Natural vs Synthetic Skincare
Is it a battle of the fittest or should we view it more as a comradery, the best of both worlds?
Natural vs synthetic ingredients
Generally, natural ingredients are ingredients that are made or extracted from plants, animals or minerals whereas synthetic ingredients refer to ingredients that are synthetically made in a laboratory. Let’s take vitamin C as an example. It’s a potent antioxidant, aids in collagen synthesis and acts as a skin brightener. If you’re looking for natural ingredients with vitamins C, that would include ingredients like Kakadu plum and finger lime whereas synthetic sources of vitamin C include ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate and sodium ascorbyl phosphate.
Which is better?
It really depends and comes down to the individual ingredient you’re looking at. Let’s dive deeper into a couple of examples of natural and synthetic forms of common ingredients used in our skincare product.
Hyaluronic acid vs Snow Mushroom
If you’re looking for a intensely hydrating ingredient, you’ve probably heard of hyaluronic acid. It’s a synthetic hydrating ingredient that is able to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. Snow mushroom (AKA Tremella Fuciformis, silver ear mushroom, white jelly mushroom) is deemed to be the natural alternative of hyaluronic acid. It’s deeply hydrating, helps with collagen production and is able to hold 500 times its weight in water. It’s considered to rival hyaluronic acid as its particle size is smaller than that of hyaluronic acid hence, it can penetrate the skin more easily and deliver more moisture to the skin.
Fragrance vs Essential Oil
Fragrance oils are lab made (synthetic) scents typically to mimic a natural occurring scent whereas natural fragrance such as essential oils are naturally occurring compounds that are extracted from plants. Fragrances are generally used to mask the unpleasant scents of raw materials used to create your skincare or cosmetic product. It provides a more pleasant experience when it comes to your self-care routine but is there more to that? Are natural essential oils any better than synthetic fragrance? Studies have demonstrated therapeutic benefits of using essential oils. They can affect your mood, emotions, stress level, sleep and even your concentration and focus. Certain essential oils such as bergamot and mandarin have even been shown to possess beneficial antibacterial properties that can aid with wound healing, which cannot be found in synthetic fragrance.
Retinol (Vitamin A) vs Bakuchiol
Retinol, or you may also know it as vitamin A, has become a cult favourite and for a good reason. It reduces the signs of ageing, helps with sun damage and hyperpigmentation, and it’s also perfect for acne prone skin. Bakuchiol is extracted from a plant called Psoralea corylifolia and is coined as a natural alternative to retinol. Although the overall topical effects of bakuchiol are similar to retinol, in terms of acting as an anti-ageing ingredient, studies validating the efficacy of bakuchiol isn’t as robust. However, if you find retinol a little too irritating on the skin, bakuchiol could be your holy grail when it comes to targeting fine lines, wrinkles and smoothing uneven skin texture.
We believe in the best of both worlds and every ingredient is unique in its own way. It also comes down to how the ingredient has been extracted or made, how it’s been formulated, what you’re looking for, your preference and budget.