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If you’re anything like I am, you may have dabbled a few times into the world of natural skincare, before sticking to it for good. Or, perhaps you’re still dabbling. Which is fine- no judgement here! This is a safe space. It certainly took me a few solid goes before I refused to put any more chemicals on to my skin. I think the main reason is that I had no idea where to start in this confusing new world.
I would march into a beauty store, confidently turn over the packaging of some minimalist, natural-looking product and my heart would slowly plummet as I read a long list of confusing letters and words.
I had no idea what any of them meant. Defeated, I would return the item to the shelf and skulk out, annoyed at myself and disheartened. It eventually took a positive MTHFR gene result for me to kick my own butt into gear, and take my health seriously. Now I only use natural skincare and makeup, and while it has taken time (and some other factors), my skin has definitely rewarded me for the change.
Why Bother with Natural Skincare?
The reasons to switch to natural beauty are almost too many to list. Let’s start with the superficial, shall we? Because let’s be honest, we all care about how our skin looks.
When I first changed to natural skincare, my facial skin (and actually the rest of my skin too, when I used non-natural soaps) was inflamed, sensitive, painful, itchy and angry. Lovely, huh? While switching to natural skincare wasn’t the only contributing factor to my skin improving, I know it made a huge difference. How? Well recently I let my make-up artist best friend trial some non-natural ingredients on my skin and it lost its minddddd. I love her, but not enough to do that again!
So, what are some skin-level benefits you can expect from going au naturale?
- Less irritation
- Less breakouts (Hallelujah!)
- Softer skin
- A healthy glow
Now, obviously natural doesn’t always guarantee health. Nor does it guarantee perfection. With my super sensitive skin, I have had reactions to natural products. But I can confidently say that my skin texture, tone and irritation levels have vastly improved since changing up my skincare routine to natural products that work well for me.
We’ve covered the surface-level benefits, but what about the more long-term benefits?
Well, the thing is, our skin is one gigantic organ. And it is strongly linked to the rest of our body, and therefore the rest of our health. It only takes less than 30 seconds for a some toxins to make their way from our skin to our bloodstream, where it then circulates the rest of our body. Scary, hey?
It’s therefore so important that what we put our skin is natural and safe for our entire system to absorb and process.
Which Chemicals Should I Avoid?
I remember in high-school history class learning that women used to paint their faces with lead-based makeup. As an all girls-school, we were all horrified, knowing how toxic lead is. What no one bothered to tell us is that plenty of makeup today is still created using lead. Which is, obviously, still toxic. I’m guessing neither the teacher who taught us, or any of our mothers or grandmothers was aware just how chemical-ridden today’s makeup is. Perhaps they’d never thought about it. Or perhaps they had but had pushed the thought aside.
Unfortunately, the list of toxic ingredients in skincare is growing, not diminishing. You can find a comprehensive list of nasties to avoid here.
Examples of side effects, both short and long term:
- Irritation on the skin
- Asthmatic reactions
- Fertility issues (due to the endocrine disruptors in some chemicals)
- Thyroid disruptions
- Hormone imbalances
- Metabolism issues
What to Look for in Natural Skincare Products
So, now that you know what not to look for, what should you look for when purchasing natural skincare products? Here is my broad list:
- Never tested on animals (the product, and all ingredients that go into the product)
- Free of harmful chemicals and preservatives
- Natural ingredient list, primarily organic.
- Sustainably and ethically sourced
- Sustainably packaged
It’s worth thinking about whether you require your skincare to be vegan- beeswax is often used in natural and organic skincare brands.
Below, I’ve listed some of my favourite natural skincare products. The cleaner the skincare, the cleaner your body!
Natural Skincare Favourites
Rasasara Skinfood Kapha Exfoliant and Mask
Rasasara Skinfood is handmade within kilometres of where I live in Melbourne and is founded in Ayurvedic skincare principles. I adore using their Kapha exfoliant every night to remove makeup and remove dead skin. I know general wisdom is to not exfoliate too much, but I’ve found using this daily as per Ayurvedic ‘Ubtans’ has drastically improved my skin.
The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner
This is a recent addition to my skincare practice, but after discovering how well probiotics have worked on the inside, I’m adding them to my external routine, too. I’m loving using The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner– it’s helping tone and repair my skin, and a little goes a long way.
African Botanics Pure Marula Oil
Natural Makeup Favourites
RMS Un-Cover Up Concealer and Foundation
This concealer and foundation is one of my everyday essentials. It can be used as a blemish concealer, or an entire-face foundation. I use it as a foundation to even out skin tone, cover blemishes and create a natural but flawless base. The RMS beauty line is based on coconut oil, which I was concerned would make me break out but my skin has 100% improved since switching to this foundation.
RMS Lip2Cheek is a versatile little product that I also use daily, in various shades. Like the Un-Cover Up, this is based on a coconut oil and comes in a beautiful array of colours. I use it as a creme blush, and a lip tint as well. I love the Demure shade for an understated everyday look, while Beloved is a gorgeous bright shade of red.
RMS Un Powder
I finish of my beauty routine with RMS Un Powder which does an amazing job of blurring your products together. It’s made from Silica and Mica so won’t cause any nasty reactions like talc-based powders can.
While the external improvements to switching to a natural skincare routine can be vast, the most important reason is to improve your internal health. I love using these beautiful products but I really love the fact that they aren’t leeching any chemicals into my bloodstream! I’d love to know your most-loved natural skincare and beauty products, so feel free to leave your favourites in the comments below!