I have spent 10 years searching for the right skincare products. Quite frankly, it’s been an expensive and long journey!
Evidently, looking for the right beauty and skincare products can be hard work.
The task gets even more challenging, when you’re trying to find natural skincare brands and products that are free from nasty chemicals and toxins.
Plus – it would be great if the natural skincare products came in a bottle or packaging, that was free from plastic or in the least, recyclable – right?
I got tired of buying moisturisers that were in plastic bottles and were bad for the environment.
If like me you’re conscious of what you buy, you may have found yourself in the same situation – standing in the aisle with 2 moisturisers in hand, not sure which one to buy. Wondering whether these moisturisers are even natural.
Or whether to buy one at all, because if you did, you’d feel guilty for purchasing it, because it’s in a plastic container that can’t be recycled.
If you no longer want to keep buying moisturisers in plastic bottles, you need a moisturiser that’s natural and one that’s going to be good for the environment.
The hunt for natural skincare products doesn’t stop there though, right?
You might want a natural moisturiser that is alcohol free. One that isn’t jam packed full of nasties, chemicals and harmful ingredients that you couldn’t even pronounce. Never mind understanding what it is or why it’s in your product in the first place!
Determined to find simple answers, ingredients and natural skincare products, I did some research.
Through trial and error and A LOT (like really, a lot) of research, I can assure you, there is an answer to this…
If like me, you are tired of using cheap skincare products where the list of ingredients is so lengthy they had to use font size 1 (I mean c’mon, you shouldn’t need a magnifying glass to read it) and most of these ingredients are chemicals that have really funny, foreign or bizarre names that frankly, mean nothing to you.
The answer to this, is right here. Below, I prepared a review of natural skincare products and brands that I believe, are amazing because:
- They are free from parabens, nasty chemicals and alcohol
- They’re cruelty free
- The packaging is sustainably made, recyclable, biodegradable or made from glass
- The ingredients are natural, derived from mother nature and only fragranced with natural fragrances like essential oils
Sound good? Ticking your boxes? Here’s a full natural skincare guide on cosmetics without chemicals.
The Lengthy Ingredients (AKA Chemicals) List In Your Skincare Products
If you have never looked at the label of your moisturiser, face wash or make-up remover, go and take a look.
How long is the ingredients list?
Can you read it or have they used the tiniest font to fit in that huuuuuge list of ingredients?
I used to get frustrated whenever a label had an arrow where you could pull the label out to read more about what’s inside it.
Surely, you shouldn’t need a fold out sticker leaflet to label what goes into the product?!
Anyway, back to your label. If you can read it, can you count how many of these ingredients you recognise?
Aqua will be one, for sure recognisable – but the rest? I was pretty good at chemistry, but most of the ingredients on my moisturiser did not ring a bell with me.
Some of the most common ingredients that have very likely made an appearance on your moisturiser label will include parabens, artificial fragrances, emulsifiers, and oils derived from petrochemicals.
None of which are derived from mother nature and are therefore artificially made or chemically prepared or made in a lab – take a pick, they all basically mean one thing:
THEY’RE NOT NATURAL.
Our face is one of the most absorbent parts of our body.
With that being said, it’s important to know what your face is absorbing. What chemicals and ingredients from your face wash or moisturiser are entering your skin cells.
What Is Natural Skincare?
Although it might sound obvious, natural skin care means that the ingredients used in the end product (moisturiser, face wash etc) come from naturally grown ingredients. These natural ingredients could probably be found in your home (well, some of them at least) – so things like fruit, veg, herbs, flowers and plants.
Natural skincare products won’t contain any artificial preservatives that can often irritate your skin, and sometimes even cause allergies.
After all, that’s how skin allergies can develop, when you came into contact with an ingredient that didn’t get on with your skin.
Why Natural Skincare Is Better
Natural skincare products are better because they are made up of natural ingredients, which are less likely to cause any skin allergies. Unless you are allergic to any natural products, like essential oils e.g. orange you will of course have to be a little more careful.
As a general rule, natural skincare products are free from parabens, phthalates (a synthetic chemical that often ends up in our oceans killing aqualife), preservatives and artificial fragrances.
Most importantly, natural skincare products will be kind to your skin. They reduce skin blockages, which means your skin can breathe freely, without keeping nasties internally.
How To Avoid Chemicals/Toxins In Your Skincare And Why
Most natural skincare cosmetics will be vegan friendly and often organic. Which is great because you can be rest assured, they won’t have nasties in them.
