Why the Skin Care Industry Is Shifting to Natural, Hemp Extract Beauty Products
If we want to be healthy, what’s the most common advice that we receive? Eat well, exercise, and stay hydrated. While this is good guidance, there’s one thing that’s missing from this recommendation. What we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in our bodies. Hence, why brands are starting to create natural, hemp extract beauty products.
5 Ingredients that Harm Our Skin
Think about the several beauty items that we use on a daily basis: serums, creams, lotions, body wash, exfoliators, face wash, makeup, and sunscreen. The list can go on and on because we like to take care of our skin. We enjoy using different beauty products.
But one pitfall is ruining our skincare routine: harmful chemicals. Most of today’s products include ingredients that can either help or hurt our health! And sadly, many mainstream beauty products use a few common ingredients that are quite detrimental to our skin and overall well-being. Some of the common culprits include:
1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
SLS is found in shampoo, foundation, face wash, and more. It can contribute to skin irritation, canker sores, and cystic acne around the mouth and chin.
2. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
BHA is commonly found in exfoliants and perfume. It can cause skin depigmentation, and in animal studies, BHA was shown to cause liver damage and certain stomach cancers.
3. Triclosan and triclocarban
These two ingredients are found in toothpaste, antibacterial soaps, and deodorant. In the 1990s, antibacterial products were very popular, making triclosan widely used. However, the FDA stated that there is no health benefit to using products containing triclosan. In fact, triclosan and triclocarban are endocrine-disrupting chemicals that cause bacterial resistance, increased allergies, and more.
4. Aminophenol, Diaminobenzene, Phenylenediamine (Coal Tar)
Coal tar is found in shampoo and hair dye, and it’s a known human carcinogen according to the National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. In the US, the FDA allows coal tar in shampoos designed to combat dandruff and psoriasis. However, the long-term, beneficial effects of these products have not been established.
Parabens are ubiquitous in many beauty products, including makeup, lotions, spray tans, and shampoo. Many studies have linked parabens (which are xenoestrogens, meaning that they mimic estrogen in the body) to breast and skin cancer, as well as decreased sperm count. Parabens are also endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
It can be daunting to take a look at today’s beauty products and see one or more of these chemicals listed in the ingredients. But many consumers have started voicing concerns about these harmful chemicals. Some people are even suing mainstream brands for the side-effects!
Juries have awarded millions and millions of dollars to consumers who claimed that Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder caused their ovarian cancer. Additionally, a haircare company called Wen settled a multi-million dollar case because a product allegedly caused their customers’ hair to fall out.
With these negative examples, it should come as no surprise that the skincare industry wants to move towards natural, hemp extract beauty products. But with the influx of hemp-infused beauty items, it’s not easy to weed out clever marketing tactics to find the ideal product. Despite the beauty industry’s progress, we still have to distinguish between high-quality and low-quality items.
What to Look Out for in Natural Beauty Products
Don’t be fooled by marketing. Don’t pick a product just because it has the word “natural” on it or claims to include hemp extract. We must do our due diligence to choose the most beneficial products for our skin. If we want to find organic, natural hemp extract beauty items, there are a few things we all should consider:
It’s important to be aware of the bacterial load in any natural product. Water, for example, is a major ingredient in many beauty items. However, it’s important to remember that water grows bacteria. If companies don’t use a special kind of water in their products, then our skin will not react well to certain items. Most established brands likely know this. But if a company is not adept at producing cosmetics, we must research the type of water that the brand uses (as well as the cleanliness of their machines).
2. Antimicrobial agents
Finding antimicrobial agents is a difficult task for companies producing natural, hemp extract beauty products. Usually, a company has to source multiple antibacterial agents, and a majority of brands will choose vitamin E because it’s a natural preservative. However, vitamin E is an antioxidant. It helps with oxidation, but it does not stop bacteria and mold growth. So, we have to make sure we look for a company that uses antimicrobial agents that actually prevent the growth of harmful organisms.
3. pH levels
All beauty products should have a pH level between 5 and 5.5 — this range is optimal for our skin. If the pH level goes above or below the ideal range, it can harm and damage our skin.
Researching a product (or multiple products) before finding one that’s right for our skin might seem like a waste of time. After all, being a responsible consumer is time-consuming, and time is not a luxury many of us have. However, the case studies below should prove that the extra 10 minutes spent looking up a natural, hemp extract beauty product has its benefits.
What Are the Benefits of Natural Beauty Remedies?
Hemp extract is taking the health and beauty world by storm. Some of us are understandably skeptical. But the studies below show that natural, hemp extract beauty products can potentially have a place in the skincare world.
1. Hemp extract upregulates melanogenesis
A recent study looked at whether hemp extract is effective at upregulating melanogenesis. Melanogenesis helps protect our skin from external stress (e.g., ultraviolet radiation and oxidative stress). By increasing melanin content, as well as increasing certain proteins, researchers found that hemp extract could potentially provide effective protection against external stressors.
2. Hemp extract can mitigate psoriasis
One study examined the efficacy of hemp extract as a potential treatment for psoriasis because it is known to be anti-inflammatory. Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition caused partly by epidermal keratinocyte hyperproliferation. However, researchers found that hemp extract can inhibit keratinocyte proliferation, making it a possible solution for psoriasis. Similarly, another study also concluded that because hemp extract could control keratins K6 and K16, it could also mitigate psoriasis and aid in healing wounds.
3 Hemp extract can act as an anti-inflammatory agent
Acne is a pain. Many of us think that once our teen years are over, we can say goodbye to spotty skin forever. But, unfortunately, this is not the case for all of us. Acne can still pop up during adulthood and disrupt our quality of life. However, a study showed that hemp extract is useful in mitigating acne because it acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and reduces the amount of sebum produced by the skin.
4. Hemp extract can decrease the effects of chronic pruritus
Chronic itchy skin (pruritus) is often resistant to therapy, but researchers wanted to see if hemp extract could help. After observing 22 patients with itchy skin, scientists noticed an 86.4% reduction in itch after participants applied a cream with hemp extract.
Natural, hemp derived beauty products are likely here to stay. But it’s important to remember that we all have different skin types. Each of us should research and spot-test a new product to make sure it is safe for our skin. Whether it’s a natural hemp extract beauty product or not, it never hurts to do our due diligence.