Skin Care



There is a myth that natural cosmetic ingredients are not as high-performance nor science-backed as their synthetic counterparts. Many people like the concept of using natural ingredients and of their cosmetics having a more direct connection to nature, but feel that the efficacy of natural skincare or haircare is not backed by hard science.

They simply “don’t do natural”, they only “do science”. There is a belief that science and natural ingredients are opposing poles; how wrong this assumption is.

Let’s start by saying loudly and clearly that any cosmetic ingredient can be science-backed. Whether natural, nature-derived, nature-identical, biotech or synthetic in part or full, any ingredient and its inherent properties can have evidence to support its skincare and haircare benefits.

At this point, you may be confused by what natural means. We recommend you head over to listen to some of our podcasts on the topic, including the very first episode of our Green Beauty Conversations podcast in which we dive into the four shades of natural:




Navigating the topic of ‘science-backed’ ingredients can be somewhat confusing, given the rampant science-washing behind this term. Just because there are scientific studies about an ingredient doesn’t mean that its properties are automatically backed by science, despite what the mainstream beauty industry wants us to believe. So what does it actually mean to have your ingredients backed by science?

Well, science-backed ingredients are ingredients that have been extensively researched and studied in order to provide a body of scientific evidence to support their efficacy and safety. When researching ingredients, you’ll find different levels of evidence in research papers and clinical studies including:

  • In vitro studies: Also known as test-tube experiments, in vitro studies are conducted outside of living organisms, typically within test tubes or petri dishes, to investigate the biological properties of an ingredient. These experiments aim to identify the properties of an ingredient within isolated cells or microorganisms, observing their reaction and identifying any triggered mechanisms. While often the initial step in ingredient analysis, these studies alone aren’t enough to establish the efficacy of an ingredient.
  • Ex vivo studies: While ex vivo studies tend to be rarer, you can sometimes find them when researching an ingredient. These tests are performed on tissues outside of living organisms, aka dead animal or human skin, to see how an ingredient reacts, or penetrates the skin. While these tests provide more detail than an in vitro study, they are still not comprehensive enough as an ingredient will behave differently when used on a living person.
  • In vivo studies: Next, you’ve got in vivo studies, which are performed on live animals or humans. Since animal testing for cosmetics has been banned in the EU since 2013, these tests are often performed on humans. The results of these studies give you more information on the efficacy and properties of an ingredient.
  • Clinical studies: Clinical studies are the studies that will provide you with the most realistic results. During these studies, ingredients are tested on live volunteers. The more volunteers you have, the more relevant the data is.
  • Review studies: Last but not least, you can gather information from review studies. You can often find other studies linked within an article. Look for peer-reviewed articles as they’ve been assessed by unbiased peers.

When researching the efficacy of an ingredient, you also need to answer the following questions:

  1. What was the experiment and method used?
  2. What material was used? At which concentration?
  3. How was the material applied? To how many subjects?
  4. Was it reviewed? By whom?
  5. What was the conclusion?

We teach you more about researching natural ingredients and interpreting information from scientific and clinical studies in our award-winning courses. Remember, it is normal to be left with more questions than answers when researching an ingredient. After all, few things are really proven by science and science is constantly evolving.

When you review scientific studies on ingredients, you will need to read the fine details. It is likely that the conclusions of the research will be worded to indicate that the body of evidence suggests an ingredient may have certain properties with cosmetic benefits. More often than not, studies will conclude that more research is needed to confirm those benefits.

Cosmetic claims have long been subject to legal scrutiny in jurisdictions such as the European Union, but now we’ve seen a rise in “skintellectuals” – informed, curious beauty consumers – cosmetics firms are even more aware of the need to provide open, transparent scientific evidence about the performance of their ingredients that everyone can understand.


Here are our top 10 favourite natural ingredients backed by science, which we think everyone should have in their formulation cupboard. All the ingredients below are easy to find, easy to source, and easy to formulate with.


Niacinamide, an active form of B3, and while niacinamide isn’t a natural ingredient, it has many interesting benefits that aren’t found in other ingredients.

This ingredient is well-tolerated by all skin types and is shown to improve skin barrier function, increase the skin’s elasticity and help reduce signs of premature skin ageing such as wrinkles and fine lines (ix). Niacinamide can also impact sebum production and anti-inflammatory action, but the mechanism for this remains unknown and more research is needed to confirm this. Niacinamide may also help mitigate the appearance of hyperpigmentation and age spots. Add niacinamide powder to your water-based emulsions, like your serums, lotions and creams.

