It has been now exactly two months that I decided to make THE skincare switch from products that are more synthetic/chemical to completely natural. (I really did my research, I know ‘natural’ is a loose term these days!)
Let me assure you, this is not the kind of post where I’m going to preach about ‘how my skin dramatically changed & how natural products are 100% way better than synthetic products’. I’ve done my best to give you the most honest/unbiased review of my experience.
I decided to do the switch as more of an explorational journey, rather than a complete lifestyle choice. When I was younger, I used to be passionate about mythology and Egyptian history, and once read that Cleopatra (my teenage idol) used salt scrubs to exfoliate her dead skin cells and castor oil to prevent wrinkles. So with all the hype in the industry around natural skincare in addition to my curiosity into what has been practiced in the past, now was a great time.
On the more technical side, I’m lucky to have normal skin that can tolerate most products (as I am writing this, a big cystic spot is on the verge of making his big debut right in the middle of my forehead..maybe I spoke too soon). This is why for me, it was a task that could be achieved, where someone like Megan with more sensitive skin would need to be more careful! Enough about why I did it, let’s get to the nitty-gritty!
How was my experience? Pretty interesting. It started with long and sad goodbyes to my favourite products. Adios, Sulphur Mask from Dr.Dennis Gross that saved my menstrual breakouts time and time again. Goodbye Nars Concealer and its super power to give the ‘I just finished yoga, drank 2 celery juices, and had 5 herbal teas’ look. When I say goodbyes, I didn’t totally chuck them, they were kept safely in a box to hibernate in peace.
It was super satisfying to go through all my products, Mari Kondo-ing my bathroom shelves. I found a turmeric mask that my mother gave me when I first moved to London (don’t ask me when), let me tell you that wasn’t a sad goodbye…at all. It also made me realise how many products we think are natural, but are actually not. In fact when I ended my bathroom purge, there were only 4-5 survivors on the shelf.
Once I found the right products for my skin that were mostly bought on my favourite natural multi-brand skincare platform Content Beauty, ‘The Switch’ had officially commenced. To slowly introduce my skin to natural products, I chose very simple formulations in order to make sure I wasn’t over-feeding or irritating my skin. I chose to test out carrier oils, as I felt they were the most clean natural options out there. Once my routine was established, I religiously stuck to that for a month and a half.
It’s hard to explain my impression of each specific product, as I completely switched my routine overnight. I would recommend actually doing it slowly if you have the time, as you will be able to isolate the products reaction on your skin. I will give you my overall impressions per “group” product category;
Includes : Daily Morning & Evening Skincare Steps
Score : 5/10
Comments : Well, I may have started the switch with normal skin, but today I feel my T-zone is much more congested and oily. I noticed that every time I was using something with oil, my skin would suffocate and react with small bumps. I realised that my skin looks at oils like our Marketing Director, Lena, looks at me when I drink my green vitamin powder mix with water…with disgust. However, I added after 3 weeks I added the Therapy Lemon Myrtle Mist, which has helped to decongest my skin.
Treatments & Extra
Includes : Mask, Exfoliators SPF
Score : 10/10.
Comments : I can’t stop talking about the May Lindstrom Problem Solver Mask that is in my opinion the equivalent of the Drunk Elephant Baby Facial. I also love the Kypris Heliotropic SPF Primer, that makes me feel I would be protected in a free radical nuclear bomb. I also liked the Susanne Kaufmann Enzymatic Peel, but I have to say it didn’t give me the same affect as other exfoliants. I also loved the various Eminence Masks that were super gentle to my skin.
Includes : Everything from foundation to mascara
Score : 9/10.
Comments : If there’s something that I’m keeping it is definitely my natural make-up routine. I really felt that my skin was breathing 24/7 with these products. That said, I will be switching back to the Trish McEvoy Mascara and NARS concealer. I’m sorry, but nothing will ever beat these products. Besides these, I have a new appreciation for my natural make-up vs. my synthetic make-up. After two months, I finally woke my unnatural make-up from hibernation, and found my much beloved bronzing powder from Laura Mercier, which should have made me super happy actually made me feel like I was cheating on my Lily Lolo Pressed Bronzer…I am officially a cult follower of this brand, and now feel loyal!
Overall, my experience was quite successful, and I have to say that I discovered many products that will given a permanent space on my bathroom shelf. However, having done that with the purpose of exploring, rather than following a personal environmental belief, I am definitely not ready to completely switch to a 100% natural skincare regime.
I prefer to be a more flexible, mixing natural products with clean and synthetic/chemical products. I will continue to avoid mineral oils, parabens, and other chemicals that my skin has already proven it does not like, and try where I can to shop cruelty-free. I wouldn’t advise anyone to switch dramatically like I did overnight. You need to know your skin, how it works, and assess its needs in order to choose and buy the right products! Take it one step at a time.