How To Choose The Best Natural Skincare Products

Contributor: Courtney O'Conner
Photographer: Primally Pure
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Switching to natural skincare doesn’t have to difficult – or expensive. We’re sharing some easy swaps for the products you’re probably using every day.

Ingredients really do matter, and especially with a product you apply every single day (sometimes even multiple times a day), toxic ingredients found in conventional skincare can build up in your body and contribute to your toxic load overtime.

One simple, daily swap can make a world of difference for your skin and whole self.

Here are our top picks for the best natural skincare products and tips for super simple DIYs. 

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CLEANSER

If you’ve spent any time on our blog, you know we’re big believers in the Oil Cleansing Method – using the proper blend of beneficial oils to purify pores, dissolve dirt + buildup and remove makeup. This method of cleansing keeps skin healthy and strong rather than stripping it with harsh surfactants and chemicals found in conventional cleansers. It’s important to find the right formulation for your skin type to provide a deep cleanse without over drying or making oily skin even more so. 

BUY: We’ve formulated 3 different types of Cleansing Oils (Oily, Normal and Dry) and have perfected the ratio of pure, organic oils over the years to ensure a clean complexion that’s left feeling balanced and nourished, no matter what skin type you may have.

DIY: You can often find high quality, organic oils at your local health food store – or you might even have them in your kitchen or bathroom already. The one oil that is consistent in each recipe is castor oil – this oil has powerful purifying properties and really does the dirty work when it comes to cleansing. You can also add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil to create a more relaxing, spa-like experience (we love lavender + geranium). Here are the carrier oils you’ll need based on your skin type:

  • Oily/acne-prone: 1/3 castor oil + 2/3 jojoba oil or sunflower oil.

  • Normal/combination: 1/4 castor oil + 3/4 jojoba oil or avocado oil.

  • Dry/mature: just a bit of castor oil + mostly avocado oil or rosehip seed oil.

Curious if you’re oil cleansing correctly? Check out this post to help you troubleshoot any OCM mistakes you might be making.

TONER

Rather than using harsh astringents + harmful alcohols as a toner, switch to natural hydrosols to help hydrate and replenish the skin’s protective barrier. The point of applying a toner is to replenish the skin after cleansing and to prep the skin to soak in moisturizer. However, so many toners on the market today work against the skin because they are too harsh and compromise skin health with harmful ingredients. Botanical hydrosols on the other hand, contain minimal ingredients, hydrating humectants and healing benefits to strengthen + support the skin. Especially since this is a product you want to spritz morning, noon and night, it’s a must to swap out for a clean, nourishing option.

BUY: These hydrating + toning Complexion Mists are pure botanical extracts created from steam distilling plant materials that offer multiple benefits in restoring and balancing skin. We offer 3 different scents (Neroli, Lavender and Geranium) which are suitable for all skin types + we recommend rotating each of them into your skincare regime.

DIY: This is one of the simplest DIY products ever. All you need is equal parts rose water + witch hazel along with several drops of essential oils (tea tree, peppermint or lavender all pair perfectly with rosewater) for added skin balancing benefits. Blend together in a glass bottle and shake before each use. Spritz generously after cleansing, to set makeup or whenever your skin needs a pick-me-up.

FACIAL SERUM

Natural oils are SO powerful in their ability to beautify and heal the skin, which is why we love using potent and pure essential oils for facial serums. They are naturally rich in antioxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids and provide a wide range of benefits to help transform the skin. In our opinion, serums should hold a permanent place in your daily skincare routine. Because this is a product that you want your skin to soak in deeply to nourish and heal at a cellular level, purity is so important. Be sure to investigate ingredient labels to ensure the safety of your serum – you definitely don’t want any of these ingredients sitting on your skin all day long. 

BUY: The only ingredients you’ll find in this facial serum are organic essential oils. These oils have been blended for their purity + potency in regenerating and healing the skin. Rich in naturally occurring Vitamins A, C and E, your skin will experience its benefits without any harmful side effects.

DIY: You can create your own facial serum as simply or as intricately as you’d like! You can blend 2 to 10 (or more!) organic oils to treat your specific skin needs. Here are a few blends we absolutely love:

  • Brightening: sea buckthorn oil, baobab oil, pomegranate seed oil, carrot seed essential oil, helichrysum essential oil.

  • Balancing: hazelnut oil, neem oil, pumpkin seed oil, cypress essential oil, thyme essential oil.

  • Soothing: jojoba oil, argan oil, lavender essential oil, frankincense essential oil, helichrysum essential oil.


BODY MOISTURIZER

Moisturizers are a beneficial + integral part of skincare regimes for dry, sensitive and even oil-rich skin types. However, several lotions + creams on the market contain ingredient lists that are almost entirely made up of unrecognizable, artificial, skin suffocating + irritating ingredients. Our goal is to not just coat the skin to appear to be healthy and glowing, but to truly transform it. Swap out skin suffocating or potentially harmful moisturizers for natural alternatives that actually improve skin’s hydration + health.

BUY: Moisturizing with oils are some of the best ways to naturally hydrate and heal the skin, from head to toe. These body oils are aromatic blends of high quality carrier oils + essential oils that help to heal the skin and are easily absorbed. Skin is left feeling healthy, hydrated and radiant. (Beauty tip: they also double as a natural moisturizing hair mask!)

DIY: Organic oils such as jojoba oil and extra virgin olive oil regenerate and supply the skin with nutrients + essential fats. Blend with essential oils for aromatherapy properties and add in dried herbs for even more healing and hydrating benefits – we love infusing oils with lavender buds, chamomile flowers or calendula blossoms. Plus, they just look so pretty!

DEODORANT

While deodorant may not seem like a big deal, it’s actually one of the biggest ways you can either contribute to your toxic buildup or bring nourishing, natural ingredients to your body. We go into so. much. detail. about why you should switch out your conventional deodorant with a safe, non-toxic alternative in this post and this post.

BUY: We’ve spent years researching and formulating with safe, effective ingredients to create a gentle + non-toxic deodorant that actually works. Available in 7 different scents, we use 100% natural ingredients to powerfully combat unwanted and nourish even the most sensitive skin.

DIY: You can make your own natural deodorant at home by blending a bit of baking soda + organic unrefined coconut oil + a couple drops of your favorite essential oil. Try tea tree for antibacterial benefits or lemongrass for a fresh, clean scent.

HELPFUL RESOURCES

We hope you’ve found these simple swaps to be helpful, whether you try out our non-toxic skincare or start creating your own products at home. We also wanted to share some more resources to help support your transition to natural products:

  • Download the Think Dirty app directly to your smartphone and take this resource with you as you shop.

  • Not sure about a specific ingredient? The Environmental Working Group has a database of thousands of ingredients found in skincare to give you all the details on their health risks + hazards.

  • Check out other posts on Pure Life Blog for tips to simplify your skincare routine, which ingredients to avoid and detoxing your beauty products. We’re passionate about helping support your wellness journey, inside and out, and our blog is one way we do that.