Natural skincare products provide a gentle alternative to those that are packed with artificial chemicals. Natural, organic and even vegan products are more popular than ever and are often perfectly suited for sensitive skin.
However, most of these products are based on minerals or plants that brands claim have an incredible ‘anti-ageing’ effect on the skin. Some times these are new discoveries but more often than not they are substances that are linked to centuries of ancient tradition.
Despite the history of some of these products, it’s hard to know which will actually work. To help you navigate these choices, we’ve carefully selected three ingredients that have recently featured in skincare lines. We will examine their benefits and help you to decide which ones are most likely to live up to some of the hype.
CBD and Hemp
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid extracted from hemp varieties of the cannabis plant. It has become incredibly popular as a food supplement and is included in everything from oils and capsules to water and energy drinks. It can also be applied topically and has been used in several skincare ranges.
CBD has yet to be fully researched as a skincare ingredient but the signs are good. It is thought that CBD is anti-ageing, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Skincare ranges such as that of HempTouch combine the CBD with a range of other natural ingredients.
Our verdict: The bottom line is that CBD is not a miracle cure, but is an interesting, and potentially effective, additional ingredient. When choosing CBD skincare products look for those that combine it with other active ingredients.
An essential oil is the aromatic essence of a plant and is often included in skincare and cosmetic products for their incredible scents. However, this may just be one of a host of benefits of essential oils.
They often exhibit antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, making them great for preventing and treating skin infections. Users also report that some can sooth and rejuvenate skin.
The key with essential oils is to find the ones that work for you. In this case, finding the right match is more important than finding a skincare miracle product. If you are unsure of how to do this, a good place to start is with lavender and rose.
Lavender works well with most skin types and is thought to rejuvenate skin, tackle the signs of ageing, reduce inflammation and calm redness. It is also usually competitively priced and you should be able to find a good product to try without breaking the bank.
Rose Otto is an oil made from damask roses harvested with traditional methods. The Damask rose (Rosa Damascena) can be found in several countries including Iran, Bulgaria and Morocco. The petals are harvested when they are at their plumpest, before the heat of the day. Then they are steam distilled to separate out the oil, it takes 2000 petals to harvest one drop of oil. Because of the time and labour involved in producing even small amounts of the oil, it is often priced high.
However, despite the cost, Rose Otto products have become a huge hit and have an incredible reputation and some scientific backing. With potential for treating acne, rejuvenating skin, reducing redness and wrinkles it has been hailed by some as an revolutionary skincare product. Customers have found that it made their skin incredibly soft and that they were able to use it on very sensitive skin.
Our verdict: The bottom line is that essential oils have many benefits that may fight the signs of ageing and prevent skin infections and inflammation. However, finding one that suits your skin is crucial. Before you move onto the top price products, start off with some of the excellent value essential oil skincare products available from places like Holland and Barrett. This way you can see what suits your skin before splashing out for some of the more expensive brands.
Kelp is a brown sea algae that can be used as an incredibly effective skincare ingredient. It has been found to moisturise and sooth dry skin. It also prevents breakouts by going deep into your skin and removing toxins. Finally it protects your skin from the external factors that are responsible for much of the appearance of ageing.
Because seaweed needs to be able to stand up to extreme conditions, it has many properties that can be used by your skin to do the same. It can prevent amino acid damage in your skin and keep it looking young and healthy.
Our verdict: This is one of the most unlikely yet effective products we’ve used so far. It is potent, rejuvenating and well worth a try.
Don’t be caught up in the hype surrounding one or two ‘miracle’ ingredients, instead look for companies and brands who use organic, high quality ingredients. These will benefit your skin without exposing it to irritation from toxins. There are also many excellent vegan and cruelty free options available.
CBD, essential oils and kelp are definitely incredible products. However, the quality of the raw materials, the conduct of the brand and whether the ingredients suit your skin type have a greater impact than any one substance.