best natural skincare ingredients

I have a bit of a reputation for disliking natural ingredients.

But… I don’t. What I dislike is the idea that natural is always better. Am I really supposed to believe that slathering your body in poison ivy is better for you than using a moisturiser with silicones?!

Or what about those plants extracts that are just sprinkled in? You seriously believe it’s that drop of apple extract that moisturises your skin? ūüôĄ

See how I got my bad rep now?

I hate it when natural extracts take the merit for something they don’t do. But I’m the first to admit that some natural ingredients are AMAZING.

They make your skin soft and smooth, protect it from UV harm and keep those pesky wrinkles away. I honestly couldn’t live without them. Here are my fave natural ingredients that have found their way into my skincare routine:

1. Zinc Oxide For Sun Protection

Since I’ve switched to zinc oxide-based sunscreens a few years ago, I’ve never looked back. I love zinc oxide because it protects against the entire UV range ON ITS OWN. No other UV filter does that.¬†Plus it is very gentle. It’s one of the very few filters even sensitive skin can tolerate.

Ok, its texture is thick and it does leave a white cast behind, but I can live with that. It’s a small price to pay for the excellent protection it provides.

Plus, there’s a workaround. You can always get a tinted sunscreen.¬†ūüėČ

Best Picks:

Related: Why Zinc Oxide Is The Best UV Filter Ever


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2. Shea Butter For Moisturising Dry Skin

The skin of my body is very dry. Shea butter is the only thing that can make it soft and smooth again. For hours.

Shea butter is so moisturising because it’s loaded with fatty acids, including oleic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, and linolenic acid. They create a barrier on the skin that slows down water loss.¬†

Studies show shea butter helps skin recover from TWL [transepidermal water loss] within two hours and improve skin’s barrier after three or four.

No wonder sshea butter is the key ingredient in all my fave body creams and lip balms!

Best Picks:

Related: Why I Love Shea Butter

3. Coconut Oil For Stronger, Shinier Hair

I’m not a big fan of coconut oil for skincare.

It’s true that, like shea butter, it’s very moisturising and can¬†amp up your skin’s hydration.¬†But it can also clog pores¬†and give you pimples. My skin is combo so I’m sure my drier areas would like it. My oilier ones? Not so much.

But I LOVE coconut oil for hair. Coconut Oil is one of the few ingredients that can actually penetrate hair, strengthening and moisturizing it from within. The best type is virgin coconut oil, but don’t go overboard with it. You don’t want to turn your hair into an oily mess.

Related: What Does Coconut Oil Do For Skin And Hair?

best vitamin C serum: drunk elephant c-firma day serum

4. Ferulic Acid For Anti-Aging

Ferulic Acid is a little known antioxidant that naturally occurs in whole grains, coffee, spinach and many vegs and fruits. It’s one of my fave antioxidants because it can destroy three types of free radicals: superoxide, hydroxyl radical, and nitric oxide!

It works very well on its own but it’s when paired with vitamins C and E that it really shines. Together,¬†these three antioxidants enhance one another’s effectiveness¬†so they’re even more powerful against wrinkles.

Best Picks:

Related: Why Ferulic Acid Is One Of My Fave Antioxidants

green tea in skincare

5. Green Tea For Soothing Skin

Green tea is another antioxidant that does double duty. It’s loaded with polyphenols,¬†a group of antioxidants with ¬†anti-inflammatory properties. They keep wrinkles at bay and¬†reduce the redness and inflammation caused by sun exposure.

Best Picks:

  • Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum ($80.00):¬†available at¬†Cult Beauty,¬†Sephora¬†and¬†SpaceNK
  • MD SolarSciences Mineral Creme Broad Spectrum SPF 50 UVA-UVB Sunscreen ($30.00):available at at¬†Dermstore¬†and¬†Sephora.
  • Paula‚Äôs Choice Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum With Retinol ($34.00):available at¬†Paula‚Äôs Choice

Related: Why You Should Add Green Tea To Your Skincare Routine

diet change for healthy skin olive oil

6. Olive Oil For Multi-Tasking

I couldn’t end this list without mentioning olive oil too. I’m Italian, after all. ūüôā

Extra virgin olive oil (the only type you should use on your skin) is a multitasker: it’s rich in fatty acids (such as¬†oleic, palmitic, and linoleic) that are super moisturising ¬†and antioxidants (like resveratrol) that prevent wrinkles.

That’s not all. EVOO is also a great makeup remove and hair conditioner (olive oil is another of the few ingredients that can penetrate hair). Seriously is there anything it can’t do?

Related: Why Olive Oil Is A Godsend For Skin And Hair