Let go of your retinol and hyaluronic acid and replace them with eco-friendly, natural ingredients that help you to stay youthful, blemish-free and positively glowing.
The organic and natural beauty industry was worth NZ$173 million in 2018, and it’s growing. fast. As researchers delve deeper into traditional and indigenous treatments, more and more effective plant-based ingredients are being found. And, as the locals have known for hundreds of years, these products can work wonders.
Ditch the retinol and say hello to bakuchinol
Bakuchinol is a phytochemical ingredient that’s derived from the babchi plant. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and similar actions to retinol. It seems to activate the same pathways and may help to improve aging skin. Unlike retinol, bakuchinol doesn’t cause irritation and sensitivity, making it much more suitable for people who suffer from dry or problematic skin. 
The only thing you need to be aware of is that, in studies comparing the two, to achieve the same results as retinol you’ll need to apply bakuchinol twice a day - just like your other serums. While you need to use bakuchinol more frequently, it complements other products well, i.e. you can safely use it in conjunction with Vitamin C or other skincare products.
Wave goodbye to salicylic acid and welcome clary sage
Salicylic acid is a lipophilic monohydroxy benzoic acid that achieves great results by chemically exfoliating the skin. Clary sage is a natural alternative that’s gentle for people who have dry, peeling and sensitive skin. It’s rich in antioxidants, so it fights free radicals, helping to tone and tighten the skin. It gently exfoliates the skin, helping to reduce breakouts. It also reduces inflammation, irritation and rashes. And it helps to balance the natural oils in the skin, maintaining healthy sebum levels in people with oily, normal or dry skin.
You can use clary sage as a facewash, combining it with coconut oil, honey and apple cider vinegar. To create a moisturiser, simply add a few drops of the essential oil to your existing moisturiser.
However, much like salicylic acid, don’t use clary sage while pregnant. Also, people with rosacea or super sensitive skin shouldn’t use it.
Retire the hydrocortisone and start using sandalwood
Sandalwood, long used in ayurvedic skincare, is finally being recognised in the western world. It’s known to reduce inflammation markers in the body, so can help to soothe eczema-irritated skin. Mix a few drops with a carrier oil and apply to skin - it offers immediate calming and soothing effects, and gives healing a hurry-up. 
While doctors prescribe hydrocortisones that do work, they can thin the skin. This has implications later on and can damage the skin barrier. Hydrocortisones may also cause irritation, redness or burning for some people.
If you want to start incorporating sandalwood in your skincare routine, make sure you use it with a carrier oil, as it can irritate the skin. To start, one drop in a carrier of jojoba or rosehip oil is enough. Spread evenly across your face, being sure to avoid the delicate skin around the eyes.
Swap retinol for lush apricot kernel oil
Apricot kernel oil is a carrier oil that delivers vitamin E and A to the skin. This helps to repair and hydrate skin, leaving it smooth and supple. It was initially linked to a remote area of Pakistan, but has also been used extensively throughout China. Apricot kernel oil helps to heal UV damage, restore skin cell membranes and tighten the surface of the skin. It’s particularly useful for scaly, dry skin, including skin affected by psoriasis or rosacea. 
Apricot kernel oil is believed to be better than retinol because it is gentle. Side effects of the artificially synthesized vitamin A molecule (used in retinol) can include dry skin, peeling, stinging, redness and tingling. Retinol can also make you more sensitive to UV rays.
If you want to start incorporating apricot kernel oil in your skin routine, make sure it’s used with a carrier oil or as an ingredient within a respected natural beauty product, like our berry blend night moisturiser and avocado smash body butter.
Keep it natural and still maintain great skin health
While many people have turned to artificial ingredients in the past, natural options are becoming increasingly popular. Some of them can replicate what artificial products do, and they are often gentler with fewer side effects.