The Essential Guide to Natural SkinCare

The concept of natural, organic skincare has been gaining popularity over the years. As more and more consumers demand pure ingredients, they are seeking out products that don't contain dangerous chemicals or synthetic preservatives.

Natural skincare uses naturally derived ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, botanicals, essential oils, and extracts. These ingredients are used to make skincare products because they offer a number of benefits including anti-aging, moisturising, soothing, healing, and protecting properties. They are also less likely to cause irritation or allergic reactions.

From face masks to cleansers and body butters, we can see a wide variety of natural products in stores. Many of them claim to provide the same benefits as their conventional counterparts, but without the harmful side effects. But do they? Let's find out!


What does "natural" skincare mean?

Natural skincare means skincare that contains a high level of natural ingredients. Natural ingredients are plant based or minerals that come straight from nature. Examples of these are fantastic ingredients such as Eucalyptus, Almond Oil, Jojoba, Lavender, Sea Buckthorn and Cannabidiol. Water is natural too but most skincare products contain water.

What about "organic" skincare?

Organic skincare must contain all natural ingredients but for an ingredient to be counted as organic, it must be grown without any additives such as pesticides. Organic skincare has to have 95% natural ingredients and at least 10% of the ingredients must be organic. There are various certs for organic certification and ECOCERT is one of the biggest certificates but there are many. 

What are "synthetic" ingredients?

Any ingredients that do not come from nature are called synthetic ingredients. These are ingredients that are produced in a laboratory. Nature-identical ingredients are copies of their natural counterpart, but are created synthetically in the lab.

Synthetic substances are not always bad and sometimes have their uses especially when combined with mostly other natural ingredients.

On the whole, it's usually better to have active ingredients from nature on your skin.


Why are claims about skincare ingredients so complicated?

There’s no regulatory definition of ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ products or the terms 'clean' or 'green' in skincare. Companies can claim to be natural, without necessarily using a large amount of natural ingredients.

This makes it very difficult for the general public to decipher which products are actually good and it makes it too easy for companies to make vague embellished claims about their products. Ingredient labels can also be difficult to read as there are many names for different ingredients and the synthetic ingredient name.

To really complicate matters, natural doesn’t always mean safe - there are many natural ingredients that can be skin irritants. And synthetic ingredients are sometimes necessary to make sure that the natural ingredients get to where they need to be to do their work.

Taken in total, it is obviously much better for your skin to use natural skincare products and ingredients so a level of discretion and integrity is needed by skincare companies.

This is where awards come in - you've very likely seen many versions of skincare awards and these are independently judged to help consumers decipher what products are "Free From" bad or harsh ingredients and which skincare products are the best at what they do.

What ingredients should we avoid in skincare?

Natural skincare should not only have the beautiful natural ingredients we all love - it should also not have toxic chemicals or ingredients that could cause bad skin issues. The worst offenders are:

  • Parabens - commonly found in make-up product, moisturising lotions, shampoos, etc. Can affect the endocrine system (sterility in men and hormonal imbalances in women and teens). Also associated with cancer
  • DEA, MEA, TEA - commonly founds in creams, foams, moisturisers, shampoos, sunscreens, soaps and cleaning products
  • Formaldehyde - Can cause rash, joint pain, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pain, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness or insomnia
  • Chemicals - Mostly found in sunscreen products. May cause inflammation, skin problems, cancer, allergies, photogenotoxic (DNA) effects and/or eczema
  • Synthetic fragrances - Commonly in perfumes but sometimes also in products listed as 'fragrance free'. Side effects can include allergies, asthma, cancer, neurotoxic
  • Petroleum - Not water soluble and so forms a barrier over your skin which traps toxins, dirt and other contaminants under the barrier while keeping moisture out

The importance of a balanced natural skincare routine

Good natural skincare is a great way to give your skin a break from harmful chemical compounds. In addition to being effective at reducing acne, eczema, and dryness, it can also promote clear pores.

The benefits of using natural creams and oils instead of commercial ones include no harsh chemicals, less irritation, and better absorption.

Great natural ingredients include things such as aloe vera gel, coconut oil, avocado oil, shea butter, CBD, chamomile, and lavender essential oils. There are hundreds of other options, too.

Natural skincare products are great if your skin needs some extra love and care. You want products that are gentle and non-irritating.

