There are a wide variety of skin care products on the market that can help keep your skin looking beautiful and healthy. However, not all are created with natural ingredients, which are often more beneficial both to our health and the environment.
This is changing as the natural and organic cosmetics market continues to grow rapidly, with an expected compound annual growth rate of 9.65% from now until 2025.
With more natural products being made available in the skincare market, better natural skin care ingredients become more accessible.
Therefore, we will go in-depth about some of the best natural ingredients you can integrate into your skin care routine.
Why Go For Natural Ingredients?
One thing you may have noticed about humanity is our increasing reliance on synthetics. Most of our products contain synthetic ingredients, whether as a more cost-effective option or because they are easier to come by.
However, this isn’t always a good thing. There have been many significant issues that have come up with conventional ingredients in cosmetics and skin care. A few notable lawsuits come to mind (e.g., Johnson & Johnson, TRESemmé).
Due to the massive distrust prevalent in the industry, people have begun turning to natural ingredients and clean beauty.
And indeed, natural ingredients can be good for you! They’re an easy way to determine precisely what is in your products, and they are often the better choice. However, with the rising interest in clean and natural beauty, it’s important to ask a second question:
Is Natural Always The Better Choice?
Most of the conversations around natural skin care products make natural ingredients sound like the best option available. And undoubtedly, there are times when going for the natural option is by far the better choice.
However, this isn’t true in all cases. There can be bad natural ingredients, just as there are bad synthetics. Do not be fooled by all the marketing making ‘natural’ look like it is always the superior choice.
In reality, things are more complex. While natural ingredients have perks and can help with your healthy skin, the word natural shouldn’t be the ultimate indicator of an ingredient’s effectiveness or use.
Moreover, it is always good to balance natural remedies with treatments from a trained professional, especially when dealing with chronic skin diseases.
While the following ingredients may have been popular for their many benefits, they are not guaranteed to work on you. Our skin is a complex organ, and the way it interacts with natural ingredients may not always be in line with what we expect.
Like with any other skin care ingredient, we advise you to take caution about using these natural remedies and seek the opinion of a specialized doctor or expert.
Green Tea Extract
We are all familiar with green tea. The classic tea drink that’s great as a mid-afternoon ‘pick me up’ or to start your morning routine. Its often touted as a healthy drink, and the best part is that it can be perfect for your skin too.
Green tea contains what we call polyphenols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This active component makes green tea helpful for reducing swelling, irritation and keeping your skin generally healthy.
It is also great for protecting your skin from free radicals due to sun damage and other environmental stressors. We know that sun-damaged skin can hasten aging, so integrating green tea into your anti-aging skincare is a pretty solid step. It can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and hyperpigmentation.
Green tea is also a good ingredient for acne-prone and oily skin as its capable of reducing excess sebum.
And because it has anti-inflammatory properties, it can be used to soothe skin and relieve discomfort caused by skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. While it may not heal skin per see, it will definitely assist in reducing inflammation.
How To Use
It is most often used as part of your daily skin care routine. It is available in many different formulations, ranging from cleansers and moisturizers to serums and masks.
Making a DIY version might prove to be a challenge, though. Retaining the maximum efficacy of green tea requires certain storing conditions (cool, dry place), so keeping it as effective as possible might not be feasible for everyone.
That said, you can easily choose from the hundreds of green tea-centered products in the skin care industry. It is also ideal to choose products with other antioxidants which work well together with green tea.
There still aren’t reliable studies on the difference between topical treatment and drinking tea, but you are safe to do both at the same time. However, if you have specific concerns, such as medical contraindications, be sure to check with your doctor first.
Before many of the other ingredients on this list became popular as natural skin care products, coconut oil was already one of the most used remedies for skin and hair problems. And it’s popular for a reason!
Coconut oil is an emollient, working as an occlusive by “trapping” moisture underneath your skin, keeping the surface supple and healthy . However, it does not actually hydrate the skin, which is a pretty common misconception.
Additionally, coconut oil is also great for anti-aging and will help reduce the appearance of fine lines. Take note that coconut oil isn’t some magical solution to get rid of your wrinkles.
However, when used topically as a moisturizer, it has the potential to keep your skin healthy and strong, thus helping your face age more gracefully.
Coconut oil also works as an exfoliator and can remove dead skin cells from your face, making your skin smoother. If you’re comfortable with doing so, you can even use coconut oil as a makeup remover!
