Take one look at the ingredients list on most skin care products and you might wonder how they differ from what goes in your car. So many popular skin care products are so loaded with synthetic and chemical ingredients--not to mention really strong fragrances--that it certainly makes you think about what you’re putting on your skin. While debate rages about just what percentage of these chemicals actually get absorbed into the body, it’s a mystery why anyone would choose to use them when nature does such an incredible job keeping our skin healthy and glowing!
With this in mind, in this article we’re going to go over what it means to be a “natural beauty product,” talk about botanical ingredients vs. synthetic or chemical ingredients, and discuss some of our favorite natural skin care products.
We have a feeling after reading this, you’ll see why natural skin care is so extraordinary!
Natural Skin Care Products – A Breakdown
Whether you’re into make-up, skincare or both, you’ve probably noticed an uptick in products that call themselves “natural” skin care or “organic” skin care or even “clean” skin care, but you may have no clue what those terms actually mean. Before we start talking about natural skin care products and the like, let’s go over what constitutes natural skin care products.
Natural Skin Care Products – The classification, “natural skin care products” is a little tricky as the term “natural” isn’t actually regulated and rarely ever means that a product contains exclusively natural ingredients, i.e., plant roots, petals, seeds, etc.
At Fleur & Bee, we use many, many natural ingredients in our skin care products, but we also use safe synthetic and chemical ingredients as well. For example, we use sodium ascorbyl phosphate which is a gentler and more stable form of vitamin C than pure L-ascorbic acid. And we use no parabens, sulfates, harmful chemicals, or artificial fragrances whatsoever!
Clean Skin Care Products – Clean skin care products are different from natural skin care products in that they don’t contain ingredients that are likely to harm the skin, that doesn’t mean they don’t contain synthetic ingredients.
Organic Skin Care Products – Organic skin care products contain ingredients that use organically farmed ingredients, so no pesticides, genetically modified organisms, fertilizers, or growth hormones. That said, organic skin care products can contain ingredients that are non-organic as well so be sure to check the label carefully.
Even though we enhance our products with some safe synthetic ingredients, we believe strongly in botanicals that really make skin look its best! As you’ll see from the list below, our products are packed with ingredients that come right from Mother Nature herself!
38 Great Botanical Skin Care Ingredients
Many of the ingredients you’ll find in natural skin care products are called botanicals. As you might have guessed, botanicals come from plants, rather than synthetic or chemical ingredients. And that could mean any part of a plant—the seeds, the flowers, the leaves, or even the roots! Kind of makes you look at flowers differently now, doesn’t it?
Here are just a few examples of the botanical ingredients we use in our products and a brief look at why we use them:
- Acai Fruit Extract – Anti-aging properties, brightens the skin
- Algae Extract - Antioxidant that hydrates the skin, minimizing the look of fine lines and wrinkles
- Aloe Vera Leaf Juice – Protects skin from environmental stressors, calms skin
- Apple Fruit Extract – High in antioxidants to protect your skin, smooths skin
- Bentonite clay – Pulls toxins from the skin
- Caffeine - Temporarily reduces the look of puffiness
- Chamomile - Renews the look of beautiful skin
- Clary Sage Flower Oil – Calms the skin
- Dandelion Extract - Helps hydrate the skin
- Grapeseed Oil – Helps even skin tone, moisturizes, temporarily firms and tightens
- Gotu Kola - Anti-aging ingredient that visibly plumps the look of skin
- Honeysuckle Flower Extract – Full of antioxidants to protect the skin, helps even out skin tone
- Horsetail Extract - Antioxidant that soothes the skin
- Jojoba Seed Oil – Softens and conditions mature skin, protects skin from environmental stressors, balances oils, anti-aging, can take off make-up
- Kaolin Clay - Helps exfoliate the skin and balance oils
- Laurelwood Seed Oil – Anti-aging, calms the skin, moisturizes, and helps protect the skin against environmental stressors
- Lavender Oil – Helps soothe, moisturize, and protect the skin.
