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Natural Beauty - The Complete Guide

Content Table

Introduction
Why Should I Switch To Natural Beauty
Selecting The Right Natural Ingredients
Butters
Clay
Sugar & Salt
Liquid Carrier Oils
Essential Oils
Floral Waters
Herbs
Herb Infused Carrier Oils
Waxes
Natural Hair Care
Natural Face & Body Care
Make-up
Rest & Recovery
Conclusion
Natural Beauty FAQ's
Bibliography

Introduction

Natural beauty is something everyone has thought about or even explored further. By natural beauty, we mean the variety of products out there containing all natural, organic and botanical ingredients, with the idea that it is no doubt better for the skin and will benefit us more as time goes by.

This is why we have decided to dive into the world of natural beauty and explain everything in a lot more detail, to shine the light on any questions and thoughts you may be having. Maybe you are considering changing your skincare to a more natural selection, or perhaps deciding to mix things up with your make-up and taking the ‘less is more’ approach. Whatever it may be, we have the answers for you here, so let’s get going.

Why should I switch to Natural Beauty?

 

Seeing as you are already asking yourself this question, you are already taking the first step towards making the switch. If you’ve used the same pot of moisturiser for as long as you can remember, it’s going to take something pretty spectacular to make you change.

Perhaps you’ve recently gone on a bit of a health kick or fancied a bit of a product cleanse, a great way to start is taking a look into your skincare routine. You’ve undoubtedly heard about those controversial ingredients such as parabens and phthalates. The thing you need to take into consideration is everything, including natural beauty, has its pros and cons. It’s just a case of having to weigh up the differences and figure out if they are going to work for you.

For example, a natural beauty product could contain an ingredient that your skin may not particularly like, this doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the product, but just that it wasn’t the right one for you. One thing to remember is that although a product is natural, it doesn’t mean it won’t have any skin-irritates in it. It’s down to you to take a look at the ingredients and opt out of buying it if you know your skin will have a bit of a tantrum.

With natural products comes a lot of natural claims, it can be a little bit of a mind field in all honesty. EWG have comprised a detailed run down on all things natural and what all the terminology means. Choosing natural is not as easy as you would have originally thought.

Naturally Derived- This means some of the ingredients are derived from nature and natural ingredients and are then artificially used to develop products that are in an unnatural form.

Organic- Means how the natural ingredients, such as the flowers and herbs are grown without any introduction to pesticides and preservatives.

Natural- Product and its elements are 100% natural.

Now technically this is meant to be what these terms mean, but to be brutally honest, it means something completely different between competing brands. One brand may state something is 100% organic and natural, yet would actually only contain 70% of the natural ingredients. Their competitors may offer the same, but only have 80% and their competitors could approach the entire situation with complete honesty and state their product is 98% natural and deliver a 98% natural product. Taking the time to study the list of ingredients will answer any questions and help you to avoid all trickery. Don’t however shun a brand or product simply because they contain preservatives; you have to remember all products will need a shelf life and to stop the natural ingredients from losing their potency.  For more information on what cosmetic labels actually mean, you can take a look at the Women’s Health website

 

Selecting the right natural ingredients

Finding a variety of ingredients in natural, organic skincare is inevitable, finding the right cocktail is part of the fun, but can be extremely daunting at times with just how much choice is available. Understanding the different natural ingredients will really help you in finding the right products for you and which you should give a go. Here is a rundown of the main natural ingredients that you will find in organic beauty products and green skincare. After all, the core elements of a natural skincare are the most important part to consider.

Butters

Natural butters are fabulous at hydrating the skin and a great addition to your skin and body care. With butters containing Polyphenols, a combination of powerful antioxidants and free-radicals that combat premature aging and preventing certain diseases. Here are some of the most popular butters you will find.

  • Shea Butter- Not only is this butter an incredible treatment for people who suffer with extremely dry skin and eczema, there is also a great deal of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help to calm and sooth any flare ups you may experience on your skin. It’s no wonder this butter is on almost every ingredients list.
  • Cocoa Butter- This butter not only smells glorious, it’s also incredible at locking in moisture into the skin and adding needed hydration and moisture to the skin.
  • Mango Butter- Not as well known as the butters previously mentioned but is one powerhouse ingredient. Made from the seed, or pit, of the mango, which contains a number of vitamins, in particular vitamin A and vitamin C. This butter is also great for people with blemish-prone and congested skin due to the fact it’s non-comedogenic, meaning it isn’t formulated to block any pores.
  • Mowrah Butter- This butter originated in India from the Madhuca longifolia tree. It contains a number of natural acids that help prevent premature aging. It has the antioxidant and emollient properties and absorbs into the skin very deeply with ease and makes fantastic moisturiser.
  • Kokum Butter- Kokum butter is one of the ‘harder’ butters, but this doesn’t stop it melting into the skin with ease. Just like the other butters, it’s full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, as well as essential fatty acids. This butter provides moisture without causing any sensitivity.
  • Babassu Butter- This cold pressed butter is from the babassu palm tree found in Brazil. It melts into the skin leaving it velvety soft without any greasy residue. It also hydrates with help from high lauric acid content, which is basically a more ‘healthy’ saturated fat.

