Can you go natural and get a great looking glow? You can if you follow these five simple tips for creating the gentlest beauty regimen ever.
Unlike your pots and pans, your skin needn’t be scrubbed or squeaky to be clean. So don’t overdo it. Mild, non-detergent cleansers—milks, gels, foams, or cloths—are your best bet. Scan the ingredient labels of products to see if they contain gentle, plant-derived surfactants (the prefix coco- equals coconut, for example; gluco- equals fruit sugars).
Unless you have especially oily skin, there is no need for a toner. These were originally invented to restore the natural pH of skin after it had been washed with an alkaline-detergent soap. If you’re using a good pH-balanced cleanser, there’s no need for toner. It’ll only dry your skin.
Make sure acid-laced products are pH-balanced. This means their pH is in sync with skin, so they gently remove sebum (an oily substance secreted by the skin) and makeup without stripping natural oils. Look for the words “pH-balanced” on cleansers that contain glycolic or lactic acids and on exfoliators because some have a low pH, which can cause dryness.
If your skin is especially sensitive, opt for fragrance free. Fragrance is the most common cause of skin-care-related allergic reactions. The ones that are marked “unscented” typically contain small amounts of fragrance to help mask the odors of active ingredients.
Choose multi-tasking moisturizers. A good day cream juggles two jobs—hydration and protection. Pick one that has plant-based moisturizers (natural oils, butters, and essential fatty acids penetrate skin better than man-made emollients like petroleum) and antioxidants (those from natural sources may also contain bioflavonoids and other beneficial compounds not found in synthetic versions) plus nonirritating physical sunblocks, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.