We learned on our skin care journey (Alicia - acne-prone skin; Karen - overwhelm and confusion aka Sephora Syndrome) that simple and natural ingredients solved both of our problems. Alicia's skin ultimately cleared (as evidenced by her many pictures on Instagram) and I stopped chasing the Holy Grail and massively reduced my beauty routine to a few effective, natural products.
Mother Nature provides us with many possible ingredients that promote healthy skin and work wonders in combating a host of skin care issues. Never confuse natural with ineffectiveness.
Below is a list of some basic ingredients we use - and you can use, too - to simplify and effectify (I made that up) your skincare routine. You may even have some of these at home right now!
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
From cleansing your skin, reducing acne, and clearing skin problems caused by gut issues (you have to drink it in this instance), it’s apple cider vinegar to the rescue.
Add it to your favorite dishes, turn it into a tea or apply it on your face to help you get naturally healthy skin. After using apple cider vinegar, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been using this potent natural ingredient all your life. (Note: the smell is strong, but it will go away once the vinegar is dry. You can also dilute it with a bit of water to reduce the smell if it bothers you.)
Commercial skin care products containing ACV: Fig+Yarrow Cleansing Nectar, S.W.Basics Toner, Graydon Face Foam, Essentially Haitos Bright TIght & Smooth Honey Mask
2. Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is an excellent ingredient in toners and moisturizers because it can zap oil build-up, reduce skin inflammation and irritation, and protect the skin against further damage. Use it for hydrating the skin and reducing redness.
Witch Hazel is gentle enough to use directly on your skin and high quality / organic brands are easy to find.
Commercial skin care products containing Witch Hazel: S.W. Basics Toner, Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner, Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Mist
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil (solid at room temperature) is just awesome and can be used for almost all your skincare needs (plus if you get the scented version - heavenly!). Coconut oil is a gentle but potent ingredient which has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antioxidant properties.
Your skin just seems to get better and better the more consistently you use it - it strengthens the skin’s epidermal tissues and sloughs away dead skin cells.
Loaded with healthy fats, it can help cleanse, moisturize, and even remove makeup. Coconut oil can also promote faster wound healing and prevent razor burn.
You’ll fall in “skin love” with coconut oil!
Commercial skin care products containing Coconut Oil: Cocovit Coconut Charcoal Face Mask, Herbivore Coco Rose Body Polish, Yes to Coconut Light Body Spray
Avocado is a must for health-conscious individuals and skin care aficionados. It’s no surprise that it seems everyone is loading up on servings of this ultra-moisturizing fatty fruit. (Fashionista.com called Avocado Oil the Buzzy Beauty Ingredient of the Moment.)
Avocado contains vitamins A, D, and E which promote a glowing complexion and healthy body.
It can also boost collagen production, soothe sunburned skin, and treat age spots (yay for me!). Whether eaten or applied to your skin (in the form of a natural avocado mask or as an oil), avocado can help reduce skin inflammation.
You can glow from the inside out when you make avocado a staple in your diet and in your skin care routine.
Commercial skin care products containing Avocado Oil: Lush Enzymion Facial Moisturizer, Sephora Avocado Sheet Mask, Essentially Haitos Mean Green and Pretty in Pink Clay Masks and Coffee Lovers Eye Serum.
5. Raw Honey (our very first skin care ingredient "discovery")
With raw honey comes raw and pure skin care. Raw honey is an amazing natural source of vitamins, nutrients, and skin-boosting acids.
Its many benefits can improve and maintain skin health. Use this golden substance to moisturize skin, fight breakouts, and help reduce scars.
The antiseptic qualities of raw honey encourage wound healing. It also helps manage allergies or rashes.
Raw honey still has all the goodness of unprocessed and unheated honey, unlike ones in grocery stores. Because all of its nutrients are still intact, raw honey is the better option for skin health.
Commercial skin care products containing Raw Honey: Worker Bee Honey Face Wash; Naturopathica Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm; and of course Essentially Haitos Bright, Tight and Smooth Honey Mask, Hello Sunshine, Pretty in Pink and Mean Green Clay Masks.
6. Tea Tree Oil
Whenever you scan through the ingredients list of some skin care products on the market, you will almost always come across tea tree oil.
A common ingredient for natural skin treatment for acne, tea tree oil can fight breakouts and keep pimples at bay. It’s also good at reducing skin redness and inflammation.
