Skincare can be complicated, so NYMM made it easy. We’ve conjured up five natural ingredients and products that will save your skin from autumn and winter’s harsh, dry environment.
AFRICAN BLACK SOAP
African black soap is made from the ashes of locally-harvested plants in African mainlands. Commonly-used plants include palm tree leaves, cocoa pods, and plantain peels. These different sources, either combined or individual, create an oil-based cleanser that has countless benefits for all skin types. Black soap’s high oil content is suitable for removing both water-based and oil-based products from the face, making it a purifying cleanser. Another prominent ingredient is shea butter, which counteracts the cleanser to add some moisture back into the skin. African black soap is also fair-traded, which means the dollars you spend go towards supporting an African woman farmer.
Chock-full of calcium and potassium, bentonite clay is perfect for detoxifying the skin and getting rid of any built-up makeup or product residue. This product is powerful and can be irritating when left on the skin for too long, so a single 10-minute mask a week is effective enough. Bentonite clay has been used for centuries as a healing remedy for allergic reactions, skin ulcers, and rashes. It is most commonly advertised as healing clay for its medical use and therapeutic properties. Bentonite can even be consumed to treat respiratory and digestive issues.
Found in avocados, almonds, mangoes, peanut butter, and more, vitamin E is a naturally-occurring compound known for its antioxidant abilities. While it’s used to treat cuts and burns, chemists and dermatologists consider vitamin E an effective method of treating acne. It is also effective in reversing the skin’s visible reactions to aging, like wrinkling and loss of elasticity. It does so by encouraging the production of collagen, which helps keep skin bright and supple.
Witch hazel primarily comes in the form of astringents –– liquid-based compounds that remove excess oil from the face and tighten pores. Witch hazel itself is a species of plant found all over the world, from North America to East Asia. Its leaves are distilled in boiling water to create a tea-like liquid that can either be directly consumed or used on the surface of the skin. Not only is witch hazel readily available in the cosmetics market, it’s also easy to grow yourself!
Although we see less sunshine during the fall and winter seasons, protection from the sun’s UV radiation is just as necessary. The best way to stay protected is with zinc oxide. Formed from the rare mineral zincite, zinc oxide is a mineral powder that has powerful UV reflection technologies. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has named it one of the two safest skin protectant ingredients for cosmetic use. For effective sun protection this season, trade in a chemical cream for a less irritating, naturally-sourced zinc oxide sunscreen.