Most of us are aware of the fact that natural ingredients are better than artificial substances for our bodies and our health. We try to eat healthy, natural foods and eliminate harmful chemicals from our daily lives. But do you apply the same principle to your skincare routine?
Your skin is your biggest organ, and it will absorb anything that you put on it. If you are not careful about keeping an eye out for the ingredients that come in your skincare products, you could be applying harsh chemicals and allergens to your skin without even realizing it. You could be suffering from skin problems caused by your own skincare routine!
There are many reasons why using natural skincare products and ingredients is a great idea. These products aren’t just good for your skin and health; they are also better for the environment. But we will talk more about that later.
Before you choose any skincare product or ingredient, there are certain factors that you need to determine. One of the most important things that will determine your skincare needs is your skin type. Do you have oily, dry, or combination skin?
Once you are aware of your skin type and the type of products that it needs, you also need to make sure that you aren’t allergic to any common skincare ingredients. If you suffer from any allergies, it is possible to have a bad reaction to a product that doesn’t actually contain any harmful ingredients. That is why we always say that everyone reacts differently to different skincare products!
Do You Really Know What Is In Your Skincare?
As consumers, we have the responsibility of researching and learning more about the products that we put on our skin. The cosmetic industry is largely unregulated by authorities, so it can be very difficult to keep track of all the ingredients that companies use in their skincare products.
It can be helpful, however, to learn more about which common skincare ingredients can be harmful or toxic. These are some potentially harmful ingredients that you can find in many skincare products:
- Parabens: parabens are preservatives that help prevent the growth of microorganisms like yeast and bacteria. Unfortunately, they could also increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Fragrance: the thing about scented products is that many companies don’t specify what ingredients they use to create their fragrances. Fragrances can lead to dermatitis, allergies, and respiratory distress; some research has linked scented body products to reproductive system issues.
- Triclosan: this additive works as an antimicrobial agent, but it could also disrupt your endocrine system. It can also irritate your skin, and certain studies have proposed that it could increase antibiotic resistance in bacteria
- Formaldehyde: even though this substance is a known human carcinogen, it is still included in many shampoos, eye shadows, nail polishes, body washes, and conditioners.
- Toluene: you can also find this ingredient listed as toluol, benzene, methylbenzene, or phenylmethane. It is mostly found in nail polishes and hair coloring products. Toluene can cause developmental damage to fetuses, so it is very important for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive to avoid it.
- Phthalates: there are many different types of phthalates that are used in the beauty industry. They are present in lotions, nail polish, perfumes, and hair products. They have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, reproductive birth defects, and early breast development in young girls.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES): these additives can be found in 9 out of every 10 personal care and cleaning products. These ingredients can be irritants, and they have the potential to form carcinogen compounds if they are mixed with other chemicals.
What Are The Benefits Of Natural Skincare Products?
One of the most important benefits of natural skin care products is how eco-friendly they are. It’s no secret that most manufacturing industries produce serious amounts of waste, use tons of water, and harm the environment. These effects continue even after you have used the products since containers go to landfills and chemicals are washed down the drain.
But by using natural skin care products, you are helping protect our planet. By doing this, you are reducing your own waste production and avoiding products that can contain harmful ingredients. Instead, you could be using natural products that don’t hurt the environment.
Traditional skincare products can also cause irritation, allergies, and dermatitis. It is very common to develop an allergic reaction to a product. Long term, you could face uneven skin, pimples, acne, discoloration, and even scars as a result of these reactions.
It is also very likely that your skin will actually look and feel better after switching to natural skin care products. Many of the preservatives and additives that you can find in traditional skincare can dry your skin, which is why natural moisturizers can be much better for you.
Using natural ingredients could also save you some money since they tend to be very affordable. Many times, we already have these things at home and simply don’t know how to use them on our skin!
These Are The 10 Best Natural Skincare Tips For You
Now that you know why you should look into some natural skincare options, here are 10 of the best tips for you.
Tip #1. Read the label on all your skincare products
It is not uncommon for beauty and skincare products to be labeled as natural or organic (or both), when in reality only a small proportion of their ingredients actually are. Remember that ingredients are listed from highest to lowest concentration. So, for example, if your toner claims that it contains natural ingredients such as rose water, but this ingredient is placed near the end of the ingredient list… It probably only has a small amount of rose water in it.
You should also check the ingredient list for potentially harmful additives. If you don’t know what an ingredient is, just Google it. Some substances can have scary names, but they are actually natural (for example, “tocopherol” is just good old vitamin E’s scientific name).
If a product claims to be organic, check to see if the label has a USDA organic certification. This certification means that at least 95% of the ingredients contained in a product are organic. A bunny on the label also means that the product is cruelty-free.
Tip #2. Don’t try too many new ingredients at once
Natural ingredients are healthier for most of us, but you can still be allergic or sensitive to some of them. If you try out too many new products or ingredients at once and develop an allergic reaction, it will be difficult to determine exactly which product was the culprit.
