In the past, natural beauty has been thought of as a more abstract concept, referring to the beauty held by someone who doesn’t try to attain it. The old no-makeup myth of what went into true good looks.
When we talk about natural beauty, we’re really talking about attaining our beauty products by natural means.
We’re talking about nature-based, organic ingredients that enhance our body’s natural ability to produce beautiful features.
Understanding the difference between these two definitions is key to understanding (and beginning to move along with) the new natural beauty movement taking place.
As the world becomes more conscientious toward the environment, and as beauty products move further and further away from chemicals, the world is gradually creating more natural solutions to our day-to-day routines.
Make no mistake – seamlessly transitioning into a natural beauty routine is an art!
You’ll begin learning what to look for, which ingredients mean what, and how to ask the right questions to get the right products.
If you’re new to the natural beauty game, here are a few tips to get you started in the right direction.
First Thing’s First: Know Your Ingredients
Ideally, when you flip to the ingredients list of a product, you should be able to understand and identify every single ingredient on that list.
Too often, in products containing artificial chemicals, you’ll read words that you can’t even pronounce (try saying diethylhexyl phthalate
five times fast) making up more than half of the ingredients list. A general rule of thumb is this: the more ingredients you know (or can easily google and understand straightforwardly), the better.
Always, always try to go for transparent brands. Many trustworthy brands and beauty companies have transparency policies, and will usually list all of their ingredients clearly and unambiguously.
Companies with functional, unharmful ingredients will typically state their ingredients proudly and on as many different mediums as possible (through their website, on their product labels, etc.).
Comprehensive List of Chemicals to Avoid at All Costs:
Formaldehyde, formaldehyde releasers, dibutyl phthalate, diethylhexyl phthalate, mercury, thimerosal, isobutyl paraben, isopropyl paraben, butylparaben, propylparaben, toluene, triclosan, carbon black, PFAS, asbestos, lead. (Go here for more information)
Researching Before You Buy
It’s ill-advised to impulse-buy your beauty products. Knowing your skin type is incredibly important, as it helps you find new things to look for and specific products to seek out.
Use the internet to your advantage! Look for products that contain exact combinations of ingredients for your skin type.
Be selective about where you buy from, and always know each ingredient and what it does before you put it on your skin or in your hair.
Developing a Technique
Creating a natural beauty routine takes work. Hard work. Knowing the ingredients is only a small portion of the work – really, you have to know how to make those ingredients shine.
This is, of course, applicable to both natural and chemically created beauty products, but the process of technique discovery is much gentler and safer with natural ingredients.
Your technique should be completely unique to you. Some products work for certain people and not for others.
Some steps should be taken by some people and omitted for others. Cultivating natural beauty is all about finding balance and equilibrium.
While it isn’t developed overnight, once you understand what works for your body, you’ve done most of the work in self-care artistry.
Five Beauty Technique Commandments for Beginners
- Never scrub anything harshly into your skin. No heavily rubbing your eyes, forcefully running your hand down your face, or friction-rubbing makeup from your cheeks with harsh zig-zag rag movements. Everything that you do to your skin should be gentle.
- Take off your makeup at night. Read that sentence one more time, and then again and again until you internalize it. Leaving makeup on overnight is detrimental for your skin, and a really quick way to enlarge your pores to the size of dinner plates.
- Exfoliate. Don’t think that you can get away with neglecting this important step of skincare. Exfoliation is half the process.
- Use a primer before putting on makeup. You might have the best skincare routine for your type, but when you neglect to put on primer, you run the risk of totally undermining all the work previously done to optimize your skin. Primer protects your skin from makeup, and should always be used before putting your face on for a night out.
- Don’t over-shower. Showering every day, while done commonly, is actually quite bad for your skin. Although it might feel good (truly, there’s nothing better than being alone with your thoughts, surrounded by hot water and calamity), showering too often can actually dry out your skin and impair your body’s natural ability to hydrate itself. Every other day is usually the way to go.
Self-Care, Environmental Awareness, and Natural Beauty
In the current day and age of fast fashion and a saturated beauty market, it’s tricky to find products and techniques that work for you.
However, natural beauty products and gentle beauty routines benefit more than just your lowered sense of guilt (because honestly, it does feel good to go natural).
When you choose gentle, vegan, completely natural ingredients for your skincare routine, you’re showing the beauty industry that it has to change with you.
Natural beauty is a growing industry, and it’s all because consumers are changing market culture.
By saying no to harsh chemicals and yes to naturally occurring ones, you’re helping your skin and body to flourish without damage.
You’re contributing to a growing movement to change the environmental impact of the beauty industry.
However, the relationship you’ll cultivate with yourself will be, perhaps, the most impactful part of developing a natural beauty routine – you’ll develop a system centred around taking care of your body in the most natural, temperate way possible.
Natural beauty is overwhelmingly worth it, both for your body and the planet.