With so many products, promises and proclamations thrown at us on the daily, it’s easy to get sick of the beauty hype.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a luxury beauty counter. My vanity is choc-a-block with La Mer, Dermalogica, La Prairie, Aesop and lots more, but I’m also a closet health freak who sometimes just craves a product that is natural and, well, more…real.
If the extent of your health food knowledge stops at coconut oil, allow us to educate you on five of the best all-natural ways to get great hair and skin, coupled with that smug, #cleanliving feel-good factor.
L-R: Gigi Hadid’s touseled locks are her trademark (Image: Instagram/Gigi Hadid); Biotin supplements for strong hair and nails; Chlorophyll is said to help ease problem skin.
Pre-Olaplex, our mother’s generation swore by an egg yolk hair mask for thick, strong strands.
In fact, my hairdresser, the lovely Anthony Nader, still suggests this treatment when I whinge about my broken bleached-out crown.
Why? Egg yolks are one of the richest sources of Biotin, a super-powered, water-soluble B vitamin also known as vitamin H or coenzyme R.
You see, when it comes to strong, thick hair and fast-growing nails, Biotin is boss. Adding some to your diet may help prevent thinning and damaged hair.
It’s also the key ingredient in the infamous “model hair supplement” Viviscal (and much more affordable).
So, if you need a quick fix, reach for the yolks, but for strong hair from the inside out, add some to your pill-popping regimen. Be warned: Too much can cause acne. Take it easy.
Remember Year 7 science? Pho-to-synth-e-sis? Kind of like how we convert red frogs to productivity, photosynthesis is how plants convert light into energy – and chlorophyll is crucial to that process.
Most people already know the myriad of benefits boasted by Chlorophyll (hunger control, reduction of body odour, and the ability to make green smoothies way greener and therefore, more Instagrammable.) But the stuff is like magic for problem skin.
Fans of the green liquid say it acts as an alkalizing detoxifier and can help reduce inflammation with problems like eczema and rosacea, while clearing acne and fighting ageing free-radicals.
L-R: Grapeseed oil is ideal as lightweight skin oil; Dr Brommer’s magic soap is natural and organic; Miranda Kerr (Instagram/Miranda Kerr).
#3 Grape Seed Oil
When you start to look at beauty products all the time, as we do here at Honey, there are a few ingredients that pop up again and again, from the luxury power players to the cheap and cheerful. Grape seed oil is one of those ingredients.
It’s in cult products from the likes of Sunday Riley, Aesop, Shu Uemura and Caudalie (plus, the French really love it).
Why? Because it’s high in Vitamin C, Omega 6 and what are referred to as “OPCs” which have a similar structure to our own skin cells and help hydration absorption.
It’s also hailed as one of the best skin repairers out there, which makes it ace for now, when we’re all deep in that winter skin-shedding terror-excitement mode. Want to just dip a toe into into oils? Try it as a night serum.
#4 Dr Bronner’s Liquid Soap
This cult-status castile soap is so hardworking that you can use it as pretty much anything – shower gel, shaving soap (it won’t irritate), shampoo, in your laundry loads, as a light household cleaner and even on your pets. For something so delicate, it’s pretty powerful.
What makes this soap so great is that its age-old recipe doesn’t contain any synthetic detergent.
Instead, the soap comes from vegetable oils, so it doesn’t damage the skin mantle.
Completely eco-friendly, Free Trade certified, organic and SLS-free, it also come with a no-guilt factor.
L-R: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Instagram/Rosie Huntington-Whiteley); Apple cider vinegar can be used to banish shaving rash or skin irritation.
#5 Apple Cider Vinegar
Not just an excellent salad topper, this multi-tasker is probably one of my favourite products in the health food aisle. Let me count the ways you can use this:
1. As a toner. Mixed with water it possesses natural AHAs for exfoliation and pore minimisation (great for breakouts).
2. As a hair cleanser. If you’ve been using a lot of heavy products that have built up, do a final rinse with ACV and you’ll finish with super-soft, high-shine hair.
3. Reverse razor damage. Super sensitive post-shave bumps disappear when dabbed with a cotton pad soaked in apple cider vinegar.
4. Restorative bath soak. The alkaline levels in this vinegar will help protect your acid mantle and soften the skin. Wonderful for soothing sensitive skin.
by Noelle Faulkner for honey.ninemsn.com.au