By Jessica Sepel

Being prone to certain chemical and ingredient sensitivities has mean that over the years I have tried and tested many natural beauty products and methods to care for my delicate skin. It was only after inventing my own line of natural skincare several years ago that I discovered the biggest improvement to my skin was by going back to basics and keeping things simple.

There are some extraordinary and innovative natural beauty products available today. When we are each so unique when it comes to skin types and sensitivities, I believe that finding products that work well is a very personal journey. And similar to a rainforest thriving when all parts of its ecosystem are harmonious and balanced, this is most certainly true for our skin.

The skin cannot glow when we are tired and stressed, for example. Or if our diet is poor. But when we find a balance that has us glowing from the inside out, the right products will only accentuate your natural radiance.

Here are my top 5 beauty items that I cannot live without…

1. A soft natural cotton facecloth

This forms part of my daily morning routine. On rising, water cleansing with a nice soft natural cotton cloth refreshes the skin and gently removes any dead skin cells that have accrued overnight.

This type of cloth also comes in handy when using a cleansing balm, mask or scrub. By hot towelling these treatments off, the pores are opened and the product can be removed thoroughly. The skin is then ready for cool splash of water to tone the skin to finish off.

My favourite is a stash of double-sided organic cotton and muslin cloths I found a few years ago in a little handmade store. There are some great options available like the Pai Skincare 5 pack of muslin cloths or the pack of 2 from Black Chicken.

2. A good quality coconut oil

With the skin being our largest organ, it only takes 17 seconds for ingredients to be absorbed straight into the bloodstream, once a product is applied to the skin. So I’ve always felt a deep level of assurance when using products on my skin that come straight from my pantry.

A good quality organic coconut oil is truly the King of all things. Not just nutritionally when considered as part of a healthy diet, but also within the realm of natural beauty. Along with the multitude of benefits this divine oil delivers, also comes a mountain of uses which makes this beauty staple budget-friendly too.

Coconut oil can be used for:
• a gentle make-up remover
• a refining skin cleanser
• a soothing skin lotion for post waxing or shaving
• a restorative moisturiser for dry and delicate skin (blend with a little rosehip oil for an additional boost)
• hydration for dry scalp, hands and feet and more!

3. A natural SPF daily moisturiser 

This is a year-round must for our skin. There are some fantastic natural SPF products that are rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals and the signs of ageing. If you choose one that contains a natural non-nano zinc, you’ll also be receiving benefits such as improved healing of the skin and a potentially lower risk of irritation.

Depending on your preference, a tinted option can successfully replace foundation and become a cherished part of your daily skincare routine.

One of my favourites is  Andalou SPG 30 Natural Beauty Balm

4. A pure silk pillowcase

This may sound a little crazy, but I promise once you switch and experience the benefits you will never look back. This item is the perfect item for this of us who are busy and want to keep a simple routine, and who look forward to a good night’s sleep!

Apart from the luxurious feel of a pure silk pillowcase, there are many benefits to add one of these to your natural beauty toolkit. And we all deserve a little indulgence sometimes, right?

Not all silks are created equal. Look for a pure, long strand mulberry silk with a traditional charmeuse weave, as these are the smoothest and reap the most benefits.

Positive beauty benefits include:
• more moisture retained by the skin as silk is less absorbent
• the smooth texture helps reduce wrinkles
• less skin movement from pulling fabric helps reduce puffiness
• reduces chemical exposure
• reduces bedhead, knots and split ends of hair
• maintains texture of the skin over time due to the smooth surface of the silk

The Goodnight Co silk pillowcases are both affordable and are available in a range of gorgeous colours.

5. A lip balm

Dry lips are something I experience on regular basis. And although I drink 2-3L of water each day and include a range of good fats as part of my diet, it is still nice to have a little something to pop on to boost moisture and shine, and to protect from the elements.

I love DIY and often make personalised lip balms as gifts. But when time is a factor there are some great lip balms available. For a little colour I love Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm and for more low key days I can’t go past their divine Antipodes lip balm with lime leaf and cacao butter