April Skin has sold more than two million units of this soap.
April Skin has sold more than two million units of this soap.

$20 product bought by two million people

THE average woman puts about 168 different man-made chemicals on her body everyday.

Many of these chemicals are completely harmless. After all, water is technically a chemical.

But some health experts are concerned that many of the ingredients in mainstream beauty products aren't great for us.

While there isn't a lot of definitive scientific evidence out there, many women are choosing to ditch traditional makeup and skincare brands in favour of "natural" and "organic" products.

All "natural" really means in the context of beauty is that the ingredients are found in nature or derived from natural sources - as opposed to synthetic ingredients made in a lab.

There is no legal definition of "natural beauty" and there are no national guidelines in Australia. Anyone can claim their products are natural.

Many brands often promote themselves using terms such as "clean", "free of toxins", "chemical-free" or "green". These are just marketing terms - always check the ingredients online or on the product label to be sure.

It can be quite difficult to tell if a product is completely natural or not. Some brands say the're "natural" even though their products do not contain 100 per cent natural ingredients.

A good example is Ole Henriksen, a great skincare label stocked in Sephora that markets itself as a natural beauty brand.

But as its eponymous founder Ole Henriksen told news.com.au, these products are not 100 per cent natural. They are derived from potent, natural ingredients such as African red tea and rosehips extract, but still contain some synthetic ingredients.

"I have always focused on creating products with the highest concentrations of nature's most potent and effectual botanicals," Henriksen said.

"We pride ourselves on following the strictest ingredient guidelines - set by the EU [European Union] and [Ole Henriksen's parent company] LVMH, which our brand is a part of. We don't use any banned or unsafe ingredients."

Another example is Aesop. Despite its chic packaging and ingredient-focused products, Aesop is not a natural beauty brand.

"The Aesop product range is not exclusively organic or natural. Our products are formulated using a combination of high-quality botanical and synthetic ingredients,"the brand states onits website.

"It is important to note, however, that none of our products contain colourants, mineral oils, silicones, parabens or pearlising agents."

Navigating this space can be tricky. The best way to check is to look closely at the ingredients and see if you're comfortable with what you find. Comment or DM brands on social media if they're not open about this online.

But where do you buy this stuff? Priceline sells heaps of affordable natural beauty brands including Sukin, A'kin, Antipodes, Trilogy, Alya, Jojoba Company and Andalou Naturals, if you want to dip your toe into the natural beauty pool. And A Nourished Life is a massive Australian online shop devoted to natural beauty products.

Going natural is purely a personal preference. Some people go the whole nine yards and don't permit any synthetic ingredients into their beauty cabinets. Others try where they can to introduce some natural products. We say do whatever feels right for you.

The 10 products listed below are all completely natural, including the $20 soap that's so popular it's been bought two million times.

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Welcome to news.com.au's weekly beauty column, The Beauty Diary.
Welcome to news.com.au's weekly beauty column, The Beauty Diary.

APRIL SKIN MAGIC STONE CLEANSING SOAP

This lasts forever and is great for washing your body and face.
This lasts forever and is great for washing your body and face.

Price: $19.95

Available from: Style Story, April Skin online

Washing your face with soap is often seen as big beauty faux pas, but facial soaps are one of the big new Korean beauty trends at the moment. Two million of these soaps have already been sold since launching last year.

Those pristine Korean women know what is up and April Skin is a South Korean natural cosmetic brand. If a chic Korean lady told me to put goat semen on my face I probably would.

This soap contains shea butter, hyaluronic acid and a bunch of different oils including coconut oil. It thoroughly removes dirt, grime and makeup without drying out the face.

I keep one in the shower and just use it all over my face and body on lazy days when I can't be bothered with multiple products.

GO TO PROPERLY CLEAN CLEANSER

The peach bottle is just so cute.
The peach bottle is just so cute.

Price: $31

Available from: Go-To Skincare website

All of the products from Zoe Foster Blake's Go-To Skincare brand are natural, cruelty-free and vegan.

This foaming cleanser is quite gentle, but still gets all the crap off your face effectively.

Plus, it smells really nice.

ENDOTA SPA RADIANCE SERUM

Love how it's only $60 — pretty cheap compared to most serums out there.
Love how it's only $60 — pretty cheap compared to most serums out there.

Price: $60

Available from: Endota Spa stores and online

Endota Spa markets itself as an organic beauty brand. It says all of its products have been approved by Australian Certified Organic to the COSMetics Organic and Natural Standard, an international standard that defines the formulation requirements of skin care claiming natural or organic status.

But if you look closely at the ingredients list, not everything here is certified organic.

The main ingredients of aloe leaf juice, jojoba seed oil and evening primrose oil are organic, but there's a lot of stuff that is not.

That doesn't matter at all to me, because this is a fantastic hydrating serum that isn't too oily and makes skin brighter and more radiant.

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INDAGARE BEAUTY YOUTH SERUM

This oil is so beautiful.
This oil is so beautiful.

Price: $88

Available from: Indagare Beauty online

If you're looking for a natural serum, you'll find most of the products out there are oils.

This particular serum contains prickly pear seed oil - which is organic, ethically sourced and cold-pressed from rural Morocco - as well as neroli oil and geranium oil.

It smells incredible and is great for dull, dehydrated skin. My skin has lapped this up over the past few months and I was super sad when I ran out.

