I would say that ‘the next big beauty revolution is natural’ — but, it’s only ‘natural’ that it has gone this way. IAs a previous Beauty Editor, a makeup artist and someone who has been dabbling in beauty blogging for the past eight years, I’ve watched the health-and-wellness-oriented approach we’ve taken to our workouts, clothes, juices and diets be extended to our skin care and makeup.
Whether you’re interested in natural beauty and ingredients or now, we’re buying into it — according to the NPD Group, 55% of the profits in the prestige skin-care market in 2016 came from natural brands.
I have to admit I have a huge interest in it, but maybe that’s because when I was in my late teens and twenties, I could never dip my toe into this area. I suffered acne, and had to use strong, prescribed skincare, far from natural or organic.
But now, I even try out celebrity led skincare and beauty brands from the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba, who are both strongly associated with putting natural ingredients into and onto your skin.
But despite the strength of sales, there’s still a lot of consumer confusion over what natural beauty is, and should people switch to it? Is “natural” beauty something worth trying and is it really “better” for you?
Lets break it right down: what does natural ‘really’ mean? Well, really nothing — it can be whatever brands want it to mean. But it should mean that the products are free from nasties, parabens, added dyes and synthetic ingredients. The word organic is somewhat regulated — not by the FDA, but by the USDA, which uses it to confirm that ingredients in beauty products are free of synthetic pesticides, fertilisers, and other nonorganic substances.
If you buy into organic skincare, and it states ‘organic’, then it means it contains at least 95% organic ingredients. “Made with” organic ingredients means that it has at least 70 percent. If it has less than 70 percent, a brand isn’t allowed to use the organic term.
I’m no expert in ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ beauty, but what I have found over the years, after lots of scientific education and interviews/meetings with dermatologists (I used to work in the US beauty industry), is that you should really care about what you are putting onto your skin.
If I have taken anything away from my education and talks with experts, this one thing sticks in my mind: your skincare products absorb into your skin, and although they don’t always go deep deep down, some ingredients can eventually absorb through and into your bloodstream. That’s why they warn pregnant women to check the ingredients of what they use in skincare, because there is a chance it can reach the baby.
With this in mind, maybe it’s just a mind-over-matter thing, but I somehow feel better when I know the ingredients in my products are purer. Also, there are a lot of natural ingredients out there which are actually super.
Take rosehip oil for example . Rosehip is a natural substance, and I use a rosehip oil everyday to try to fade my scars and red marks. It works better than any with strong, harsh ingredients that have been prescribed to me before.
The key is to identify your skin type first, and look at what ingredients by help you. Take for example one of my very favourite natural skincare brands, Neals Yard. They are one of the longest running in my eyes to offer organic and natural skincare and beauty products, and have some real winning products used globally.
They have a dedicated page which looks into shopping for your skin type, where it highlights the various skin types and the range of products suited.
I find that from their site, I actually learn about new natural ingredients I wasn’t aware of before.I have dry, dull skin, and it’s interesting to see they offer a range of products packed with natural orange flower which tackles dryness and adds moisturisation. It just somehow feels more ‘right’ to use a natural derived ingredient over something that could perhaps cause irritation or stress to the skin.
Another range I’ve been using over recent months is Beauty Kitchen, available at Holland and Barrett. Beauty Kitchen is a range of 100% natural, sustainable beauty products, based in the UK. They use innovative formulas and ingredients – such as Seahorse Plankton (which is said to be rejuvenating and detoxifying) and Abyssinian Oil (an ultra hydrating one), along with a Free From range of body products that are natural and have as little ingredients as possible.
See with these ranges, I’d say they are advised for those with sensitive skin who worry about what they out onto it. Eczema, scaly skins, psoriasis, rosacea… all of these skin conditions can be made worse by topical products, and it’s becoming more common knowledge that the purer, more natural oils and ingredients you use, the safer they are and less risk or irritation.
Of course, that’s just my opinion and it’s not a theory I can swear by.
So – the question at the beginning was do I want to be switching my skincare and beauty regime to a natural, organic one? After a few years of hit-or-miss formulas—and some seriously crunchy packaging—natural and organic beauty products have finally found their spot on the shelf.
They’ve become easier to find for a reason: Natural formulas are more effective than ever, and the upgraded Insta-friendly aesthetic doesn’t hurt either.
Still, if you’ve been using an effective acne facial cleanser since high school or don’t trust anything besides your go-to serum, you might not have been tempted over to the au naturel side. And that’s fine – you don’t have to.
If you’re struggling for ingredients which calm, soothe, and cause less irritation to your skin, then I feel you have nothing to lose. And for people like me who care about what they put into their bodies. Plus, I can’t rave about natural remedies enough, in the form of tea tree, aloe, rosehip. white tea, orange flower, etc…
What are your thoughts?