Facing Nature and Science

By Mayra Llanos Cardona

‘Clean’ beauty is being talked about everywhere, literally everywhere. From social media, in shops, amongst friends. At a time when we are feeling a need to ‘get back to nature,’ we are being marketed products adorned with beautiful green plants so that in our mind we link them to nature.

It has become a bit of a minefield for consumers trying to understand what on earth they are buying into. One particular phrase that has entered the beauty industry in the last few years is the term naturally derived. But what does this actually mean? Are we buying ‘natural’ products that we feel are kinder to our skin simply because the word ‘natural’ is in there?

The words ‘plant-derived’ or ‘naturally-derived’ simply mean that the ingredient started out as a whole plant. Then it goes through a level of processing. But, and this is probably the most important but, never forget there is nothing really natural at all. Everything is a chemical compound of one form or another; even water and air.

Also, and almost as important, any plant use is processed before it reaches its final form of say skincare. It is about where science can extract the specific part of a plant required and get rid of parts of plants that may be irritants to the skin. Simply put, just because pumpkin may have elements of it that are helpful and healing doesn’t mean you would want to rub a piece of pumpkin across your face. You want some clever scientists to take the elements of the pumpkin that are useful and extract and formulate them for you…Naturally Derived.

Science has made huge gains in helping create skincare that really works, so it is important not to dismiss it. The best of both worlds is a good balance and is far nearer the truth of what most skincare is made up of. Ultimately where science can extract the goodness from a plant and mix it with a chemical compound that either mirrors nature or picks the single element from nature that is useful, then as long as the waste produced is not harmful it can only be a good step.

Naturally derived products can be highly effective but only when formulated properly. Synthetic products are not dangerous because they are created in a laboratory, where strict laws are in place.

Unlike the food industry, there is no regulation in the beauty industry controlling the use of terms like ‘natural’ or even ‘organic’, yet both natural and synthetics can be dangerous to use. Best practice with any skincare regime is:

Firstly don’t use too many products. Don’t strip your skin of its natural ph 5.5 balance. Test new products you use; always do a skin patch test. Start to read the ingredients on the packaging and then look up what they are. The information is readily available so get to know what you are putting on the most delicate area on your body.

Naturally derived can mean as little as only a few percentage points of the product is from a plant, or in some cases, it can go up as high as 95%. Learn to help yourself by reading ingredients as this will not just help you make better skincare choices, but will empower you to boot.

Below are just a handful of suggested brands worth looking in to.

Images Camila Almeida instagram.camilaalmeida_ Creative Direction Jo Phillips

(left) Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum Firm+Brighten (right) Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum Refine and Retexturize (Center) Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil Nourish and Balance

C-Firma: Formulated from natural ingredients of pumpkin ferment extract and pomegranate enzyme mixed with l-ascorbic acid, ferulic acid, enzymes and antioxidants. Drunk Elephant’s mix of nature’s vitamins E and C combined with science supports the reduction of dark spots and wrinkles.
TLC Framboos: High-tech gel resurfaces dull skin and gently lifts dead skin cells away by dissolving the glue that holds them to the surface. Formulated with a dream-team AHA/BHA blend of glycolic, lactic, tartaric, citric and salicylic acids that are blended with raspberry extract this product delivers an effective level of chemical exfoliation without the harsh side effects like dryness or sensitization.
Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
: Made without any synthetic fragrances or dyes this natural Marula facial oil mixes antioxidants tocopherol (vitamin E), tocotrienol, antioxidant polyphenols, and rich in omegas 6 and 9, helps to moisturize, rejuvenate and nourish skin while restoring a youthful glow.

Face Masque: With ethically sourced bee venom, 100% pure Manuka honey, clover flower extract and Swertia chirata extract this face masque will rejuvenate your skin by deeply cleaning and stimulating healthy skin leaving it tingling and fresh. 
Night Crème: Nourishes your skin whilst you sleep with highly potent intensive night cream. The night crème has antibacterial properties of 100% pure New Zealand Manuka honey that are combined with powerful antioxidants, prickly pear seed oil and goji seed oil both packed with essential fatty acids, vitamins and amino acids.
Day Crème: 100% natural hydrating day cream, packed with Manuka honey, bee venom and royal jelly helps promote healthy glowing skin. Pure royal jelly from New Zealand honey bees helps to tighten fine lines and wrinkles and protects your skin from daily pollutants, while bee venom stimulates the skin, creating increased blood flow to boost the production of natural collagen and elastin.

