Presented in partnership with Alkira skincare, which is offering all PRIMER readers 20% off with the code primer20.
We spoke to three women about why they love natural skincare – and what they’ve noticed since they made the switch.
“As a beauty editor I was shocked by the ingredients in some products” – PRIMER beauty editor Lucy Adams
For me, real beauty isn’t simply about glossy hair or dewy skin; it’s about achieving a sense of equilibrium both inside and out.
To achieve that balance, I try to make conscious lifestyle choices like eating healthily, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, meditating and laughing lots. (Disclaimer: I fall of the bandwagon regularly!)
That said, it was the birth of my first child that really sparked my interest in natural beauty. When I fell pregnant, I became more conscious of what I put into and onto my body, and I started reading ingredient lists on the back of beauty products with a critical eye for the first time.
I had been a beauty editor for 11 years, and I was surprised and shocked to find that some of my favourite products were packed full of sulphates, parabens, alcohol and artificial fragrances, and other known endocrine disruptors that I wanted to avoid.
Seven years and three children later, I haven’t switched back. I’ve found natural products to work just as effectively and sometimes – given my sensitive skin – even more effectively than chemical formulations, as they leave my skin less irritated and breakout-prone.
“Alkira’s Mineral Radiance Facial Masque gave my skin the hydrating top-up it needed” – Lucy
The hydrating, illuminating and purifying benefits of Alkira’s Mineral Radiance Facial Masque ($17.95) are not only obvious within seconds of washing it off but for days afterwards.
Alkira is an Aussie beauty newcomer and this mask is packed full of potent Australian botanical bioactives like Finger Lime Caviar, Kakadu Plum, Quandong and Desert Lime.
It is salmon pink in colour, with a slight citrus smell, and feels cool upon application. However, after a few minutes you feel a slight tingling from the natural fruit (pineapple and papaya) enzymes working to help brighten the skin.
Some masks that include clay (in this case it’s Kaolin) can be a touch drying, but with the added hydrating ingredients of avocado, sunflower, mango and aloe vera, this one gave my dry winter skin the hydrating top-up it needed.
I was also surprised by how calm my skin was afterwards. I’m prone to redness, especially after any type of enzyme action, but my flushing was minimal and subsided quickly – thanks to the vitamin C-rich Kakadu Plum extracts and anti-inflammatory turmeric.
“I overhauled my skincare – and my life – after a health shock” – Journalist, speaker and author Elle Halliwell
There are two types of beauty consumers: those who pore over the ingredients panel like a detective looking for anything even remotely noxious, and those who, well, don’t.
For most of my life, I was the latter. If it smelled pretty, had a talented marketing team behind it or promised to make my skin smoother, plumper or pore-less, it went in my shopping basket. But in May 2016, a single word revolutionised my approach to skincare and cosmetics.
At 29 I was diagnosed with leukaemia, and the shock of that discovery was compounded, two days later, by a positive pregnancy test.
These two events sparked a complete overhaul of my life, from my approach to work to the foods I ate and the products I used on my skin. I wanted my diet and skincare to be as simple and natural as possible, and I started to meticulously audit every product that entered my home.
One of the revelations I’ve had since detoxing my lifestyle is that I don’t have to sacrifice efficacy or a beautiful aesthetic when it comes to my skincare or cosmetics, thanks to advances in natural formulations. Skincare doesn’t need parabens, phthalates or sulphates to be effective and luxurious.
I hope that in time we’ll see fewer of these on ingredients panels. But until then, I’ll keep scrutinising everything, and choosing beauty products that suit my ideals – and my skin.
“The Antioxidant Night Cream left my skin soft and hydrated” – Elle
Having been a long-time fan of Sukin, I was thrilled to learn the brand’s founders had launched Alkira, a premium, natural skincare line. featuring native Australian ingredients such as Kakadu Plum, Quandong and Finger Lime.
I gave Alkira’s Antioxidant Night Cream ($23.95) a try. The texture of the cream was silky and thick, but it didn’t feel heavy or oily, and my skin drunk it in, leaving it soft and hydrated each morning. The cream also smells divine, invoking thoughts of a tropical North Queensland rainforest hideaway.
My hands have also benefitted, as I’ve been giving them a massage after applying the cream to my face each night. My cuticles and nail beds have never looked better.
“Having children made me re-evaluate the products I used” – Jenny Ringland is the co-founder of Green + Simple
When I gave birth to my eldest daughter Grace six years ago, I instinctively gave up perfume, stopped using mainstream body and face moisturiser, and became wary of the deodorants and the beauty products I’d been buying for years.
For the first time, I became conscious of the products I was putting on my skin, in a bid to protect my baby from anything potentially toxic.
It wasn’t until a few years later that I started to research the beauty and personal care industry, and realised you practically needed a PhD in chemistry to decipher the ingredients lists on most beauty and skincare products. I learned that the ingredients in cosmetics are defined and regulated as “industrial chemicals”, and this didn’t feel right to me.
One of the first things I noticed after making the switch to natural skincare was how much healthier my skin looked and felt. I have dry, sensitive skin, and it can be difficult to keep it hydrated, especially in winter. However, using clean products with potent natural and organic ingredients has been a skin saviour – and since I made the switch to natural skincare I’ve never been tempted to go back. I love my new, glowing skin too much!
“Alkira’s Purifying Scrub created a glow that I love” – Jenny
Thanks to my dry and sensitive skin, it can be tricky to find the right scrub that nourishes, hydrates and removes dead skin cells without causing damage.
Enter Alkira’s Purifying Facial Scrub ($14.95) which uses bamboo grains (nature’s microbeads) to gently remove dead skin. It has a lovely creamy texture that’s gentle on the skin and delivers extra hydration, essential fatty acids and Vitamin C thanks to a trio of Australian native ingredients – Lily Pilly, Desert Lime and Kangaroo Paw. You can use it in the shower, and you don’t need to worry about it going down the drain because it’s all natural.
I used the scrub twice a week at night, followed by the face oil, serum and night-time moisturiser, and each time my skin felt smooth and free of flakiness or congestion. Best of all, it created a plump glow that I love.
Presented in association with Alkira, which is natural, vegan, cruelty-free and carbon-neutral and made without synthetic fragrances, animal derivatives, harsh detergents, propylene glycol, MEA/DEA/TEA, petroleum, mineral oils, phthalates, sulphates, parabens, silicones, ETDA, triclosan. To find out more about their Australian botanical ingredients visit their website.
Alkira is offering PRIMER readers 20% off all products on their website and free shipping with the code: primer20