Your makeup will slide off easily without any effort, plus the oil’s antibacterial properties will help keep your skin clean.
While coconut oil is excellent for many things, it is not the best ingredient for oily or acne-prone skin. If your face is easily congested, then coconut oil might not do you any favors. While some researchers claim it can help treat acne, the consensus as of right now is to be cautious if you have easily congested skin.
How To Use
Using coconut oil is a no-brainer. Take some of the oil and use it as desired. You can use it as an alternative to your lotion or moisturizer and rub the oil along any areas you want to be moisturized.
If you’re using it as a makeup remover, you can just add some oil on the palms of your hands and rub gently on your face.
However, it is crucial to always go for high-quality options. Some cheap options may be highly processed and could cause you more skin irritations.
There are also products that integrate coconut oil as their main ingredient. Products like coconut cream, coconut melt, and coconut moisturizers are all popular options. Just make sure the one you’re buying also has safe ingredients and comes from a brand you can trust.
Honey is a super underrated ingredient for your skin, and we’re so glad it’s getting more attention. In its raw form, honey has plenty of components that can help you achieve that healthy skin you’ve always dreamed of.
As a humectant, raw honey helps draw moisture into your skin, helping keep your skin supple and hydrated. If you have dry, sensitive skin, adding honey to your skin care routine could do wonders.
In addition to that, honey can also reduce inflammation and act as an antibacterial and antiviral ingredient.
There is even a study indicating that honey can help with skin conditions like atopic dermatitis (eczema) .
Honey also works great as a cleanser. Just make sure you apply on a wet surface, as honey can be tough to work with when sticky. Applying some honey on your wet face will remove the accumulated dirt and debris and may even prevent certain breakouts.
Honey also has a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, so it can be a supplementary lighting agent for those pesky scars or hyperpigmentation from breakouts. However, you shouldn’t rely on it since its whitening properties are pretty mild.
How To Use
It is vital to use raw and unpasteurized honey. This is the version that retains much of the valuable components that honey naturally has. Namely, processed honey may no longer be as effective as a skin care ingredient.
You can use honey on its own, without any additives, and use it as a cleanser, mask, or spot treatment. But if you want something different, you can also opt for honey salves, lotions, creams, and other formulas.
If you are allergic to bees, pollen, and other bee-related items, you need to be careful when using honey. The honey itself will not harm you, and it isn’t much of an allergen. However, if the honey is contaminated, you may still experience negative side effects.
Make sure to always do a patch test and discontinue if you experience any adverse reaction.
In recent years, avocado has seen unparalleled popularity as a superfood. This ingredient is quite well-known in health circles for the famed avocado toast. Interestingly, avocado doesn’t just keep you physically healthy; it also has great benefits for your skin.
Avocados are full of healthy fats that help keep your skin supple and healthy. The research even shows that a high intake of healthy fat can improve skin elasticity, which means lesser wrinkles! 
Not only that, but avocados can also protect your skin from sun damage. Avocados have vitamin C and vitamin E, two important components in protecting your skin from oxidative damage from environmental stressors. Avocados can also even out skin tone and help improve skin conditions.
Filled with antioxidants, vitamins, plant sterols, and minerals, it’s no wonder avocado is such a wonder ingredient.
It may even have the potential to accelerate wound healing! Though this area needs a lot more research, there have been links to essential fatty acids and oleic acid promoting collagen synthesis.
How To Use
You can either use the flesh of the avocado or the oil derived from the pulp. Avocado oil is readily available in your local organic stores or an online retailer.
If you are working with the flesh, you will have to create a mask or a cream from a recipe. A simple avocado mask is pretty easy to make. You only need to smash the avocado into a paste, put it on your face, and leave it for around 15 minutes.
Alternatively, you could also make avocado body butter and use that as your moisturizer.
If you are using avocado oil, you can use it as a moisturizer and cleanser. Massaging it into your skin after you shower works fantastic for keeping your skin soft throughout the day.
Avocado doesn’t often cause allergic reactions, but it’s always best to do a patch test before using any new product, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Jojoba oil is best known for being an ingredient that closely resembles the human body’s natural sebum. And although we refer to it as an oil, jojoba is actually molecularly a wax.
Made from the nut of the jojoba plant, jojoba works as a humectant. Meaning, it attracts water to the skin to keep it hydrated and healthy.
This oil is suitable for all skin types, so even people with acne-prone skin can use this ingredient.
