Perhaps there is nothing more representative of our time than the natural beauty myths parading around as truths on the world wide web.
The Internet displays both a wealth of information, as well as a collective pool of mass ignorance. In other words, one can’t believe everything one reads, especially if there is no scientific evidence to back up a claim.
In the natural beauty world however, millions of DIY beauty hacks and natural beauty trends have been circulating the internet. Many of them are not based off facts or the science behind the facts have been poorly misinterpreted.
7 Natural Beauty Myths to Ignore
Natural beauty myths aren’t just silly – if you try something out without the full picture, it can be harmful to both your health and your appearance.
So without further ago, here are 7 commonly adopted natural beauty trends and why they’re just not true.
If It’s Natural, It Must Be Safe
This has got to be the greatest myth in the natural beauty world of all time.
With the research in the last few decades into synthetic additives, preservatives, emulsifiers, plastic compounds and all other cosmetic “evils,” natural enthusiasts largely slam down on them and wildly promote natural ingredients for skin care.
While organic ingredients are certainly on average less harmful for your skin, generalizing should be avoided. As with most things, using natural ingredients in the wrong proportions can be damaging.
A good example of this is essential oils – in small quantities, many of them will help promote beauty, reduce acne and keep your skin feeling smooth. On the other hand, in large quantities, many essential oils will profusely burn your skin, such as oregano oil.
Beyond this, many of the antioxidants in these oils will not be able to penetrate deep enough into your skin to make a difference.
Taking natural supplements or trying out internal natural beauty treatments should still be researched with care, as should pharmaceuticals. Being natural does not mean there are never contraindications or side effects.
Whether it’s synthetic or natural, one still needs to know what one is dealing with before one can assess if it works or not.
Drinking Collagen Promotes Youthful Skin
Drinking collagen or taking it internally in any form does not promote youthful skin. This myth has been perpetuating for so long because collagen is one of the skins basic building blocks.
The problem is that when we take internal collagen supplements or powders, our digestive system absorbs the collagen, breaking it down into other components that the body uses elsewhere. Eating a collagen supplement is possibly as effective as eating a steak, which doesn’t really do much for skin.
Don’t get me wrong! There is a grain of truth to this information and it’s possible that the science about collagen has been merely misinterpreted.
Collagen does have a very important function in maintaining skin elasticity, repairing damaged skin and to prevent aging. The trick is to ingest foods or supplements which promote collagen formation inside the body. This ensures that collagen is made at the sites of the skin where it is needed.
The below foods are full of antioxidant compounds that promote the collagen rebuilding and regeneration:
- Carrots, sweet potatoes and all Vitamin A rich foods restore and regenerate damaged collagen in the body.
- Red vegetables, such as beetroots, peppers and tomatoes, all contain lycopene, which increases collagen levels.
- Dark red berries like cranberries, blueberries, raspberries and mulberries all boost collagen, while protecting existing collagen from free radical damage.
- White tea inhibits enzymes which would otherwise destroy collagen
- Vitamin C rich foods like citrus fruits convert proline and lysine into collagen. If you’re going to drink collagen or eat collagen-rich foods like steak, loading up on vitamin C would maximize it’s effect as drinking collagen often converts into proline in the liver.
- Garlic helps to rebuild collagen by providing sulphur, lipoic acid and taurine, all of which help to regenerate damaged collagen as well as rebuild it.
- Oysters are high in zinc, another essential component to collagen production.
- Avocados also trigger the production of collagen in the body.
Being Vegan Equals Automatic Weight Loss
As with any natural food trend or health diet, one can abide by the rules and still go wrong. Being vegan does not mean you will automatically assume a model’s physique – nor does it equate supreme health for that matter.
This is because you can be a vegan and still indulge in a highly refined diet. Many highly processed foods, such as fruit stored in sugar syrup or commercial salad dressings, are strictly vegan but highly unhealthy for you.
Refined cane sugar will contribute to diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, systemic inflammation, bacterial growth and more. All of this can lead to severe obesity, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome and many more things which would compromise beauty.
Then of course, a vegan who eats plant-based foods that have synthetic additives, colorants, flavorants, etc., are also well on their way to becoming fat.
Studies show that compounds such as Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) which are used to flavor food actually cause obesity. In labs, they use MSG to craft obese mice so that they can run tests to further research into the field of obesity.
Eating polyunsaturated fatty acids found in all-natural vegan sunflower and canola oils will also increase metabolic problems, inflammation and contribute to obesity and heart disease.