And they wouldn’t have been tested on animals.
The best way to avoid toxic skincare products is avoiding hight street brands, highly advertised brands, the typical ones you see in your local beauty store or pharmacy.
Even local supermarkets have the essential skincare products – unless you read through the ingredient list of all of them to check, it’s best to avoid your regular stores and buy online or find brands that you know don’t use chemicals and toxins.
Or have a look on Etsy, there are some really great handmade natural cosmetics!
Chemicals and toxins in your skincare products are sort of understood, you always sort of knew they weren’t 100% natural and of course safe to use.
What about plastic free skincare? What does that mean?
Do they put plastic in your moisturiser too?!
Sadly, the war against artificial skin care doesn’t end with the chemicals.
Moisturisers, skincare and hair products also contain synthetic polymers (basically plastic) and silicone.
This is mainly because polymers are cheap, make the product look and feel good, but only with short term effects for a good first impression.
Frankly, synthetic polymers allow the manufacturer to gain that dollar – making the product highly profitable.
You’ve heard about plastics by now – they’re no good for the environment, our oceans and our health.
Naturally, you shouldn’t be putting them on your skin either – the polymers form a layer on your skin, making it hard for your pores to breathe, trapping dirt.
They also find their way into your haircare.
Some of the most common synthetics and plastics to avoid in your hair products and skincare, are:
- Thickening & gelling polymers – e.g. polyethylene glycols (PEGs) and carbomer
- Fixative polymers – e.g. polyimide-1, polyquaternium-11, and PVP/VA copolymers
- Conditioning polymers – polyquaternium-6, polyquaternium-7, and polyquaternium-11
This article provides a great breakdown of how to avoid these chemicals and what to look out for!
There’s also the more obvious plastic issue in skincare – the packaging.
Most moisturises, make up removers or face wash bottles are in plastic. Plastic wipes to wipe off your make up, plastic tubes, bottles, containers, lids you name it.
The solutions to avoiding plastic in your skincare are:
- Glass bottles
- Biodegradable packaging
- Recyclable packaging
- DIY skincare
Our Favourite Brands And Recommended Natural Skincare Products
As mentioned earlier, I found and highly recommend the below natural skincare products that work for me.
Just to paint the picture of how these products have helped solve my skin problems (and chemical-free problem!) – I have a rather oily skin on my A zone, but also get dry patches on my face and suffer with acne too.
A spot makes its appearance every now and then too, but I’ve come to realise that’s mainly due to stress or hormonal changes.
We’ll start with make-up removers:
Evolve Beauty Organic Beauty
Evolve Beauty Liquid Crystal Micellic Cleanser is 99% Natural and 48% organic, which is a great start in itself! It comes in a glass bottle with the option of a metal cap or a pump end. This cleanser doesn’t have a potent smell, it’s quite a faint fragrance and I couldn’t really compare it to anything (you’ll have to judge for yourself!).
Ingredients: Pomegranate Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Rose
Skin types: All
How to use: Apply to a face towel or cotton pad and remove any light make-up. I tried to remove tough make-up and it wasn’t happening, which is why the below Cleansing Melt should be used first as a face wash, it’ll do wonders to your face…
Neal’s Yard Remedies
Very happy with Neal’s Yard Make-Up Remover. Smells lush like freshly squeezed grape juice with a hint of rose. It’s quite watery, so non greasy. If you prefer watery make-up removers and fresh smelling, then you’ll love this one.
I was sceptical as I thought it might dry my skin but to my surprise, it didn’t. It left a very fresh feeling on my skin and cleaned make-up well.
The bottle is plastic, however, it is still worth purchasing their products (and giving them your money at the same time) because Neal’s Yard:
- Support the World Land Trust™, saving threatened habitats
- Their packaging is Carbon Balanced through the World Land Trust™, which means that they offset the amount of CO2 used to make their packaging by protecting tropical forest
- Actively support the micro beads ban
- Their products are organic and ethically sourced
- Support bee-friendly causes
- Work with the Soil Association to raise awareness on organic products
It is made with 96% organic ingredients, it’s free from paragons, synthetic colours or fragrances. It’s ALL natural.
Ingredients: Damask Rose, White Tea and Aloe Vera
Skin types: All
3. Facial Wipes
I am normally against wet wipes, they’re no good for the environment and take a hundred years to decompose. Not to mention the damage they do to the environment.
Neal’s Yards Wipes however, are different. They are made from 100% organic cotton and thus, biodegradable.
