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When you’re searching for the perfect skin care products, it can be hard to see through the advertising hype and really determine which ingredients will suit your skin. The last thing you want is to purchase an ultra-hydrating formula that leaves your skin greasy and makes breakouts worse or an exfoliant that leaves dry skin broken and irritated. Read on to discover the best natural ingredients for each skin type and some terrific all-arounders that have benefits for everyone.
Superstar Ingredients for Each Skin Type
Shea Butter for Dry Skin
Dry skin is characterized by tightness, an absence of natural oil (called sebum), and an absence of breakouts. It may also be flaky. Dry skin is often sensitive to harsh chemicals, so the active ingredients you’ll be looking for will need to be both hydrating and gentle on the skin.
An affordable and effective moisturizer for dry skin is shea butter, which is rich in Vitamins A, D, E, F, and cinnamic acid. Shea butter comes from the nut kernels of the wild shea fruit in parts of Africa, which are crushed, roasted, and refined into a butter-like paste. Look for “fair trade” shea butter when purchasing skin care products to support projects that empower women and girls and pay them a fair wage.
Salt and Sugar Scrubs for Combination Skin
Having combination skin typically means that your cheeks are dry and your T-section (forehead, nose, and chin) are oily. For combination skin, you are looking for ingredients that will “balance oil production,” meaning that the levels of water and oil will be present in a healthier ratio.
To balance, protect, and soothe combination skin, apply salt and/or sugar scrubs regularly, using unrefined sea salt or pink rock salt, and raw sugar. This is a gentle way to exfoliate and unclog pores while encouraging greater cell turnover and renewal.
[Read: 10 Minute DIY Citrus Sugar Scrub]
Avocado for Sunburnt and Damaged Skin
Sunburnt and damaged skin needs an extra dose of tender loving care, and ultra-hydrating avocado gives it just that. Rich in Vitamins A, D, and E, avocado soothes damaged skin, reduces inflammation, and boosts collagen production. Apply as a face mask mixed with raw honey and carrier oils for hydration and healing.
[Read: Where to Buy Avocado Oil Online]
Raw Honey for Acne-Prone Skin
If your skin suffers from frequent breakouts, you could benefit from applying raw honey. Raw honey hasn’t been heat-treated or pasteurized, so it still has all of its minerals and enzymes intact. Not only is honey gentle on your skin, but its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties fight infection and assist with the healing of unsightly wounds and scars. Simply warm a small amount of honey in your hands, spread it across your face and leave it for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
[Read: The Best Organic Honey Face Mask]
Best All-Rounders for Every Skin Type
Here are some ingredients that you can apply to your skin with confidence—no matter which skin type you have:
Aloe vera used in skin care comes from the gel inside the spiky leaves of the aloe vera plant. The gel (especially in its purest form) is soothing and hydrating while at the same time-fighting bacteria, fungal infections, and inflammation. It’s fantastic for treating sunburn, and it’s also useful as a moisturizer and acne treatment in your regular skincare routine.
For best results, look for aloe vera gel that doesn’t include chemical additives. Better still—grow your own aloe vera plant in a pot, placing it in a sunny spot and watering once weekly. Slice off a piece, open it up and slather the gooey gel across your face and any sunburnt areas of skin. Avoid the eyes, however, as the gel may cause a reaction in this delicate area.
Extra virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil is fantastic for all skin types, because it combines non-greasy hydration with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties. Coconut oil cleanses, treats, and protects your skin, and can also be used as a hair moisturizer.
A tip from personal experience—coconut oil is highly effective for treating allergic skin reactions, so if you accidentally applied aloe vera gel to your eyes and broke out in a rash, it’s coconut oil to the rescue!
This carrier oil receives a lot of attention in the natural skin care world, and for good reason. Native to the Southern U.S. and Mexico, jojoba oil is technically a polyunsaturated wax that works to protect the skin while treating inflammatory skin conditions and healing wounds.
You can even use it to assist with hair regrowth, as it unclogs the hair follicles for healthier, more abundant hair. Now there’s an idea for grandpa’s next birthday present!
Marula oil comes from the nuts of the marula tree in Southern Africa, and you really can’t go wrong by adding it to your skin care routine—no matter which skin type you have. Marula oil nourishes and hydrates skin, creating a barrier to lock in moisture without leaving a greasy residue. It protects your skin against environmental damage and can help to reverse sunspots and aging with its high antioxidant content.
Marula oil has potent antimicrobial properties, making it effective for treating acne and eczema, and penetrates deeply to hydrate and heal even the driest skin and lips. High-quality marula oil is expensive, but a little bit goes a long way. It’s definitely worth the investment for smooth, beautiful skin!
Vitamin E Oil
It may sound simple and obvious, but Vitamin E oil is often overlooked in discussions of “super” ingredients for your skin. As an antioxidant, Vitamin E works to fight free-radical skin damage and boost collagen production for youthful, elastic skin. It’s great for reducing the appearance of wrinkles and for nourishing dry and rough skin with intense moisture therapy.
Due to its thick and sticky consistency, it’s best to apply Vitamin E oil at bedtime as an overnight treatment rather than using it in the morning. Vitamin E is able to permeate the skin more effectively when combined with olive oil (rich in oleic acid), so mix both of these together for a super-moisturizing oil blend.
Last of all, every skin type benefits from sun protection and a healthy diet that includes plenty of water. Nourish your skin inside and out, protect yourself from sun damage, and select the best natural ingredients to enjoy clear, glowing skin all year round!
Beverly Goldberg is a skin care and nature enthusiast and freelance writer for Ayr Skin Care. When she’s not writing, she loves to tend to her medicinal herb garden and go for long walks by the river.