These posts cover some aspects of working with niacinamide, for instance alongside vitamin C.

In recent years, activated charcoal has emerged as a buzzworthy ingredient, finding its way into everything from skincare products to toothpaste. But what exactly is activated charcoal, and what are its purported benefits and uses? Let’s dive into the fascinating world of activated charcoal and explore its potential to revolutionize various aspects of our lives.

What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal, also known as activated carbon, is a form of carbon that has been processed to increase its surface area and porosity. This activation process involves heating charcoal to high temperatures in the presence of gases, which creates tiny pores and increases its adsorption capacity. These pores act like traps, capturing and binding molecules, toxins, and impurities.

Understanding Activated Charcoal:

Activated charcoal, also known as activated carbon, is derived from carbonaceous source materials such as wood, coconut shells, or peat, which are processed to increase their surface area and porosity. This activation process involves heating the raw material to high temperatures in the presence of gases, which creates countless tiny pores and crevices. These microscopic pores act as traps, effectively adsorbing molecules, toxins, and impurities through a process known as adsorption, where substances adhere to the surface of the charcoal.

The Detoxifying Power of Activated Charcoal:

One of the most well-known and extensively studied benefits of activated charcoal is its ability to detoxify the body. Due to its remarkable adsorption capacity, activated charcoal serves as a potent tool in emergency medicine for the treatment of poisoning and drug overdose. When ingested, activated charcoal binds to toxins and chemicals in the gastrointestinal tract, preventing their absorption into the bloodstream and facilitating their safe excretion from the body. This rapid detoxification process can be life-saving in critical situations and underscores the importance of activated charcoal in modern healthcare practices.

Enhancing Digestive Health:

Beyond its role in emergency medicine, activated charcoal has also garnered attention for its potential benefits in promoting digestive health. Many people turn to activated charcoal supplements to alleviate symptoms of bloating, gas, and indigestion. By binding to gas-producing compounds and toxins in the digestive system, activated charcoal may help reduce discomfort and support gastrointestinal function. While scientific evidence supporting its efficacy for digestive issues is still emerging, anecdotal reports and preliminary studies suggest promising results, making activated charcoal a promising option for those seeking natural remedies for digestive complaints.

Harnessing the Beauty of Activated Charcoal:

In the realm of skincare, activated charcoal has become a beloved ingredient, celebrated for its ability to purify and revitalize the skin. Its deep-cleansing properties make it ideal for treating acne, removing impurities, and balancing oil production. Activated charcoal is commonly found in face masks, cleansers, and exfoliating scrubs, offering a luxurious and detoxifying experience that leaves the skin looking and feeling refreshed. Whether you’re combating breakouts or simply indulging in self-care, activated charcoal holds the key to clearer, healthier skin.

In the realm of skincare, one ingredient stands out for its remarkable effectiveness in combating a multitude of skin issues – salicylic acid. Often hailed as a holy grail ingredient for those dealing with acne, this wonder compound offers a plethora of benefits for achieving clearer, smoother, and healthier skin.

What is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid, derived from the bark of the willow tree, belongs to the beta hydroxy acid (BHA) family. Its unique structure allows it to penetrate deep into the pores, effectively dissolving excess oil, dead skin cells, and other debris that can clog pores and lead to breakouts.

The Power of Salicylic Acid:

1. Banishing Acne:

Acne, whether occasional or persistent, can be a source of frustration for many. Salicylic acid’s exfoliating properties work wonders in unclogging pores, reducing inflammation, and preventing future breakouts. By removing the buildup of dead skin cells and sebum, it helps to keep pores clear and minimizes the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.

2. Smoothing Texture:

Uneven skin texture is another common concern, often caused by a buildup of dead skin cells. Salicylic acid gently exfoliates the skin’s surface, revealing smoother, softer skin underneath. Regular use can lead to a more refined texture, minimizing the appearance of roughness and bumps.

3. Combatting Hyperpigmentation:

Salicylic acid isn’t just for acne-prone skin – it also offers benefits for those dealing with hyperpigmentation. By promoting cell turnover and exfoliating the skin, it can help fade dark spots and discoloration over time, revealing a more even-toned complexion.

