A: “When you apply a large dose of chemicals to your skin, you deprive the organ of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy,” says Caleb Backe of Maple Holistics. “You also actively contribute to the detrimental effects of aging and environmental damage.”

He further explains that “chemicals tend to strip away our protective natural oils on the surface of the skin and have a wide range of other, often-unforeseen consequences, such as negative effects on our hormonal balance and our skin-cells’ regenerative properties.”

Dr. Ben Johnson, founder of holistic beauty brand Osmosis Skincare, points out that these compounds don’t occur only in skin care products. “Avoid sodium benzoate, found in most sodas,” he cautions. “It is one of the known DNA toxins that for some reason is way too common in our foods and skin care. Antibiotics have been shown to result in DNA damage, so eating organic will also help.”

Instead of employing long-term chemical applications, Backe says to use natural products, such as essential oils; unrefined botanical extracts; and pure, vitamin-enriched creams. These “not only help to slow the effects of aging,” he explains, “but can also strengthen your skin’s regenerative properties and encourage healthy skin-cell regeneration.”