Skin Care

Everything You Need to Know to Start a Natural Skin Care Routine

skin care

What is natural skin care?

Natural skin care has become increasingly popular as more people aim to use products made from plant-derived ingredients. An effective natural skin care routine can provide numerous benefits compared to conventional products made with synthetic chemicals.

Natural ingredients are often gentler on sensitive skin. They contain antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients that nourish the skin. Botanical extracts and oils moisturize the skin while drawing out impurities. Many natural products are non-comedogenic, so they don’t clog pores. Overall, natural skin care aims to work in harmony with the skin to reveal a healthy, radiant complexion.

Starting a natural skin care routine does require some effort to find the right products for your skin type. But the payoff is glowing, vibrant skin that reflects your inner and outer health. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to start a simple yet effective daily regimen using the best nature has to offer.

Assess Your Skin Type

Your skin type is the foundation for building an effective natural skin care routine. Determining your skin type helps you select products and ingredients that address your specific needs.

The main skin types are:

  • Oily – Produces excess oil resulting in large pores, shine, and acne breakouts. Look for oil-free, non-comedogenic products.

  • Dry – Lacks sufficient moisture and oil, feels tight and itchy. Focus on intense hydration and moisturizing.

  • Combination – Oily in some areas like the T-zone, dry on cheeks. Use products for oily and dry skin on different areas.

  • Sensitive – Easily irritated, redness, stinging. Avoid fragrances and harsh ingredients. Focus on soothing and gentle formulas.

  • Normal – Balanced, not too oily or dry. Use gentle cleansers and light moisturizers.

Assess your skin by looking at your oiliness, dryness, sensitivity, breakouts, and tightness. The T-zone on your forehead, nose and chin is often more oily.

Knowing your skin type helps select the best natural ingredients and products for your needs. Focus on ingredients that target your specific skin concerns.

Shop for Natural Ingredients

When shopping for natural skin care, look for plant-based and mineral ingredients that nourish skin gently without harsh chemicals. Some of the best ingredients to look for include:

Aloe Vera – This succulent plant has soothing properties that help hydrate and heal skin. It contains antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory. Look for pure, organic aloe vera gel.

Coconut Oil – The fatty acids in coconut oil help moisturize and soften skin. It has antimicrobial properties to fight bacteria and inflammation. Look for organic, extra virgin coconut oil.

Shea Butter – Derived from the nuts of Shea trees, this ultra-moisturizing butter helps hydrate dry skin. It is high in vitamins A and E. Look for unrefined Shea butter.

Tea Tree Oil – With its antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil helps fight acne. It unclogs pores and reduces oil production. Look for 100% pure essential tea tree oil.

Apple Cider Vinegar – Known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, apple cider vinegar makes a great natural toner. Look for raw, organic apple cider vinegar.

Honey – With antioxidants and antimicrobial benefits, raw honey soothes skin. Look for raw, unfiltered organic honey for the full benefits.

Oatmeal – Colloidal oatmeal relieves itchy, irritated skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Look for colloidal oatmeal or oat flour/powder.

Essential Oils – Oils like lavender, geranium, and frankincense provide aromatherapy benefits. Look for 100% pure, organic essential oils.

Find the Right Cleanser

When it comes to cleansers, gentler is better, especially if you have sensitive or dry skin. Harsh soaps and cleansers can strip your skin of its natural oils, causing irritation and dryness. Look for a cleanser that is free of sulfates, parabens, fragrances, and other harsh chemicals.

For normal to oily skin: Try a gentle gel or foaming cleanser that contains ingredients like green tea, chamomile, oatmeal or aloe. These can help soothe inflammation and remove excess oil without over-drying.

For dry skin: Choose a creamy, milky cleanser or cleansing oil. Avoid cleansers with alcohols, as these can be very drying. Cleansing oils are great at breaking down makeup while maintaining moisture.

For sensitive skin: Opt for a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic cleanser with minimal ingredients. Oat, chamomile and aloe are all soothing options. Stay away from cleansers with added dyes, perfumes or acids like salicylic acid or glycolic acid.

For combination skin: Look for a gentle gel-based cleanser that balances moisture without adding oil. Ingredients like jojoba oil, vitamin E and shea butter can hydrate without clogging pores.

For acne-prone skin: Try a cleanser with tea tree oil, willow bark or honey. These have natural antibacterial properties to combat breakouts without harsh chemicals. Avoid heavy oils that could clog pores.

Take your time finding the right cleanser for your skin. Sample different natural options and pay attention to how your skin reacts. The goal is to cleanse without stripping your skin of its natural moisture.

Use a Natural Toner

Toner is an important step that is often overlooked in basic skin care routines. However, using a natural toner provides many benefits for all skin types. Toners help restore your skin’s pH balance after cleansing by removing any remaining traces of dirt, oil or makeup.

Natural toners made from ingredients like rose water, green tea, chamomile or aloe vera are gentle on skin. They help soothe irritation, redness and inflammation. The antioxidants in natural toners also aid in protecting your skin from environmental damage.

Additionally, natural toners provide light hydration to prepare your skin for absorbing moisturizer. This helps improve your skin’s ability to retain moisture. Unlike some artificial toners with alcohol that can dry out your skin, natural options are refreshing without stripping your skin.

Using a toner daily helps shrink the appearance of pores, controls excess oil and sebum production, and leaves your skin looking balanced and radiant. Be sure to choose an alcohol-free, gentle natural toner appropriate for your skin type as part of your regular routine.

skin care

Try Facial Oils and Serums

Facial oils and serums are an important step for nourishing your skin in a natural skincare routine. When applied after cleansing and toning, oils and serums provide concentrated doses of plant-based nutrients that penetrate deeply into the skin.

