Natural skin care
Natural skin care is the care of the skin using naturally derived ingredients (such as herbs, roots, essential oils and flowers) combined with naturally occurring carrier agents, preservatives, surfactants, humectants and emulsifiers (everything from natural soap to oils to pure water). The classic definition of natural skin care is based on using botanically sourced ingredients currently existing in or formed by nature, without the use of synthetic chemicals, and manufactured in such a way to preserve the integrity of the ingredients.
As a result of this definition, many people who use natural skin care products, generally make their own products at home from naturally occurring ingredients. Many people use natural skin care recipes to make remedies to care for their skin at home. Many spas and skin care salons now focus on using more naturally derived skin care products.
Natural skin care has its roots in the 4th millennium BC in Egypt with natural skin care treatments for a variety of skin conditions. One such treatment consists of bullock's bile, whipped ostrich eggs, olive oil, dough and resin mixed with milk. In the modern age many people with unique skin types and needs (sensitive skin, dry skin, oily skin) have turned to natural skin care solutions.
Some examples of natural skin care ingredients include jojoba, safflower oil, rose hip seed oil, shea butter, beeswax, witch hazel, aloe vera, tea tree oil, and chamomile. Many of these natural ingredient combinations can be tailored specifically to the individual's skin type or skin condition.
There is, however, no actual definition of natural according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). All ingredients are chemicals by definition. "Derived" ingredients are unnatural both according to the original substance and the method of derivation.
The term natural has considerable market value in promoting skin care cosmetic products to consumers, but dermatologists say it has very little medical meaning and the FDA states the claim has no legal meaning. Despite pressure from advocacy groups such as The Environmental Working Group (EWG) the FDA has not defined what natural is or how to achieve it. Contrary to popular belief the FDA does not regulate the sale of skin care and cosmetic products before they are sold.
The FDA recommends understanding the ingredient label and says "There is no list of ingredients that can be guaranteed not to cause allergic reactions, so consumers who are prone to allergies should pay careful attention to what they use on their skin", further warning that "[t]here is no basis in fact or scientific legitimacy to the notion that products containing natural ingredients are good for the skin". Food preservatives are commonly used to preserve the safety and efficacy in these products.
Ayurvedic skin care
Ayurvedic skin care is derived from medicinal practices that began over 5,000 years ago in India. Ayurvedic medicine and healing practices are based on Indian philosophical, psychological, conventional, and medicinal understandings. Ayurvedic approach to skin care is holistic and considers the mind, body, and spirit together. Ayurvedas practices the belief that there are three basic principles or humors born out of five basic elements that exist in nature. These principles are known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These principles are believed to work together in harmony to make up the entire body.
Ayurvedic skin types
In Ayurvedic skin care there are seven different types of constitution that govern skin and hair types: Vata, Pitta, Kapha, Vata-Pitta, Vata-Kapha, Pitta-Kapha, or Vata-Pitta-Kapha. Most people fall into a combination of two of the three principles.
Ayurveda advises to modify one's diet, exercise, lifestyle and supplements according to one's constitution of these three humors. Most of the skin care products contain the following herbs—aloe vera, almond, avocado, carrot, castor, clay, cocoa, coconut oil, cornmeal, cucumber, cutch tree, emu oil, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, grape seed oil, ground almond and wallnut shell, horse chestnut, witch hazel and honey.
Egg oil skin care
Egg oil has many applications in skin care and can be used as an excipient/carrier in a variety of cosmetic preparations such as creams, ointments, sun-screen products or lotions where it acts as an emollient, moisturizer, anti-oxidant, penetration enhancer, occlusive skin conditioner and anti-bacterial agent.[not in citation given][medical citation needed] As an occlusive agent, it protects against dehydration without disturbing the pores and is easily incorporated in topical preparations since it forms stable oil in water emulsions.[medical citation needed]
Honey skin care
Honey's natural antioxidant and anti-microbial properties and ability to absorb and retain moisture have been recognised and used extensively in skin care treatments as they help to protect the skin from the damage of the sun's rays and rejuvenate depleted skin. Honey is also often used to treat acne, either dabbed directly on spots or as a face mask, and has been used successfully to treat diabetic foot ulcers.
Shea butter skin care
Jojoba skin care
Jojoba is used for skin care because it is a natural moisturizer for the skin.[medical citation needed] Jojoba is actually a liquid wax that becomes solid below room temperature, but is known as an oil.
Algae skin care
Polysaccharide derived from algae are natural moisturizers and can be used in cosmetics as humectants. Skin care treatments, for example Chlorella, uses such properties of algae to clean corneous cells, sebum, and remove pimples quickly.[dubious ][medical citation needed]
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Soap can be produced by mixing water and lye with olive oil castille soap and also coconut oil to produce a natural and mild soap. A shampoo can be produced by mixing water, with a mild surfactant such as decyl glucoside, a plant gum like xanthan gum as a thickener, salt, and emmolients such as coconut oil, vegetable glycerin, honey and essential oils. Natural surfactants include Quillaja saponaria, Acacia concinna or Sapindus. Many other herbs have conditioner effects on the hair such as nettles or amla. A body butter can be produced by mixing oils (such as a base of olive and coconut oils) with beeswax. A natural body lotion can be produced by mixing water and lecithin, cocoa or coconut butter, and dry oils such as grapeseed oil or thistle oil, beeswax, plant extracts such as witch hazel, calendula or aloe vera, hydrosols and essential oils. A natural toothpaste can be made by mixing baking soda, glycerin and water as a paste, with some antibacterial (e.g. sage) essential oils. The usage of natural preservatives in cosmetics is a controversial issue. Preservatives may include vitamin E (only protects oil shelf-life, not against bacteria or mold), rosemary oil, neem oil, tea tree oil, honey, propolis, salt, vinegar, lemon juice or green tea extracts, or eliminating the use of water.
- Halldor Thormar: Lipids and Essential Oils as Antimicrobial Agents
- H. Panda: Handbook On Ayurvedic Medicines With Formulae, Processes And Their Uses 
- S. Suresh Babu: Homemade Herbal Cosmetics
- Zhong Ying Zhou, Hui De Jin: Clinical manual of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture 
- "Honey". WebMD. Retrieved February 5, 2012.