The further I delve into helping my clients with their skin, the further away from conventional skin care I seem to find myself.
I am trained as a Beauty Therapist and Cosmetic Nurse. I have been taught sales techniques and a vast range of product knowledge. I find skin care reps would have us focus on the top 3 key ingredients in a product to push to our clients. They would always sound amazing, but quite frankly, just pulling the wool over our eyes. When are we ever going to chat about the 30 other ingredients on the back of the box? Some ingredients that have been linked to cancer, some endocrine disrupting and some known topical irritants despite the product being designed for ‘sensitive skin’.
‘Natural’ Skin care has come such a long way. I have a new found view on the way I treat mine, and my patients skin. I want sustainable products that are feeding my skin with nutrients, without stripping or causing long term damage.
Today I am interviewing Samantha Marsh, Nutritionist turned product developer and founder of ‘Quite Frankly Natural’, a luxurious, highly effective, vegan, organic, cruelty free and Australian Made skin care and makeup brand.
Madilyn: “Samantha, what natural ingredients do you include in your natural cleansers and how do they work?”
Samantha: Well there is quite a few amazing natural ingredients in our 2 different cleanser formulas, i'll pick my top favourites:
Lactic Acid - Lactic is my favourite AHA, its derived from plant fermentation and is an excellent exfoliator for all skin types. With regular use, it can help reduce acne/breakouts and visible signs of ageing.
Coco Glucoside - Is a natural foaming surfactant that is very gentle and is made from coconut and sugar. It still produces enough foam safely to remove makeup and dirt without stripping, irritating or drying the skin.
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) - This potent herbal extract contains superior healing properties and may help to relieve irritation and inflammation. It also may help to stimulate collagen and skin repair.
Madilyn: “ What are some harmful ingredients we need to look out for in other cleansers that can affect our skin and overall health long term?”
Samantha: Most importantly, the one we hear a lot about are “Sulfates” like "Sodium Laureth sulfate (SLES)" or other forms SLS, ALS, etc. Sulfates are often included in formulas mostly because they're dirt cheap, produce a very high-foam and also have a strong ability to dissolve dirt and oil but at what cost to the user? Sulfates are known skin irritants, skin sensitizers and have a
greater ability to penetrate the surface (the skin). Sulfates have a plethora of research for and against them, however in practice, I have seen what they can do to people’s skin with long term use (think eczema, painful, cracked and bleeding hands). Sulfates can be adsorbed through the skin and over time, build up in organs and may be contaminated with toxins such as 1,4, dioxane which is a probable human carcinogen.
Another ingredient to look out for are chemical anti-bacterial/anti-acne ingredients such as Benzoyl Peroxide (insert emoji with steam coming out of nostrils!). Benzoyl Peroxide dries out the skin causing redness, irritation, extreme dryness, peeling, scaring, hyperpigmentation, reduces SPF activity (yes, it can cancel out your sunscreen!) and can even cause premature ageing!-Need I say more?
Madilyn: “ Do you feel natural can be just as effective as cosmeceutical grade products?”
Samantha: The answer is yes however, not always. It depends on the quality and potency of each individual ingredient in the formula and also the product performance as a whole. Does it have the correct pH? Has it been tested for microbial activity and stability? Does it contain medicinal grade ingredients? Is the formula efficacious (does it do anything in particular)? and how does it absorb or feel on the skin? These are some questions you can ask the brand. Some cheaper, organic and/or natural products sometimes, haven't considered some of these important elements or even lab tested their formulas, ...we do!
Madilyn: “ Compared to mainstream Cosmetics, what do you think are the biggest challenges in creating Natural Skin care?”
Samantha: Finding 100% natural ingredients that "work" in practice not just in theory ie. swapping a synthetic or toxic emulsifier with a natural plant based one.
Madilyn : “ Are all Natural skin care products created equal?”
Samantha: Absolutely no! Reinforcing the above, about natural and organic products.
Madilyn: “ Which is your favourite all rounder product from your range and why?”
Samantha: I love all of my products equally, as they have been created from scratch by yours truly, with blood (virtually), sweat and MANY tears! In saying that, my 2 favourites, if i had to pick, would be the Facial Revitalising Silver Perfecting Cream and the Facial Revitalising Daily Foaming Cleanser as they are more suited to my skin type, now. I was previously an adult-acne sufferer and developed my now called Facial Balancing range to help clear it up (in combination with dietary change). Now my main concern is to slow down ageing and maintain the skin's elasticity. I'm obsessed with the smell of the Revitalising Silver Cream - the sandalwood, frankincense and seaweed combo is unique and alluring.