4 Ingredients for Natural Skincare With Proven Scientific Data

Deciding which ingredients are best for your skin is a headache. It’s confusing. There's an endless stream of miracle ingredients and must-have products saturating your world. Somewhere along the way, natural skincare has gotten complicated.

So today I want to help simplify natural skincare for you (and hopefully cut through some of the noise). I’m excited to share that these ingredients for natural skincare are not only clean + free from toxins. They’re also scientifically proven to give you real results.

We’re talking results like: 

  • Dramatically diminished acne
  • Visibly calmed sensitivities
  • Noticeably softened fine lines

Most importantly, these ingredients for natural skincare are key for restoring an overall healthy glow.

Some of these ingredients for natural skincare are trending. Some are just starting to gain traction. And others have been used traditionally for centuries. But they all hold one thing in common: they’re gifts from nature to help you achieve your skin goals. 

Without toxins and yucky ingredients or fillers.

Do you want to transform your skin in a holistic way? No matter your skin state – these are the 4 ingredients for natural skincare to look for in skincare products.

1. Bakuchiol

This is one of my all-time favorite ingredients for natural skincare.

But first – raise your hand if you’ve heard of retinol. I’m guessing the majority of you just did. This vitamin A derivative has made its presence known in skincare products. From dermatologist offices to drugstore shelves and even on social media – it’s made a name for itself.

You’ve probably heard about the line-smoothing, skin-resurfacing results it offers.

But retinol also comes with the potential for reactions that aren’t so pretty like:

  • Stinging
  • Sensitizing 
  • Redness
  • Irritation 

Anything that burns, turns the skin beet red, or compromises the skin barrier for the sake of benefits – I’m not about.

Here’s what you should consider using instead of retinol: Bakuchiol.

Bakuchiol, pronounced “buh – koo – chee – owl.” It’s taken me 100 tries to say this name correctly so I figured I’d make it easy on you ;). It’s been scientifically proven1 to mimic the effects of retinol – without the harsh, irritating, and sensitizing side effects that many notice with regular retinol use. 

I could just leave it there – with a nice mic-drop. That’s really all you need to know to trade in your retinol for bakuchiol. But let’s unpack this plant a bit further. It deserves our attention. 

We can thank the babchi plant for sharing this natural retinol alternative with us. Blooming in warm climates, its purple petals offer precious black seeds. These seeds are cold-pressed to create a potent oil. Bakuchiol oil has been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.

It’s known for naturally plumping the skin, visibly reducing photodamage, and practically erasing signs of aging. Studies have shown bakuchiol is the best ingredient for natural skincare – especially if graceful aging is the goal. 

Here’s what you can expect this youth-promoting plant to do for your skin:

  • Soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles significantly.
  • Restore even skin tone, repair pigmentation, and encourage balanced melanin function.
  • Hydrate + provide a visible plumping effect by naturally producing more hyaluronic acid, which slows as you age.
  • Improved texture from accelerated cell renewal on the epidermis.
  • Stimulate collagen synthesis in the dermis – the skin’s hub for building collagen/elastin.

Ready to swap your retinol for one of the best ingredients in natural skincare? Firmer, dewier skin (sans side effects) is about to be yours.

→ Find bakuchiol in our Plumping Mask, Plumping Serum and Plumping Cream

2. Spirulina

This is one of the best ingredients for natural skincare if you want a punch of nutrient-dense goodness. From green smoothies to clean skincare – this superfood has gained popularity. Many deem it one of the most concentrated, nutritious whole foods on the entire planet.

Spirulina is a blue-green, spiral-shaped algae. It’s found in both fresh and salty bodies of water in exotic locations around the world. The harvesting process is meticulous and time-consuming.  And requires a whole lot of intention to keep the nutrients intact.

But wow, the efforts (and skin results) are 100% worth it.

These microalgae are cultivated for their ability to:

  • Detoxify
  • Defend against environmental stressors
  • Calm inflammation
  • Encourage cell renewal
  • Restore a compromised barrier
  • Rebuild hydration

This sea-dwelling plant is renowned for its nutrient-dense benefits but it doesn’t end there.

Spirulina is also known for its antioxidant profile and wound-repairing properties. These properties are well-researched2 to confirm this is one superfood you should feed your skin on the daily.

On top of that, spirulina is absolutely packed with phytonutrients. These compounds keep plants healthy + benefit us in the application of skincare.

You’ll find superpower compounds like:

  • Chlorophyll
  • Carotenoids
  • Fatty acids
  • Antioxidants (4x more than berries!)
  • 18+ amino acids
  • Minerals

This restorative green sea algae is a powerful topical solution for sensitive (even acne-prone and aging) skin. This is one of the best ingredients for natural skincare that works for any skin type. Oh, and I suggest adding Spirulina to your morning smoothie, too.

