Are you feeling that life has been a bit too...processed lately and that you need to introduce more natural routines into your life? We feel you, so we’re here to tell you why going natural is key to a healthy lifestyle (especially for skincare) and how to go about it.
Nature is Essential to Our Health
It’s important to choose skincare products that have natural ingredients that work effectively to holistically assist our bodies along the road to healthy skin, not just for us but for the planet.
In our modern-day lives, we have access to almost anything we can dream of, and can buy or build anything we can really dream up. But in a world of endless manufactured possibilities, there is an ever-growing desire...no, an ever-growing need to return to more natural roots.
Although anything seems possible to create in the 21st century, Mother Nature (or Papatūānuku Earth Mother in Māori) already provides so many incredible natural benefits to our lives, and people are quickly rediscovering how to live better, naturally.
After all, there’s a reason why activities like forest bathing and hiking, mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation, or health habits like clean eating are taking off so much — because our bodies and minds need nature to thrive. And that’s exactly why transitioning from synthetic products to natural products like essential oils which can be one of the healthiest choices we can make for our bodies and skincare.
The Māori word taiao translates to many meanings in English that all revolve around the earth, like environment or nature, and Māori history and lives have been interwoven with the mānuka plant for centuries. Along with the knowledge of the benefits of ingredients from nature as a whole. And many other civilisations have been tied to natural ways of living.
History Shows Going Natural is Better
Somewhere along our human history, we lost our way and our connection to taiao.
In ancient times, remedies derived from nature were important to survival and health, and advanced ancient civilisations like Egypt and Greece utilised essential oils in everyday lives for ailments and injuries, consistent health, and even grooming and skincare. Romans, we’re looking at you.
But then something happened. Industrial revolutions and the Atomic Age of the mid-1900s paved the way for imaginative, ridiculous, and sometimes dangerous beauty inventions or practices, introducing more processed products into our lives than ever before for convenience and speed.
Freckle freezing extraction? How about radioactive face creams anyone? Got that skin glow but not the kind we want!
Though things have gotten better, products still include harsh chemicals to this day. Now it has become increasingly difficult to break away from, or find alternate products, that don’t have 21,597.5 ingredients and chemicals inside.
What do we do? How do we move to natural skincare then?
The good news is that things are changing and worldwide, companies are starting to take notice of our desire to go natural.
*Happy dances all around*
Along with the need to go natural for ourselves, skincare companies are seeing that their potentially harmful practices of manufacturing and the side effects of synthetic ingredients need to change, so they are shifting with the times. But this is where it gets tricky. Brands are starting to slap “eco-friendly” and “natural ingredients'' or simply green labels on packaging to make it appear like it’s a wholly natural product. Unfortunately, many aren’t.
So how do we decipher these mixed messages from the commercial skincare brands?
We know, it can be a bit baffling and frustrating trying to figure out what is good and what is not, but there are things to look out for.
Don’t be fooled by skincare products that lack a plant-powered punch, or that include ingredients that are familiar and sound nice but don’t do much for skincare. Or brands that still combine them with things like petroleum. You need good natural products that aren’t simply a faux tincture wrapped in a glossy green package — skincare products that celebrate the natural ingredients they are extracted from and celebrate nature along with it.
It comes down to the ingredients, and what they do for you.
For natural skincare products, it’s best to look for ingredients that are gentle yet powerful, have antibacterial and antifungal properties (among others) and help to moisturise at the same time. Ingredients like beeswax, tea tree oil, shea butter, and coconut oil are extremely popular and effective natural ingredients in different unique ways.
But what if there was a natural ingredient that has many of these important properties on its own?
An ingredient like our hero ingredient — East Cape Mānuka Oil, which is incredibly advantageous in the skincare realm and is increasingly becoming one of the most beneficial essential oils for our skin. And of course, has an extensive history of uses by the Māori people for a wide range of health issues as previously noted.
Just look at mānuka honey — it has become a worldwide household name because of the potent antibacterial properties. But when mānuka is distilled, the mānuka oil has up to 1000 times more antibacterial potency than mānuka honey because of the triketone rich makeup. And when compared to tea tree oil, which is already an ingredient packed with the good stuff for our skin, it’s up to 20-30 times more potent.
So what’s the next move in going natural?
Remember, when transitioning to natural skincare products, look past the packaging and top brands to see what really lies within. Do your research on what ingredients help with what, or check out our extensive essential oil guide to help you understand them better. Also, buying local not only reduces your carbon footprint, but it helps to support local communities as well. Shift from big brands and shop local if possible.
It’s about time we look to taiao again to detox our bodies from the chemical and synthetic ingredients to natural. Explore our wide-ranging Mānuka Essential Oils Blends to find the best natural skincare solution for your needs!