As readers of Amodrn, we’re sure you’re well-versed with the benefits of natural skincare by now. Given we absorb such a large percentage of what we put on our skin, it certainly does make sense that we should be mindful of this, just as we would when it comes to choosing what we put into our bodies through the foods we eat.
But for those with temperamental or acne-prone skin (hello, yes me!) there is a common misconception that you need something “stronger” when it comes to face products in particular and that “natural” products just don’t cut it.
“That is definitely a common misconception,” says Anna Mitsios, naturopath and founder of Edible Beauty. Exactly as its name suggests, the “good enough to eat” Aussie skincare brand contains zero nasties and is derived from all-natural botanical ingredients.
“We are often asked if our formulas “work” given they are so pure,” Anna tells Amodrn, and explains that she was first inspired to start her own skincare range five years ago when treating clients for fertility concerns and other hormonal and autoimmune conditions in her naturopathic practice.
“At the same time I was seeking a way to improve the management of my own autoimmune condition having been diagnosed as Type 1 diabetic at the age of 18,” she says. “My experience as a naturopath has increased my awareness of the purity of what we are putting both on and inside our bodies. It has created an incredible passion for me to find therapeutic and natural alternatives to harsh chemicals found in conventional skincare products.”
As we discover here, it’s these harsh chemicals that many of us use to combatacne-prone skin concerns which, in actual fact, can be the very cause of them.
This begs the question; should we all (acne-prone or not) be switching to a natural skincare regime?
Commercial vs. natural products:
“Stronger skincare products can often provide a temporary fix to skincare concerns,” shares Anna. “However, in the long term, they can be the cause of many issues including breakouts, skin sensitivity and fine lines.”
Anna explains that the reason for this is that they contain ingredients which change the pH of the skin barrier, stripping it of its natural oils and reducing its resilience, which results in breakouts and other skin concerns. One of the advantages of natural over synthetic skincare products is that they enhance the skin’s natural function and maintain the skin’s natural pH and acid mantle.
“Natural ingredients work in synergy with the skin by utilising active ingredients that help optimise skin cell nourishment, repair and regeneration. These ingredients function as ‘super antioxidants’ supporting collagen production, providing anti-microbial support and with brightening and hydrating action.”
What you need to know about ‘active’ ingredients:
The term ‘active’ ingredients is used quite a lot in the marketing of skincare and “is used to refer to an ingredient that provides a direct benefit to the skin,” says Anna.
“Common actives include Vitamin C, retinol, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and BHAs. Actives or ‘functional’ ingredients are also present in many natural botanicals and can have a direct impact on acne by preventing excess sebum production, reducing bacterial build up in skin cells, reducing inflammation and unclogging pores, which can often be the cause of acne.”
Acne-fighting ingredients to look for in natural skincare products:
“When it comes to fighting acne, one of my go-to ingredients is salicylic acid,” advises Anna. “This is derived from the willow plant, and has the ability to unclog pores and reduce bacterial build up which is the trigger for acne. It is safe during pregnancy when used below 2% in a skincare formula. Interestingly salicylic acid occurs naturally in aloe vera gel which has anti-microbial and wound healing properties which make it the perfect ingredients for combating and soothing acne flare-ups.”
“Herbal extracts such as chamomile and calendula are naturally anti-microbial and are also great for balancing oil production and reducing clogged pores.”
“When treating acne topically, the goal is to decongest pores, remove surface bacteria and balance oil production. Cleansing is essential to any anti-acne regime, however the quality of your cleanser formula is critical.”
“Despite misconceptions that acne should be treated with harsh foaming, medicated face washes, a gentle milky cleanser that is “non-foaming” is actually imperative when it comes to controlling acne. This means that skin is not stripped of its acid-mantle, which acts as a protective barrier against microbes and toxins, which can be a common trigger for breakouts. Antimicrobial Coconut Oil is the base for our No.1 Belle Frais Cleansing Milk. It also contains Salicylic Acid, which helps to unclog pores and balance oil production.”
“Those with acne-prone complexions all too often skip moisturiser for fear that it will make skin greasy. However, it actually has the opposite effect. Proper hydration helps balance sebum production, ensuring that the skin doesn’t overcompensate for dryness by producing excess oil.”
“Our & Soothe Me Balm is the perfect hydrator as it is oil-free. The base of this hydrating gel is Aloe Vera. It is combined with soothing extracts such as cucumber, chamomile and calendula which reducing bacterial build up and provide calming and healing action for acne prone skin.”
“An imbalance of hormones can often be what perpetuates the cycle of breakouts and clogged pores. Our & Sleeping Beauty Purifying Mousse is a detoxifying sleep mask designed for use three times a week. Australian Pink Clay and Volcanic Zeolite draw out impurities and unclog pores. Avocado Oil penetrates to the deeper epidermis layers to stop the conversion of testosterone into DHT (one of the hormones responsible for overactive sebaceous glands), balance sebum production and reduce greasiness.
As for skincare good enough to eat? Well—“I have ‘tasted’ all of the products,” shares Anna, “However they are ultimately designed for external use, so I tend to recommend that people dig into their coconut yoghurt rather than their coconut cleansing milk!” Visit www.ediblebeautyaustralia.com for more.