As the summer months wear on with hotter and hotter days, many people are reaching for simpler and lighter skin care products. There has also been a greater push in recent years towards natural, organic solutions and plant based alternatives to traditional products. Today, we’ll see if these approaches to skincare are backed by clinical trials.
Natural skincare accounted for over a quarter of the skincare industry’s multi-million dollar sales in recent years. With the demand so high and still rising, there’s a lot of confusion about what actually constitutes natural skincare and whether or not it’s any better for your skin.
What defines Natural skincare products?
For a product to be considered natural skincare, it is generally free of synthetic fragrances, dyes, parabens, sulfates and phthalates. These products can be harsh or irritating to the skin, and natural skincare opts out of them in favor of botanically derived ingredients. Dr. Gunt, the head of clinical and scientific affairs at popular natural skincare brand Burt’s Bees, also states that these products should be responsibly sourced from nature, meaning no animal testing and no petrochemical feedstocks (which are essentially byproducts of petroleum fraction used to produce chemicals or plastics.)
What is the evidence for Natural skincare?
The director of clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. Zeichner, advises that natural skincare can still have the benefits of antiaging and addressing common skin ailments without the irritation that often accompanies non-natural products with harsher chemicals.
In particular, experts recommend finding products containing well-researched natural ingredients such as aloe, honey, and rice extract. For example, aloe has been widely studied and is evidenced to have the ability to increase the amount of collagen in wounds, and even change the properties of the collagen present. These kind of well documented healing ingredients are where natural skincare benefits can be found.
Dr. Gunt also believes that the idea of “hero ingredients” are misleading, and that natural skin care is most effective when used as a combination of powerful, intentionally chosen ingredients that each serve a specific purpose. The expert consensus is that it’s best to look for a blend of natural, responsibly sourced ingredients to derive the maximum possible benefits from your skincare.
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In addition to keeping you up to date on all things clinical trials, we also act as a digital CRO with a specific focus on patient recruitment and retention. We believe that patient recruitment and study startup (especially study design and study material) are heavily intertwined. After all, study design can make or break clinical trials, and the patient-perspective should be considered when designing studies to ensure that patient targets are met not only on time, but also on budget.
For Citruslabs, patient recruitment starts with study design and ends with trial completion. We recruit patients through our network of health apps, which enables you to connect with thousands of patients in real time. The best part: these patients are already educated and prepared for the clinical trial process.