4. Managing Oily Skin:

Excess oil production can contribute to acne and shine throughout the day. Salicylic acid helps regulate oil production by clearing out pores and removing excess oil, leaving the skin feeling balanced and less prone to greasiness.

5. Enhancing Absorption of Other Products:

Due to its ability to exfoliate the skin’s surface, salicylic acid can also improve the absorption of other skincare products, such as serums and moisturizers. This means that your skincare products can penetrate deeper into the skin, maximizing their effectiveness.

Unveiling the Power of Kojic Acid: A Gem for Glowing Skin

The world of skincare is brimming with hidden treasures, and kojic acid is a dazzling gem waiting to be unearthed. Derived from friendly fungi like Aspergillus oryzae, kojic acid has become a star ingredient for its remarkable ability to tackle a variety of skin concerns. Let’s explore the multifaceted uses and benefits kojic acid brings to your skincare routine:

  • Embrace a Brighter, More Even Complexion: Kojic acid shines in its ability to brighten and even out your skin tone. It works by cleverly inhibiting the production of tyrosinase, an enzyme that dictates melanin production. By slowing down melanin formation, kojic acid fades away dark spots, age spots, sun damage, and other hyperpigmentation issues. This translates to a radiant and beautifully uniform complexion.

  • Banish Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation: Hyperpigmentation, caused by sun exposure, hormones, or acne scars, can be a real bother. Kojic acid offers a natural solution to combat these concerns. By regulating melanin production and promoting skin cell renewal, kojic acid effectively fades existing dark spots and prevents new ones from forming, revealing a clearer and more radiant complexion.

  • Manage Melasma: Melasma, characterized by dark patches on the face, can be a stubborn skin condition. However, kojic acid shows promise in managing melasma due to its melanin-inhibiting properties. Consistent use of kojic acid can lighten melasma patches, leading to a more even skin tone over time.

  • Unlock Anti-Aging Benefits: Beyond brightening, kojic acid boasts anti-aging properties too. It stimulates collagen production and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, leaving your skin looking rejuvenated and youthful. By incorporating kojic acid into your routine, you can combat signs of aging and achieve smoother, firmer, and younger-looking skin.

  • Antioxidant Shield: Kojic acid acts as a shield against environmental damage and oxidative stress with its impressive antioxidant properties. These antioxidants neutralize free radicals, the villains that accelerate aging and damage your skin. By using kojic acid, you can safeguard your skin from environmental aggressors and maintain its overall health and vibrancy.

  • A Gentle Approach: Despite its powerful effects, kojic acid is generally considered safe for topical use when used as directed. Compared to some brightening ingredients, kojic acid offers a gentler touch, with a lower risk of irritation or sensitivity. However, remember to use sunscreen daily when using kojic acid products, as sun sensitivity can increase.

With its diverse benefits and gentle nature, kojic acid can be a valuable addition to your skincare routine. Unearth the power of this natural gem and experience the joy of a brighter, more even, and youthful complexion.

Kojic acid, a natural ingredient derived from fungi, has become a popular addition to skincare due to its various uses and benefits:

  • Brightening and Even Skin Tone: Kojic acid’s claim to fame is its ability to brighten and even out skin tone. It works by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme that plays a key role in melanin production. By slowing down melanin formation, kojic acid helps fade dark spots, age spots, sun damage, and other forms of hyperpigmentation, resulting in a more radiant and even complexion.

  • Fading Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation: Hyperpigmentation, caused by sun exposure, hormones, or acne scarring, can be a common concern. Kojic acid offers a natural solution by inhibiting melanin production and promoting skin renewal. This helps fade existing dark spots and prevent new ones, leaving the skin looking clearer and more radiant.

  • Treating Melasma: Melasma, characterized by dark patches on the skin, can be a challenging condition. However, kojic acid shows promise in managing melasma due to its ability to inhibit melanin production. Regular use of kojic acid can help lighten melasma patches, leading to a more even complexion over time.

Aloe Vera Uses And Benifits

Aloe vera is perhaps one of the most widely used herbal remedies for topical skin conditions. This is because the gel-like components of the plant are known to heal the skin from a variety of minor ailments.

In fact, you might have even used aloe in the past for sunburn, minor cuts, or small abrasions.

Despite its healing powers, you may be wondering if it’s safe for using on your face. Generally speaking, the answer is yes. When used correctly, aloe vera can help with a variety of ailments that might affect your skin.

