There is a perception that natural products may not work as well, that they are too “weak” to improve, especially, ageing skin. The same argument amongst allopathic doctors – that herbs “don’t work” and you need drugs to address a disease (which is true in many cases). We have been conditioned that only lab-derived and expensive products will deliver the results you want. After all, it makes for a great story. It justifies the time, effort and investments that have been put into extracting, manipulating, deriving a complex constituent. Packaged with a great marketing story, it’s a winner.
Such beauty ingredients have recently gained much traction, namely peptides, growth factors, and antioxidants like resveratrol and retinol. These ingredients are purported to be key anti-ageing constituents and are considered “must-haves” in age-defying skincare. Is it necessary to include those particular ingredients for a product to be effective? Not necessarily. Skincare research has come a long way since the discovery of those ingredients, and there are more options now than ever before. Many of these “new” ingredients have been used for centuries and are highly effective.
What is natural skincare?
The term “natural skincare” can mean different things. The “natural” label isn’t regulated across the industry. This means each company can choose what “natural” means for themselves.
Benefits of natural skincare
• essential oils
• bioactive compounds
According to the study, plant extracts can be a safe and cost-effective alternative to synthetics.
For oily skin
A natural skincare routine for oily skin may help reduce oiliness without the use of expensive skincare regimens or prescription drugs.
For dry skin
There isn’t much that’s more frustrating than itchy skin.
A natural skincare routine for dry skin may help reduce the effects of heat, hot showers, arid climates, and harsh soaps — all things that can trigger dry skin.
For combination skin
Caring for combination skin isn’t always the easiest, but it’s still possible to find a natural skincare routine that simultaneously combats dry patches and shine.
Products that include harsh ingredients, such as fragrance, can irritate both oily and dry skin. Using natural skincare products may be a step in the right direction.
For acne-prone skin
A natural skincare routine for acne has many benefits, like saving money by avoiding expensive acne solutions. It can also help prevent undesirable side effects, such as dryness, redness, and irritation.
For sensitive skin
A natural skincare routine for sensitive skin may help rebuild a healthy skin barrier by avoiding products with irritating ingredients.
Products that are more likely to be worn for a long period, like moisturizers, are more likely to cause skin issues.
For Black skin
Black skin contains more melanin than lighter skin. A few conditions that people with Black skin may experience more often include:
• contact dermatitis
• seborrheic dermatitis
Terms to know
With no strict definitions, you’re largely on your own to research which products are “natural” to you.
This is the first question to ask yourself.
In other words, what’s in it, and where does it come from? Is it a natural source, like plants, animals, minerals, and marine sources? Or is it derived from petrochemicals?
• Naturally-occurring. This means that ingredients are used in their natural, unprocessed state. Examples of naturally-occurring ingredients include raw honey and crushed flowers.
• Nature-identical. This means that ingredients are produced in a lab and are chemically identical to those that occur in nature. An example is sorbic acid. Originally derived from rowan berries, sorbic acid is now commonly included as a nature-identical ingredient.
• Synthetic. This term sits on the far end of the spectrum and includes ingredients that were created and processed in a lab. An example of this is parabens, which are common beauty preservatives.
How is it processed?
Just because ingredients are derived naturally, it doesn’t mean they’re processed naturally.
Ingredients can be processed physically or chemically.
• Processed physically means the molecular composition or structure stays the same.
• Processed chemically means the molecular composition or structure changes.
Examples of naturally derived but physically processed ingredients include raw, unrefined oils and butters. These are processed through means like cold-pressing or filtration.
An example of a naturally derived but chemically processed ingredient would be castor wax. It’s a vegetable wax derived from the castor bean produced by adding hydrogen to pure castor oil, a process called hydrogenation.
Know your labels
There are various certifications and marketing words under the umbrella of “natural” products. Some are regulated and some aren’t.
Companies can have their products certified organic.
They can also label their products as organic to indicate that all the ingredients are derived from organic sources. This means the product itself may not be certified, but all the ingredients are certified organic.
Looking for a brand that’s USDA certified organic? Try 100% PURE. Their products are non-toxic, free of parabens and sulfates, vegan, and cruelty-free. And they offer eco-friendly packaging.
This unregulated term refers to environmental impact and sustainability.
Green products are usually produced with intention of limiting environmental impact. For example, a green product may contain raw materials that are harvested in a way to support the environment rather than harming it.
This unregulated term describes products that typically focus on being non-toxic.
These products are created without animal by-products.
For another organic, vegan, cruelty-free brand.
It’s important to note that, while vegan products are almost always cruelty-free, cruelty-free products are not always vegan. An example would be an organic lip balm that contains beeswax.
Brands can claim these terms without being certified. But, if you want to ensure it, there are several organizations that certify vegan and cruelty-free products.
This regulated descriptor focuses on sourcing, ensuring that ingredients are sourced ethically in terms of the planet, people, or environment.
Best natural skincare routine for the 30s and beyond
During your 30s, hormone levels start to decrease, and the rate of collagen and elastin production goes down.
Still, everyone’s skin is different. What suits one person’s skin may not work for someone else.
As a general practice, the following routine works for most.
If all else fails, this first step should occur every morning and evening.
It’s best to look for a face wash that’s full of skin-nourishing vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, and vitamin E.
Exfoliants shouldn’t be used daily. Instead, 1–3 times per week is enough to remove dead skin cells without causing irritation.
On the days when you aren’t exfoliating, simply use your cleanser by itself.
Toners are one of the most common steps left out of skincare. Toner can help tighten pores, eliminate impurities, and rebalance your skin.
The best options are clarifying toners that rebalance your pH.
Some studies have shown that moisturizers rich in CBD help reduce oil production in addition to reducing inflammation in the skin, which are two main players in the generation of acne, adding that the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD oil on the skin can help calm and reduce redness, too. It also has antioxidant and regenerative qualities to help offset damage from the sun, pollution, and ageing.” Basically, it seems everyone’s complexion can stand to benefit from an application of cannabidiol.
Marula oil is another great moisturizing ingredient that boosts rejuvenation and protects against environmental stressors.
Serums are essentially next-level moisturizers. They deliver active ingredients deep into the dermal layers. Use a couple of drops of serum on your cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead.
5. Sun protection
SPF is recommended daily at any age.
Pro tip: Creams should be applied with the lightest fluids first. For example, serum, moisturizer, then SPF.