Whenever you are interested in trying out new products on your skin, make sure you only try one at a time. Use each new product along with your usual routine for a few days. If, and only if, your skin reacts well to the new product, should you try another new ingredient?
Tip #3. Harness the benefits of turmeric
Turmeric has become incredibly popular in recent years, and it is easy to see why. It boasts many wonderful benefits, including powerful anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It has also been found to reduce the sign of aging and sun damage.
Turmeric can even reduce oxidation and improve tissue healing. It can also have a positive impact on your collagen production! You can take a turmeric supplement, add it to your diet, or create your own homemade turmeric face masks by combining it with other ingredients – more on that later.
Tip #4. Discover the many uses of aloe vera
We have always known that aloe vera is great for sunburns, but that’s not all it can do for your skin. Aloe vera contains vitamins, amino acids, antioxidants, and minerals that can help your skin heal from many types of conditions. It can be used to treat psoriasis, eczema, and cold sores.
Aloe vera has also been used to combat acne, hydrate dry skin, lighten blemishes and reduce signs of aging. You can use aloe vera on its own or combined with other ingredients to make face masks.
Tip #5. Include plenty of antioxidants in your diet
There are plenty of skincare products that contain antioxidants, but if you add these beneficial compounds to your diet, you will also be boosting your overall health. Antioxidants can help your skin combat the damage caused by sun exposure, pollution, and aging.
These are some of the antioxidant-rich foods that can also help your skin naturally:
- Nuts and seeds
- Sweet potatoes
- Bell peppers
- Leafy greens
- Dark chocolate
- Red wine
- Green tea
Tip #6. Take a biotin supplement
Biotin is actually the same thing as vitamin H, vitamin B7 or vitamin B8. Biotin helps create keratin, thus strengthening your nails and hair and improving your complexion. Taking biotin can have other benefits, such as less hair shedding, stronger strands, and less split ends.
It is important to keep in mind that you don’t need to consume a high amount of biotin each day, since humans only need 30 mcg of biotin per day. If you want to start taking a biotin supplement, choose a lower dosage presentation and ask your doctor about possible interactions with any medications you are taking.
Tip #7. Try making your own DIY face and hair masks
Once you have learned more about natural skincare ingredients and how your skin reacts to each of them, you will be able to create endless combinations and adapt them to your specific needs. But in the meantime, you can try out some of our recipes!
- To relieve acne and brighten your complexion: yogurt, honey, and turmeric
- Oil control: bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar
- Super moisturizing: mashed bananas, oatmeal, and milk
- Revitalizing mask: yogurt, lemon or orange juice, and aloe vera
- Skin-tightening mask: frothy egg white, lemon juice, and honey
- Moisturizing hair mask: mashed avocado or mayonnaise, and olive oil
- Mask for damaged hair: almond milk and coconut oil
Tip #8. Start using natural soap
Switching to soap made with natural, organic ingredients is a great step if you want to develop a more natural skincare routine. Organic soap is usually made with glycerin, which cleans and moisturizes your skin without being harsh or abrasive.
Natural soaps can contain a wide array of ingredients, from healthy oils to milk, honey, and oats. You can also find vegan or cruelty-free soap that won’t irritate your skin while still leaving it clean and fresh. By using natural soap, you will avoid processed ingredients like palm oil, irritative fragrances, and potential allergens.
Tip #9. Make your own face, lip, and body scrubs
Making your own exfoliating scrubs is very easy! You can combine your favorite healthy oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil, with an exfoliating ingredient like sugar or coffee grounds. You could also add other beneficial ingredients, such as your favorite essential oil.
Store your scrub in a sealed glass container and keep it in the fridge, and you will have an affordable, healthy scrub that will last forever!
Tip #10. Use coconut oil as a moisturizer
Cold-pressed, extra-virgin coconut oil can be a wonderful moisturizer. It has antimicrobial properties that can fight acne and infections, and it can also reduce inflammation. Coconut oil can help relieve conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
You can also use coconut oil as a lip balm, or add it to different homemade face and hair masks.
Final Thoughts On Natural Skin Care Tips
Switching to a natural skincare routine can have countless benefits for your health, skin, and even for your pocket! Additionally, skipping the industrial beauty products is also a good choice if you want to reduce your environmental impact.
Thinking about using natural skin care products can feel overwhelming at first. We grow up used to traditional cosmetics and products, and it can be difficult to gauge where you should start and how to make a change to your habits.
The good news is that natural skincare doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, most of us already own products that we can use as a healthier alternative to beauty and skincare products. You simply have to do some research, experiment and learn more about what your skin needs to be healthy and glowing.
Andrea, M.D is from Valencia, Venezuela. She is passionate about sexual health and education, and public health and global health. Additionally, she enjoys researching and learning about beauty, skincare, and cosmetic innovations. She has also volunteered in several NGOs in Venezuela. In her free time, Andrea enjoys reading, drinking copious amounts of coffee, making desserts for her family, going to the beach, and spending time with her dog, Dorito.