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Is natural skin care always best? The skin expert explains
Natural skin care has become a popular topic of conversation and a trend that has grown stronger over the years. But what does the term "natural skin care" really mean, and what effect does it have on our skin? Dr. Johanna Gillbro, researcher and founder of Skinome, highlights the importance of understanding our skin's unique composition when choosing skin care products.

"I don't know how many times I've been asked if a certain cream is natural or not," begins Johanna and continues "What we often associate with natural today is what is obtained in a finished form from nature, such as natural oils or butter from sunflowers or coconuts. But are these ingredients really 'natural' for our skin?"

The skin speaks its own language

A common misconception in the beauty industry is that if an ingredient is natural, i.e. taken from nature, it is by definition good for the skin. On the contrary, the ingredients extracted from nature are not always gentle and beneficial for our skin. Botanical extracts can many times contain over 1,000 different molecules and with a lack of knowledge about the content it can lead to skin reactions. A number of plants can also lead to more serious skin reactions, including bear's turnip, giant turnip and plant sap from parsnip. Nature's ingredients are simply not always as gentle as you might think.

The skin's defense consists of various immune cells that sit superficially in the skin. These react with inflammatory processes if they come into contact with molecules that do not belong there and have an allergenic potential. Perfume substances of natural origin are often connected with skin reactions, e.g. Cinnamal, Cinnamyl alcohol, Coumarin, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Limonene and Linalool. Even preservatives allowed in natural and eco-certified skin care are associated with irritation, e.g. potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate or benzyl alcohol.

Skinome's skin expert Dr. Johanna Gillbro believes that "The most natural thing is to use the fats that are already in the skin and that the skin is used to. The skin does not produce sunflower oil, olive oil or shea butter, but instead substances such as squalene, ceramides, cholesterol, triglycerides and many different fatty acids." This unique composition of substances in the skin, skin care manufacturers have tried to imitate, both by using natural oils with interesting lipid compositions and by isolating individual substances from these oils for use in various formulations.

Natural ingredients: Not always synonymous with health

It's common to confuse the term "natural" with something being healthy, but it's important to understand that not everything natural is good for us. Although cannabis, tobacco and alcohol originate in nature, as we know, they are not necessarily healthy or safe to consume. In the world of skin care, we need to understand this, as a love for natural products does not always result in positive effects on the skin.

Biotechnology creates cleaner ingredients

In today's progressive and scientific landscape, we have the ability to step beyond traditional methods and utilize the power and precision that biotechnology offers. One of many examples of this is the extraction of squalane, a vital oil for skin care.

Squalane is one of the skin's naturally occurring lipids known for its softening and moisturizing properties. Historically, squalane was often extracted from shark liver, but thanks to environmental and ethical considerations, new extraction methods have been found, such as extracting it from olive oil. However, these methods can lead to contamination with other oil residues, which reduces the purity and effectiveness of the product.

By using a biotechnological fermentation process, we at Skinome can ensure that our squalane is not only ethically produced, but also of superior pure quality. The process involves the use of microorganisms and natural raw sugar under controlled laboratory conditions, where we can create a precise, pure and high-quality squalane. This enables us to produce an ingredient that is superiorly pure, and that fully mimics the skin's natural squalane.

Mimic the skin's own substances: The key to effective skin care

Since the beginning, we have focused on creating skin care products that speak the skin's own language. Instead of leaning solely on market trends for natural skin care, we have delved deep into the research behind the skin's own biology and ability to take care of itself. By understanding and respecting the skin's own processes and the substances it naturally produces, we can create products that truly complement and support its natural ability to care and repair.

The skin is simply better off with substances that it is used to. By utilizing the skin's own, built-in "recipes", we create products that actively support the skin's own ability to protect, repair, and renew itself.