By Briana Fields
In the past few years, a dichotomy has formed in regards to skincare and makeup. Either someone’s routine is two steps or it’s 15; either you’re beating your face like a Kardashian or you’re following Alicia Keys and the #nomakeup movement. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Skincare is all about what works for you. Everyone is different, and no one product will be everyone’s favorite. That being said, if you are interested in learning more about the trend towards all-natural skincare products or are looking for some new products to try, look no further. I’m a big believer in the power of Mother Nature, and there are a ton of natural substances that are fantastic for our skin. Here are my favorites:
African black soap is made from cocoa pods, palm tree leaves, shea tree bark, plaintains and natural oils. It comes in solid or liquid forms, depending on what you prefer. The solid form looks pretty different from the white bar soaps we’re used to seeing in hotel rooms or our own bathrooms, but it works pretty much the same. It lathers really well and is super gentle, while also leaving the skin feeling squeaky clean.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a favorite among natural healthcare nuts. Some people drink a few teaspoons of ACV diluted in water every day and swear it helps their skin, but I would recommend trying it as a toner first, or as an ingredient in a homemade face mask. It’s an antibiotic and definitely tightens the skin. Warning, though – the smell is intense. If you’re a new user, I would dilute it before applying to the skin as it can be a bit harsh, especially if you have sensitive skin. If you have oily skin, however, this could be a game changer for you.
Witch hazel is another favorite that has many of the same properties as apple cider vinegar. It’s an astringent that many have claimed totally cleared their skin. It’s anti-inflammatory, so if used as a toner, it can help even skin tone and calm redness.
Tea tree oil is without a doubt the most popular natural spot treatment. Apparently, just a small amount will help dry out breakouts and disinfect pores without stripping your skin of its natural oils like harsher chemicals can.
Shea butter is a commonly used natural moisturizer that’s derived from the nut of the shea tree. Similar to the butter you’re used to, shea butter is kind of a soft solid but melts easily when warmed. It serves as a great replacement for lotions that are full of unnecessary fragrances and don’t really work. It definitely moisturizes the skin – I like it especially for my hands and legs, which tend to get dry in the winter. It doesn’t sink in immediately, so that’s important to note if that isn’t your thing, but I personally don’t mind. It doesn’t give the same slippery or greasy feeling that a lot of lotions do.
Coconut oil is my most prized product from this list. Many people swear by it as an all-over face and body moisturizer, but my favorite use for the oil is to remove makeup. It will totally dissolve all of your makeup, and then you can just wipe off the remnants and wash your face normally. It’s very gentle and has a light coconut smell that’s really pleasant.
Natural skincare can be intimidating and a little off-putting, since the products tend to look and smell different than what most of us are used to. However, once you find products you like, I promise your routine will feel much more simple and probably be far less expensive. Next time one of your products runs out, consider replacing it with something a little less processed and see how your skin responds!