The words organic, fresh and natural immediately make a product sound healthier. But does the same hold true for facial cleansers? Maybe not.
“A lot of the money that goes into expensive products is devoted to fancy packaging, not research and development,” says Dr. Bruce Wintroub, chairman of the Department of Dermatology at University of California, San Francisco. “Popularly priced products can be as or more effective.”
There’s another issue, says Dr. Wintroub. “Organic doesn’t necessarily mean less damaging,” the doctor explains. “Keeping the skin natural is about leaving skin in its natural state,” not about looking for natural ingredients.
Many catalog-based companies have built their businesses on the concept that natural ingredients won’t irritate the skin like chemical-laden soaps and facial cleansers do. But a natural approach to skincare may be simpler than they’d have you think.
“The goal is to maintain the good proteins and natural lipids that are already on your skin,” Dr. Wintroub says. “That can be achieved with mild, sensitive-skin products in the drugstore.”
The bottom line? “Expense doesn’t necessarily equate with quality or science.”
Want to Create a Natural Look With Makeup? Take a Cue From Celebrity Makeup Artist Nick Barose
Famous for creating natural looks on A-listers like Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson and Hilary Duff, Barose believes a woman should look like herself after she’s done applying blush and gloss.
The right shades will blend into your skin tone, making you look like you’ve put on nothing at all. “Everybody needs a little bit of something,” Barose says. But usually less is more.
So how can you achieve a barely there look in your own home?
Just follow Barose’s simple rules:
1. Replace your foundation with oil-free tinted moisturizer: “Sometimes tinted moisturizers can be too sheer. So you need to look for something that can be layered or mixed with your foundation in a few spots,” Barose says. He also recommends going for a moisturizer in a slightly deeper tone than your foundation. “That way skin will look warm, and you won’t have to wear as much.”
2. Look for colors with a subtle sheen: Most people associate barely there makeup with flat, nude tones. But Barose says lipsticks that are too matte will make the skin look pasty. You also don’t need to go super-light. Look at the color of your lips when you wake up. Recreate that shade or one shade lighter.
3. Start light and go from there: “Remember, you can always add more if you feel like you don’t have enough,” Barose advises. “Most people are used to applying makeup in a certain way. Just keep an open mind.”