The Real Natural Beauty & Wellness Edit 2017
WINNER SKIN BOOST | MV Skintherapy Rose Plus Booster
Psychologies Wellness Director Eminé Rushton introduces the best natural products on the planet, as chosen by our panel of 23 industry insiders
WORDS | Eminé Rushton
When I started out in this game, I was a starry-eyed assistant doing unpaid work experience, often charged with organising the 'beauty cupboard'. Certain products always stood out for me: rose body oil; natural moisturisers; mineral make-up. It didn’t take me long to realise I was drawn to products containing ingredients I had a connection with – ones that, ultimately, my body might have a connection with, too. Full disclosure: I haven’t only used or written about naturals, but they’ve always been my preference and, for the past few years, I’ve used nothing but naturals.
Steadily, my choices filled my pages of Psychologies – until it became appropriate to champion none other than natural cosmetics. I don’t use the word ‘chemicals’ in opposition to ‘naturals’, as every living and non-living thing is made of chemicals. It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction to naturals; in fact, it’s potentially more likely, and certain essential oils are common irritants.
Knowledge is power
Natural isn’t automatically synonymous with safety or efficacy either – some natural oils can easily oxidise, leaving them rancid and full of skin-damaging free radicals. Some natural preservatives have also been shown to degrade and produce free radicals in the same way, making them pro-oxidant (not good) rather than antioxidant, leading some very smart natural product formulators to choose stable, safe, yet synthetic preservation for their otherwise wholly natural – and organically certied – products. So, how to walk the line and make a truly informed decision?
I’m no scaremonger, but I do believe strongly that it should be as easy as possible to spend our money on products that are transparent in their claims and contents - and that we should all know what we are putting onto and into our bodies. To help create a truly conscious, trustworthy edit, I asked Pedro Catala, who has a Master's degree in the Science and Technology of Cosmetics and a PhD in Natural and Formulation Technologies, to look over every ingredient of every product on the list. Dr Catala is also the creator of his own skincare line so, to ensure complete objectivity, he did not vote in the skin or body care categories.
It’s worth noting that while 1,328 chemicals are banned from cosmetic usage or sale in the EU, once we leave Europe, it’s likely our stringent regulations may become less so (the United States bans only 11 chemicals from cosmetics). The onus is on the consumer, so I urge you to read up on what does what, and why, via the brilliant resources: Content Beauty Wellbeing, and its founder Imelda Burke’s book, The Nature Of Beauty (Ebury, £20); EWG.org; and safecosmetics.org.
Every recommendation has been tried and tested and, because Psychologies is independent of big commercial advertising pressures, we’re free to spotlight the smallest brands. We don’t charge companies to ‘enter’ our awards, and we don’t sponsor them – so, it’s my pleasure to share what amounts to the best natural products on the planet. Enjoy, share, get in touch, and pay it forward!