Natural Skincare: Products, Ingredients, Benefits And More!
Go deep on our collection of clean and green skincare products and accessories
WHAT IS NATURAL SKINCARE?
Natural skincare means using products in your routine that are formulated using only ingredients and derivatives that are sourced naturally. Because nature provides us with a plethora of options for plants that are effective at cleansing, hydrating and treating the skin, natural skincare products are formulated without parabens, synthetic fragrances and more.
Natural skincare in part means that the ingredients used to create the formulations are free from harmful synthetics as well as made using only ingredients that can be found in nature. (Think: water, plant, nut and seed oils like jojoba, coconut and grapeseed, as examples). While words like “clean beauty” and “organic skincare” are sometimes overused in the cosmetic industry, we encourage you to do your research on natural skincare in an effort to omit some of these ingredients, largely agreed upon as unnecessary and potentially harmful to both your body and mind:
- Synthetic or isolated fragrances. Oftentimes, seeing the words ‘fragrance’ or ‘perfume’ in a blend mean that this is a combination of undisclosed chemicals, many of which are known irritants to the skin. Many people’s skin reacts poorly to fragrance in general, so we say to skip it whenever possible.
- Mineral oil. A petroleum by-product, this ingredient is clogging to the pores, which is harmful in the sense that it does not allow the skin to eliminate toxins as it typically would which can cause blemishes, breakouts and premature signs of aging.
- Parabens. You may see these listed as methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben or propylparaben, and all of these are commonly used as preservatives and have the ability to contribute to hormone imbalance. Since many effective natural preservative ingredients exist, we say to err on the side of caution and go without whenever you can.
- There are of course dozens of ingredients that do not belong in cosmetics and skincare products, which is why it’s best to do your own research and make decisions about the types of ingredients you feel comfortable using. EWG’s Skin Deep Database is a great place to start.
Read on as we explore more about natural skincare.
IS NATURAL SKINCARE BETTER FOR YOU?
Largely, terms like “natural” and “clean” are unregulated in the cosmetics and beauty industry, meaning it can be challenging to know if these formulations actually meet the requirements to be considered both of these things. Generally speaking, when a product is labeled “all natural”, it means that it was created with plants, fruits, minerals etc that were not created synthetically.
What most people want from their skincare products is for them to be safe and effective. Some people place extra emphasis on the ingredients in the product (where they’re sourced from and their environmental impact), while others focus more on what isn’t included in the recipe for the product (like artificial or synthetic ingredients). What’s most important is doing your own research, by reading ingredient labels, becoming familiar with the brands from whom you purchase products and being aware of ingredients that have caused reactivity or sensitivity to your skin in the past, and looking to avoid them. Taking ownership over the way you treat your skin and how you build your skincare toolkit can have many lasting effects for years to come.
Below we’re going to share a natural skincare routine that we believe is safe and effective to promote healthy-looking and radiant skin as an example for normal and combination skin types.
A NATURAL SKINCARE ROUTINE FOR GLOWING SKIN
We believe that skin looks dewy, hydrated and glowing when it’s been properly cleansed, moisturized and treated. Though there are certainly benefits to adding additional products to your skincare routine, creating a foundational regimen you can follow consistently provides the most optimal conditions for healthy-looking skin.
STEP 1: A GENTLE, NURTURING CLEANSER
As part of our Glow On line for normal and combination skin types, we’ve fallen in love with our nutrient-rich oil cleanser. We created this formula to defend against environmental stressors that cause damage or dryness, as well as to remove impurities, makeup and SPF products. Glow On is formulated with antioxidant-rich parsley seed, deeply hydrating squalane and skin nourishing oat extract, all of which support a healthy glow and protection of your complexion. This oil cleanser can be used on its own or as step 1 of a double cleanse routine, followed by a gel or cream cleanser of your choice.
STEP 2: A DEEPLY HYDRATING MOISTURIZER
The Glow On moisturizer hydrates and protects from environmental effects and was formulated to be used as part of your morning and evening skincare routines. We’ve blended skin superfood shea butter, known to relieve dry, itchy skin with camelina seed oil for smoothing effects from vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids and parsley seed for antioxidants that help skin feel soft and supple after use. Use moisturizer regularly, regardless of your skin type, to keep your skin’s barrier functioning optimally.
STEP 3: A RENEWING TREATMENT
The third step we recommend in a simple natural skincare routine is a treatment product called a face oil. The Glow On face oil is a rich, nourishing treatment to lock in moisture and help protect your skin’s barrier. In a controlled consumer perception study, 93% of people reported that their skin felt more hydrated and moisturized after just one day of use. This antioxidant-rich oil blend is formulated with vitamin E-dense raspberry seed oil, gentle and well-tolerated argan oil to reduce the appearance of redness and elemi essential oil to reduce blemishes and minor skin imperfections.
THREE NATURAL SKINCARE PRODUCTS EVERYONE SHOULD OWN
With many products available to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down the right ones for you. Whether you’re looking for results according to specific skincare goals or you’re curious to try a new product on the market, here are three of the best natural skincare products we’ve found to help support your best skin, ever:
A DETOXIFYING AND CLEANSING FACE MASK
Detox Mode clay face mask: this mask is oil absorbing, irritation-easing and helps to deeply purify and unclog the pores for soft, smooth, touchable skin. We’ve blended bamboo charcoal to help draw out dirt and oil from clogged pores, kaolin clay to reduce excess oil and provide gentle exfoliation and frankincense essential oil to restore vitality to the skin and replenish moisture. A detox clay face mask is typically recommended for use 1-2 times per week on freshly cleansed skin.