 

WELEDA SKIN FOOD

This stuff is soooogood for dry skin.
This stuff is soooogood for dry skin.

Price: $15 for 30ml,$22 for 75ml

Available from: Weleda online, David Jones, A Nourished Life, About Life, Adore Beauty

This thick, hydrating cream is a classic natural beauty product. It has a balm-like consistency and a little goes a long way.

If you have oily skin or don't like thick, sticky things on your face, this product is not for you.

If you are very dry and have started to slather Vaseline on your skin because nothing else is hydrating enough, I've found a solution to your problems.

 

FRANK BODY ILLUMINATOR

The highlighter for people who hate highlighter.
The highlighter for people who hate highlighter.

Price: $16.95

Available from: Mecca Maxima, Frank Body online

Frank Body is a great natural beauty brand started up by two young Aussie women. They're famous for those exfoliating coffee scrubs you slather all over your body in the shower, but I love some of their other skincare and makeup products.

This highlighter is made from coconut and jojoba oils and gets its subtle shimmer from mica, a mineral often referred to as "nature's glitter". The gold and silver particles in the mica give the product that illuminating effect.

A warning: This is not a blinding highlight. It's very natural, subtle and glowy. It makes your face look a little bit dewier and healthier, like you just had sex or went to a great Pilates class.

If you're looking for some sparkly highlighter you can see from space, get yourself to Sephora and buy a Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter.

 

FRANK BODY LIP AND CHEEK TINT

Buy one in each colour and keep them in your car, in your handbag or at your desk.
Buy one in each colour and keep them in your car, in your handbag or at your desk.

Price: $15

Available from: Mecca Maxima, Frank Body online

This lip tint comes in two colours - Cherry Bomb and Send Nudes. Its main ingredients are lanolin, coconut oil, coffee seed oil and beeswax, so it's not strictly vegan.

I've been using Cherry Bomb for a few weeks now and love how versatile it is. The gloss gives your lips a wash of natural colour while hydrating them at the same time. I wear it to the gym, to the office and to dinner.

Frank Body's regular lip balm is very good too, but it's nice to have something with a bit of a tint.

 

NUDE BY NATURE MAKEUP BRUSHES

You get all of this for $40.
You get all of this for $40.

Price: From $16.95-$49.45

Available from: Nude By Nature online, Priceline, Chemist Warehouse

There are lots of brands that sell good quality synthetic brushes, but Australian natural beauty brand Nude By Nature makes the cheapest ones.

While "synthetic" is normally a word you want to avoid if you're looking for natural products, many makeup brushes are made from animal hair or a synthetic/animal blend.

All of Nude By Nature's products, include their brushes, are cruelty-free and certified by PETA. For the price point, they're really good.

IMO, the best value for money is the 10-piece Desire Luxury brush set for $39.95.

 

SUKIN NATURAL DEODORANT

I can't believe I'm cheating on my Nivea, but it does work.
I can't believe I'm cheating on my Nivea, but it does work.

Price: About $4.50, price varies

Available from: Priceline, Chemist Warehouse

Natural deodorants are becoming more popular as consumers express concern about the way traditional deodorants affect our bodies.

Regular antiperspirants contain aluminium, which plugs the sweat ducts in our arm pits and stops sweat from dripping out. There is no definitive evidence proving aluminium causes us any harm, but some studies have found a link between aluminium and certain diseases.

Some people just want to avoid any risk, so they use natural deodorant. Unlike antiperspirant, natural deodorants don't reduce sweat, but they smell nice.

Many come in spray bottles, roll-ons or weird tubs of putty that you have to scoop out and smother under your arms each morning, which sounds gross to me.

Sukin is the number one best selling natural skincare brand at Priceline. It's an Australian brand with a great range of products and they're all super cheap.

I hesitantly purchased Sukin's natural deodorant at Chemist Warehouse a week ago and have been loving it.

It smells nice, is super easy to apply and it works. I'm a pretty sweaty person and it held up even after intense exercise.

 

LANOLIPS LIP BALM

Paw Paw who? I'm obsessed.
Paw Paw who? I'm obsessed.

Price: $15

Available from: Priceline, Mecca Maxima

Until very recently, Lucas's Paw Paw Ointment was my go-to lip balm. I had one at work, one at home, one in the car and one in my purse.

Then I started reading about how this famous ointment contains a lot of petroleum jelly, a TGA-approved ingredient that many people believe blocks the skin so moisture can't get in or out.

Lots of natural skincare people on the internet love to hate on this famous red tube and say it's not very good for us.

That might very well be true, but honestly the main reason I stopped using Lucas's Paw Paw Ointment is because it stopped working for me.

I have very dry lips and would slather the stuff on all day, yet my lips were still cracked and sore.

Now I use Lanolips, which contains 100 per cent lanolin, a fatty substance found naturally on sheep's wool. It's cheap, lasts for ages and actually works. In the end, that's all we really want from a lip balm.

 

 

 

- This column is not sponsored and this is not advertorial content. Every review is independent, honest and ad-free.

- Love talking about beauty? Join our Facebook group, The Beauty Diary.

- If you have a beauty question or a product you'd like us to road test, email rebecca.sullivan@news.com.au, DM me on Instagram or tweet me.

- Want more beauty tips? Read every week's column here.



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