Augenstick Rescue Eye Stick: This eye stick rejuvenates the under-eye area and is non-toxic and is a clean beauty product that has herbs in it.
Eye Cream Line A: It contains an intelligent combination of active botanical substances and cosmeceuticals which activate the skin to fill and reduce wrinkles as well as provide long-term moisture and smoother appearance. The cream has highly effective essences such as fermented extracts from the white lupine which stimulates the collagen production and elderberry extract to reduce swollen eyes.

Green People beard oil: This non-greasy beard oil has buriti oil which promotes shine and decreases frizz, black cumin seed oil to help grow a healthy beard, safflower oil helping to stimulate and strengthen hair follicles, tea tree oil helps to calm ingrown hairs and blemishes and blended cypress and rosemary oils to create a calming woody aroma.
Green People Cooling Moisturiser: Use it to cool down after shaving or use it as an after-sun/sports lotion. Made with fairly traded shea butter, organic Almond oil, plant actives and antioxidants guard against spots while black willow bark reduces redness and controls bacteria.
Green People Soothing Shaving Gel: This 2-in-one shaving gel and face wash lifts hair shafts to prepare for a closer shave. It’s made with aloe Vera, grapefruit, mandarin, Irish moss and seaweed.
Green people exfoliating face scrub: Bamboo extract and cranberry powder come together to remove dead skin cells which lift hairs from your face before shaving.  Exfoliating scrub naturally draws out toxins and impurities with organic Shea butter, Bamboo, Bentonite, Clove and Grapefruit.
The gruff stuff Spray on body lotion: This fast-absorbing, anti-aging moisturiser in spray form has reinvented the way we think about skincare.  Its advanced formula contains a powerful combination of vitamins, antioxidants and active ingredients to stimulate the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid. This hydrating spray restores the moisture barrier and also helps to balance oil levels.
The gruff stuff The eye balm: This gentle eye balm offers targeted anti-aging treatment for the orbital area. The special formula is not greasy and contains a highly effective combination of licorice and Persian tree extract, which improves hydration, fades dark circles and reduces puffiness under the eyes. Powerful antioxidants and Matcha green tea extracts have strong detoxifying effects on the skin while improving blood circulation for faster regeneration and the prevention of premature aging.

Vitalising peeling gel: This smoothing gel exfoliator with a 2-in-1 cleanse and peel function deeply cleanses the skin and delicately eliminates dead skin cells while stimulating cell regeneration and skin vitality. It tightens pores, gives instant luster to dull skin and leaves your skin velvety smooth.
Recovery face oil: Borage seed oil, birch leaf extract and organic jojoba seed oil improves overall skin firmness, protect and nourish the skin all while giving instant suppleness and glow.
Skin awakening C-serum: This product aims to bring back a youthful glow, protect against free radical damage and even out skin tone made with hyaluronic acid which restores optimal hydration. The serum is concentrated with Vitamin C which is a free-radical fighter and one of the most effective natural antioxidants.

Ch Vohtz Purifying & hydrate cream cleanser: Refresh your complexion with aloe vera and jojoba rehydrate to hydrate and cleanse impurities. The natural ingredients blend together and work towards giving elasticity with hibiscus to lift and reduce wrinkles.
Cha Vohtz Soft Buff Skin Exfoliant: Brightens and illuminates dull, dry skin with a powerful three-way exfoliation from Pineapple, Bamboo and Bentonite clay. Pineapple enzymes dissolve protein bonds to release dead skin cells as bamboo gently lifts hardened skin cells for youthful skin whilst unblocking congested pores with bentonite clay.
Cha Vohtz Hydra-Glow sleep mask: Green Macro Algae is rich in penta-saccharides to stimulate collagen production. Caesalpinia Spinosa delivers intense skin hydration and long-term firmness revitalising skin while you sleep giving a youthful complexion.
Cha Vohtz Line eraser Serum: This product is made with sea holly stem cells, argan seed extract and baicalin to help firm the skin, moisturise it and restructure the elasticity of the skin.
Cha Vohtz Ultimate wonder balm: The balm protects, soothes, nourishes and improves elasticity in the skin while removing makeup. It incorporates pomegranate which contains skin-nourishing essential fatty acids and rosehip which regenerates and restores damaged or aging skin.
Brightening moisturiser: It deeply hydrates, stimulates collagen synthesis and reduces wrinkles with pineapple enzymes which gently ease excess pigment to lighten skin tone and beech bud which increases cell turnover refining the skin tone.

