When it comes to skincare, natural doesn’t necessarily mean better. However there is a plethora of natural ingredients out there that will soothe, hydrate, plump, and cleanse your skin as well as anything you’ll find on the high street, and without aggravating sensitive or reactive skin types.

We’ve rounded up some of the most powerful natural skincare ingredients, what’s so great about them and where you can find them.


Resveratrol is a natural antioxidant that’s found in the skin of red grapes – and also, incidentally, red wine. It works by increasing the synthesis of antioxidant enzymes in the skin, which in turn fight against the toxins that breakdown the collagen and elastin in your skin that causes lines and wrinkles.

Unfortunately, it’s possibly a step too far to claim that red wine has anti-ageing benefits, you’d have to drink so much of it you’d be causing yourself a host of other problems. However there is an increasing body of research to support its benefit as a skincare ingredient.

Find it in:

  • Caudalie
  • SkinCeuticals

Grapes Resveratrol natural skincare


Manuka Honey

Honey has a host of skincare benefits: it’s antibacterial and packed with antioxidants, due to the compounds hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxyl. Manuka honey takes those benefits to the next level. It’s made from the pollen of the New Zealand manuka bush, aka the tea tree, the oil of which is well known for its natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

The bees pass on these benefits of the manuka plant into the honey. The result is a powerful and all-natural ingredient, which makes a fantastic skin treatment. Slather it on your face as a weekly mask, or dab it on blemishes for an intensive spot treatment.

Find it in:

  • Trilogy
  • Manuka Doctor
  • Dr Organic

Manuka Honey natural skincare benefits


Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has been used in skincare for hundreds – possibly thousands – of years. The thick, cool gel secreted in the vivid green leaves of the aloe plant (a type of succulent) has a host of positive effects on skin. It’s deeply hydrating and nourishing, while also being healing and gentle, so it can comfortably be applied to skin conditions like psoriasis – or just dry and sensitive skins – without causing any flare-ups. It’s a particularly powerful sunburn ointment, reinforcing the barrier of the skin to prevent moisture loss while also promoting its natural healing processes.

Find it in:

  • Khiel’s
  • Mario Bodescu
  • Ole Henriksen

Aloe vera natural skincare benefits


Argan Oil

Derived from the Moroccan argan tree, argan oil firmly earned its place in haircare routines some time ago. But it shouldn’t be overlooked as a powerful natural skin treatment, too. It’s packed with vitamin E, which fights toxins and nourishes skin, and omega fatty acids which help to reinforce the skin’s lipid barrier, essential for keeping moisture locked in and preventing skin from drying out.

Nuts oils are a popular choice with anyone looking for natural alternatives to big brand skincare. But while, say, coconut oil is great at restoring very dry, cracked skin on the body or scalp, argan oil is also effective on problem skin types, such as those suffering with acne, as it won’t clog pores and helps to restore with antioxidants.

Find it in:

  • MoroccanOil
  • Neal’s Yard
  • Kiehl’s

Thinking about making some healthier choices? Check out our guide to going vegan.

Argan oil natural skincare benefits


Papaya Extract

Nature’s larder is rich in skincare alternatives that moisturise or protect our skin, but there’s less to cleanse or treat it. Papaya is a brilliant first port-of-call: it’s rich in an enzyme called papain, as well as vitamin A and alpha-hydroxy acids which help to dissolve the dull, dead cells that build up on your skin’s surface, and deeply cleanse to leave skin revitalised.

It’s also high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant and skincare ingredient, which helps to promote the production of collagen in the skin. These active components are in the flesh of the fruit, but they’re most concentrated in the leaf.

Find it in:

  • Elemis
  • Mario Bodescu
  • REN

Papaya natural skincare benefits


Beta Carotene

That’s the component that makes carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin orange. For us, however, it becomes good old vitamin A, one of the essential skin vitamins. Vitamin A, otherwise known as retinol, has some powerful toxin fighting benefits and, most importantly, helps protect skin against the effects of sun damage, which the key cause of premature ageing as UV damage causes the breakdown of collagen and elastin, resulting in lines and wrinkles.

Even more impressively, beta carotene has been found to improve discolouration due to melasma when applied as a topical skincare ingredient.

Find it in:

  • Liz Earle
  • Yes To Carrots

Beta carotene natural skincare benefits



You’ll find beeswax in all sorts of natural makeup and skincare products. It has the same benefits of many synthetic substances used in high street beauty products, but without any of the chemicals or clogging pores. The protective barrier that it creates helps to lock in moisture, and it’s also a humectant (meaning it attracts water molecules) making it a brilliant agent for keeping skin hydrated and nourished.

As an ingredient in makeup, its structure gives it brilliant staying power, meaning fewer touch-ups and a great natural alternative to a primer. Plus, as it’s lipid-soluble (as opposed to water-soluble) it’s often used in natural, waterproof mascaras. It also makes a fantastic lip balm.

Find it in:

  • Elemis
  • Eminence Organic
  • Jane Iredale
  • Yon Ka

Bees wax natural skincare benefits



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