Natural Skin Care – is it better for you?


Customers are demanding safer products and all of us in the skin care industry support this. Yet, many companies would have us believe that only natural and/or organic ingredients are better and safer for the skin. The truth, however, is when it comes to personal care products, “pure,” “natural” or “organic” have no legal meaning. And although many natural skin care products or organic ingredients are purported to be better or safer, they may actually be bad for skin!

The marketing machine is a big one and whether cosmetics companies are intentionally misleading customers or whether they really believe some of the things they say, is hard to know. Many companies sell products with ingredients that aren’t really natural or contain natural ingredients that are a problem for skin. By the same token, there are good synthetic ingredients that aren’t a problem for skin and some that are. It’s important to look beyond the marketing claims.

Natural skin care products, often made with plant derived ingredients, aren’t bad for skin. In fact, they can offer many benefits. When they are incorporated into treatments such as facial oils, moisturizers and cleansers, they can be very effective. In more targeted treatments, however, synthetics often have the upper hand. And that is because your skin is able to more easily utilize a chemical in its active state (retinaldehyde, niacinamide, l-ascorbic acid) than it is of breaking down a whole plant extract into its individual components.

At Apothekari, we formulate with a range of both synthetic and natural ingredients to deliver the best possible outcomes for your skin. Although sometimes it is, here are 5 reasons why a natural product may not always be your best choice:

  1. ‘Organic’ ingredients or natural skin care products don’t necessarily possess greater inherent safety than another chemically identical version of the same ingredient. In addition to purity concerns, natural extracts are less regulated than synthetic ingredients. The FDA regulates the concentration of synthetic ingredients in skin care products to minimize the potential for irritation, inflammation, and allergic reactions. Natural extracts, however, are generally permitted in concentrations up to whatever the manufacturer feels comfortable with.
  2. ‘Natural’ skin care products may be harder to preserve against contamination and mold than synthetic versions.
  3. Organic seals of approval on cosmetics should NOT be taken as proof of health benefits or efficacy. Even the USDA Organic seal is a marketing program, not a safety program. (Case in point, a chocolate cake made with organic ingredients is still not the best nutritional choice for anyone).
  4. Many natural and organic ingredients (and synthetics aren’t exempt from this either) can be harsh, abrasive and potentially sensitizing. Essential oils are one example. Sure, they smell great but they can be highly problematic when applied to the face.
  5. Whole plant extracts are not always better than concentrated ingredients. When you apply a whole plant extract, you rely on your body and your skin to break it down to its active components. This is dependent on the health of your skin, your genetic make-up, etc. When you apply chemical ingredients – retinol, niacinamide, vitamin c – to skin, they are readily available in their active state. Just as important, is that chemical ingredients are often supported by numerous, well-controlled studies to demonstrate their efficacy. This is not always the case for natural, whole plant extracts.

I’m not ‘natural’ skin care bashing here, but trying to set the record straight. Natural ingredients aren’t necessarily safer or better than synthetic ones. And synthetic ones aren’t necessarily bad. The truth is that there are both natural and synthetic ingredients that are safe and effective for skin and you shouldn’t be misled to believe that this isn’t the case.

At Apothekari, we rely on science to formulate our products with a combination of purified synthetics — retinoids, vitamins C and E, niacinamide, alpha hydroxy acids — as well as botanicals such as aloe juice, powdered bamboo, shea butter and plant extracts (horse chestnut bark, olive leaf, willow herb flower). Our goal is to create products that are safe and effective. And that’s one thing we won’t compromise on!

★ Reviews

Let customers speak for us

49 reviews
Daily Infusion Moisturizer
Lisa Rodger (Vancouver, CA)

Love this moisturizer. So soft and dewy.

Love, love, love!

I've only been using this serum for a couple of weeks and the difference in my skin is already noticeable. I have very sensitive skin and didn't have any irritation. I was able to use it daily from day 1. Love this product! It's going to be a staple in my arsenal from now on.

Works good but..

I have been using this deodorant for a couple weeks now and it works very well to keep door at bay. However it dries sticky and when I sweat it gets even more sticky. I will keep using fur a while to see if I can get past the sticky feeling, but not sure if I can. It’s too bad because it really does work.

Dear Sandy,

Thank you for your review. We're so pleased to hear that our deodorant is working very well for you! We're always happy to receive feedback from our customers as we try to improve our products. We will take your comment into consideration to improve the formulation. Thank you!

Customer Service

Good customer service

Updated Review: Customer service reached out to me promptly and provided me with a refund. I was satisfied with customer service. Wish this product worked for me because prior to the rash it was great.

This worked for a few weeks and I started getting a painful red rash under my arms. I was about to purchase a set of 4 and I’m glad that I didn’t. I reached out to the company to inquire about what could have caused this as they claim to have products that don’t cause rashes. Of course no one ever replied. Will not purchase again

Dear Tara,

Thank you for your review. We're sorry to hear that you experienced a reaction to our deodorant. It's formulated to be irritation free (pH friendly ingredients and without baking soda). Very occasionally you may experience discomfort or tingling, especially after shaving or if you have sensitive skin.
We've checked our records and are unable to locate an email or call from you regarding this issue. We've tried reaching out via email but haven't heard back. We stand by all our products and offer a full money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied. Please get in touch with us and we will be happy to help resolve this issue.

Customer Service

Neroli Rose Natural Deodorant Roll-On
Jennifer C. (Princeton, US)
It works!

Happy to finally found a natural deodorant that actually works- worth every penny. Excited to try more scents, especially the lavender when it is back in stock.

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