When constructing a natural skincare routine, both celebrity facialist Sonya Dakar and Herrmann stress that it’s more about paying attention to ingredients and manufacturing versus the term “natural.”
“It’s more about the ingredient itself,” Dakar tells me. “Arsenic is natural and NOT healthy. There are just as many side effects from natural ingredients as there could be in non-clean ingredients. It depends on the manufacturer, and skin type, and the individual using it.”
“Certainly, there are both plant-based and synthetic products that are healthy for the skin, and products in both camps that have no place anywhere near the skin,” agrees Herrmann. “Lead and other heavy metals, asbestos, and certain chemicals that can interfere with hormones that have been found in commercial cosmetics shouldn’t be in any cosmetic or prescribed product, period. But natural, plant-based products can cause contact allergies and irritation as well as direct skin DNA damage. Plant oils, for instance, can cause rashes (think poison ivy) and plant fragrances like bergamot contain psoralens that directly damage DNA chromosomes, which can cause intense sunburns and over time potentially even skin cancer. In general, both natural and synthetic skincare can be effective. It’s much more about individual ingredients and products than blindly adhering to a camp.”
For oily/combination acne-prone skin, Dakar suggests prioritizing niacinamide, salicylic acid, colloidal silver, and sulfur which all work together to treat breakouts.
For sensitive skin especially those with dermatitis, Dakar suggests oils, specifically ingredients like flaxseed oil, which is rich in omegas-3, -6, and -9 and crucial to healing the skin. (Her Organic Omega Booster, $54, and Blue Butterfly Balm, $85, are both fabulous options.)
For anti-aging, Dakar says CBD is her new obsession along with Kahan oil as it’s a delicate alternative to retinol and will not irritate the skin.