Are you looking for a men’s natural skin care brand? Good for you.

That must mean you want to

— use only the most natural possible ingredients with a history of proven effectiveness; and

— avoid any ingredients whose safety is questionable, or chemicals that could very well be bad for your skin, especially in the long run. Fair enough.

Here are some facts that should help.

When “natural” is anything but.

If the skin care brand has any of the following ingredients on the label, in any amount, ignore any claims about “all natural”.

— PEG, which is polyethylene glycol, extremely common emulsifier, though it is suspected of being carcinogenic.

— Triclosan, an anti-bacterial used in so many skin care products, it is suspected of contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

— BHT, which is butylated hydroxytoluene, made from coal tar or petroleum, used in most synthetic fragrances; sustained exposure has been linked to anemia, liver and kidney damage.

— And mineral oil, perhaps the most widely used of all. Also known as petrolatum, petroleum jelly, paraffin wax and liquid paraffin. Clogs pores, encourages acne, strips away natural skin oils and causes dryness and chapping.

There are plenty more, of course, too many to cover here. But those are among the most common.

Natural doesn’t mean no processing.

The reality is, it’s not possible for every skin care ingredient to be totally natural in the sense that they are not processed at all. For example, honey is a wonderful skin care ingredient, especially a type called Active Manuka Honey, but who would put the raw sticky stuff on as a skin care cream?

Pure, natural ingredients need to be processed with respect, using modern technology to enhance their effectiveness. And every one should be safe enough to eat — because some of that skin care cream is going to be absorbed into your skin, and eventually into your bloodstream.

Natural can mean “cutting edge,” too.

For example, a seaweed called wakame, used for hundreds of years in Japan as a healthful food, has a modern extract that allows your skin to boost hyaluronic acid, a critical part of healthy skin that’s usually lost gradually over time.

The extract called Phytessence Wakame works by blocking a damaging enzyme and allows your skin to build hyaluronic acid back up to levels it had when you were years younger.

A couple of all-natural ingredients specifically helpful in a men’s natural skin care brand, are witch hazel, the traditional anti-inflammatory, and D-Panthenol (or Vitamin B5), which helps to heal and rebuild damaged skin.

Kathryn Lane is a longtime health and nutrition researcher. The best skincare products she has found have never been the most expensive or the most heavily advertised. Her website names them: http://www.health-and-skin-site.com/