Have you ever picked up a skincare product hoping it would do everything it promised? Do you ever wake up in the morning hoping that said magic product used the night before may actually have worked? Let me be slightly controversial for a minute and suggest that in some instances it might be you that isn’t working here, and not the product. Here are a few tips to help you get started on your journey into natural skincare.
Adopting a natural skincare regime
A natural skincare regime incorporates many facets. It looks at those aspects within our life that have an impact on our skin, for example diet, hydration and sleep. It is a more holistic way of looking at the problem, looking at everything that will help to achieve beautiful looking skin, not just finding that magic product.
Let’s discuss some reasons why a natural skincare regime may be the change that you really do want to make. It’s easy to change to natural and will be better for you, your family and the environment.
If you are constantly buying different products in the hope that one of them will have that magic formula to fix all your skin concerns? Instead try spending time looking at the problem as a whole, what happens to your skin when you eat X,Y & Z? How does your skin look when you’ve had a few poor nights sleep? Does your skin look dehydrated if you’ve not been drinking enough water?
Steps to beautiful looking skin
You are only tackling the tip of the iceberg if you are putting all your energy into finding that one amazing product. 9 Steps to Beautiful Looking Skin is a good starting point when it comes to looking at where you should be putting your energy. The majority of these steps are things that you can do for free, which is even better for you and your purse. Water, for example is amazing for the skin. Your skin will really benefit if you keep yourself hydrated.
Many natural skincare products are more expensive than other products, but there is a good reason for this. Natural products are not packed with inexpensive fillers, but are filled with ingredients that work with your skin. If you are constantly being disappointed when products don’t live up to their promises than try having a look at the ingredients and see exactly what you are putting on your face. Are they in there to keep your product cheap or are they in there to add benefit?
Understanding product labels
Deciphering product labels is a challenging process in itself. Labels do have their own ‘universal’ language which means that whatever your nationality you should be able to read a label. Each ingredient is listed on the labels under their INCI name which means understanding labels can be pretty impossible at times. When it comes to natural products, luckily there are some ingredients that can be easier to recognise.
Many natural brands, Hipsley Green included, will list on their website the more common name for these ingredients. They want to shout about their product ingredients not hide behind complex names. Nature brings so many amazing ingredients that your skin will truly love and natural skincare products should be packed with these. Take for instance Marvel Mango Cleansing Balm which contains 15 skin treating natural ingredients. Each ingredient brings a therapeutic property to the cleansing balm.
Being aware about what exactly you are using is a great way to embark on a more natural journey. Many ingredients do get bad press, but how do you know who to believe when there are so many conflicting stories on the internet. Some say that these ingredients are ok whilst others say that they are not. Ultimately the final decision is down to you rather than the marketing promises that you are exposed to.
Making natural choices
In developing a natural skincare regime you can be in charge and make your own choices. You can decide exactly what you want to put on your skin. Going natural can also be really good fun too. By using a few kitchen cupboard ingredients you could host your own DIY pamper parties with your friends, make amazing hairmasks out of egg yolks and coconut oil or even create your own makeup products. Once you embark on the natural journey you’ll see how many possibilities are open to you.
The great thing with natural skincare is that you know exactly what you are putting on your skin. If you need more reasons then let me introduce some of the ingredients that you will never see in a truly natural skincare product.
Ingredients you won’t find in your natural skincare regime
Every product that contains water needs a preservative. If a preservative isn’t included then the product will go off pretty quickly. Parabens are the most commonly used and they are easy to spot on product labels as they will end in – paraben. For example; methyl-paraben or propyl-paraben.
Natural skincare products that contain water, such as creams, will contain a preservative but it will not be a paraben. Why? Studies have found that parabens affect oestrogen levels, which could potentially impact on female reproductive health (Gao et al, 2016).
Unfortunately parabens are cheap and are effective and therefore are used in many products.
There are more natural ways that products can be preserved, but unfortunately these come with a higher price tag. Paying slightly more for your products could be worth it in the long term though.
2) Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and Sodium laureth sulphate
SLS is an ingredient used in many of our foaming products. Think shampoo, shower gels, pump dispenser soaps and engine degreaser! It is a harsh detergent that strips the oil away from the skin. That squeaky clean feeling you get through hair washing is actually due to the hair being stripped of its natural oils rather than it being cleaned. Squeaky clean is not the result you are after, This leaves the skin exposed and irritated. The best skin care routine for your skin type explains this further and explains the correct products that you should be using for your skin type.
There are further alarming studies showing potential problems of SLS. A simple Google search or look on the Environmental Working Group’s database will provide you with some further information.
Natural skincare products for hair will not contain SLS but will use natural detergents derived from plant sources instead. These ingredients are much gentler for your skin and hair but also come with a slightly higher price tag.
3) Propylene Glycol
Derived from petroleum, Propylene Glycol is used as a humectant (draws water from the air or the outer layers of the skin to hydrate the skin. Giving it the appearance of being moisturised). However, the American Academy of Dermatologists see propylene glycol as a potential skin irritant even at low doses.
Natural skin care formulators will use natural moisturisers such as vegetable glycerine or honey moisturisers instead.
4) Mineral oils (petroleum jelly)
Acting as a barrier to the skin, mineral oils contain no skin nutrients yet are still found in many skincare products.
Natural skin care products such as lip balms or body oils will contain natural butters and oils that the skin can absorb and therefore alleviate conditions such as dry skin.
5) Parfum / Synthetic Fragrance
Used in many products to provide an aroma, parfums are synthetic fragrances. They offer no therapeutic benefit to the skin. Product labels are not required to list all the fragrances contained within the product. The only acknowledgement is to add ‘Parfum’ as a single ingredient. This means that the consumer has no idea of the exact fragrances that are included.
Essential oils, found in natural skincare products, are plant derived and contain many therapeutic properties. Their aromas are amazing and are sure to rival any synthetically produced fragrance. There are numerous benefits to using products containing essential oils, not just for the skin but also for the mind too.
The list of ingredients that you would never see in natural skincare products is endless. Hopefully these five have highlighted some of the ways that in adopting a natural skincare regime is not only better for your skin but also for you too.
If you are ready to embark on developing a natural skincare regime it really can be easy to pick out natural products. Start by looking at the ingredient labels rather than the product labels. Or why not create your own simple products, a fantastic way of knowing exactly what you’re putting on your skin.
Start with a very simple body oil made with just two ingredients; Lavender essential oil and Chia Seed oil.
30ml Chia Seed oil
15 drops Lavender Essential Oil
Chia Seed oil works well on the face and body and is suitable for all skin types. It works particularly well with acne prone, oily, large pored skin but is also beneficial to sensitive skin too due to its anti -inflammatory properties. It absorbs quickly into the skin leaving a soft and silky feeling.
Lavender essential oil is perhaps one of the most widely known essential oils. Lavender possesses many therapeutic qualities. It can be both relaxing and stimulating to the nervous system depending on the quantity used. Its sweet floral scent calms, refreshes and lifts the spirits. A gentle oil that is useful for all skin types.
1. Measure out your two ingredients
2. Combine together
3. Store in a dark glass container
4. Use after showering to lock in moisture
Shelf life: 6 months
Tip: Can be used as a face oil too