With natural beauty products you will find they are able to replace mineral oils with natural butters, this means the product contains a more concentrated amount of ingredients without any fillers such as water, mineral oils and fatty alcohols. These fillers are used to increase the size of the moisturiser, which still works for the skin, but the benefits leave the skin very shortly after application.  

Clay

Clays are the main part of mud masking products, with good reason due to their ability to absorb impurities and toxins from the skin. Mud masking has been used for hundred of years and over that time we have experimented with a number of different clays and found out which ones are best for whichever skin type or skin concern you have. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to clay, with countless colours and benefits to the skin they are able to treat. Here are a few clays you will find in a number of mud masks and what they do to help the skin.

  • Kaolin- You will find this clay in so many colours, all of which help with different skin types and concerns. White Kaolin clay is the gentlest one, meaning it’s great for sensitive skin types. Yellow is more absorbent and exfoliating, you will no doubt find yellow kaolin clay in brightening masks due to it’s ability to boost radiance. Red is the most absorbent and best for more oily skin and helps to combat blemishes. Finally, pink is a mixture of red and white and great for all skin types, especially sensitive types.
  • Bentonite- This clay can easily be described as the most popular clay and found a lot in spot fighting products. It can swell up to double its size when added to water, making it more porous, or in other words, it becomes more powerful and super absorbent. Another quality of the bentonite clay when it’s introduced to water is the electric property molecules that literally act like a magnet to attract the toxins out of the skin. It’s ease of targeting skin concerns makes it more understandable why this clay is so popular.
  • Ghassoul- Also known as Rhassoul, this clay often found in Morocco can be used on the skin and hair and has been used for thousands of years. Rich in minerals, this clay is the ultimate ingredient for any product. With it being negatively charged, it is able to soak in any toxins from the skin, such as sebum, blackheads and oil which are found around the hair follicles. Ghassoul clay also helps with build-up of oils in the hair and restores volume and shine.

You will find three different types of clay in the Procoal detoxifying face mask, we’ve teamed these clays together to deliver outstanding and noticeable difference to your skin. Gentle, without causing irritation and so deep cleansing your skin will feel purified and detoxed of any toxins and bacteria, take a look at the face mask.

Sugar and Salt

Sugar and salt in natural skincare products occur a lot more than you would originally think. You can find a variety of products that contain sugar and salt to help with providing natural ways to clear dead skin, creating dull and sallow looking skin. Sugar is a lot softer on the skin due to the granules being rounder and less likely to ‘cut’ the skin. Salt is a lot more abrasive and should be avoided for use on the face. Sugar and salts work well in DIY handmade skincare products, such as scrubs. Use sugar for the face and lips and salt for tough areas such as the hard skin on the soles of your feet. Salt can be quite dehydrating to the skin, so remember to slather the moisturiser on after using it. 

Liquid Carrier Oils

It’s shocking to remember just how important liquid carrier oils are, due to essential oils always reeking in the glory. Carrier oils are vital to aid the healing properties of the essential oils. There are so many carrier oils that boost their own health benefitting properties. Here are the top 5 we absolutely love,

  • Coconut Oil- Easily the most popular oil, found from the fruit of the coconut tree. With a great long shelf life and so many uses it is no wonder this carrier oil is in almost everyone’s kitchen and bathroom cupboards. Easily labelled a super oil, it contains antioxidants, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and dilutes essential oils well for massage and therapeutic uses.
  • Olive Oil- This oil does a lot more than cooking and flavouring your food, it’s also packed full of health benefits such as lowering cholesterol and helping with heart and cardiovascular system due to it contain 75% oleic acid. Be careful with this oil as opting for a cheap bottle will result in you getting a mixture of different oils and not the pure olive oil. Choosing an unrefined extra virgin olive oil will guarantee no added chemicals would have made their way into the bottle.
  • Jojoba Oil- Comprised of 75% eicosenoic acid and fatty omega 3 acids, it’s the best oil for mimicking the natural oil found on the human skin called sebum. This makes jojoba oil great for use as a moisturiser due to it ability to absorb into the skin without leaving a greasy oil on the skin like other oils.
  • Sweet Almond Oil- Extremely rich in vitamin E, sweet almond oil is fantastic for dry skin and is hypoallergenic, making this a great oil for massage on infants. You’ll find it’s also anti-aging and leaves the facial skin smooth, supple and fine lines reduced.
  • Argan Oil- This oil is the crème de la crème of carrier oils, you won’t be surprised that high end beauty products contain this oil in a lot of their luxury natural skincare. Great for anti-aging and treatment for any UV damage, stretch marks and scars. The most popular use for this oil is in hair care products due to its ability to promote hair growth and mend split ends.

