In recent years, the natural skincare industry has had an undeniable rise. Why? Smart consumers (like you!). You’re becoming more educated on ingredients while considering factors like sustainability, sourcing, implications on your body as a whole & more. Which in turn has created a demand for transparency when it comes to personal care products and the companies who make them. More and more people are becoming natural beauty enthusiasts, and as wonderful as that may seem, there are important factors to consider prior to investing in any new skincare, especially a natural skincare routine.
Clean, Natural, Green – What’s the Difference?
First, let’s break down what natural skin care means. “Clean,” “Natural” and “Green” are often interchanged as if they hold the same definition, however, there are subtle differences to better support their claims. “Clean” ingredients are considered to be safe for human health which can be found in both manufactured/processed ingredients as well as whole plant ingredients. “Green” is usually plant-based ingredients with a consciousness to both humans and the environmental impact their processing has. And “natural” is used to define that the ingredients are from the earth in some way shape or form.
Throughout this post, when we are describing natural skin care products, we are discussing products that are all three: safe for human health (clean), the environment (green), and are of natural materials like plants and herbs (natural). After all, Apoterra’s meaning is “derived from the earth” and we have a commitment to sustainability while also upholding ethical and holistic values. You can read more about our core values, certifications, and commitment to transparency here.
MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM CONVENTIONAL TO NATURAL
Even with the rise of the natural skin care industry, there can still be a lot of misinformation and confusion for consumers of conventional over-the-counter (OTC) products. Allow us to help clarify some of those common misunderstandings. Conventional OTC products are widely accessible because they are less expensive to mass produce and can often retail for a lower price than natural skin care. However, because there are limited regulations of cosmetic and beauty care products, the OTC products can potentially contain harmful, endocrine-disrupting ingredients. Safety to the consumer is often on the shoulders of the brand. If you’re unsure about whether or not to make the transition to natural skincare from your OTC products, start by asking yourself the following 3 questions. Feel free to journal your answers:
- How long have you been using your OTC products? The longer you’ve used these products, the slower your transition to natural must be. We’ll explain how a little later.
- Are you feeling good about the results from your OTC products? Most likely, you’re not attached to your products otherwise you wouldn’t be considering making the switch. Holistic Esthetician Hayley Wood confirms “After surveying hundreds of clients, I have found that the majority are not committed to their skincare because the results are not dependable with OTC products.”
- Are you confident in the formulations of your OTC products? Transparency behind sourcing and formulations are important to your entire health - not just your skin’s appearance.
This type of self-inventory can often stir up a reactionary response of throwing out products and starting fresh. However, anyone who’s well-versed in the natural skincare world will tell you that it takes time to make this transition a successful one. And that creating waste by rushing the process isn’t the point either. The truth is that anything that is naturally derived in formula will work the same way it does in nature; slowly and in stages.
Top 3 tips for a successful and empowering transition to a natural skin care routine:
1. One product at a time
Starting with one product at a time will prevent your skin from becoming overwhelmed with too much change. A great starting point are products with fewer ingredients. We suggest our complexion soaps or oil cleanser for the beginning of your transition. This is because conventional ingredients are created to demand the skin to respond a certain way while plant-based ingredients develop a synergy with the skin. Too many changes too quickly can confuse the skin.
QUICK TIP - If you are usually sensitive or reactive to new products, start with a patch test on the perimeter of your face to see how your skin responds to a new formula.
2. Introduce each product once every two days
The frequency of your product use also needs to be adjusted during this transition. Instead of using a new plant-based formula daily, introduce it once every two days until you feel confident in increasing your usage. The skin’s response to new nutrients is very similar to the way our gut responds to a diet change. If you have only eaten bland and processed foods your whole life, the sudden intake of organic, whole plant nutrients could feel overwhelming to digest at first. Start slowly and increase your usage overtime so your skin can adapt.
QUICK TIP - Low maintenance products such as our toning mists are a great way to slowly ease into the natural skincare transition.
3. Set Expectations
Setting your expectation that product usage will be different is important with your transition. You may be used to an extra sudsy cleanser or the sting of an exfoliant, but that harsh response is not intended with natural skincare formulations. Instead of having aggressive sensations in the skin, you may feel a little underwhelmed at first and want to use more. The skin recognizes the cell structure of plant-based ingredients overtime and eventually encourages the skin’s natural functions to strengthen. Follow instructions of usage and allow the skin to find harmony.
QUICK TIP - Any product with a natural oil in it may feel greasy if you use too much at first, so make sure to start with the recommended usage. Our Herbal Clarifying Facial Oil is a great starter oil as it is lightweight and beneficial for all skin types. Our best selling Rose Nourishing Facial Oil is another excellent option for all skin types.
The result of these transitional steps will be to create a synergy between your skin cells and plant cells so the skin can become actively healthy again. At the end of the day, the reason why natural skin care products have had such a powerful rise in the beauty industry is because each product is rooted in love and self-care for long-term skin health. These products help you slow down and enjoy the act of caring for your skin. They make your skin care habits sustainable – for you and the earth. Your skin will be thanking you very soon for making this transition!