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Skinnovative beauty

Skinnovative beauty

Think organic beauty care is boring and lacking in innovation? Uninspired by the traditional potions stocked in health food stores? Worried that organic products can’t be luxe? Gone are the days when organic natural skincare meant a few drops of olive oil rubbed onto dry skin, or pinching your cheeks to stimulate a healthy glow; nowadays luxury ethical beauty leads the way in skinnovation.

S5 Skincare is the answer to your skin’s prayers; a certified-organic luxury cosmeceuticals company, combining the latest skincare science with natural ingredients found in the earth’s most extreme ecosystems – like the arctic and the desert – where plants constantly have to adapt to stay healthy. The award-winning Replenish Serum smells indescribably amazing – sweet but fresh – and can help repair scarred skin, while the Vitality Mask gives a boost to stressed out complexions.


If you hate kale, now you can get some of its health benefits without having to eat it, thanks to scientist Dr Pauline Hili, who spent years developing formulations for Neal’s Yard before deciding to launch her own natural skincare range, Nourish Skincare. Dr Hili has even worked out how to channel the benefits of celeb-superfood kale into cosmetics, creating anti-ageing hand cream, cleanser and eye cream. All products are vegan, certified by the Soil Association and feature a very high percentage of organic ingredients.


Confusingly, unlike with food, there are no centralised rules for the grading of organic cosmetics. This means a product may call itself organic even if only a small percentage of its ingredients are organically grown. When looking at a product claiming to be organic, red-flag ingredients include: PEGs, sodium laureth sulfate, silicones (dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane), mineral oil, paraffin, isododecane, isohexane – as well as ingredients whose names ends in “paraben”, or “eth” followed by a number (for example, laureth-9). If any of these are present, the product would not achieve organic certification by reliable organisations such as the Soil Association or Ecocert.

Opinion is divided as to whether these chemicals are harmful or not, but some studies have shown links between these ingredients and hormonal changes, allergies and even cancer. You will probably be using them daily – in soap, shampoo, toothpaste, washing up liquid – so to escape them completely is a bit of a mission. If you are concerned, anything you don’t wash off your skin – moisturisers, serums, lotions – is a good place to start your organic usage, because your body is bound to absorb more of those products. It’s important to note, though, that non-organic ingredients don’t have to be bad. Water, for instance, can never be organic, as it’s not agricultural and can’t be grown, but is used in almost all cosmetics.


If you recognise the benefits of eating organic, maybe it’s time to do the same with the things you put on – rather than in – your face.