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) has been around for hundreds of years in Australia. The oil extracted from this plant has been tried and tested through the centuries so you know this stuff is great for your skin.
Using tea tree oil directly on the skin? Tea Tree is an Essential Oil, which means it is extremely concentrated; therefore, It’s best to apply it with a carrier oil (i.e. another oil such as coconut oil, avocado oil, jojoba etc.)
Commercial skin care products contaianing Tea Tree Oil: Keeva Tea Tree Oil Cream; The Body Shop Tea Tree Cleansing Wash, Era Organics Tea Tree Face Cream, Essentially Haitos Mean Green Clay Mask.
7. Sea Salt
Sea salt is just one of the many treasures the ocean holds. It absorbs the goodness of the seawater where it’s produced. Because of this, pure sea salt comes loaded with minerals and nutrients a-plenty like calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
Many of these minerals and nutrients are the same ones found in skin cells and inside our bodies. This is why real sea salt can help restore, balance, and protect skin components.
Sea salt has anti-inflammatory properties to calm waves of blemishes and breakouts on skin. It’s also useful for exfoliating dead skin cells.
Commercial skin care products containing Sea Salt: Lush Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub, Ahava Dead Sea Minerals collection, Essentially Haitos Turmeric, Citrus and Neem Sea Salt Scrub
8. Lemon Essential Oil
Fresh, powerful, and zesty are three things you can say about Lemon Essential Oil. This citrusy ingredient can help fight acne breakouts due to bacteria clogged in pores.
Lemon essential oil can help fade scars and age spots (high Vitamin C content), which leads to a brighter complexion. Other benefits include toning oily skin (it works like an astringent), fighting wrinkles, and exfoliating skin.
Zest up your life when you use lemon oil for home and body . It’s useful as a laundry freshener, teeth whitener, and face mister.
One major word of warning! Lemon Oil - and any citrus oil for that matter - can make your skin more sun sensitive. So, do not use citrus oils immediately prior to going out in the sun - the whole point here is to take care of your skin, not damage it!
Commercial skin care products containing Lemon Essential Oil: Fresh Sugar Lemon Body Lotion; Vitabath Lucious Lemon Body Wash; Essentially Haitos Bright, Tight and Smooth Honey Mask and Hello Sunshine Clay Mask
9. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has been a popular and effective skin care ingredient since the dawn of time (or so it seems).
A natural cooling and soothing agent, Aloe Vera is one of the most popular natural ingredients for skin care. Besides helping to cool and heal sunburns (which you will not get if you wear enough sunscreen - more on that in another post), aloe vera can also fight bacteria and reduce itching.
It contains antioxidants, enzymes, Vitamins A and C, and it is highly anti-inflammatory. It can help treat burns, acne and dry skin. When it comes to acne, Aloe Vera works best on surface acne rather than cystic or deeper acne.
Aloe Vera refreshes skin and tightens pores, just what you want in a reliable skin care ingredient.
Commercial skin care products containing Aloe Vera: GoPure Vitamin Cleanser with Aloe Vera, Raya Ultralight Seaweed Cream (with Aloe Vera), Essentially Haitos Pretty in Pink Soothing Clay Mask
10. Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is noncomedogenic, meaning it doesn’t clog pores (awesome for anyone with pores!). Although jojoba oil is a botanical substance, its makeup is so similar to the oil (sebum) your body naturally produces that your skin can’t tell the difference (again, awesome for anyone with skin!).
Jojoba is an oil — and we usually think oil that sits on our skin is what causes breakouts — but, jojoba oil works as a protectant and cleanser. It is rich in iodine, which fights harmful bacteria growth that leads to breakouts.
The antioxidants present in jojoba oil soothe fine lines, wrinkles and naturally slow down other signs of aging.
Commercial skin care products containing Jojoba Oil: Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer, Burt's Bees Complete Nourishment Face Oil, Agave Beauty Agave Lip Mask with Jojob Oil; Essentially Haitos Hello Sunshine Clay Mask
To Read more, go to... 28 Natural Skin Care Ingredients: Uses and Benefits. The blog at Trvst.world/Sustainable Living supports the commentary found here. Their blog also expands on this article by addressing additional natural ingredients for simplifying your skin care routine.