There’s a growing trend for more natural ingredients in skincare (Alamy/PA)
20 January 2023

Should we be using more natural ingredients in our skincare?

20 January 2023

If you’ve spent January cleaning up your diet, it could be time to do the same with your skincare routine.

There’s a rising beauty trend for products including either more or all-natural ingredients in them – with the hashtag #naturalskincare clocking up more than nine million hits on Instagram and 549.3m views on TikTok.

While we’re definitely pro making a mask from ingredients in your kitchen (we particularly like recipes that include honey, banana and oats), it’s easy enough to find products packed full of beneficial natural ingredients.

Here’s everything you need to know about the growing trend…

What are the potential benefits?

Dr Ross Perry, of skin clinics chain Cosmedics (cosmedics.co.uk), says natural ingredients means “there is the potential for less irritation and less allergic responses”.

He continues: “You are less likely to get these types of reactions, due to them being natural, versus manmade substances [with] added impurities and chemicals.”

And there could potentially be a benefit for your overall skin health – not just if you’re prone to sensitivity. “Using natural skincare products can improve the functioning of our skin and overall wellbeing,” suggests Cigdem Kemal Yilmaz, skincare formulator and founder of Skin Masterclass® (skinmasterclass.com). “Natural ingredients, such as oils and natural extracts, can improve moisture retention, encourage cell regeneration and reduce oxidative stress.”

If you’re considering your environmental footprint, looking to more natural ingredients could be the way forward, notes Yilmaz: “The ingredients found in natural skin products are extracted directly from nature, therefore, they are easily biodegradable. These products also produce less waste, thus easing the disposal process.”

What do people need to know?

When using any new products, “It is important to apply according to the instructions,” advises Perry.

And try not to be too impatient when waiting for results, with Perry suggesting natural skincare products “can sometimes take longer for you to feel or notice the effects, but it is important to stick with it for a period of time, rather than chop and change too frequently”.

When choosing products, Yilmaz warns against those with natural fragrances and essential oils if you have sensitive or easily sensitised skin. “They may be an allergen,” she says. “Natural preservatives can also react with the skin, as higher concentrations are needed compared to synthetic preservatives. Therefore, if you have sensitive skin, ensure you use products that are especially formulated and created for hypersensitive or sensitive skin.”

How to incorporate natural ingredients into your routine

For Perry, the most important thing is “finding the products that suit your skin type”, he says. “This can often be a case of trial and error – once you have found a cream that works for you, it is worth staying with it.”

That means you might end up with products that are all natural, or a combination of both – depending on what suits your skin type.

If you’re struggling to figure out what’s right for you, Yilmaz says: “I suggest investing in a consultation with a skincare expert.”

5 natural ingredients to look out for…

1. Aloe vera

“This is an extremely helpful natural product, as it helps with minor injuries, cuts and burns,” notes Perry. “It acts as a natural healer for the skin, and it also helps moisturise and protect the skin.”

Skin Proud Frozen Over, £16.95

2. Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid “is naturally found in the human body. It acts as a moisturiser and keeps the skin well hydrated”, says Perry.

“Not only does this help plump out the skin for fine lines and wrinkles, but it also has an anti-inflammatory affect as well.”

MAC Hyper Real Serumizer Skin Balancing Hydration Serum, £58

3. Vitamin C

“Vitamin C is a very good antioxidant, and will often help protect the skin against free radicals in the environment, as well as minor sun damage,” explains Perry. “It also has a mild exfoliating effect, which can help remove dead skin cells.”

Biossance Lunar New Year Edition Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil, £55, Harrods

4. Prickly pear cactus oil

Yilmaz suggests prickly pear cactus oil “is going to be the trending oil in 2023” and, she says: “It reduces inflammation and deeply hydrates skin, as well as preventing skin damage and acne, due to it being so rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fatty acids.

“It is beneficial to all skin types, including sensitive and sensitised skin.”

Weleda 24hr Hydrating Facial Cream 30ml, £14.95

5. Honey

Yilmaz predicts 2023 will also see a rise in skincare products tailored towards sensitive skin – and natural ingredients could be the answer.

“Soothing ingredients, such as flax, colloidal oatmeal and honey, will be able to relieve symptoms associated with conditions such as eczema and psoriasis,” she says.

Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer 50ml, £42, Cult Beauty

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