But what exactly does that mean? What ingredients are best for natural ingredient skin care? And how do I know which one works best for my skin type? Let’s take a look at some of the best ingredients.

What are some of the best natural ingredients?

There are a great many natural individual ingredients that can be beneficial to your skin. The ingredients that are best will differ depending on what skincare or cosmetic product you are using. Here is a non exhaustive list of five interesting ones:

  • Argan oil - The argan tree grows naturally in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya. Its fruit are used for food, medicine and cosmetics. In Morocco alone there are over 3 million trees. In the north of Africa, where it grows wild, the argan tree produces small fruits that grow inside a hard shell. This must be cracked open manually. After being harvested, the kernels are roasted and ground into a paste. Then, the paste is pressed to extract the precious liquid. This process takes several days and requires great skill. The resulting product is very expensive. Today, the price of argan oil is around US$500 per litre.
  • Hemp Seed Oil - The hemp plant contains high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins A, D, E and K, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, amino acids including lysine, tryptophan, threonine, methionine and cystine, and essential fatty acids like linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid and gamma-linolenic acid. These nutrients are essential for maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. Cold pressed hemp seed oil is one of the most effective natural remedies for dry skin. This oil is rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which are essential for healthy skin. Omega 6 helps to repair damaged cells while omega 3 nourishes the skin from the inside out. Hemp seed oil is suitable for use in every stage of life including pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Almond oil is simply amazing for skin care. It makes your skin feel soft and smooth. It's good for oily and combination skin types too. Almond oil helps keep you skin smooth and soft. It contains vitamin E, which works wonders for damaged skin, while coconut oil is great for dry skin. Almond oil is extracted from almond seeds, making it a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E. These oils help protect against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and even ageing.

  • Retinol is an antioxidant that can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production. It also helps improve skin texture, which makes it ideal for reducing pores and improving the overall clarity of your complexion. In addition to this, vitamin A has been shown to increase cell turnover, which means more new cells are produced on top of existing ones.
  • Cannabidiol - The two primary sources of ageing and other common skin issues are free radical damage and inflammation. CBD is naturally structured to combat both as it is a powerful anti-oxidant to counter the free radical damage and a strong natural anti-inflammatory. It also has anti-itch, anti-bacterial properties and is a key ingredient in making sure you have hydrated skin. CBD is a relatively new ingredient so be sure to try it as part of your natural skincare routine!

Try a Natural Skincare Routine

There are many different kinds of skin care and beauty products out there. Some are designed for sensitive skin, while others are formulated specifically for oily skin types. Others are meant for dry skin, while still others are designed to treat acne. And some are even labelled as "natural," but contain ingredients that could actually do harm to your skin.

Using natural skin care products will keep you safe from potentially harmful chemicals as long as they skincare company is genuine about their claims. This isn't just because most natural skin care products don't contain synthetic preservatives like parabens. They're also free of artificial colours and fragrances, which can cause allergic reactions in people with certain sensitivities.

A good natural skin care routine begins with cleansing:

Cleansers - are used to wash away dirt and oil from your face. Most cleansers are alcohol based or water-based. When choosing a cleanser, look for one that doesn't irritate your eyes or cause redness or irritation on your skin. Alcohol-based cleansers tend to work best for oily skin. Water-based cleansers are better suited for normal to dry skin.

Toning - After cleansing, it's important to tone your skin. Toning helps exfoliate dead skin cells and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Many natural skin care products include glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, retinol, vitamin C, and alpha hydroxy acids. These ingredients help to improve texture and smooth out pores.

Moisturisers - are the next step in caring for your skin. Moisturisers protect against environmental damage, such as UV rays, pollution, and windy conditions. Look for a product that contains shea butter, jojoba oil, aloe vera, almond oil or hemp seed oil. Shea butter provides essential nutrients and protects against sunburn. Jojoba oil softens and smoothens skin. Aloe vera promotes healing and reduces inflammation. We recommend trying our MotherSage Body Oil or MotherSage Body Butter.

Sunscreen - Finally, use a sunscreen every day to prevent premature ageing caused by sun exposure. Sunscreens provide protection from both ultraviolet B and ultraviolet A rays. Ultraviolet B rays are responsible for causing sunburn and tanning. Ultraviolet A rays are what causes wrinkling and sagging. Look for a broad spectrum SPF 30+ formula that blocks both wavelengths.