Finally, one of the vegan’s prime protein resources are beans. However, eating too many beans can lead to a lot of belly bloat, which does not essentially outline the spitting image of beauty.
To lose weight, you need to eat a clean diet, which does not necessarily mean a vegan one.
Coconut Oil Is Great For Skin Care
Coconut oil has been revered over and over again for having over 100 uses, including skin care.
These attributes are ascertained to the many nutrients found in coconut oil, but the truth is that these nutrients don’t get absorbed as well into your skin. If it does not penetrate deep enough, the skin is largely unable to make use of the nutrients. This means for results, the coconut oil needs to be mixed with a carrier oil like olive oil.
Aside from this, coconut oil is comodogenic, meaning that it will block your pores. There are three main causes of acne and blocked, oily pores is one of them. Coconut oil creates acne in skin which is already overly oily.
There is still a grain of truth in coconut oil being healthy for the skin however. In those who have acne due to infections, coconut oil can in fact clear the acne. Be warned that without exfoliating while using coconut oil, extra acne is always a possibility due to it’s relatively high comodogenicity.
Coconut oil is also still a highly effective moisturizer, helping to prevent your skin from losing moisture.
Baking Soda Exfoliants are Amazing
This one is important because it’s a natural beauty myth that’s been so widespread and can actually be harmful. There are blogs galore touting baking soda as a safe, natural exfoliant. This is simply not the case.
Baking soda is a natural compound found throughout all living things in microscopic quantities. When extracted from soda ash for industrial purposes, it becomes very coarse. The thickness of the particles are quite abrasive for the skin.
In addition to this, baking soda is far too alkaline for the skin with a pH of ±8.3. The skin’s natural pH rests at around 5.5, meaning that baking soda is likely to cause skin irritation as well as dryness, inflammation, acne, redness, burning or a dull complexion.
In other words, this level of alkalinity destroys the skins acid mantle, which is it’s protective barrier against infections. Without this barrier, the skin also cannot retain sufficient moisture to function optimally.
Using baking soda as an exfoliator once or twice may be okay, but it’s far from a godsend. And using it long-term as a “budget exfoliator” can wreck your skin by causing damage to the acid mantle barrier.
Exfoliating With Sugar Is Good For Skin
Another all-natural exfoliant that gets praised in a bunch of blogs is good old table sugar. And like baking soda, it’s also not wise to exfoliate with sugar although for different reasons.
Unlike baking soda, sugar crystals are pretty large in size. And this stuff is hard – with sharp edges that can scrape and cut delicate skin.
On top of this, sugar itself in syrup forms is usually quite acidic, which would disturb the acid mantle barrier once it starts dissolving into your skin a little bit.
Sugar is also the number food of organisms that like to inhabit the skin, so using an abrasive sugar exfoliant is more likely to cause a breakout.
Many individuals are also catching onto the fact that sugar creates systemic inflammation. The inflammatory compounds that are released internally will break down collagen and elastin (via glycation), both of which are necessary for healthy, youthful skin.
There is insufficient evidence about the effects of rubbing sugar onto the skin in terms of breaking down collagen, however, it is likely to cause inflammation and acne.
Topical Antioxidants Prevent Wrinkles
Just because your cream is loaded with antioxidants does not mean it will do any good for your skin.
That sentence just undermined many natural beauty recommendations around the web, promoting more organic cosmetics and products. I’m not opposed to natural cosmetics, but one ought to know that many antioxidants do not penetrate the skin at all without an oil carrier.
Studies have revealed that many essential oils and other natural extracts need a carrier oil for both preservation and to penetrate the epidermis of the skin. If they do not come bundled in some kind of acceptable oil delivery system, they will not do much or they may even harm your skin.
Some essential extracts begin to oxidize when exposed to sunlight or air, which releases free radicals. Keeping these ingredients securely inside a carrier oil also prevents the problem of using organic carcinogenic cosmetics.
Antioxidants, when delivered to the appropriate places of your skin, are indeed wonderful. They help to protect the skin from infections, aging, wrinkles, damage, breakouts and more.
Carrier oils that are non-comedogenic and that will allow for deep penetration into the skin are generally loaded with Vitamin E, one of the primary ingredients for healthy skincare that really works!
Examples of carrier oils include:
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Olive Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Evening Primrose Oil
- Argan Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Rosehip Seed Oil
There you have it! 7 of the biggest natural beauty myths officially busted.
Last modified: December 8, 2021