Elemis hydration juice: Made with organic aloe Vera juice and organic cucumber extract to deliver instant cooling hydration and cica which visibly calms and nourishes the skin, this juice will leave your skin refreshed and calmed.
Superfood cica calm cleansing foam: Vegan-friendly and sulfate-free infused with soothing biotransformed cica and nourishing fermented Green Tea Seed Oil to leave the skin looking calm, balanced and fresh with micellar technology.
Chantecaille rose de mai cream: This product is made with rose de mai essence extracted from one of the world’s rarest roses infuses the formula with a uniquely uplifting aroma, sweet pea stem cell extract which helps moisturize to neutralize accumulated photodamage created by UV while recharging and lessening the look of redness and wild pansy extract that has immediate and long term hydrating properties reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Fresh lotus youth preserve face cream: A lightweight moisturiser powered to target first signs of aging for radiant, resilient, youthful-looking skin.

100% Squalane oil: Made with squalane oil derived from sugar cane this natural moisturizer leaves the skin soothed and nonirrigated while getting rid of redness. The moisturizer locks in moisture and maintains the skin soft.
Biossance Squalane plus probiotic gel moisturizer: Extra-gentle weightless gel that helps to calm and soothe skin with visible redness, even skin with rosacea. Infused with probiotics, it strengthens skin’s natural barrier to restore balance.
Perricone MD cold plasma plus+: Made with copper tripeptides to improve the appearance of firmness and elasticity, Vitamin C Ester to reduce the look of dark spots and radiance and omegas 3, 6 and 9 to promote smoother skin, this product delivers a faster and deeper penetration of key ingredients into the skin’s surface.
Perricone MD high potency classics face finishing and firming tinted moisturizer: This product is filled with Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), Candeia Tree Extract to soothe and protect the skin and a mineral-based sunblock to further reduce aging skin.

ELF All the feels facial oil: This lightweight facial oil helps give a natural radiance and calm complexion infused with Squalane, Jojoba Oil, Rosehip Oil and Sunflower Seed Oil.
ELF puff puff primer: Was created from vitamins A, C and hemp seed oil with an amino-rich formula that helps to hydrate, nourish and condition the skin before makeup application. 
ELF Happy hydration cream: The luxuriously creamy skincare is infused with Hemp Seed Oil. The cream also contains Vitamin B5, Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide or Vitamin B3 to help boost hydration and prevent moisture loss. The cream helps nourish, hydrate and condition the skin with ingredients that are known for locking in moisture for a hydrated complexion.
NAYA day cream protect plus prevent: Centella Asiatica, Hyaluronic Acid, Passion Fruit and Vitamin C expertly calm the natural immune triggers in your skin which can be overstimulated by pollution and a hectic lifestyle. In addition, there’s 2% of a Blue-Light active to protect your skin for the modern women of today. Cacay gives your skin new resilience and elasticity, reduces wrinkles, scars and moisturisation without weighing your skin down.
MGC rejuvenating moisturizer with peptides plus red algae: Made up of Aquiol, a proprietary compound of 99 plus percent pure CBD that absorbs in a water-based formula, Red Algae, Matrixyl Synthe’6, Swiss Apple Stem Cells, Grape Stem Cells, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, C and Hyleraunic acid, this moisturiser ensures your skin stays soft and supple with intense moisture. 
Tropic rainforest dew hydration serum: Rich and renewing moisture with smoothing lightweight serum made with super-hydrating plant extracts and multi-molecular weight hyaluronic acid gives skin a replenishing dose of hydration leaving skin with a dewy, youthful bounce.

EH purifying detox clay mask: This product is made from Australian Pink Clay to deeply cleanse, balance skin and refine defensil™ 2% technology used at the clinical level to reduce redness, inflammation and create even complexion. Moringa Seed Oil used to provide vitamin C + E and provides antioxidant and environmental protection.
EH exfoliating brightening tonic: This product is packed with natural botanical ingredients with skin brightening properties, exfoliating tonic helps with the clear up of skin appearance and encourages smooth texture.
Institut Esthederm Paris intensive spiruline serum
: Infused with spirulina, a micro-algae, this serum will deliver intensive hydration to fatigued skin and boosts the vitality and radiance of the skin.
Institut esthederm intensive spiruline cream: Made with spirulina specifically to retain moisture and fight signs of fatigue, this cream boosts radiance and vitality of the skin as well as the firmness.  

