Last year, I published a video about my favorite zero-waste beauty products, but many things have changed since. First, I realized that instead of focusing on how natural the beauty products were, I should know what my skin really needs. Although zero-waste beauty products are great for the environment, it cannot be the main criterion when choosing a beauty product. So if you wonder how to choose the right natural beauty products for you, you’ll find all my tips in this post.
And before we start, I want to explain what are the three main components of a natural, healthy complexion:
- what we put on our skin,
- our lifestyle,
- what we feed our minds with.
In this part, we will focus on why it is important to understand what natural beauty means, what certifications you should look for and why you must know your skin to choose the right natural beauty products.
Natural Beauty Brands
I decided to switch to natural beauty brands because I suffered from breakouts, and my skin was itching when I used “regular” beauty products. One of the brands that I have been using for more than twenty years is Dr. Hauschka. It is one of the oldest brands in Europe (established in 1935) that uses only certified natural ingredients. And the other brand that I love is Tata Harper who is a luxury version of Dr. Hauschka. Although it works wonders, it is too pricey for my budget.
As both of these brands use essential oils, they may not be suitable for those with sensitive skin. If your skin gets irritated by essential oils are, you’d better choose Drunk Elephant*, Peet Rivko, or HoliFrog.
*I have to mention that Drunk Elephant uses safe, non-toxic preservatives and synthetic ingredients, which some natural brands avoid using. So as you can see, choosing the right natural product depends a lot on what is acceptable for you.
When choosing an organic beauty product, look for the percentage (%) of certified organic ingredients.
On the left: a gentle face cleanser from a UK-based brand EVOLVE. It is COSMOS certified and vegan. While 100% of the ingredients are of natural origin, only 50% are organic.
On the right: gentle enzyme cleanser from HoliFrog that contains only natural, non-toxic, and bio-active ingredients. I use it before I get my period to deal with hormonal breakouts.
1. UNDERSTAND THE TERMS
To avoid getting lost and confused with all the terms used in connection to natural cosmetics, you should understand them. Check the video at the end of this post, where I explain the differences.
In practice, clean beauty products should contain only safe and non-toxic ingredients and be labeled transparently. Toxic ingredients include parabens, sulfates, drying alcohols, phthalates, SLS, PEGs, phenoxyethanol, silicones, and petroleum.
2. CERTIFICATIONS TO LOOK FOR
When buying organic, natural, cruelty-free, or vegan cosmetics beauty products, look for these recognized certification logos:
- Vegan: there are many societies in the EU and in the world that certify vegan products: for example, Vegan Society, V-label, Vegan.org, etc.
3. KNOW YOUR SKIN
To choose the right natural beauty products for you, you need to know what your skin needs.
A couple of years ago, I underwent a skin analysis session in Geneva. After the skin analysis machine scanned my face, it identified issues that I should beware of and deal with. One of them is dry skin in the under-eye area, and the second one, broken capillaries.
There are two ways to dealing with broken capillaries – you can either permanently remove them with a laser or accept them. If you choose the latter, you have to change the way you treat your skin. For example, I make sure not to expose my skin to radical changes in temperature (such as taking a cold shower when I step out of the sauna).
I also use face creams and eye serums that contain venotonic agents (such as witch-hazel, or red wine extract) because they increase micro-vascular blood flow.
For example, French brand Caudalie is famous for its use of vine and grape extracts in its beauty products. It is an affordable and natural beauty brand. For a luxury version, check IRENE FORTE’s Age-Defying Hibiscus serum which contains witch-hazel and multi-molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid (among other active ingredients).
One brand that I really love right now is Odacité. They make highly-concentrated, effective, and organic serums that visibly improved my skin. And they also have a special serum for skin with fragile capillaries called Apricot Palmarosa (AP+P) Serum.
In this example, you can see that if you know what your skin needs, you can find it among the natural beauty brands quite easily. If I did not know that I have to look for products that will target broken capillaries and use an eye cream, my skin would not look as good as it does now. Thus, before you switch to new beauty products, I recommend that you visit a dermatologist and have a professional skin analysis done.
4. PERCENTAGE OF ACTIVE INGREDIENTS
When you’re choosing a beauty product, look at what position is the active ingredient listed. If it is at the beginning, it means that it is the main ingredient in the product. And if it is at the end, the amount will be minimal.
Do you look at how much of the active ingredient the product contains? Let’s say that you’re looking for a Vitamin C serum. One of the organic beauty brands that I like, The Organic Pharmacy, has a Stabilized Vitamin C Serum, which contains 15% of Vit C. Not so long ago, I discovered Illuminans Multivitamin Serum by The DOT.Spa that contains 30% of Vitamin C. Since Vitamin C increases sensitivity to the sun, I use it only in the evenings. My skin texture has visibly improved already after one week of using it.
– a popular hydrating ingredient. If you want to buy Hyaluronic Acid serum, you should always make sure that it contains triple weight (small, medium, and large) molecule Hyaluronic Acid so that it can penetrate deep into your skin.
For example, this serum from The Organic Pharmacy is a good choice. I am now testing EVOLVE’s Natural Hyaluronic Acid Serum. It contains low molecular weight hyaluronic acid (200mg per bottle), and so far, I like the results. On the other hand, if you choose Hydro Sensation Serum from Lavera (a well-known natural German beauty brand), you won’t find any information on the type of Hyaluronic acid they use.
5. SUN PROTECTION
One of the best tips to prevent aging your skin is to use sunscreen. A few years ago, I made a video about the best, non-toxic sunscreens on the market, and since then, our family likes organic sunscreen from Laboratoires de Biarritz. I am now testing Radiant Day Shield from The Organic Pharmacy SPF10, which is natural, and 62% of the ingredients are organic. This summer, I will switch to Cellular Protection SPF30 sunscreen from the same brand, which promises not to leave a white film on the skin.
Do you think that after reading this article, you’ll be able to choose the right natural beauty products for you?
Let me know in the comments below.