  • Facial oils – These contain essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 to strengthen the skin’s moisture barrier. Look for cold-pressed, unrefined oils like jojoba, rosehip seed, marula, or argan that suit your skin type. Use 2-3 drops massaged gently over damp skin.

  • Serums – These lightweight formulas target specific skincare concerns like wrinkles, dullness, acne, etc. Common natural ingredients include vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, retinol alternatives, niacinamide, etc. Dispense a few drops into palms, then pat gently onto skin.

  • Carrier oils – You can blend essential oils with carrier oils like coconut, almond, or avocado oil before applying to dilute and avoid irritation. This allows you to customize serums for your own needs.

  • Application tips – Apply oils and serums before heavier creams, as this allows better absorption. Use at night or under sunscreen during the day. Introduce new products slowly and monitor for any irritation. Oils and serums give an extra dose of nutrients for glowing, healthy skin.


Moisturizing is a crucial step in any skin care routine. After cleansing and toning, it’s important to hydrate your skin with a natural moisturizer.

When shopping for a natural moisturizer, look for lightweight, non-greasy formulas. Many natural moisturizers are made with plant oils like jojoba, almond, or grapeseed oil. These absorb quickly into the skin without leaving a heavy residue.

For daytime, use a moisturizer with SPF protection. Look for mineral formulas with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for broad spectrum UVA/UVB coverage. These provide sun protection without harsh chemicals.

At night, choose a lightweight night cream or facial oil. Argan, rosehip, and marula oils are great options for hydrating your skin overnight. Look for moisturizers with antioxidants like vitamin C and E to nourish your skin while you sleep.

Avoid thick, heavy creams or petroleum-based moisturizers. These can clog pores and lead to breakouts. When shopping, read the ingredients list and choose products made with all-natural plant oils and butters.

With the right lightweight, plant-based moisturizer, you can keep your skin looking naturally hydrated and glowing.

Exfoliate Gently

Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells, reduce the appearance of pores, improve skin texture, and allow moisturizers to better absorb into the skin. When exfoliating, be gentle and do not over-scrub. Focus on problem areas like the nose, chin, and forehead.

Some natural exfoliators to try:

  • Sugar scrubs: Mix 1 cup brown sugar with 1/4 cup olive oil or almond oil. Gently massage into damp skin in circular motions before rinsing. Start with once a week.

  • Oatmeal: Grind dry oats into a powder to make a gentle face scrub. Mix with water or yogurt. Rinse thoroughly.

  • Baking soda: Mix a paste of baking soda and water. Apply gently to avoid irritation. Rinse thoroughly.

  • Fruit enzymes: Papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin contain enzymes and acids that dissolve dead skin. Look for masks containing these.

  • Clay masks: Kaolin or bentonite clay draws out impurities and exfoliates. Mix powder with apple cider vinegar or water and smooth over skin.

  • Chemical exfoliants: Try lactic acid, glycolic acid, or salicylic acid. Start with low percentages.

Focus on gentle, natural ingredients and avoid over-exfoliating which can cause irritation. Twice a week is usually sufficient for most skin types.

Protect with SPF

Sun protection is a crucial step in any skincare routine. For a natural approach, look for mineral sunscreens rather than chemical ones.

Mineral sunscreens use inert minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to form a protective barrier on the skin. This reflects and blocks UV radiation. Meanwhile, chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays and convert them into heat. This can irritate sensitive skin.

When shopping for natural sunscreen, look for ones with non-nano zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredients. Avoid oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, and other chemical UV filters.

Opt for lotion or cream formulas rather than spray sunscreens. Sprays make it hard to ensure you’re applying an adequate amount. Look for SPF 30 or higher for proper protection.

Apply sunscreen as the last step of your morning skincare routine. Use about 1/4 teaspoon for your face and reapply every two hours when outdoors. Be sure to get easy to miss spots like around the eyes, ears, and lips.

Using mineral sunscreen daily prevents sun damage, early aging, and skin cancer. It keeps your natural glow going strong.

Extra Tips

Your natural skin care routine doesn’t have to end with the basics. Here are some additional tips for keeping your skin looking its best:

Do a weekly mask. Masking is a great way to give your skin an extra boost. Look for natural clay, charcoal, or sheet masks to deeply cleanse and nourish. Avoid masks with harsh ingredients like sulfates and parabens.

Massage your face. Take 5 minutes each morning and evening to gently massage your face. Use your fingertips to stimulate blood flow and lymph drainage. This can help reduce puffiness and encourage cell turnover.

Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is key for healthy, glowing skin. Aim for at least 64 ounces per day. Infuse your water with fruits, vegetables, or herbs for an antioxidant boost.

Eat more produce. Load up on fruits and veggies high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These superfoods will nourish your skin from the inside out. Opt for dark leafy greens, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, avocados, and more.

Get enough sleep. Aim for 7-9 hours per night so your skin has time to fully renew itself. Sleep deprivation can lead to dark circles, dullness, and other issues. Make sleep a priority for a radiant complexion.

Manage stress. High stress levels result in inflammation and can exacerbate skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Try yoga, meditation, journaling, or other relaxation techniques to keep stress in check.

Quit smoking. Smoking restricts blood flow to the skin, depriving it of oxygen and nutrients. This accelerates aging and dullness. Kicking the habit improves skin tone and texture.

Wear sunscreen daily. UV rays are the #1 cause of skin aging. Apply broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher to all exposed skin year-round, even on cloudy days. Reapply every 2 hours when outdoors.