There are so many more liquid carrier oils available, such as avocado, grape seed etc all of which are well established within the beauty and healthcare industries. Without the help of a carrier oil, essential oils will not benefit the skin at all, essential oils evaporate quickly and shouldn’t be applied directly to the skin. So, with help from these carrier oils you receive the total rewards of the essential oils, as well as the added beneficial properties of liquid carrier oil.

Essential Oils

You are probably aware of essential oils, however may be a little unsure of what they do and how they benefit you. With essential oils being extremely beneficial for both the body, skincare and mind there is no limit to what these oils can do! As incredible as these essential oils are, it’s best to avoid applying them neat onto your skin and so teaming them with a liquid carrier oil will allow the skin to receive the benefits without any irritation. If you want to use an essential oil in your skincare, it is best to find the best oil for your skin type. Here are some of the most popular ones used and favourites of aromatherapists too.

  • Lavender oil- This oil is very versatile and is able to support all skin types. Particularly known for its’ calming properties, it relieves itchiness and skin irritation with its anti-inflammatory benefits. For a more aromatherapy approach, lavender is also brilliant at aiding sleep and good rest.
  • Lemongrass oil- This oil certainly packs a punch in comparison to how gentle lavender is, however it is important to dilute the oil to stop any reactions. With this being said, the reason it’s a lot stronger than lavender oil is due to the fact it helps with balancing the sebum production of the skin and helps combat toxins and debris on the skin. Lemongrass is very potent and mixed with water or diluted with a carrier oil are two natural ways to clear skin of any build up.
  • German Chamomile oil- You can find Roman and German chamomile oils and both are great to use. The difference is German chamomile is a lot thicker than its Roman counterpart and is outstanding at providing moisture to extremely dry skin types. Unlike other essential oils, chamomile is safe to use on infant and elderly skin, with the correct amount of diluting of course. With great cleansing benefits, making your own handmade skincare can result in a high preforming natural cleanser for dry skin, leaving it hydrated, comfortable and squeaky clean.
  • Basil oil- This oil is particularly great for soothing insect bites and gentle enough to use on sensitive skin. It can even help with soothing tired muscles after a hard work out. All in all, a pretty handy essential oil to have to hand!

Just like liquid carrier oils, there are so many essential oils to choose from, it’s a case of researching, you’ll no doubt find the one for you.

Floral Waters

Closely linked to essential oils, floral waters are the outcome of the stem distilling process of collecting essential oils from botanical ingredients. Luckily for us, this water isn’t thrown away, but instead made its way into the beauty aisles! There are three main floral waters that reappear a number of times in products.

  • Rose- Rosewater is gentle enough to use by itself, applied directly to the skin and also as an ingredient. With it delivering your complexion a beautiful glow, very soothing to dry and sensitive skin and nourishing to a more mature skin, it’s an all rounder!
  • Lavender- Great for irritated skin, this water is just as gentle for the skin as rose.
  • Tea tree- This is the best at battling bacteria and helping with enlarged pores. Having an oily, blemish prone skin means this is the floral water for you.

You are able to use floral waters by themselves as a change to any toners you already use, as well as a hair tonic to help restore balance and shine back to your tresses. Misting the skin with floral water after applying make-up helps to set everything into place and add longevity to the foundation and powders. It also helps for summer heat for a quick cool down! Not forgetting how using floral water for DIY skincare and body care products can be amazing, such as scrubs and masks.

Herbs 

We are all aware of super foods such as blueberries, avocados etc having noticeable effects on the skin, body and hair. Believe it or not, herbs are also a little secret to boosting your beauty. Whether in a skincare product or thrown into your cooking, having these ingredients in your body will work wonders! The top herbs we would recommend are the following.