Because jojoba is very similar to the body’s natural oils, it can help manage sebum production when applied topically, therefore preventing clogged pores due to excess oil and reducing the risk of breakouts.
Aside from being moisturizing, jojoba oil also has antibacterial properties and contains antioxidants. It could even help with healing wounds, although there isn’t much research on this topic just yet.
How To Use
Jojoba may be directly applied to your skin or any problem area that needs help. Like almond oil and argan oil, jojoba can also be used as a carrier oil. You can add other ingredients to it and create your very own moisturizer and cleanser.
You can also make it into a mask if you combine it with other skin-healthy ingredients.
If you don’t want any fuss and just want to use the oil as it is, you can also do so! And since jojoba is pretty safe to use around the eye area, it can double as a makeup remover even in its base form.
Just as with all other ingredients here, we highly suggest you do a patch test first.
Aloe vera is one of the most popular and widely used natural ingredients for topical skin conditions. The jelly-like substance found in the aloe plant is known for its healing properties. Aloe has plenty of amino acids, minerals, and phenolic compounds.
It’s commonly used to treat sunburns, minor cuts, and small abrasions with its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Skin care routines for dry skin can also benefit from adding this ingredient since it can help the skin retain its moisture integrity. This versatile plant also combats acne and works to fade dark spots from acne scarring.
Be careful, however. Although aloe mainly moisturizes the skin, using it too much can lead to worse skin health. There are enzymes within the plant that exfoliate your skin and keep the dead skin cells at bay.
But an excess amount can eventually cause your skin to dry out or become too oily, which may be what you’re trying to treat in the first place .
The benefits of aloe vera gel don’t stop there! It can also be used to keep your skin youthful and supple, preventing you from getting deeper wrinkles. For those of you starting to become more concerned about your age showing, aloe vera is the perfect natural anti-aging ingredient.
How To Use
Aloe vera is best used straight from the plant. Cut open the aloe leaf, and you’ll see it packed with a translucent white gel inside. You can easily take some of it and apply it to the affected area.
However, not every one of us has the luxury of having an aloe vera plant just hanging around our home.
Fortunately, aloe products are all over the market. Many natural skin care lines feature aloe as the start ingredient, and you can basically pick it up anywhere. Plus, you can get a natural skin care product that’s specifically formulated to help with specific skin issues (i.e., treating acne).
Another great natural ingredient is oatmeal, which contains anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, and moisturizing properties. Like aloe vera, this makes oatmeal an excellent ingredient to use for certain skin conditions.
A skincare routine for sensitive skin with colloidal oatmeal can help relieve dry, itchy, and eczema-prone skin. Oatmeal can also protect your skin from environmental aggressors that can damage its barrier, leading to calmer, more supple-looking skin.
We’ve all heard that eating oatmeal is healthy for our hearts. It turns out, the mechanism that drives oatmeal’s anti-inflammatory properties for cardiovascular health are also applicable to your skin! 
Oatmeal’s many different properties can help with a wide variety of skin problems, including eczema, psoriasis, and irritated skin. Even if you typically don’t have skin issues, you can use oatmeal whenever your skin goes through a rough patch, like during the cold winter months.
How To Use
Colloidal oatmeal is the type most often used as a natural skin care product. It doesn’t look like the rolled oats you’re used to, though. Colloidal oatmeal is a ground version of oatmeal grain and is fine enough to be mixed into liquids.
You can use colloidal oatmeal in several ways. Some notable examples are oatmeal baths and face masks. Whenever you’re making a natural home remedy, make sure to use a recipe for your skin type.
For instance, there’s a different recipe for using oatmeal with oily skin vs. dry skin.
You can use colloidal oatmeal in products like a thick moisturizer before bedtime every evening to wake up with smooth and nourished skin, too.
Shea butter comes from the nut of the shea tree and is processed to be incorporated into many moisturizing products. It hydrates the skin well because it’s loaded with fatty acids (e.g., linoleic acid), which provide a calming and anti-inflammatory effect.
Shea butter is incredibly hydrating, making it perfect for those of you with dry skin. This natural ingredient also has antioxidant properties and helps soothe irritation. Although it isn’t really meant to treat skin diseases, shea butter is also useful for soothing eczema patches.
When you apply it on your skin, shea butter acts as a way to seal in the moisture and protect your skin from the elements. It has been reported that shea butter helps with issues like sun damage and age spots by promoting collagen production.
