Food on my face -switching to natural skincare

oil_collection

(image from eatright.org)

When it comes to skincare I can go a long way just with kitchen products. I use honey as a moisturising mask, citrus fruits for exfoliating and my all time favourite skincare products is organic, cold-pressed oils which I use for cleansing as well as moisturising.

When I was in my early teens I visited Bangladesh and we went to my  grandparents’ house in the countryside. The countryside in Bangladesh has the most exquisite nature, a very colourful lifestyle and insects that glow in the dark. However, the vain little teenager that I was, I focused mainly on people’s skins. Most local girls had clear, creamy complexions that all the Instagram filters combined couldn’t give me. Since we are talking about the rural areas, it’s pretty safe to assume that the  girls didn’t have an arsenal of Cliniques and Kiehls in their bathroom cupboards or slab foundation on their faces every morning. Instead, they used stuff like coconut water and olive oil on their skin. This is a harsh generalisation, but why is it that women in modern societies with all our cleansers, exfoliators and serums don’t seem to get nearly as good results as these girls did with just a few simple products? Was it the absence of synthetic chemicals in their skincare routine or was is something else? I didn’t come back home and abandon my Niveas and L’oreals, but the possibility of getting excellent results with just using minimal amount got stuck in my brain.

As I got older I took a real interest on what our everyday cosmetics consists of and how they might affect us. As I learned how parabens and alcohol might affect our skin, I started avoiding conventional cosmetics and looking for other options and what I had observed in Bangladesh many years ago became convenient. Although not all synthetic substances are harmful, it became very important for me that I knew exactly what I was putting on my face. It felt safer to moisturise my face with avocado oil, because well… it’s just avocado oil and nothing else.

One thing that I also find funny is how conventional skincare products are marketed to the consumers. The ingredient, which manufacturers highlight and on which they base the effectiveness of the product, is most of the time a natural one such as argan oil or aloe vera extract (I’ve personally never seen a product that has Now with PEG-10 Stearate written on it as a marketing strategy). Sadly, the natural ingredient in question is usually very far down the ingredient list, which means there’s probably a minuscule amount of it. So instead of buying an expensive cream which had about 2% of  say olive oil in it, I’d just buy a full bottle of olive oil, which was actually the cheaper option.

Switching to non-synthetic skincare has worked for me very well, but it’s not a magical solution to every single skin problem and it doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Which ever one you prefer, I think it’s important to have some idea what exactly you’re paying for and will it benefit you or do the exact opposite. On that note, I’ll go through some of the disadvantages natural ingredients may ha.

  1.   Because of the lack of preservatives they don’t last as long.
  2.   Natural doesn’t automatically mean that no side affects. Like any other natural substance they    might cause an allergic reactions.
  3. Some people argue that oils, honey etc. as such have molecules that are so large that they are unable to go through the pores of our skins and benefit them the same way as actual skincare products. In theory, this makes a lot of sense, however, in practise I have nothing has worked for me as well.
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9 thoughts on “Food on my face -switching to natural skincare

  1. I really liked this post, and I especially liked your point about natural not meaning no side effects. A lot of natural products contain allergens, and it’s not anybody’s fault really, it’s just stuff we are allergic to. It’s always good to be careful and I think a lot of women forget this and they’ll try a home made thing, break out and then completely freak out, see a dermatologist, and then be stuck with prescription creams for the next year.

    I also think that when it comes to wax based salves and moisturizers at least, the way they work is that they ‘cover’ and ‘protect’ the skin from dryness by not letting moisture escape, but don’t actually add extra hydration. So I love my beeswax and petroleum lip balm because it lets my lips create their own hydration. But I would try and find something extra for my eyes (although I have used it on my eyes too), when I feel like my skin is tight.
    I agree with you though about the simple stuff…I use this face cream that I get in Bucharest for about 1 euro and it contains royal jelly and cocoa butter and nothing much else and it’s not mass produced, but produced locally…and I really like it and is the best thing I’ve used (I am literally lost if they stop making it).

    But like, my mom uses an oat and cornflower scrub she makes herself and adds olive oil to cheap body moisturizer…and I am not keen on the scrub for the face because I think it’s too harsh…but I love the body cream idea as it works exceptionally well (although it’s a bit gross). I think it’s a matter of trying various things out and looking at the labels as well, and not being afraid to try local products.

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  2. Thanks. 🙂 Yeah, looking for a suitable skincare routine is like trying find the holy grail -except that there isn’t one… For me, natural skincare also a psychological thing (makes me feel safe) and I suppose I might have missed out on lots of really good conventional products because of that.
    Natural skincare has worked very well for me, so I don’t have a concrete example of how it can go wrong, but it can… Sadly… Otherwise we’d all have perfect skin… *sigh
    Hey, can you give me the name of the royal jelly-cocoa butter cream. Maybe i’ll find it in cult beaty…

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  3. Apidermin – I will bring you one if I come visit. The thing is, it’s for very very dry skin. Otherwise it can break you out. I’ve read of people who only use it a few times a week at night as a hydrating treatment, because otherwise it breaks them out.

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    1. Actually I read from somewhere that if your skin is super dry, it produces more oil and might cause breakouts… I tried that theory out a couple of years ago and started to use a mixture of shea butter and olive oil as moisturizer. It didn’t break me out, but made me look REALLY shiny so I stopped. 😀

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  4. By the way, for great skin and especially for blackheads and stuff, I love La Roche posay effeclar duo + as it is amazing, check some reviews. I’ts a life saver.

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    1. I actually ordered la roche posay’s zerozinc (or something else like that) toner. I was really impressed that it had only three ingredients, but it made my skin look a bit dry, so I gave it to my sister. Probably gonna try again in the summer…

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      1. Effeclar duo is a treatment so use it on the affected area or as also as a base over moisturiser!! I have dry skin and it’s great for me 🙂

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