  • Fennel- Fennel is a great source of vitamins and minerals making it great for skin that has aged prematurely, is wrinkled or sun damaged. Perfect for dry skin types too.
  • Thyme- Deeply cleansing and packed with active ingredients fighting blemishes, this herb leaves the skin feeling very clean, especially oily skin types.
  • Rosemary- Another herb that helps more oily skin is rosemary, it can used as an invigorating toner or astringent to bring life back into dull and lifeless looking oily skin and also helps combat blackheads.
  • Sage- Sage helps target sagging complexions and stimulates blood flow giving the skin a boost of radiance, ideal for more mature skin and oily skin types.

With herbs in your natural skincare routine you will find that finding an essential oil and floral water a lot easier as all three coincide together, meaning you will definitely find a routine that works for your skin and targeting the concerns you may have. It’s great to mix and match the products to really notice the difference they have on your skin.

Herb Infused Carrier Oils

We’ve already discussed how amazing carrier oils work for the skin and have just discussed the power of herbs in our skincare. Now we will mention how combining them both together is an incredible addition to your beauty shelf. Herb infused carrier oils, well the clue is the name, they are a carrier oil infused with all the powerful and beneficial properties of herbs making it a very potent base for essential oils, be it for massage or skin/body care.

Waxes

Waxes act like a cosmetic hybrid as they can be used in moisturisers, balms, conditioners, fragrances and more. Containing hydrocarbons and fatty esters, waxes work better in a skincare recipe compared to fats as they are less greasy and very resistant to bacteria, oxidation and moisture. Waxes are available from a variety of plants and animal produce, such as beeswax. They all contain their own benefits and work well combined with other natural components in a green skincare routine. The different natural waxes you can find are the following.

  • Beeswax
  • Candelilla
  • Castor
  • Carnauba
  • Floral
  • Lanolin

Natural Hair Care  

Shampoo and conditioners are a very personal product for someone to use, it sometimes takes a long time to find the best hair care duo that gives them the hair they have always dreamed of. But what if I was to tell you that a lot of conventional hair care products either worsen your hair over time or even mask a problem with heavy silicones and chemicals which in fact weight the hair down, how would you feel?

Switching over to a natural hair product will benefit your hair in the long run, take Procoal’s #ditchthebottle Shampoo bar, available in four different scents that help combat different concerns, from itching scalps to lack of shine. Rich in essential oils and shea butter to add nourishment and moisture to the hair without weighing down the tresses, causing them to become greasy and having to hair wash more than actually needed.

The different scents of our shampoo bars target different hair concerns, which are as follows:

Seaweed- Nourishing and hydrating, great for dry and brittle hair

Rose- Revitalising, perfect for boosting shine in hair that is looking a little dull

Charcoal- Purifying, charcoal is great at drawing up any toxins from the hair follicles but remains gentle on the hair at the same, this is ideal for dyed hair.

Lavender- Calming, soothing for irritated and itchy scalps, this shampoo will be great for those who suffer with skin aliments such as psoriasis and eczema.

Your hair will feel clean, light and full of bounce, and what’s more you will find you can go a little longer between washes and have your hair still looking fresh!

Take a look at our website for more information on our shampoo bars.

Natural face and body care

We have previously explained in more detail the main ingredients you will find throughout an organic and natural skincare routine. Some sceptics of green skincare will doubt whether the herbs, essential oils etc could perform as well as synthetic and manmade ingredients. However, it has been proven time and time again that the natural approach will usually triumph.  

Now that we have spoken about selecting the ingredients for a natural skincare you will have an idea of the sort of products you are looking for. All skin types are catered for, from cleansing the skin first thing in the morning to last thing at night. Taking a look at the back of the packaging at the ingredients list will aid your search for the best natural product, remember that the first ones mentioned have the largest amount contained in the product. For example, if something has aqua, or water, as the first ingredient listing, the essential oils and other useful elements will be diluted and not as potent.  This is always handy to keep in mind when choosing a new product to try.

Make-up – How to get more from less

Make-up can get itself a bit of a bad reputation at times, some people say it’s terrible for self-confidence and a waste of time. Love it or hate it, it’s a very personal thing.

Make-up is a great way of expressing yourself, you can make yourself feel empowered by popping on a red lipstick or applying some BB cream to give you a healthy glow when you’ve got a cold. Whatever the reason you use make-up, it should be used how you want to use it.

The idea of being a ‘natural beauty’ by not wearing any make-up happens very rarely, in my opinion, being a totally natural, natural beauty is hard to come by. Even if you don’t wear an inch of foundation or mascara, you no doubt look after your skin, which is the first step to take if you are after a more natural make-up look. If you think about make-up as being the paint, you the artist and your face is the canvas, having a smooth, clean canvas will make your finished look completely flawless.

