Dr. Trevor Cates, Guest
Thyroid Nation

The true science of natural beauty!

Let’s not keep this a secret anymore!

I’m tired of hearing, “natural skincare is okay but it doesn’t work.” I wouldn’t settle for “okay” and neither should you, so let’s dig into the true science of natural beauty.

I’ve always had finicky skin and react to synthetic ingredients, so natural skincare has been my only option. However, when I turned 40, I started noticing more fine lines and wrinkles and wondered if I was doing everything I could to keep my skin looking vibrant.

At the time, I was working as the spa doctor in a world-renown spa, so I asked estheticians about natural skincare products. They told me that natural skincare is “okay,” but doesn’t work. I wasn’t happy with this answer, at all, so I started digging into the research.

What I discovered, is that natural products can work, if they’re made correctly. We now have the science and technology to have not only clean, non-toxic ingredients, but also ones that are effective to help keep skin free of breakouts, inflammation and premature aging.

I found there are 3 key factors for the science of natural beauty:

  1. Free of toxins (EDCs)
  2. Contain key nutrients in their active, pure form
  3. pH balanced towards mild acidity

1. Free of toxins:

The European Union has banned over 1000 ingredients in personal care products while the FDA has banned only 11. While manufacturers and the FDA may claim these ingredients are safe in small amounts, I’m not convinced. Many popular skincare products contain known endocrine and hormone disrupting chemicals. (EDCs)

Fragrance, for example, contains a number of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). EDCs are a class of chemicals that, in studies, are associated with conditions such as thyroid problems, infertility, early puberty, obesity, diabetes, and certain types of cancer (such as prostate and breast).

We know our hormones change as we age and this contributes to accelerated fine lines and wrinkles in our 30’s, 40’s and beyond. So, why would we want to throw our hormones out of balance even further with exposure to EDCs?

One of the chemicals in fragrance that is of particular concern is diethyl phthalate (DEP). It is used to make smells last longer, but they’re a known EDCs. In a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), they found metabolites of diethyl phthalate and other phthalates in over 75% of the samples, showing widespread exposure and absorption of phthalates.

And, that’s just one ingredient. There are many others of concern such as formaldehyde-releasers, oxybenzone, DEA, and parabens. What you put on your body can penetrate your skin and end up in your blood stream, so it’s time to take a closer look at ingredient labels.

2. Contain key nutrients in their active, pure form

There is more research now on natural ingredients than ever before. We know that ingredients such as green tea extract, CoQ10, and vitamin C have great skin benefits.

Many skincare companies are now using some natural ingredients, but if you look closely at the label (if you can even find it!), you’ll probably find many other synthetic ingredients that are harmful to your body and endocrine system, in there. In the end, these are not truly natural, so in addition to these natural ingredients, you’re exposed to the same EDC toxins I mentioned earlier.

We now have the science and technology to have not only clean, non-toxic ingredients, but also ones that are effective to help keep skin free of breakouts, inflammation and premature aging Click To Tweet

In addition, it’s important to know where the raw materials come from and how much is actually in the product? Most skincare products contain such a small amount of the natural ingredients that they’re not actually going to be effective.

Manufacturers may use a very weak version of isolated nutrients. This will prevent the products from doing what research shows natural ingredients can do.

Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons we’re often hearing, “natural skincare products don’t work.”

We know that kale and other greens are good for our health (cooked and in small quantities if you suffer with hypothyroidism), but if we’re eating canned greens or only a pinch of greens each day, it’s not the same! Similarly, with skincare ingredients, if you’re not obtaining the right amounts and strengths of the potent natural actives, you’re missing out!

3. pH balanced towards mild acidity

Your skin’s exterior has a natural pH level of about 4 to 4.5, which helps your skin stay hydrated and healthy. When you use cleansers and other skincare products that have a higher pH (generally over 5.5), then it can dry out your skin and make it more prone to infections, outbreaks and premature aging. If a cleanser suds or foams, it is likely too alkaline, so check the label or ask the manufacturer.

Even water has a pH of 7 which is too alkaline for the skin.

Whenever water touches your skin, you want to rebalance the pH to a mildly acidic level using high quality natural beauty skincare.

Keeping your skin in its ideal pH zone by using mildly acidic skincare products helps protect your skin’s natural microbiome. The skin microbiome is the delicate balance of microorganisms that live on the skin. In fact, there are close to 1 trillion bacteria that reside on your epidermis. Sound scary? It shouldn’t because, when balanced, these microorganisms help protect your skin from inflammation, acne, and premature aging. So, I encourage you to check your skincare pH to ensure it’s below 5.5 so your skin microbiome can flourish and help you achieve clear, glowing skin at any age.

Not all natural skincare products are made this way, so it important to look closely and ask questions. I was determined to create skincare products that embrace all three of these, and that is what led me to start my own company and The Spa Dr. skincare line. When our skin is clear and glowing, confidence follows and that’s when the real natural beauty shines through.

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About the Author

trevorcatesDr. Trevor Cates was the first woman licensed as a naturopathic doctor in the state of California and was appointed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to California’s Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine Advisory Council and served on the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians’ board. After working in several world-renowned spas, Dr. Cates became known as “The Spa Dr.” She sees patients in her private practice in Park City, Utah with a focus on graceful aging and glowing skin. She is also host of THE SPA DR. Podcast and the online Glowing Skin Summit. She is author of the Glowing Skin From Within ebook (#1 Amazon bestseller) and is working on a full-length book. She believes the key to healthy skin is inner and outer nourishment. Dr. Cates’ new skin care system, The Spa Dr.’s Daily Essentials are formulated with all-natural ingredients proven by science to give you clear, glowing skin at any age.

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 Questions or anything to add about EDC’s and natural beauty? We’d love your thoughts in the comments section!