More about the benefits of using Natural skincare

There are numerous benefits to including natural skincare products into your skincare routine.

For example, some studies show that certain plant extracts can help reduce signs of ageing such as wrinkles and fine lines. Other research suggests that natural plant extracts can help prevent sun damage and protect against UV rays. Some plant extracts can even promote cell turnover and stimulate collagen production and some natural active ingredients can help in the fight against cellulite.

In addition to helping improve the appearance of your skin, natural skincare products can help keep your skin hydrated and nourished. Many plant extracts contain antioxidants that fight free radical damage. Antioxidants help neutralise harmful chemicals called reactive oxygen species that can harm cells and lead to premature ageing.

Natural plant extracts can also help boost immunity. Research suggests that certain plant extracts can increase levels of antibodies, cytokines and immunoglobulins. This helps strengthen the immune system and fights off infections.

Finally, natural plant based ingredients can benefit your overall health. Studies suggest that certain plant extracts can lower cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides. These effects are attributed to the presence of flavonoids and polyphenols found in plant extracts.

The bottom line is that natural skincare products can be beneficial to your skin conditions and overall well being and all the signs suggest they're truly revolutionising the beauty industry (for the better).

By incorporating natural ingredients into your skincare regimen, you can experience the benefits of healthy skin without having to worry about potential side effects from synthetic chemicals.

Are natural skincare products good on oily skin?

Natural cosmetics and skin care products are effective on oily skin because they contain ingredients that work together to effectively cleanse, tone, and protect without stripping moisture away.

Some of the best natural skincare options for oily skin include cleansers, toners, moisturisers, body butters, sunscreens, bath salts, eye creams, lip balms, and body oils.

Cleansers are important since most people use makeup every day and it clogs pores and causes breakouts. Toners are used to even out skin tone and reduce redness caused by acne.

Moisturisers seal in moisture and prevent dry patches. Sunscreens block harmful UV rays and protect against premature ageing. Lip balm protects lips from chapping and cracking. Body oils keep the skin soft and supple.

What about natural skincare products for acne?

Acne is one of those things that people often don't like about themselves. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are natural skincare products that you can use to treat your acne without having to resort to harsh chemicals.

Fragrance-free skincare products may help you avoid breakouts and keep your skin healthy. If you suffer from acne, skin irritation or just want to maintain clear skin, it is definitely worth trying out some fragrance free skincare products. These are typically formulated without fragrances or parabens, both of which can cause irritation.

Avoiding products containing fragrances could also improve your skin health. Many people think that wearing perfume makes them smell good, but many scents contain chemicals that irritate the skin. This includes ingredients like ammonia, benzyl acetone and formaldehyde. You don't want to use those kinds of chemicals near your face because they'll make your skin feel dry and irritated.

If you have sensitive skin, it may be caused by an imbalance between oils produced by your body and water lost through sweating. Your skin needs moisture to function properly, and too much sweat can lead to excess oil production. When there isn't enough oil, your pores open up and bacteria build up. Bacteria can trigger inflammation, which causes redness and irritated skin.

To prevent this from happening, try drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Also, limit how much you wash your face each day. Try washing twice per week rather than daily. Use cleansers that are gentle on your skin, such as soap-based scrubs or foaming cleanser bars.

Also, avoid washing your face with warm water or having showers that are too hot. 

Tying it all together for a healthier skin regimen

As your body's largest (and most visible) organ your skin's wellbeing should be important to each and every one of us and there's a current healthy trend towards natural skincare - skincare that contains mostly natural ingredients that come from plants or minerals.

Remember though, that it is a bit of a minefield as some ingredients found in natural skincare products can cause allergic reactions or irritate sensitive skin and sometimes small amounts of synthetic ingredients are necessary.

However, as a general rule, it's a no-brainer to try and ensure that our skincare is based on as large a base of natural ingredients as possible.

It's also really important to avoid parabens, chemicals and synthetic fragrances which can be harmful to the skin.

The reason there is such a trend towards natural skincare is that there are lots of benefits and reasons for the move. Most people want to give their skin a break from harsh chemicals and irritants and also to use natural products as they are usually more 'green friendly'.

Try out a natural skincare routine and let us know how you get on! We recommend trying our award winning MotherSage Body Oil which has an abundance of natural ingredients and absorbs into the skin very easily.

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