→ Find Spirulina in our Soothing Mask.

3. Manuka Oil

This is one of the lesser-known ingredients for natural skincare, which is exactly why I want to talk about it.

Not to be confused with the sweet, health-boosting honey that we all love (and another ingredient I highly recommend for skin). This essential oil is known as nature’s acne treatment.

Native to New Zealand, the manuka plant is a fragrant evergreen shrub. It flowers seasonally, showing off its pink and white petals. Manuka oil is derived from the leaves, flowers, and stems. It’s then steam distilled to create a potent, nutrient-packed oil. 

This little oil offers medicinal, topical, and therapeutic benefits.3 Manuka oil has been revered by cultures around the globe for generations.

Although manuka essential oil gets less publicity than tea tree, it’s 30 times more effective in fighting bacteria and breakouts by:

  • Targeting various aspects of acne
  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Relieving congestion along with associated redness
  • Reducing the presence of harmful bacteria on the skin

Say no more, right? That’s why manuka is one of the best ingredients for natural skincare if you’re looking for a clear, calm complexion.

Manuka is a cicatrisant oil (aka skin-healing and cell-regenerating). So manuka essential oil naturally stimulates cell renewal to repair damage and discoloration. 

Its rich concentration of antioxidants helps to visibly improve skin tone + reverse free radical damage. Manuka keeps your skin clear of… 

  • Painful breakouts 
  • Lingering scarring
  • Any signs of sun damage

The beauty of this oil: it’s highly antimicrobial but still naturally moisturizing. 

So don’t stress – it keeps your skin’s delicate barrier intact to keep it balanced and beautiful for the long haul. Manuka oil offers so much skin-glowing goodness that you’ll want in your skincare routine asap.

→ Find Manuka oil in our Clarifying Serum.

4. Tallow

So far your skin’s got ingredients from plants, trees, and the sea. But this isn’t a complete ingredient roundup – not without one of the most foundational ingredients for optimal skin health.

Tallow from grass-fed cows is a vitamin-rich and ethically-sourced animal fat. It dates back centuries and was widely used by our ancestors. It's arguably one of the most potent healing ingredients for natural skincare. It's used for countless skin conditions from acne to aging. 

To follow in our ancestor’s footsteps, we adopt their nose-to-tail philosophy that honors every part of the animal and only use tallow sourced from grass-fed cows. Doing so ensures they’re humanely raised and processed. Plus, you only want to feed your skin the most nutrient-dense, sustainable tallow available.

Tallow is a skin superfood packed with vitamins, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial benefits. Yep, it can:

  • Soothe redness and breakouts
  • Balance the skin barrier
  • Soften fine lines
  • Significantly improve cell health

This healthy fat contains bioavailable nutrients that plants don't contain. And its bioavailable nutrients make tallow highly compatible with our cell biology. So it's easily recognized + absorbed by your skin. 

Tallow leaves your complexion glowing, never greasy. (Goals!)

Here’s what you’ll find in the composition of tallow:

→ Vitamins A, D, and K: Encourage collagen/elastin production, strengthen your skin barrier, and support optimal cellular function.

→ Vitamin E (4 times as much as grain-fed cows!): Repairs and reverses free radical damage, deeply hydrates, and expedites the healing processes in your skin.

→ Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA): Known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, it brightens your skin, minimizes breakouts, and restores balance to damaged skin.

→ Palmitoleic acid: Fatty acid with potent antimicrobial properties enhances wound healing and reinforces the delicate skin barrier.

Talk about a superfood, right? Make tallow from grass-fed cows a daily staple in your skincare lineup. Trust me, you’ll never look back. 

This is not one of those ingredients for natural skincare you want to miss in your routine.

→ Find Tallow in all our Skin-Specific Creams and Balms.

Which Ingredients for Natural Skincare Are You Ready to Try?

From sea to land, from animal to plant – there are plenty of ingredients for natural skincare to suit every skin type. Mother Earth has blessed us with an abundance of available healing herbs and compounds to give our skin everything it needs. 

Which ingredient sounds like a good fit for your current skin state and daily routine?

Drop it below, we can't wait to hear about it – and for you to experience the difference! 


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4 Ingredients That Should Be In Your Skincare Products | Primally Pure Skincare

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Courtney O’Connor

Courtney Joy O’Connor is Primally Pure’s In-House Holistic Esthetician and Content Curator. Being in the beauty industry for over a decade, her experience + expertise with pure products, the healing power of touch and holistic skincare rituals are at the core of all she creates. She has trained extensively with industry experts across the country to offer her community the most educational content and transformative treatments. Courtney lives at the beach with her plant babies and loves road tripping, blending superfood bliss balls and exploring our big, beautiful world.