- Lemon Peel Extract – Creates a smoother looking appearance
- Lemongrass Oil – Antioxidant that protects the skin from environmental stressors
- Orange Fruit Extract – Provides vitamin C to the skin which is an antioxidant, encourages brightness in skin
- Oregon Grape Root Extract – Has a calming effect on skin
- Organic Castor Oil - Acts as a humectant, drawing moisture from the air to hydrate the skin
- Organic Coconut Oil – Helps keep skin hydrated, visibly plumps fine lines temporarily
- Organic Dandelion Extract – Anti-aging, smooths skin
- Organic Green Tea Leaf Extract – Helps balance oil in skin, helps even skin tone, smooths the skin, helps hydrate the skin, helps improve skin texture, helps brighten the skin, anti-aging
- Organic Licorice Root Extract – Anti-aging, helps protect the skin against environmental stressors
- Organic Reishi Mushroom Extract - Diminish/reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, protects skin from environmental stressors
- Organic Rosehip Seed Oil – Anti-aging, moisturizes skin, evens skin tone, helps restore glowing skin
- Organic Sunflower Oil – Rich in antioxidants that protect skin from environmental stressors, hydrates, unclogs pores, helps even out skin tone
- Pink Grapefruit Peel Oil – Contains vitamin C which acts as an exfoliant, evens skin tone, protects skin from environmental stressors, brightens skin
- Pomegranate Fruit Extract – Contains antioxidants that protect against environmental stressors, smooths and firms the skin, moisturizes the skin
- Rosemary Leaf Extract – Antioxidant that helps smooth the skin, anti-aging
- Rose water - Minimizes the look of pores, helps control oil, hydrates the skin
- Safflower Seed Oil – Helps moisturize the skin, keeps pores unclogged, revitalizes appearance of mature skin
- Squalane - Helps balance the skin’s natural oils
- Sugar cane extract - Helps exfoliate the skin
- Wild Geranium Extract - Renews the look of beautiful skin
- Ylang Flower Oil – Has a calming sensation on the skin
10 Best Natural Beauty Products
As big fans of natural skin care products we constantly have our eyes peeled for great products. Here are some of the best natural skin care products we’ve found!
Best Natural Cleanser
One of the toughest things about finding a really great facial cleanser is getting one that cleans really, really well without leaving your skin feeling as if you’ve been walking across the Sahara in the middle of summer. The better a facial cleanser cleans, it seems, the dryer it leaves your skin. Not so with Fleur & Bee’s So Clean! natural facial cleanser.
This cleanser is so gentle, you almost feel as if you could leave it on and not even rinse it! While we don’t recommend that, we can say that it will leave your skin feeling smooth and clean. All you have to do is put a pump or two in the palm of your hand (really—two is more than enough!), massage it into damp skin, and then rinse off with warm water. It really gets the dirt and make-up off and it’s made for all skin types whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin!
Best of all, it’s made with all-natural ingredients including nourishing and hydrating botanicals like dandelion extract, wild geranium extract, and rosemary leaf extract that smooth and protect the skin’s surface and purifies and decongests pores. And of course, it’s completely free of parabens, sulfates, artificial fragrances, and harmful chemicals.
Best Natural Nail Polish
If you’re someone who does their nails every week, you’re probably familiar with what great nail polishes Zoya makes. From an astounding array of colors, to a really smooth application, to a really long wear time, it’s hard to beat this brand. Not only that, but Zoya polishes are what’s called “Big Ten” free, meaning they’re free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl, toluene, camphor, TPHP, parabens, xylene, ethyl, tosylamide and lead. While some nail polishes are “Three-Free” or “Five-Free,” Zoya has gone Ten-Free!
Although Zoya polishes can be a little tough to find offline (they’re available only in salons and some beauty supply stores), it’s well worth the extra effort.
Best Natural Lipstick
If you’ve ever shopped for a natural lipstick, you may know that finding natural lipsticks in a broad range of colors is no easy feat. Unless you’re really into nudes or very light pinks, your selection is probably going to be limited. That’s what we love about Color the World lipsticks. Whether you want a strong berry, fuchsia, or even something with a little shimmer, they’ve got it.
Made with organic ingredients, they’re 100% cruelty free, vegetarian, made with organic products, and even hand poured. Aside from all that, they come in really cute packaging and, like Fleur & Bee, they give a portion of their profits to charity.
