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Natural skincare: what it’s all about and is it right for you?

According to reports, the global natural skin care products market size was valued at US $10.84 billion in 2019 and is only expected to grow.

As we all become a little more aware of what we put on our skin and the impact that our purchasing choices have on the world around us, it’s little wonder that many of us want to find products (in general) that are a little closer to nature than those that have gone before. But does natural skincare really work? What does ‘natural’ actually mean? And are there really any benefits?

Alice England is the founder of the eponymous brand that operates from South Devon. Born of her own skin sensitivities and environmental awareness, here she explains what it’s all about.

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Why do you use natural skincare?

Natural skincare products tend to be kinder to the environment and often kinder to your skin. I find skincare a minefield these days, there is too much choice and you’re constantly battling between the latest fad and whether it is actually safe to put on your body. It can also be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing; for example you can end up needing products to combat the dry skin that the first product left you with.

I wouldn’t like to think about how much time and money I’ve wasted on the latest fad product only to be disappointed and move onto the next, but what I have discovered is that naturally based products work! Especially when they include natural plant extracts and essences like our products do.

What was the reason for starting Alice England?

My family have sold hair and beauty products since I was 12 and I have been involved since the age of 17, so I was lucky enough to have a good understanding of the industry and particularly what customers wanted.

For many years I took sales calls where customers were crying out for cruelty free vegan and sensitive products, and this resonated with me. I have been vegetarian since the age of 14 (and believe me it wasn’t so easy in the ‘90s) but it wasn’t until later in life when I realised that I was trying hard to make my own stance to not eat animals but I was using beauty and hair products that had animal by-products in them! I was mortified!

Thankfully now there are more options, but it is still a minefield, so Alice England was born to cater for people who want products that work, that are as natural as possible, suitable for sensitive skin and that are of course cruelty free and vegan.

What are the benefits of natural skin/hair care?

Skin and hair changes for many reasons, weather hormonal or environmental. If you keep in tune with your body, you can find a natural by-product to counteract any changes without using harsh chemicals, treating skin with harsh chemicals particularly when used at home without proper training can throw the balance of your hair and skin out completely creating a never-ending cycle.

Nature knows best, for hundreds of thousands of years people have been using and continue to use natural skincare - it is kinder to the environment, and it works!

What does ‘natural’ mean to you?

For me ‘natural’ means using products and ingredients that are as close to nature as possible and containing the fewest man-made chemicals as possible. Using ingredients that are kinder to skin and without parabens is important to us.

Are there times when natural skincare isn’t appropriate?

Absolutely! Some skin concerns can only be helped with medicated creams and if you have any concerns always consult a GP or dermatologist.

Do you think the term ‘natural’ is overused or misunderstood?

I do, sadly there are a LOT of products on the shelves that throw the word natural around or have natural sounding names and images, to trick the customer into thinking the product is innocent. My advice is the shorter the ingredients list the more natural it will be.

We also try to explain all our ingredients and give both the Latin and common names to make it as clear as possible. Sometimes a product requires certain ingredients to make it work or to preserve it but at Alice England we feel it is important to be as clear as possible which sadly very few companies are.

If people want to start using more natural skincare/haircare products, what should they be looking for on the labels?

Look for natural plant extracts, essences, and oils. You will find there is a wealth of information out there about the amazing properties natural plant extracts have. You need to look for more plant-based ingredients and less man-made ones.

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What’s your favourite Alice England product and why?

Haircare would have to be the Lengthen & Strengthen Shampoo and Conditioner the shampoo contains rosemary extract which stimulates the hair follicle to encourage growth and both the shampoo and conditioner contains wheat protein that strengthens the hair, adds volume and protects from heat styling along with some moisture boosting oils such as carrot seed, jojoba and peach kernel.

Skincare will always be the Calming Chamomile Day and Night Cream. It combines chamomile, which is an effective anti-inflammatory, with some other wonderful ingredients such as almond, carrot seed and jojoba oils, all containing many vitamins to nourish the skin and prevent wrinkles. It’s so soothing on my sensitive skin and it’s a great base for make-up.


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