Last week I announced the start of a new series of posts on my blog – Spotlight on Natural Beauty. To me, natural beauty means not using products with strange chemicals and an ingredient list a mile long and sticking to a simple and organic beauty routine. I like to know where the elements that make up my products have come from and what their uses or benefits are. My skin is sensitive and prone to irritation, so additives like parabens (preservatives, read more here), sulphates (primary surfactants, great article about them here), and any mineral oil derivatives (see a slightly biased but still informative article here) are a no-no for me.
In the following weeks, I’ll be sharing my beauty routine (and mistakes I’ve made in the past), my favourite make-up products, and comparisons between similar products from different brands (let the mascara show-down commence!).
For my first post, I thought I’d share my favourite essential beauty products with you. These products are all no-fuss items that have worked consistently for me. Best of all, they’ve passed the test of time! We all get bored with the same routine and using the same products over and over again, but not so with these. I’ve purchased them repeatedly because they’ve had a big impact on my skin and my conviction that natural beauty products work far better than mainstream and mass-produced chemical products. Hopefully they’ll inspire you to get sampling and find a product you love enough to switch to a more natural approach to beauty.
Facial moisturiser: Pai Rosehip Oil
This product has been a miracle cure for my skin. In the not too distant past my cheeks were consistently red, irritated and blotchy, almost blistered in appearance and it was a major confidence issue for me. But this product has turned things around and the blisters and redness have all but disappeared after a year of use. I use it in the mornings (underneath my moisturiser) and in evenings before going to bed. I really recommend Pai products for sensitive skins for which they’re specifically formulated. They can seem pricey but they last for ages! I order mine online from Naturisimo.
Deodorant: “Dry by Nature”Desert Essence Deodorant
I spent ages trying to find a natural deodorant that worked for me. I spent a long sweaty (and smelly) summer figuring this one out, but that’s a topic for another post! This is a fragrance-free deodorant without aluminium that doesn’t block moisture but effectively neutralises the bacteria that can make underarms smell. I buy this in my local health food shop.
Shower gel: Weleda body wash or Dr Bronner’s liquid soap (I’ll happily use either brand and switch it up by changing the fragrance)
Both Weleda and Dr Bronner’s come in an array of fragrances suitable for men and women and even have a range for sensitive and baby skins. My favourites are the Weleda Lavender and Sea Buckthorn and Dr Bronner’s Peppermint and Almond fragrances. I love the creamy texture of the Weleda body wash that leaves your skin feeling moisturised. Dr Bronner’s is a bit more foamy and leaves a “squeaky clean” feeling when washed off with water. I use them both to shave with too. Weleda and Dr Bronner’s are widely stocked in health food shops or online stores.
Shampoo: Faith in Nature or Weleda Millet Nourishing Shampoo (I switch between)
I love both these shampoos for their different qualities which is why I switch them up. The Weleda shampoo is derived from millet for normal hair. It doesn’t foam (unless you use a lot) and it doesn’t feel like it’s stripping out all of the oils from your hair like some other shampoos do. I tend to use this on my scalp only, massaging it in properly before rinsing to get to every hair follicle. I’m just finishing a bottle of the Faith in Nature coconut shampoo which has lasted for absolutely ages (I have tried some of their other lines before and they all seem to have the same properties). This shampoo does foam – although not as much as the commercial brands that use sulfates – and I use it all over my hair, but it does feel a little more stripping than the Weleda shampoo which is why I switch between the two.
Body Moisturiser: Weleda body oil or body lotion
I’ll switch between the Weleda body oils or lotions depending on how dry my skin feels. As with the shower gels, my favourite scents are the Sea Buckthorn and Lavender or the Calendula body oil for every day use. The body oil is really sumptuous and I love the extra moisturising boost, especially after shaving. I tend to use the body lotion, which is non-greasy and absorbs quite quickly when I want a lighter skin moisturiser for example when the climate is quite humid and my skin isn’t very dry.
Body Scrub: Neal’s Yard Frankincense and Mandarin body polish
For a touch of luxury (because we all deserve it), I’ve included a body scrub in my list. The smell of this scrub is amazingly energising and sensual at the same time and the essential oils in the formula (don’t worry it’s not a greasy product at all) leave my skin feeling beautifully smooth. I use this product every second day (in between shaving days). You can buy it in any Neal’s Yard shops or online.
Have you used any of these brands before? What did you think? What are your favourite essential natural beauty products?