It was my natural intuition that triggered my interest in natural beauty products. The main concern that I’ve developed during my career as a beauty journalist is the chemical overload that so many products in our cabinets contain. The range and variety is so great. I’m not one to scaremonger and pinpoint particular chemicals such as parabens or dibutyl phthalats. What I really worry about is the accumulative effect of a whole host of chemicals that we use all over our body over many years.
As well as the personal effect of non-natural products, there is also the detrimental environmental impact caused by the mining of minerals and of oil for petroleum-based products. Mining usually takes place in delicate areas of the world. If the artificial products aren’t mined then they are laboratory-made.
Then there is the question of packaging, much of which is resource intensive to produce while the chemical components of many products don’t break down and instead accumulate in our ecosystems.
I believe natural products are a lot kinder and gentler to the body while carrying a lighter footprint. Organic or fair trade products make you more aware of the farming practices and the livelihoods of the people farming and harvesting the ingredients.
The skincare brands that I believe are really transparent and sincere include Weleda, Neal’s Yard Remedies , Lavera, and Aromatherapy Associates. To find out what suits your skin type, it’s best to try out the texture of the products and I’m a strong advocate of natural oils. Some of them have very specific properties. Rosehip seed oil is very good for pigmentation, acne, eczema and scarring. Coconut is my wonder oil and a great body moisturiser. You can buy it from a health food store and use the same tub in the kitchen and in the bathroom – just make sure it is virgin and raw. It also has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Frankincense oil is great for aging and dehydrated skin.
Why pay for a pot of emulsifiers and fillers when you can use the plant oil, which is high in essential fatty acids, in its natural state! I use just rosehip seed oil for a moisturiser. It simplifies the skincare routine, too. You can stock up at Feel Unique and Boots but LoveLula and Content Beauty have the best range of natural skincare and beauty products.
Yanar Alkayat is a beauty writer for UK national press and web editor/digital consultant for beauty and lifestyle brands. @yanarbeauty; www.yanaralkayat.com