Updated: Aug 17, 2021
The natural skincare industry is one of the fastest growing markets in beauty in the past couple of decades. More and more people are switching to naturally sourced products for their beauty needs. This is particularly evident in social media, where influencers are promoting all-natural products in their beauty regimen. Brands are also pushing “natural” and “non-toxic” products harder than ever before. But what really makes a natural skin care product? And since skin needs differ for each skin type, is there an effective natural skin care routine for oily skin?
What’s in a “natural” skin care regimen?
The phrase “natural skincare” is largely used and unregulated in the beauty industry. Thus, it can mean different things for different companies, as they can simply choose what means “natural” for themselves.
The basic principle is that natural skin care products are naturally-sourced and made with natural ingredients. Therefore, they are free of harmful, synthetic chemicals and compounds. Many commercially-available beauty products in the market contain synthetic ingredients that are harsh for the skin, cause irritations, allergic reactions, or simply not as effective for different skin types.
Also, consumers are choosing natural products to feel connected and invested with nature. Most naturally-sourced ingredients are eco-friendly, which is a huge plus for environmentally conscious consumers.
How to know it’s natural?
Since there are no regulations and restrictions, it is your responsibility as a consumer to research and identify which product is actually “natural”. Here are some tips on how to read the labels:
Know what and where the product derived from
What’s in the product? Where do its ingredients come from? Does it come from animals, plants, minerals, or marine sources? Make sure it’s not a derivative of petrochemical ingredients.
● Naturally occurring – these are naturally present and unprocessed ingredients that exists in nature without artificial aid (i.e. crushed flowers, raw honey)
● Nature-identical – these ingredients are chemically identical to those ingredients found in nature, but are synthetically made (i.e. sorbic acid is derived from berries)
● Synthetic – these ingredients are created and processed in the lab (i.e. parabens, preservative commonly found in beauty products)
How is the skincare product processed?
Naturally-derived ingredients don't automatically mean naturally-processed. This is because ingredients can be processed physically or chemically.
● Physical process – the molecular composition or structure of the ingredient remains intact and the same (butters, raw and unrefined oils are processed through cold-pressing and filtration).
● Chemically processed – the molecular composition or structure of the ingredient is changed (castor wax comes from castor bean, it went through a process called hydrogenation or the process of adding hydrogen to pure castor oil)
Know how to read the label
There’s a lot of marketing terms used to describe (or entice consumers) natural products. While there are certain certifications needed before a brand can use certain words, some terms are unregulated.
● Organic – Look for the USDA certified organic logo. These products are completely pure, free of parabens and sulfates, non-toxic, cruelty-free, and vegan. They also usually come in eco-friendly packaging.
● Green – This is an unregulated term. But they contain materials and ingredients that support the environment.
● Clean – Also an unregulated term, but typically contains non-toxic ingredients.
● Vegan – Made without the use of any animal by-products.
● Cruelty-free – Not always vegan, but contains animal by-products, such as beeswax.
● Fair-trade – Ethically-sourced in terms of impact to the environment, planet, and people.
Benefits of Natural Skin Care Routine
A 2015 study conducted by researchers from the University of Porto, Portugal, says that botanical products contains high levels of:
● Essential oils
● Bioactive compounds
According to their study, plant extracts are far safer and more effective than their synthetic counterparts.
Natural Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin
Step 1: Cleanse Your Skin
This is probably the most important step in any skin care routine, most especially for a natural skin care routine for oily skin.
Skin experts suggest cleansing your skin both in the morning and evening. People with oily skin should specifically cleanse their face in the morning. This is because your skin has been shedding dead skin cells and producing oils throughout the night.
When washing your face, use natural and gentle soap with warm water. Choose soaps made with milk, charcoal, and glycerin. Black soap is also good and gentle.
Step 2: Tone Your Skin
Rid your skin of any dirt, makeup, and oil using a gentle exfoliating toner. Choose toners that contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and/or lactic acid.
Step 3: Skin Treatment
Skin treatment of course depends on your skin concerns. A daytime natural skin care routine for oily skin and acne should include benzoyl peroxide and/or sulfur. This will prevent breakouts by managing the skin’s oil production. At night, use retinol to clean your pores.
Step 4: Balance Natural Oils
A natural skin care routine for oily skin also includes water-based sunscreen or any chemical-free sunscreen. Harmful ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can actually increase facial oil production.
Another great way to balance the natural oil on your face is to use ylang ylang essential oil. As a natural ingredient, this oil will moisturize your skin without causing any adverse side-effects. It is a safe essential oil even for children.
Step 5: Moisturize
People with oily skin assume they don’t need moisturizers. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Moisturizing is important for all skin types. For particularly oily skin however, you need to be extra careful in choosing your moisturizer.
There are tons of moisturizers out there, but the best one for oily skin is one that is oil-free. To get the best moisturizer, look for products that are lightweight, water-based, and again oil-free.
You can even make your own natural moisturizer at home. A combination of oatmeal, mashed apples, lemon juice, and egg white is a good oil-free moisturizer.
Coconut oil may not be for everyone, but it’s also an excellent alternative for a natural skin care routine for oily skin. It contains antibacterial properties, thus it can kill bacteria on skin and prevent breakouts. However, make sure you don’t use too much as it can block your pores.
Step 6: Use Natural Makeup
For face primer, make sure you avoid using silicone-based products. Rather, choose one that is oil-free. Primers with salicylic acid can also help control acne.
For powder, make sure you don’t use too much. Powder can cause your skin to produce more oil. The best powder is matte translucent, but make sure you only use it on shiny areas of your face.
Maintain a Healthy Diet for Oily Skin
No natural skin care routine for oily skin would be complete without a good balanced diet.
High fat food can cause hormonal change, which can lead to oily skin and acne breakouts. The same goes with food high in sugar. Sugar can cause a surge in insulin production, which stimulates the oil glands. Avoid simple carbohydrates and starchy food pasta, crackers, and candies.
Also, make sure you get enough essential nutrients for your skin. Vitamins A, C, D and zinc are all essential nutrients for skin health. You can get these by eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin A for example, is abundant in beans, nuts, and seeds. Vitamin C is optimal for skin health and collagen production. You can get them from fresh fruits like apples, cantaloupe, oranges, berries (blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.). If you cannot get vitamin D from the sun, then you can supplement with Vitamin-D fortified milk, as well as egg yolks and fish.
Apricots, avocadoes, blueberries, blackberries, cantaloupes, guavas, and kiwis contain good levels of zinc.
Developing a natural skin care routine for oily skin is the first step you can do to manage your oily skin problem. Cleansing, toning, treating balancing oil, and moisturizing your skin may sound tedious, but that is a tested-and-proven way to keep your skin’s healthy glow.