It’s also an ingredient that doesn’t cause allergic reactions often, so it’s suitable for even the most sensitive skin types. Because it is so moisturizing, applying makeup on top of it might be difficult, so it’s best to use shea butter at night.
Choose an organic shea butter to ensure that you’re getting a pure product that can deliver all these benefits. Shea butter should not be hard or greasy but rather smooth and supple with no lumps.
How To Use
Shea butter is often referred to as a “solid oil.” Meaning, it’s solid at room temperature and is very difficult to spread in its raw form, especially when you’re using it during colder months. If you can find a way to use it raw, that’s up to you. But you can also buy products with shea butter as a major ingredient.
Shea is popularly used in balms, lotions, and creams. Using them this way makes for an easy method of applying them to dry or chapped skin.
On the other hand, you can also make your own recipes at home! Buying shea butter in bulk is really cheap, and you can get the ingredient locally or online.
Soy is known to be an excellent addition to one’s diet, but it is especially good when applied as a topical product to the skin.
Chemicals such as isoflavones, fatty acids, and antioxidants in soybeans can inhibit pigmentation and stimulate collagen production. It also helps improve the skin’s brightness and turgor as estrogen decreases with age.
The isoflavones in soy also provide sun protection to keep skin healthy and even, as long as you pair it with SPF. Even with facial oils and extracts that protect you from the sun’s harsh glare, it is still vital to use some form of sun protection.
Facial oils only give marginal sun protection and work best when you are wearing sunscreen.
How To Use
Soy is typically found in the form of soybean oil, which you can buy on its own or as an ingredient in your favorite skincare product.
Soybean oil appears in facial cleansers, toners, as well as overnight masks! When integrated with other moisturizing ingredients, you can get soy working together with other agents to facilitate healthy skin.
You can also use moisturizers or facial oils with soybean extract in them. Depending on how emollient the product is, you can choose to apply it either morning or night.
If your skin is dry and you want to use soy, you can utilize it as a final layer to seal in all your other skin care products.
Tea Tree Oil
If you’re looking for a product with blemish-fighting and anti-microbial properties, then tea tree oil is your best bet. It has been used as an antiseptic for the longest time and remains a crowd favorite up to today, and for good reason!
It can combat a variety of bacteria, germs, and fungi. Tea tree oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that help blemishes, especially pustules and papules.
Tea tree oil is also excellent for wound healing. This study even shows that using tea tree oil in conjunction with conventional treatment can help reduce healing time.
It is also pretty popular as a skin care ingredient for treating acne. Its exceptional anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties can help reduce the swelling and inflammation caused by acne.
How To Use
Tea tree can be quite misunderstood as an ingredient. When using tea tree oil, be careful about using too much, as this can cause irritation.
In fact, it’s best to purchase products with tea tree oil already in them since the ingredient’s amount has already been measured for you. If you wish to create a recipe of your own, make sure not to apply the essential oil directly onto your skin, as this can cause irritation.
Make use of carrier oils like almond oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, hemp seed oil, just to name a few. You can even add lavender oil as a chosen essential oil to mask the scent of the tea tree.
Regardless, if you have sensitive skin, tea tree may not be the best ingredient for you. It is not recommended for people with impaired skin barriers since it may cause even more irritation.
If you experience sensitivity, it’s better to use products that have been specifically formulated for topical application. This way, you can ensure that you’re putting on the right concentration of tea tree on your skin and nothing more.
And there you go! A solid list of natural skin care products that you can use to keep your skin health in tip-top shape. Nearly all of these ingredients are readily available locally, or you can purchase them online.
Keeping skin looking and feeling good is important, not just for cosmetic reasons but also because it’s a significant indicator of one’s health. Therefore, treating it with care is a must. These ten natural ingredients can help you get started.
However, just like with all things, we encourage you to always think about what you put on your skin. If you easily have skin irritations, it might be best to consult your doctor or dermatologist before taking on a new skin care product.
And before you commit to a particular ingredient, make sure you do an analysis of your skin type first. Many ingredients work differently on oily, dry(or a combination of both) skin.
Picking out an ingredient that will work best with your skin type is the best and most sure-fire way to get these natural ingredients working in your favor.
A bit funny, a bit whacky. Lots of curiosity, lots of creativity. All for organic, minimalism and local. More of zero waste, more for our future 🌿