The natural beauty guide

We spoke to the experts to get their top natural beauty tips and tricks

Everyone wants to enjoy a glowing, radiant complexion but you have to put the work in to achieve that perfect glow. Here, our natural beauty experts offer some of their best tips to help your skin look its best.

Protect your skin barrier

“Most skin problems, such as dry skin, redness and itching, are caused by a damaged skin barrier,” says Sarah Zimmer, founder of NAYA (www.nayaglow.com). “This barrier is primarily determined by the structure and condition of the uppermost skin layer. Daily washing can weaken the skin’s protective barrier and prevent it from regenerating until the next cleanse. Environmental factors, medications and other factors can also affect the condition of the skin barrier. The key is to maintain moisture and to prevent moisture loss. To stimulate the skin’s own moisture regulation, and ultimately support effective regeneration of the skin barrier, ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, used in combination with natural fats, are key to your everyday skincare regime. Hyaluronic acid is a natural building block. Especially for the skin, hyaluronic acid plays an important role, because it improves the binding of water in the cells and thus provides significantly more moisture and a plumping effect. In younger skin hyaluronic acid is contained in sufficient quantities. The body’s production decreases with increasing age and the skin loses more moisture and resilience. Surfactants, silicones and mineral oils can be interfering factors for an effective skin barrier as they hinder the uptake of actives. Therefore, one needs to pay attention to the ingredients used when buying products. Natural fats such as cacay oil, argan oil and olive oil help to naturally seal in the moisture in the skin cells provided by the hyaluronic acid to protect it from evaporation.” 

Be sure to read labels

“Always patch test any new skincare,” says Claudia Talsma, founder of Salcura Skincare (www.salcuraskincare.com). “Even when the products are known to be great, gentle and natural, it might just have that one (natural) ingredient that your skin does not agree with. Every skin type is different so it is important to always try before you buy! Always read the label before buying to avoid any known skin irritants for sensitive skin, like synthetic fragrance/parfum, stabilisers like parabens or methylisothiazolinone, sulfates (can’t say it too many times!) and harsh exfoliants.”

Be gentle with sensitive skin

If you suffer with sensitive skin, be sure to moisturise as much as you can, says Claudia Talsma: “The bare minimum is day and night. Especially in winter the skin is likely to be even more sensitive with harsher elements outside and the big temperature difference inside. Try and find light moisturisers or sprays that get absorbed by the skin easily and contain super hydrating ingredients like safflower, olive, jojoba and avocado. It is tempting in winter, but try not to turn the shower on too hot a temperature. The water can dehydrate and sensitise the skin further. Plus, when getting out of the shower, try and pat the skin dry instead of giving it a strong rub. Generally, for sensitive skin, try and use cotton towels, but also cotton (reusable) pads when cleansing, so that it is gentler on the skin.”

Harness the power of antioxidants

“We know that ultimately good skin starts on the inside and that good hydration and a diet that provides high levels of vitamins, essential fatty acids and nutrients affects the quality of our skin,” says Denise Rabor, founder of Wow Beauty (wowbeauty.co). “However, apart from that, the skincare world has realised that adding vitamins, antioxidants and more recently probiotics to skincare products can also help to improve the condition of our skin. Antioxidants are the ultimate skincare ingredient because they multitask. For example, they protect our skin against environmental aggressors like pollution and they help in the prevention of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C is a popular antioxidant because it brightens the skin – who doesn’t want to glow? Antioxidants like vitamin D are increasingly used in skincare preparations because they are anti-inflammatory so can be helpful with skin conditions, but more importantly they are able to help repair skin damage.”

 

Consider going organic

“Cleansing is by far the best thing you can do for your complexion,” says Charlotte Vøhtz, founder of Green People (www.greenpeople.co.uk). “Every day your skin comes into contact with dirt, oil, grease and airborne pollution. Chemical-based foundation lotions and colour cosmetics are essentially skin pollutants which can have adverse effects if not regularly removed. The only defence against all this pollution is cleansing. This must be deep enough to be effective, but still very gentle to avoid damaging or drying your skin. It is a good idea to choose an organic cleanser packed full of natural ingredients such as organic shea butter which removes impurities and leaves your skin feeling soft, balanced and purified. Also look for cleansers that are free from SLS, a harsh cleansing agent which can easily irritate sensitive skin. Using a cleanser not only removes the build-up of dirt and make-up but also helps stimulate the circulation of nutrients in the blood which help the skin to absorb moisture effectively. For best results you should cleanse the face twice a day, in the morning and evening, using gentle, circular movements. Splashing the face with cold water after cleansing will help stimulate circulation.”

Did you know?

“Healthy gut flora helps to improve the skin,” says Denise Rabor. “The inclusion of probiotics in skincare helps to protect the skin’s microbiome by calming inflammation and strengthening the skin’s defences. This is potentially helpful for inflammatory conditions like rosacea and eczema.”

“Essential fatty acids are critical for skin health,” says Denise Rabor, “and when included in our diets and in skincare, EFAs like linoleic acid (omega-6) are known for their ability to nourish and revitalise the skin, as well as helping to maintain elasticity.”

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