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Are “natural” skincare companies telling you the truth? Q&A with Helena Lane

Since I committed myself to a primarily organic, whole foods diet, I’ve become surprisingly more particular about reducing other toxic products going into my body, like my skin.

I knew that conventional (synthetic and unnatural) skin care products like Jergens, Clarins and Vichy weren’t going to cut it, and if I was going to spend more money on natural skin care, then I needed to access reliable information, which wasn’t an easy process.

Of course it wasn’t, because as I found out from natural skincare expert Helena Lane, many of the so-called “natural” products available aren’t much better than the regular brands despite all their promises (more below).

What impressed me about Helena was her passion and desire to share her bottomless knowledge about skincare, some of which is highlighted in the following Q&A. Also check out her awesome product range on Helena Lane Skincare.

1. Can you say more about the challenges with many “natural” skincare products?

Sure. First, just because a product is labeled as natural or organic doesn’t mean it is. This is because there are no regulations on the labeling of cosmetics. As long as you are not making any medical claims you can put anything you like on the label, regardless of the ingredients.

Second, “natural” products may not contain any synthetic chemicals or harsh ingredients but companies are tricking customers into believing that they are using highly nutritious natural ingredients on their skin like almond oil, shea butter and beeswax. The reality is that they are using  processed, refined versions which do not contain the nutrients we expect. To me this is dishonest and leads to people having disappointing experiences with “natural” products.

2. What’s different about your approach?

Unlike the industry, I encourage people to use fewer products that support the skin’s ability to rejuvenate and repair itself.

Each of my products contain a maximum of five quality ingredients. All my oils, butters and waxes are unrefined and everything is certified organic. These ingredients are not just natural, they are also unprocessed, so “as found in nature.”

With consistent use of my products, over time you will find that your skin (whether oily, dry, sensitive or acne) will restore its own health and balance so you’ll hardly need to use product. Just think no need to moisturize!

3. If we could only pick one or two vital skin care products from your selection, what would you suggest ?

My oil cleansers. Out of all the steps of skin care, cleansers do the most damage. They can cause oil imbalances and sensitivities (the root causes of almost all skin issues). Get the cleansing stage right then the rest just falls into place.

Oil cleansing takes away all the excess oil, dirt, make-up, pollution etc. from our face at the end of the day without affecting the skin underneath. It may sound counter-intuitive, but in 12 years of being in the business, I have not met anyone who has not had good results from oil cleansing.

My Chamomile & Mandarin Cleanser is ideal for normal, combination, dry and very sensitive skin and my Lavender & Lime Cleanser is ideal for normal, combination, oily and mildly sensitive skin.

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Helena Lane’s products are available at the following  locations: Whole Foods Market Kitsilano, Cambie, West Vancouver and Robson; Pure Integrative Pharmacy, Kitsilano;  Home on the Range Farm Organics online store and Body Wisdom Spa in Vancouver. You can also order online via Helena Lane Skincare.

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Linda #

    I loved this piece- I wish it was longer. I would have loved to hear more about Helena’s and your thoughts on anti-aging treatments, on spa facials, on anti-aging treatments (such as micro-needling or laser…). I love oil cleansers- once I tried them I decided I would never go back to other cleansers, and as someone who wears makeup to work, 5 days a week, I need a good cleanser.
    Just a thought- how about if for future blogs, you give a few followers a “heads up” on the topic (e.g. type of interview) and an opportunity to submit a few questions. then you could pick a “readers” question or two for your piece?
    Well done Tasleem, I really find your entries fresh and informative- keep it up!

    January 14, 2013
  2. Tasleem Bhanjee #

    Brilliant idea Linda and thank you for the great feedback. 🙂

    January 14, 2013

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