Rest & Recovery

Spending all the time and effort on finding the best natural skincare for you will help you in the long run. There is one thing to remember that is incredible for the skin in rejuvenating and revitalising it and that is sleep believe it or not. Matthew Walker, renowned neuroscientist and author of the book Why We Sleep, has been quoted how sleep should be prescribed by doctors, take a look at his YouTube video where he busts sleep myths.  

It is easy to say the cure for everything is to catch a bit more shut eye, but for some it may be unattainable, that is usually why night creams and serums are packed with antioxidants to give you that extra helping hand and recharging your skin whilst you sleep. Having said that, the reason it is called ‘beauty sleep’ means that those 8 hours you snooze your skin is able to restore itself, so try your hardest to get some sleep.

Conclusion

Deciding to take the plunge into the natural beauty world isn’t for the faint hearted. It does take a lot of determination and research, simply because products who claim to be natural have in fact hidden nasties in them. Whether you go for natural or use a mixture of conventional and natural, the difference you will notice from the introduction of cleansers, moisturisers, face scrubs, face masks etc packed with botanical and green ingredients will give your skin an extra boost you never thought it needed.

Natural Beauty FAQ’s:

* Are natural products less effective than normal beauty products?

This would be a pretty tricky question to answer, a bit of a double ended sword in a way. If you are after organic beauty products due to your skin type being sensitive or dry, opting for a natural beauty routine will be the best idea for you. Does this mean that natural products are better than normal beauty products? Not necessarily, it all depends on you and your skin. Finding the right mixture of ingredients that truly benefit your skin is the most important task, and what may work wonders for you, wouldn’t work as well for your friend. Regarding the impact the products have on the environment, green skincare would have the upper hand. Usually meaning the packaging and ingredients have a lower carbon footprint or are made from recyclable materials and so therefore easily recycled.

* Why does natural deodorant not include aluminium?

For most conventional deodorants, aluminium is added to help stop perspiration by plugging the pores and stopping any liquid to leave the body. Studies have shown that doing this is in fact harmful for the body resulting in toxins being unable to escape the body, which has been linked to skin diseases and even breast cancer (not something we can state whether true or not), but we don’t want you to be worried, seeing as a natural deodorant uses other ingredients that are safer to use, such as bicarbonate of soda you can switch things up. Before you try out a natural deodorant it’s advised to have a detox of your underarms, giving your skin the chance to rid itself of any toxins and chemicals found from your previous, conventional deodorant, you’ll basically be starting afresh.

* If natural beauty is better for the skin, why aren’t all cosmetics natural?

This sort of question can be asked in every aspect of daily life, why isn’t everything fat free? Why aren’t all light bulbs LED? The list is endless. It simply comes from the brand itself. Some companies have been established for a number of decades, yes, they may have reformulated their products a number of times and have an update to their formula, it may not necessarily be natural. This is due to keeping diversity within the industry and allowing the opportunity for people to have the choice.

* When should someone consider adding natural skincare to their routine?

There’s no wrong or right time to start considering adding natural skincare to their routine. You can be 18 or 68, the good thing is that you are considering it. Remember you don’t need to go on a huge skincare cull, just simply carry on using your products until they have run out and replace them with a new alternative from a natural skincare brand.

* When referring to the ingredients list, what does ‘naturally derived’ mean?

It’s always a good idea to take a look at the ingredients list on products. Finding the words naturally derived or naturally occurring mean two different things. For example, naturally occurring mean ingredients that are added to a product without any alternative elements added. Naturally derived varies a lot due to the fact that it may start with a natural source but have been used to artificially create a product that is produced and delivered in an unnatural way.

* How do I know which oils are right for my skin?

Every skin type benefits from using an oil, even oily skin types. But before you reach for the nearest oil and pile it onto your skin, take into consideration your skin type as there is an oil that will benefit your skin best. For example, if you have an oily, acne-prone skin try using evening primrose, dry and mature skin loves oils with a high, fatty acids, such as avocado oils. For normal or combination, coconut oil is a good all-rounder, for everyone to use in fairness.

* How long will it take my body / skin / hair to adjust to this new routine?

Finding the time to try a new routine is a challenge in itself, so wanting to know when you’ll see results is an understandable question. It can be as quick as two weeks for some products, for others up to six weeks. It really does depend on your skin type and whether the new products work for you. For example, if you have blemish prone skin, some natural products may cause more blemishes at first, simply because they are drawing out all the impurities and toxins that push the blemishes out. It may need to get worse to get better.

Bibliography

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