Best Natural Body Wash
Even if you’re not a body wash person, you will be after trying H2O+ body washes. Formulated “without parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, sulfates (including sls and sles), edtas, ethanolamines, formaldehydes and formaldehyde releasing agents, and mineral oil,” their body washes are pretty much the best out there; non-drying and gentle to the skin, they also smell incredible (without smelling perfume-y). And, at about $18, they’re reasonably priced!
Best Natural Hand and Body Lotion
Although their packaging looks a little industrial, if you’ve ever tried Dr. Bonner’s products, you know they’re as gentle as they come. Their hand and body lotions are particularly good, especially if you have really rough skin. Made with organic ingredients like jojoba, hemp, and coconut oil, they are lightly scented with essential oils, a must for those of us with very, very sensitive noses! From “Patchouli Lime'' to “Lavender Coconut,” Dr. Bonner’s is sure to have a scent you’ll love!
Best Natural Body Scrub
While we usually think of stress affecting our psyches, the truth is, stress can really wreak havoc on a person’s body, especially when it comes to muscle tension. Now, more than ever, it’s really important to practice a little self-care by working out the knots and kinks caused by all that 2020 stress which is why we love Origins’ Warm Down Warming Lava Scrub to Detox and Smooth. Not only does it exfoliate the skin, but it warms up as you rub it in, helping bring those tired muscles back to a state of Zen! According to the Origins website, it’s formulated without “parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, mineral oil, DEA, petrolatum, paraffin, polyethylene beads, formaldehyde & animal ingredients*(except cruelty-free honey & beeswax).” It’s also 100% vegetarian.
One word of warning—this scrub can get downright hot so while it’s absolutely wonderful for tired muscles, just be cautious when using.
Best Natural Eye Cream
Lack of sleep, stress, a bad week—it’s amazing how these things show up in the eyes, causing us to look tired and even older! That’s why it’s so important to take care of the skin around your eyes with a really good, natural eye cream like our Eyes Eyes Baby eye cream. This anti-aging cream will not only firm the delicate skin around the eye area, but will soften the appearance of wrinkles, reduce the appearance of dark, puffy eyes, and moisturize and hydrate the skin.
Full of powerful ingredients like caffeine to reduce puffiness and vitamin E and squalane to reduce wrinkles, this eye cream does it all. While we still suggest you try to get enough sleep (and try not to stress too much!), if you don’t, this will help!
And remember, if you’re thinking of skipping this step, taking care of your eyes today is like ensuring your looks for tomorrow.
Best Natural Body Cream
Yes, we know we already have a hand and body lotion in our list but when a product is this good we just have to share it. If you’ve ever wanted a tush like the beach bunnies you see on the beaches of Rio, you must try Brazilian Bum Bum Cream from Sol de Janeiro. This glorious-smelling cream, which helps smooth and visibly tighten the appearance of skin, is meant for your derriere, legs, tummy, and any other place that could use a little boost!
Not only is it vegan friendly, cruelty free, and sustainably sourced, it’s paraben free, sulfate free, mineral oil free, and uses no microplastics.
Best Natural Mascara
Eyelash primer is one of those beauty products that sounds absolutely ridiculous—until you actually try it. The trick is finding a really good one which is why we love Honest Beauty’s 2-in-1 Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer. Made without parabens, paraffins, synthetic fragrances, silicones, or mineral oil, this handy combo really lifts and lengthens your lashes to great effect.
Best Natural Serum
Even if you’re a beauty fanatic, you still might be new to the world of serums and if you haven’t used them yet, you’re really missing out! Chock full of botanicals like chamomile, aloe vera, and clary sage, Fleur & Bee’s lightweight but powerful Nectar of the C Vitamin C Serum has as one of its key ingredients, a non-irritating form of vitamin C that brightens the skin like nobody’s business.
In addition to brightening and evening out your skin tone, we think you’ll find it reduces the appearance of dark spots and softens the appearance of fine lines. And unlike a lot of serums, it doesn’t feel like a heavy mask on the face, nor does it have that oily feel a lot of serums have.
We hope this has helped illuminate the difference between natural skin care products and those made with harsh chemicals. And remember, if you’re ever in doubt, Fleur & Bee is committed to making natural skin care products so you can use them with complete confidence!