Health Features

Nature at Its Best

Caring for your skin is a necessary part of your daily beauty routine. With the never-ending possibilities for face lotions, cleansers, oils, masks and more, it’s imperative to evaluate the products you use and understand what you’re putting on your skin. The trend toward naturally sourced ingredients offers definite benefits.

phytic acid
While the word ‘acid’ might frighten you, don’t let it. This clean ingredient is a gentle exfoliant that is naturally derived from rice. It boosts cell turnover, which in turn helps your skin glow. What really sets it apart from other acids is its antioxidant properties that brighten pigmentation and help treat the facial condition melasma. Lori Holtzman of Beautycounter, a clean beauty brand, says the company features the ingredient in its Countermatch collection.

manuka honey
This special honey is made by bees that feed on the manuka tree in New Zealand. It has a long list of buzzworthy properties, including anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiaging benefits. As if that weren’t enough, it helps retain moisture as well. You can apply it directly to your skin or find it in products like Naturopathica Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm and L’Oreal Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition All-Over Honey Balm.

apple cider vinegar
Keeping a bottle of this natural vinegar on hand can help with difficult skin problems like acne. Its acetic acid content makes it a good skin cleanser that combats bacteria, fungi and other pathogens. The vinegar even promotes healthy digestive bacteria and liver function when you take it internally.

This natural ingredient has been used for many years in Chinese and Indian medicine and skin care. It’s usually taken from the babchi plant, a kind of herb. “Bakuchiol mimics the results of retinol,” Holtzman says. “It doesn’t cause irritation or photosensitivity, and it’s safe for women to use when pregnant or nursing.” Bakuchiol can be found in products from Beautycounter’s Countertime skin care line.