Aloe Vera: Nature’s Soothing Solution for Glowing Skin

Aloe vera isn’t just a pretty succulent anymore. This desert plant boasts a treasure trove of benefits for your skin, making it a natural wonder in the world of skincare. Let’s explore how aloe vera can transform your complexion:

Hydration Hero: Forget dry, flaky skin! Aloe vera gel is packed with water and humectants. These act like moisture magnets, drawing water into your skin and keeping it there. The result? Plump, supple skin with a healthy glow.

Sunburn Savior: Aloe vera is a sunburn sufferer’s best friend. Its cooling properties bring immediate relief, while its anti-inflammatory nature reduces redness and soothes irritation. Bonus: studies suggest it may even accelerate healing!

Anti-Inflammatory All-Star: Struggling with eczema, psoriasis, or pesky insect bites? Aloe vera can be your calming companion. Its anti-inflammatory magic helps reduce swelling, redness, and itching, bringing comfort to troubled skin.

Wound-Healing Wonder: Minor cuts, scrapes, and burns can heal faster with the help of aloe vera. This wonder plant promotes cell growth and collagen production, both crucial for skin repair. Additionally, it can minimize scarring, leaving your skin looking its best.

Acne Avenger: Aloe vera might be the key to clearer skin. Its antimicrobial properties fight blemish-causing bacteria, while its anti-inflammatory nature tackles the redness and irritation associated with breakouts.

How to Use Aloe Vera:

  • DIY or Store-bought: The choice is yours! Harvest the gel straight from an aloe vera plant (remember to wash the leaf thoroughly first!). Alternatively, opt for store-bought aloe vera gel. Look for products containing 100% pure aloe vera for maximum benefit.
  • Patch Test is a Must: Before applying aloe vera to your entire face, do a patch test on a small area of your inner arm. This ensures you don’t experience any irritation.

Aloe vera has a surprising range of uses beyond just soothing sunburns!

Skin Soother: This is the classic use. Aloe vera gel’s anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties calm irritated skin, making it great for sunburns, eczema, psoriasis, and minor cuts or scrapes.

Hydrating Hero: Packed with water and humectants, aloe vera is a natural moisturizer for all skin types. It helps lock in moisture, leaving skin feeling plump and hydrated.

Wound Healing: Studies suggest aloe vera promotes cell growth and collagen production, which can aid wound healing and potentially minimize scarring.

Uses OF Aloe vera

Oral Consumption (with caution): Aloe vera juice is sometimes consumed for its potential digestive benefits, although research is ongoing. It’s important to consult a doctor before consuming aloe vera juice due to potential side effects.

Hair Care: Aloe vera can be used as a natural hair conditioner, adding shine and manageability to hair. Some people also use it to soothe an itchy scalp.

Mouthwash (not to swallow): Some mouthwashes contain aloe vera for its potential anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, although more research is needed. Remember, don’t swallow aloe vera mouthwash.

Household Uses: While less common, aloe vera gel can be used as a natural thickener in homemade cleaning products or as a non-chemical furniture polish.

Sulfur is a chemical element with the atomic number 16 and the symbol S on the periodic table. It is a non-metal and occurs naturally in various forms, including minerals such as gypsum and pyrite. Sulfur is an essential element for life and is found in amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, as well as vitamins such as biotin and thiamine.

In addition to its biological importance, sulfur has numerous industrial applications. It is used in the production of sulfuric acid, one of the most widely used industrial chemicals globally, which is essential in various manufacturing processes, including the production of fertilizers, detergents, and explosives. Sulfur is also used in the vulcanization of rubber, as a preservative in wine-making, and as a component in various pharmaceuticals and skincare products.

In skincare, sulfur is valued for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and exfoliating properties. It is commonly used in products designed to treat acne, psoriasis, eczema, and other skin conditions. Sulfur works by reducing inflammation, killing acne-causing bacteria, and helping to unclog pores by exfoliating dead skin cells. It is often found in the form of sulfur soap, creams, ointments, and spot treatments.

Overall, sulfur is a versatile element with a wide range of applications in both biological and industrial contexts, making it an essential component of many everyday products and processes.

For centuries, sulfur has been a hidden gem in the world of skincare. Often overshadowed by trendier ingredients, this naturally occurring element packs a powerful punch when it comes to treating various skin concerns. Let’s peel back the layers and discover how sulfur can transform your complexion into one that’s healthy, balanced, and glowing.

