Forget that “going green” has been trending for the past few years or so. Forget beauty trends, forget advertising ploys that market what is supposed to be the latest and greatest breakthrough in skincare “technology.”
Focus on your skin and what it needs.
Our skin is the body’s largest organ. As a barrier, a protector and a buffer between the environment and ourselves, skin is semi-permeable – meaning it absorbs whatever we put on. (Did you know? The average person slathers on about 10 different skincare products per day!) It’s not unlike a sponge; for better or for worse, whatever our skin soaks up goes into our bloodstream.
What you put on your skin affects both bodily and skin health. It’s not unlike the saying that you are what you eat. To put this into perspective, the average woman ingests anywhere from four to nine pounds of lipstick in her lifetime. And that’s just on your lips.
In a nutshell, you are what your skincare is.
That said, for our skin’s overall health and well-being, avoid using skincare products containing harsh chemicals and toxins. Instead, reach for natural, botanical-based ingredients that are just as effective sans the irritation and potential negative consequences. Think simple. Think gentle. Let that be your mantra and the philosophy of the brands you choose to use.
Where to start, you ask?
It begins by familiarizing yourself with natural ingredients in skincare products. Before the “don’ts,” know the “dos.” Good skincare starts with positivity – let this be your go-to list of natural ingredients to look out for when trying new products…
An anti-inflammatory ingredient well-known as a favorite amongst those with sensitive skin or couperose skin. Aloe Vera is a botanical extract that helps heal, soothe and calm the skin.
Algae, Kelp, Seaweed Extracts
All derivatives of mineral-rich seaweed that help stimulate, revitalize and nourish the skin. All have anti-inflammatory properties (which make it perfect for sensitive skin types) and are rich in Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K.
These seaweed extracts also act as disinfectants and help reduce moisture loss, making it ideal for most people – especially those with sensitive, combo/dry to dry and mature complexions.
Well-known for its ability to help calm and soothe irritated, sensitive skin.
Helps to refresh and tighten, all the while soothing and cooling the skin. It’s a favorite for those with combo/oily or oilier skin seeking an instant refresher that helps purify pores and minimize blackheads.
Plant & Fruit Extracts
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are a favorite amongst skincare experts and aficionados alike because of their natural ability to provide an abundance of benefits: they heal, soothe and exfoliate the skin. By refreshing the skin and promoting cell turnover, AHAs help clear congestion and acne while erasing fine lines and discoloration for a brighter, smoother complexion.
Popular (and favorite!) AHAs include grapefruit (a natural antiseptic), papaya, lemon, and lemon extract (all of which are exfoliating fruit enzymes).
A natural astringent with anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It’s perfect for those with oilier skin, and is a gentler alternative to most chemical ingredients present in anti-acne products.
A 20-year-old blogger, sometimes freelance writer and full-time business school and journalism student. Previously the fashion editorial intern for two boutique magazines and now writing for Mario Badescu Skin Care.