La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Sensitive Skin: This thermal spring water is naturally rich in minerals with scientifically demonstrated soothing and antioxidant properties and perfect for all skin types especially those with sensitive skin.
Burt’s Bees Hemp moisturizing lip balm: Infused with Hemp seed oil this lip balm provides ultra hydration to the lips and has a verbena and basil scent to keep you fresh all day long.
Burt’s Bees Hemp Body Lotion with Hemp Seed Oil: Hemp Seed Oil natural origin, rich, non-greasy lotion formulated with hemp seed oil to nourish the skin and leave it soft and hydrated.

Pure natural plus vegan plus effective super hydrate day cream spf 15: Infused with starflower and camelina oils, which are full of essential fatty acids to protect the skin’s moisture barrier and vitamin E-rich oat kernel oil which softens and protects. Instant and lightweight moisture that lasts all day.
 Algenist Genius collagen calming relief: Active Vegan Collagen™, Alguronic Acid, Calendula & other soothing agents used are designed to visibly reduce redness & the look of irritated skin, protect moisture retention, restoring bounce & resilience.
Goldfaden MD Mist RX daily nutrient facial mist: The aloe vera infused water mist will hydrate with its boost of minerals and antioxidants that advance nourishment and brighten the skin. Plant stem cells and probiotics help revitalize the skin and quench dull complexions.  
Bioderma Global reinforced formula Intensive purifying care for acne-prone skin: This product is made from the combination of AHA esters and dermatological elements to promote clear skin, while zinc gluconate and enoxolone reduce redness and inflammation both immediately and over time.

Tom Ford Research Creme concentrate: Made with white porcelain cacao, caffeine and gyokuro that help promote energized skin while algae extract soothes and relieve stressed skin. Hyaluronic acid and lots of other hydrating serums help the skin stay hydrated.  
Tom Ford Research Serum concentrate: White porcelain cacao, caffeine and gyokuro help to promote energized healthy-looking skin to brighten and even skin tone with this product.

One Ocean beauty blue algae exfoliating plus detox mask: Nutrient-rich blue algae and marine silt from the West coast of France provide a deep detox cleanse controlling oily skin whilst retaining moisture in this product.
Ole Henriksen transforms sheer transformation perfecting moisturizer: This oil-free moisturizer imparts essential moisture to the skin and delivers radiance.  It’s made with multi-fruit acids, licorice and pea extracts to help gently refine uneven skin tone and texture.   
Ole Henriksen C-rush brightening gel crème: Powerful yet very hydrating gel has Ascorbic Acid, which is pure vitamin C; and 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid and Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, two light-and-air stable vitamin C derivatives known for their antioxidant properties. Together, this vitamin C trio helps C-Rush deliver proven age-fighting benefits.

050 L:A Bruket Face Scrub: Infused with almond oil sea salt and essential oils this face scrub exfoliates and moisturizes at the same time while providing nourishment to rejuvenate the face.  
Pestle Mortar Lactic Acid Moisturising Factor Solution: Indian gooseberry extract and black tea mixed into the lactic acid-based toner strengthens the power of the natural moisturising factors to promote skin regeneration.
Shiseido Ultimune power infusing concentrate: A Serum that is enhanced with ImuGeneration Technology featuring botanical extracts of Reishi Mushroom and Iris Root. Also features exclusive Ultimune Complex – Bulgarian Rose Water, aqua in pool, and yeast extract- and a botanical blend of ginkgo biloba leaf extract.

Dr.Hauschka moor lavender calming bath: A warm treat to come home to and relax with a soaking bath when feeling agitated, restless or cold. The warm fragrance prepares you for a good night’s sleep with the natural essential oils used.
Dr.Hauschka Quince day cream: The perfect care for both dry, oily and redness skin giving a great balance of moisture where needed on your skin.  This is achieved with the natural essential oils for your skin.

Eve Lom rescue toner: This perfect blend of natural source of AHAs from Australian Caviar Lime, Organic Bergamot water and a mixture of super-charged botanical extracts, helps in keeping problematic skin calm and healthy with a more clarified complexion. This product stimulates the process of cell turn over.

Eve Lom rescue peel pads: Eve Lom rescue peel pads instantly exfoliate and re-surface the skin whilst being 100% biodegradable. Flawless skin is achievable with the combination of AHA, PHA and BHA acids working towards clean the build-up layers of dead skin cells and brightening your skin complexion. 

Many many thanks to Natalie for her advice and expertise

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