Clean Chemistry: Understanding Synthetics in Your Skincare

Updated 06/17/19
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With each new day, there’s a new cleanse, detox, or reason to purge your medicine cabinets and start fresh. While cleaning up our act, we make sure to do so mindfully. That is, with an educated, open minded, understanding that synthetics are friends, not foes.

When it comes to skincare, the investments we make are based on the promised efficacy of the products we slather, dab, spritz, and bathe in. While the movement to go green with every single ingredient is a noble one, educating ourselves about ingredients is paramount to getting the most of these actives. Naturopathica is a line founded on harmonizing nature’s gifts with thoughtful research that proves some synthetics are not only completely safe but magnify the performance of naturals.

Suspended in clean, non-toxic and non-irritating bases, Naturopathica’s safe synthetics not only work with sustainability in mind (fewer plants are depleted in the process), but provide extraordinary, lasting results. Queue old friend Vitamin C.

While we typically think of this ingredient as natural, the Vitamin C15 Wrinkle Repair Serum and Vitamin C Revitalizing Lotion are crafted in a lab to be molecularly identical to what grows on trees, yet more potent, stable, and gentle. This means unlike many products, the ingredient is not rendered useless shortly after exposure to air, after the first use. Paired with ultra-hydrating penetration enhancer Oat Beta Glucan, you can be sure your efforts aren’t wasted.

Naturopathica Vitamin C15 Wrinkle Repair Serum $114
Naturopathica Vitamin C Revitalizing Lotion $58

We’re also now privy to the fact that Retinol is a derivative of Vitamin A, which, while a naturally occurring material, is subject to much alchemy. Many of us are sensitive to the harsh ingredient, making it less effective in beautifying us and instead causing irritation, and thus, ingredient shaming. Naturopathica breathes new life into this miracle synthetic with their Argan & Retinol Wrinkle Repair Night Cream via an encapsulated version, which is like a softer, time-release approach, with super hydrating and restorative argan stem cells.

Naturopathica Argan & Retinol Wrinkle Repair Night Cream $106

While peptides are naturally-occurring amino acids that work to rebuild elements we rely on for bounce and resilience, they don’t always stand up to the test of time, oxygen exposure, or do well combined with other ingredients. But Naturopathica’s clean peptide, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, is stable and free of harsh emulsifiers like the all-too-common Butylene Glycol. The Wrinkle Repair Collection from Naturopathica, including their Argan & Peptide Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream, is backed by amazing clinicals and are truly spokes products for showcasing the difference in clean synthetics vs. ones that can cause irritation or accumulate in our body as toxins over time.

Naturopathica Argan & Peptide Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream $86

After hydrating and rebuilding comes protection, and Naturopathica's Daily UV Defense Cream SPF 50 has you covered– literally. Sunscreen can be tricky to decipher. Naturopathica leans on the mineral, physical barrier Zinc Oxide– uncoated, pharmaceutical grade– which provides the most stable defense against sun damage. It’s also reef-friendly for all of your travels.

Naturopathica Daily UV Defense Cream SPF 50 $58

Your skin takes the most obvious brunt of all the substances we are subject to daily, so being hyper-aware of the ingredients in the products you apply directly to it is just as important as checking nutrition facts at the grocery store. While we take that responsibility seriously, it’s important to educate ourselves on these safe synthetics to get the most out of our skincare.

To learn more about Naturopathica’s common sense clean approach to skin health, visit