A SUPERSTAR FOR YOUR SOFTEST LIPS, EVER
Lip Nourish lip salve: restore your lips to their smoothest state with this ultra-hydrating lip salve that’s been blended with spearmint, a fresh and invigorating essential oil that uplifts the spirits and adds a cool tingle to the lips, coconut oil to nourish your delicate skin and provide hydration and beeswax which is a natural emulsifier and helps to lock moisture into the delicate skin on the lips. Try layering on a thick coat at bedtime and waking up with super soft lips.
A BALM THAT CAN DO IT ALL!
Strong Balm lash and nail salve: this is one of the most versatile all natural skincare products we offer. Not only does this balm work double duty to condition and strengthen the lashes and nails, it can also be used as a lip balm and a natural makeup remover. We’ve formulated this blend with deeply hydrating and skin-healing calendula, calming and smoothing St. John’s wort and myrrh essential oil to support skin renewal and deep hydration.
FIVE NATURAL INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR SKINCARE PRODUCTS
There are literally thousands of natural ingredients for skincare available today, which is a part of what makes it so hard to know what to look out for. Not only are you looking to avoid certain ingredients that are known to cause irritation and reactivity, you’re also tasked with choosing certain ingredients that have long-lasting effects and proven results. We want to make your job easier by providing five key ingredients we think you should look for when choosing your best natural skincare:
- Plant Squalane: fermented from cane sugar, squalane provides non-oily hydration, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, is non-comedogenic and non-clogging to the pores, helps control oil production, mimics your skin’s natural oils and is an excellent emollient. Look for it in Calm-O-Mile, Claritea and Glow on skincare lines.
- Oat Kernel Extract: a non-gluten, non-soy source of ceramides and antioxidants including vitamin E, oat extract is naturally hydrating, balancing, soothing and acts to fortify the skin's barrier. Look for it as a key ingredient in all four of our new skincare lines.
- Nature Derived Hyaluronic Acid: produced through fermentation, hyaluronic acid can attract 1,000 times its weight in water to provide temporary hydration and softness to the skin. It helps alleviate excessive dryness, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps plump and soften the skin. Look for it in our skincare line for dry or mature skin, True Dew.
- Aloe Leaf Juice: high in antioxidants, vitamins A & C and enzymes that help to reduce the appearance of inflammation, aloe leaf juice may help reduce the frequency and appearance of acne while it treats and moisturizes the skin. Look for it in many of our skincare and body care products like lotions and body butters.
- Rosemary Leaf Extract: a natural, 100% plant-derived preservative that’s high in antioxidants which allows for improved product shelf life and stability. Look for it in our foaming hand soaps, lotions, body butters and skincare products.
TOP 5 NATURAL SKINCARE TIPS FOR HEALTHIER SKIN
Similar to the way that countless ingredients exist in skincare, so do tips and suggestions for their use. While it’s ultimately up to you to decide what feels right for your skin and for your routine, we wanted to provide five of our best practices when it comes to your best natural skincare routine:
- Keep it cool. When bathing, showering or washing up at the sink, it’s best to keep the temperature of the water lukewarm-warm. Hot water can easily strip, dehydrate and deplete the skin, all of which can cause temporary flare-ups in redness, acne, oil production etc.
- Be proactive in avoiding sun damage. There are many things you can do to reduce the impact of sun damage on your skin, like avoiding prolonged sun exposure during peak periods, wearing protective clothing when spending time outdoors and prioritizing consistent, repeated application of a high-quality sunscreen each day.
- A change can do you good. Ensure you’re changing your pillowcase (and other bedding) a minimum of once per week. Bacteria, skincare products and other potential irritants can collect in our bedding, which can undo some of the progress you’re making in your routine if your skin is repeatedly exposed. Bonus for adding a satin or silk pillowcase to your routine, which is known to be extra supportive for your skin and hair.
- Slow down on the scrub. As tempting as it may be to use physical exfoliators like scrubs, loofahs and cleansing mitts, over exfoliating the skin will cause more harm than good in the long run. It’s imperative that the skin’s delicate barrier is intact for optimal skin health, and repeatedly over exfoliating can weaken it over time, causing premature signs of aging and more. Most experts agree that exfoliating 1-2 times per week is more than enough and should always be done gently and followed up with a high-quality moisturizer.
- Keep your stress levels in check. Stress quite literally wreaks havoc on all our bodily functions, which can accelerate the aging process, increase our skin’s sensitivity or reactivity and can cause flare-ups and breakouts if left unchecked. Consistent, high levels of stress can trigger the release of cortisol, sometimes called “the stress hormone”, which can contribute to reduced levels of collagen and elastin production and can signal the body to go into overdrive, which can trigger over oil production. As you can clearly see, keeping stress at bay and finding healthy ways to manage the release of stressful feelings is key to the overall health and happiness of our skin.
OTHER RESOURCES TO LEARN MORE ABOUT NATURAL SKINCARE
If you’d like to learn more about 100% natural skincare at Saje, we suggest checking out some of the other articles we’ve written about:
The trick is to age honestly and gracefully and make it look great so that everyone looks forward to it.
— Emma Thompson