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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 146 > The Real Natural beauty + wellness edit 2017

The Real Natural beauty + wellness edit 2017

Psychologies Wellness Director Eminé Rushton introduces the best natural products on the planet, as chosen by our panel of 23 industry insiders

When I started out in this game, I was a starry-eyed assistant doing unpaid work experience, often charged with organising the ‘beauty cupboard’. Certain products always stood out for me: rose body oil; natural moisturisers; mineral make-up. It didn’t take me long to realise I was drawn to products containing ingredients I had a connection with – ones that, ultimately, my body might have a connection with, too. Full disclosure: I haven’t only used or written about naturals, but they’ve always been my preference and, for the past few years, I’ve used nothing but naturals.

Steadily, my choices filled my pages of Psychologies – until it became appropriate to champion none other than natural cosmetics. I don’t use the word ‘chemicals’ in opposition to ‘naturals’, as every living and non-living thing is made of chemicals. It’s also possible to have an allergic reaction to naturals; in fact, it’s potentially more likely, and certain essential oils are common irritants.

Knowledge is power

Natural isn’t automatically synonymous with safety or e­ cacy either – some natural oils can easily oxidise, leaving them rancid and full of skin-damaging free radicals. Some natural preservatives have also been shown to degrade and produce free radicals in the same way, making them pro-oxidant (not good) rather than antioxidant, leading some very smart natural product formulators to choose stable, safe, yet synthetic preservation for their otherwise wholly natural – and organically certified – products. So, how to walk the line and make a truly informed decision? I’m no scaremonger, but I do believe strongly that it should be as easy as possible to spend our money on products that are transparent in their claims and contents – and that we should all know what we are putting onto and into our bodies. To help create a truly conscious, trustworthy edit, I asked Pedro Catala, who has a Master’s degree in the Science and Technology of Cosmetics and a PhD in Natural and Formulation Technologies, to look over every ingredient of every product on the list. Dr Catala is also the creator of his own skincare line so, to ensure complete objectivity, he did not vote in the skin or body care categories.

It’s worth noting that while 1,328 chemicals are banned from cosmetic usage or sale in the EU, once we leave Europe, it’s likely our stringent regulations may become less so (the United States bans only 11 chemicals from cosmetics). The onus is on the consumer, so I urge you to read up on what does what, and why, via the brilliant resources: Content Beauty Wellbeing, and its founder Imelda Burke’s book, The Nature Of Beauty (Ebury, £20); EWG.org; and safecosmetics.org.

Every recommendation has been tried and tested and, because Psychologies is independent of big commercial advertising pressures, we’re free to spotlight the smallest brands. We don’t charge companies to ‘enter’ our awards, and we don’t sponsor them – so, it’s my pleasure to share what amounts to the best natural products on the planet. Enjoy, share, get in touch, and pay it forward!

Win

One lucky reader will receive a goody bag of winning recommendations, worth more than £2,300. Simply follow @eminerushton on Instagram, then hashtag your natural beauty favourites with #realnatural.

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About Psychologies

If you're feeling depleted, out of sorts and ready for a holiday, then this issue is for you. Our 18-page dossier on how to renew your strength shares scientifically proven ways to fill up your tank and keep it full. If you’re hitting the beach but want to revolutionise the way you see yourself, turn to page 46 and learn about the new mindset to adopt to finally find peace with your body. This month, we invite you to train your brain to think differently but we also invite you to sing, dance and play. Why? Because it’s not only good for your soul, it’s good for your health. Learn how the arts can help you live a long, happy life. Here’s to a long, happy summer!
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