Beauty the natural way.
Over a decade ago….Yikes! that makes me feel old. I had a spell of wearing all natural make-up, in fact my wedding photos are testament to my confidence in mineral foundation. I can’t quite recall why I didn’t continue on this path. I can only assume I was lured to the dark side with promises of flawless photo shop-esque coverage for acne prone skin…maybe it was the Maybelline!
Whatever the reasons it took me nearly 12 years to come a full circle and realise that good skin doesn’t come in the bottles that promise the perfect skin of a super model. Of course we now know that many of these beautiful ladies do not need to possess a flawless complexion either thanks to the beauty of photo manipulation. Although that knowledge doesn’t seem to stop us yearning for that image.
I now know that good skin comes from within. A good diet and not bombarding it daily with a vast array of skin confusing products goes along way towards a great complexion.
Your skin is your biggest organ and to some degree any chemicals natural or synthetic can be absorbed into your system through topical applications of cosmetics, lotion, creams etc. While the majority of molecules are too big to penetrate the skin, and our bodies are designed to eliminate chemicals and toxins I’d much rather use natural plant based products. It does have to be noted here that there are some dangerously toxic natural ingredients but equally there is also a vast array of amazing natural ingredients that can really improve the appearance of your skin.
I would say like the majority of people I have tried countless products in my search for the holy grail of perfect skin. In the past my routine would have included a cleanser, toner, a day cream a night cream and the Pièce de résistance an age defying serum. These days my routine is a much simpler affair. I used totally natural products, relying on oils and balms to cleanse, moisturise and keep my skin healthy.
Improvements in diet and restoring balance to my skin has meant that I have gone from someone whose skin would suck up moisture like a sponge to only needing a few drops of oil daily and a balm or cream when a little extra moisture is needed. Jojoba oil is a fantastic natural product it is a unique liquid wax obtained from cold pressing the seeds of the jojoba shrub, it’s properties are close to the natural oil produce by your skin making it an ideal natural moisturiser. I used jojoba to make my own oil formulation including other wonderful skin soothing and nourishing oils such as hemp and red raspberry seed oil. To give my skin an extra boost I use a facial mask that is full of skin nourishing natural extracts.
Including coconut oil, omegas into my diet and regular epsom salt baths has helped to rid my body of the patches of dry skin and banish the itchy tight feeling that plagued me for years. To keep my skin healthy I tend to exfoliate once a week with a homemade sea salt or sugar scrub that contains mood boosting and therapeutic essential oils, I also use shea and mango butter based body butter for moisturising drier areas such as knees, elbows and shins. Sometimes I also like to use a body oil. Shea butter is a wonderful natural moisturiser rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids. It is said to offer a natural UV protection of around SPF- 6 although due to its natural nature this cannot be guaranteed and shouldn’t be relied on for protection. Dry body brushing is an excellent way of keeping your skin in tip top condition.
One of the first items in my personal care routine to be ditched in favour of a healthier alternative was the aluminium contain antiperspirants. These were swapped for more deodorants containing natural ingredients. Wellness Mama has a great recipe for a home made solid deodorant or alternatively there are these ready to go options Neals Yard and Hippy Paste . I am yet to find a solid natural deodorant that doesn’t contain bicarbonate of soda which can be an irritant to some…the hunt is till on
There are many homemade recipes on the internet but I would rather buy from companies that have undergone the necessary stability testing and can guarantee sufficient levels of protection. The Natural Skincare Co stock a good range of natural and organic sunscreen. Yaoh make a vegan sun block made from hemp seed oil that comes in SPF30 and SPF15 and my personal favourite Goddess Garden products.
Going no ‘poo’ was probably the biggest change to my personal care routine . If someone had told the old me that I would be washing my hair with clay I would fallen over laughing. After a year of using rhassoul clay to tend to my locks all I can say is that this is the most brilliant natural hair product. I have used this natural method for my hair when it was below shoulder length and my current very short hair. With regular use my hair has become thicker, is soft without the need for conditioner and seems more vibrant. More info on how to use this wonderful product can be found here. Alternative there are now some great natural hair products on offer and more coming on to the market all the time this is one from Living Naturally has recently caught my eye.
I found that once my skin became more balanced the tone and texture was greatly improved and has resulted in the need for less coverage. In the past like a lot of women I hid a multitude of blemishes and dark circles under my make up. These days I have returned to natural mineral make up for all my needs. I love the Lily Lolo a large range of all natural make up, from powders to BB creams to eye shadows and lipsticks. Offering excellent coverage where needed it also has the added benefits of no pore clogging fillers that can lead to breakouts. The range does contain titanium dioxide which is a no no in some peoples books but I personally consider it to be the lesser of evils.
I often gaze at other peoples shiny gel nails with a slight twinge of envy and with my own, less pretty appendages shoved into my pockets. This particular area of vanity has been the hardest to let go of. For those times when my inner glamour puss breaks rank and overrides the new hippy chick me I use these healthier alternatives to bring a bit of glam: Kaur Bazaar nail polish offers a eco-natural formula that is made of 85% natural ingredients, including wood pulp, wheat, cotton, potatoes and corn and Nailberry a vegan range of breathable nail polishes that are free from formaldehyde, toluene, synthetic camphor, DPB and formaldehyde.
I made the switch to a natural toothpaste in gradual. First buying a SLS free paste to get used to a non foaming action before moving on to a natural paste. Earthpaste toothpaste is a totally natural product made from clay and only containing a few natural ingredient for keeping your smile healthy naturally. The peppermint is my fave.Another great option is from The Green People