They are 96% organic and really take your make up off really well. I probably wouldn’t use them as an every day solution, however if you love facial wipes to take your make up off, these are ideal.
I’d probably use them on holiday or at festivals as a quick make-up removal after those cocktails and a late dinner on your holiday…
Ingredients: Aloe Vera, White Tea
Skin types: All
I’ve gone through a fair share of face washes… From promising scrubs to target my spots and acne, to moisturising gels. None of which, I ever bought again. It was always a purchase based on the promise of the label, but I never really saw any results despite using them regularly.
Until I found these bad boys…
I wasn’t too sure about Evolve Beauty’s Gentle Cleansing Melt to begin with… A cleansing melt? Sounded a little strange, but only because I haven’t heard of a cleansing melt before. It’s basically like a face wash that moisturises while taking your make-up off.
When you open it, it doesn’t smell like anything really, it has a very faint and gentle vanilla scent.
It looks like gel and it’s quite thick in consistency. It’s 100% natural! How good is that?! It comes in a glass jar, and once you’ve used it, you can keep it to make your own product or store jewellery or other little things, or even use it as a tea light holder!
Ingredients: Baobab Oil, Vanilla
Skin types: Normal to dry skin
How to use: with dry hands, massage it into your face and neck. I used circular motions and massaged it for a while to make sure I’m getting all my make up off.
Then use warm water to massage the melt again, it will start to look a bit like lotion now. After massaging, clean your face with warm water, getting the melt off of your face.
It’s a little oily, so it might feel like you didn’t take the melt off completely – you can use a wet bamboo or muslin face towel/cloth to wipe your face clean.
Evolve Beauty’s Daily Detox Face Wash is a pretty efficient face wash. I’ve had my 100 ml bottle for 3 months now and I still have 3/4 of the bottle! BUT. I haven’t used it every single day because I don’t wear make-up every day.
This face wash smells a little floral and slightly fruity to me. It’s 99.6% natural and 21% organic. AMAZING. The consistency is like any other face wash really, clear and quite thick.
It comes in a glass bottle and an option to put the pump on or keep the metal cap.
Skin type: Normal to oily skin
Ingredients: Goji, Moringa Peptides
How to use: Wet your face and massage a pea sized amount onto your face.
Evolve Beauty’s Daily Renew Face Cream is by far, ma favourite natural skincare product. It smells absolutely divine – when I opened it, I almost grabbed a dessert spoon and was very tempted to devour it like ice cream. This moisturiser smells like shea butter, vanilla and quite coconutty (it’s so dreamy, I’m making myself drool just thinking about it…)
Consistency is smooth and divine, it feels like a very rich, luxurious product. Almost impossible to believe it’s all natural… 99.7% natural to be exact.
Ingredients: Natural Peptides, Hyaluronic Acid and Argan Oil
Skin types: Normal to dry
How to use: Massage into clean face and neck. I use it in the morning and sometimes before bed.
The Wideye moisturiser was very very good! Amazing actually, it really tightened my face and made it feel plump even getting rid of my acne.
As I’ve been suffering with forehead acne for over a decade, you can understand my joy when I found a reduction in spots! It wasn’t intentional (I didn’t buy it to target my acne) so it was a nice added bonus.
Smells lovely too, a little like orange blossom.
The cream is ideal for exposed and damaged skin, which means it’s perfect during the harsh winter conditions that can often damage your skin.
Ingredients: Collagen, Neroli
Skin types: Exposed and damaged skin
How to use: put a small amount on your finger and massage into clean face each day/night.
The Best Natural Brand – Evolve Beauty
If you’re not sure what to try, a great thing about Evolve Beauty is that most products, you can buy in a travel size! Which means you can buy the cheaper and smaller version, to test it and see if you like it before you make the commitment and get the big bottle.
Most of the products are between 80% – 99% natural and all come in glass packaging so it’s both plastic free AND natural.
The Best Natural Moisturiser
It has to be Evolve Beauty’s Daily Renew Facial Cream – smells beautiful, feels light and rich on your face and really moisturiser your skin well.
The Best Natural Face Wash
Evolve Beauty again – Daily Detox Facial Wash. It’s light, no strong smell and it really cleanses my face incredibly well.
The Best Natural Make-Up Remover
Neal’s Yard Organic Eye Make-Up Remover – from the smell to the effectiveness of the remover, it’s just amazing. I will definitely be buying these wipes too to take away on trips and festivals to remove dirt and make-up off my face.