From clogged pores to an uneven skin tone, dry skin to dull skin, our skin care concerns can sometimes seem hard to treat. The good news is, the best remedies are often found right in front of us, in nature.
Found in “plants, flowers, nuts, seeds, the earth and the foods we eat, such as fruits and vegetables”, many of these ingredients have been at the centre of “hundreds of years of cultural beauty practices”, says The Body Shop trainer Sam Pope. This means they have a proven reputation for solving skin care problems experienced by women around the world.
But while you might be familiar with many natural ingredients, there are a few others that might surprise you. Read on to discover the new naturals – plus learn how they can help with your every complexion concern…
The ingredient: Bamboo charcoal
Helps fix: Clogged pores
It might not sound like something you’d willingly apply to your skin, but charcoal is super effective at clearing clogged pores. According to Sam, it works by “drawing out impurities and excess oil from the skin” (aka the gunk that makes your pores appear so much more obvious). The charcoal that’s found in The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask is sourced from the Himalayan foothills, and its qualities are complemented by crushed green tea leaves and tea tree oil. According to our expert, these ingredients are excellent for sloughing away impurities, banishing blemishes and keeping skin looking clear, leaving those once-pesky pores “deeply cleansed and detoxified”.
The ingredient: Guarana seeds
Helps fix: Uneven skin tone
Just as a shot of guarana can help pep up your energy levels, including this ingredient in skin care can “speed up microcirculation”, says Sam, and improve blood flow to the skin. This results in a healthier, more even-looking skin tone. As well as guarana seeds, The Body Shop Amazonian Acai Energising Radiance Mask contains acai berry, which Sam explains is rich in antioxidants and vitamins to help “fight the appearance of uneven skin tone, as well as fatigue”. The bottom line: We often talk about eating superfoods to boost bodily health, but Sam says applying these same energising superfoods topically can help improve the look of our skin tone, too.
The ingredient: Honey
Helps fix: Dry skin
According to Sam, dry skin types need naturally derived ingredients with the ability to “replace moisture back into the skin”. Honey is one such ingredient, as it contains nutrients “that replenish and retain moisture”. It also acts as a humectant, which means it attracts water and traps it into the skin, helping to “comfort and revive it”. Oil is another effective ingredient for boosting hydration, Sam says, helping replace lost oils and support the skin’s elasticity. She recommends treating a dry skin type with the The Body Shop Ethiopian Honey Deep Nourishing Mask, which harnesses these moisturising ingredients to leave dry skin feeling “deeply nourished, replenished and supple”.
The ingredient: Rose
Helps fix: Dehydrated skin
Linked to a lack of water in the skin, dehydrated skin looks dull and translucent, with more visible fine lines. Enter rose essence, an ingredient featured in The Body Shop British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask which Sam explains is “intensely hydrating” and “packed full of vitamins A, C, D, E and B”. The mask also contains rosehip oil, which is rich in vitamin C (“a super radiance booster for dull skin”) as well as omega-3 and -6 oils, to boost oil and water reserves. These ingredients work together to leave dehydrated skin “quenched and replumped with moisture”.
The ingredient: Rice powder
Helps fix: Dull skin
According to Sam, dull skin happens when dead skin cells accumulate on the skin’s surface, forming “rough patches” that give it an overall dull appearance. One solution? Rice powder, which she notes has been used by Chinese and Japanese women since 1500 BCE to “gently buff away uneven skin texture”, without causing irritation. Dull skin types will benefit from The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask, which contains rice powder as well as ginseng, which is known for its skin-toning and stimulating properties. Together, these ingredients work to brighten the skin and give it a “healthy-looking glow”.