some natural skincare products can be seen as expensive, they’re actually really good value for money; not only do you get a premium product, you also get a product that will go a long way. With mass-produced skincare, you have to slather on loads of lotion to get any moisturising effect, and many don’t penetrate deeper than the first layers of the skin, but because natural products only contain the ingredients that are needed to keep your skin healthy, and ingredients that will penetrate the skin to have an effect deep-down, a little really does go a long way.

And, of course, there are the all the wonderful skincare benefits of the individual ingredients. Different herbs, spices, oils, butters, and essential oils have different effects and are useful for different skin types and skin problems… But perhaps that’s a topic for another day.


The products we create at Freyaluna are all natural and lovingly handmade. They contain no harsh chemicals or preservatives, but are packed full of Mother Nature’s gorgeous-ness to help you achieve naturally beautiful, healthy skin. We produce our products in small batches, so that customers get them at their freshest and best. Yes, our products smell nice, and we often add essential oils which improve the smell further, but we do this with the essential oils’ skincare benefits in mind. We never add an ingredient if it’s not going to benefit your skin in some way.

Each product is designed and formulated to not only look, feel and smell good, but to do good to your skin as well. It is very important to me that each and every Freyaluna product has beneficial skincare properties! I’m pleased to say that the feedback we get from customers shows that Freyaluna products do live up to that fundamental requirement.


Sami Blackford is holistic skincare specialist helping women to achieve their best skin ever. Certified herbalist & aromatherapist. Creator of natural skincare line Freyaluna.

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