A Multifaceted Marvel: Uses & Benefits

Sulfur’s benefits for skin stem from its unique properties:

  • Antibacterial Champion: Sulfur is a natural enemy to bacteria that can contribute to acne breakouts. It helps combat these blemish-causing bacteria, preventing the formation of pimples and promoting clearer skin.

  • Exfoliation Extraordinaire: Sulfur works wonders as a gentle exfoliant. It helps loosen and remove dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Additionally, it promotes cell turnover, revealing a brighter, smoother complexion.

  • Oil Control Ace: Struggling with oily skin? Sulfur comes to the rescue! It possesses keratolytic properties, which means it helps regulate sebum (oil) production. This translates to less shine, reduced pore appearance, and a more balanced complexion.

  • Anti-Inflammatory Ally: Sulfur’s anti-inflammatory nature helps soothe irritation and redness associated with acne, rosacea, and seborrheic dermatitis. By calming the inflammation, it promotes healing and reduces discomfort.

Zinc oxide is a white, powdery mineral compound that is naturally occurring in the earth’s crust. It is often used in various industries, including skincare, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and textiles, due to its versatile properties.

In skincare, zinc oxide is primarily known for its role as a physical sunscreen agent. It provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays by forming a protective barrier on the skin’s surface. Instead of being absorbed into the skin like chemical sunscreens, zinc oxide sits on top of the skin and reflects, scatters, and absorbs harmful UV radiation, preventing it from penetrating the skin and causing damage.

Apart from its sun protection properties, zinc oxide also possesses other beneficial characteristics for the skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in soothing and calming irritated or inflamed skin. Additionally, zinc oxide has wound healing properties, promotes skin regeneration, and can help control excess oil production in oily or acne-prone skin.

Zinc oxide is generally considered safe and well-tolerated by most skin types, including sensitive skin. It is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores or exacerbate acne. Due to its gentle nature and multiple benefits, zinc oxide is commonly found in a variety of skincare products, including sunscreens, moisturizers, diaper creams, and treatments for various skin conditions.

Zinc oxide isn’t just a dusty white powder you see in sunscreens. This naturally occurring mineral offers a surprising range of benefits for your skin, making it a powerful ally in your skincare routine. Let’s delve deeper into the world of zinc oxide and explore how it can keep your skin healthy and glowing.

Uses And Benifits

Zinc oxide has a wide range of uses and benefits, particularly in skincare, but it’s also utilized in other industries. Let’s explore its various applications and advantages:

1. Sun Protection:

  • Benefit: Zinc oxide is a highly effective physical sunscreen agent that provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use: It forms a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, reflecting and scattering UV radiation to prevent sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer.

2. Wound Healing:

  • Benefit: Zinc oxide promotes wound healing by accelerating the regeneration of skin cells and reducing the risk of infection.
  • Use: It’s commonly used in topical treatments for minor cuts, scrapes, burns, and other skin injuries.

3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties:

  • Benefit: Zinc oxide possesses anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in soothing and calming irritated or inflamed skin.
  • Use: It can alleviate redness, itching, and discomfort associated with sunburn, rashes, eczema, and acne.

4. Oil Control:

  • Benefit: Zinc oxide has mild astringent properties, making it beneficial for controlling excess oil production in oily or acne-prone skin.
  • Use: It helps mattify the skin’s surface, minimize shine, and reduce the appearance of enlarged pores.

5. Environmental Protection:

  • Benefit: Zinc oxide forms a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, shielding it from environmental aggressors like pollution and free radicals.
  • Use: It helps defend the skin against oxidative stress, which can contribute to premature aging and skin damage.

6. Gentle on Sensitive Skin:

  • Benefit: Zinc oxide is gentle and well-tolerated by most skin types, including sensitive and reactive skin.
  • Use: It’s non-comedogenic and won’t clog pores or exacerbate acne, making it suitable for a wide range of skincare products.

7. Diaper Rash Prevention:

  • Benefit: Zinc oxide is commonly used in diaper creams to prevent and alleviate diaper rash in babies.
  • Use: It forms a protective barrier on the baby’s skin, keeping it dry and protected from irritation caused by wetness and friction.

8. Cosmetic Applications:

  • Benefit: Zinc oxide is used in various cosmetic formulations, including foundations, powders, and BB creams, to provide sun protection and skincare benefits.
  • Use: It helps create a flawless complexion while offering added sun protection and soothing properties.