As science continues to uncover the finer mysteries of our bodies and how they work, so too do the beauty ingredients and tools we use continue to advance. But can this world of beauty tech—which can refer to high-tech devices and innovative product formulations and supplements—be reconciled with natural approaches to beauty and body care?
Natural beauty defined
In general, natural beauty aims to use natural ingredients and methods that are kind to both our bodies and the planet—supporting the body’s natural systems and processes that provide outward beauty, such as healthy skin, hair, nails, and teeth.
However, in application, the meaning of natural beauty can be as different from person to person as the meaning of beauty itself. Some people may feel that the use of beauty tech undermines the practice of natural beauty, while others find tech something to be embraced to make natural beauty easier and more effective.
The convergence of natural beauty and beauty tech
As customer demand for healthier and more sustainable beauty options grows, the prevalence of innovative technologies and high-performance ingredients that align with natural beauty principles grows as well.
Some beauty tech tools, such as intense pulsed light (IPL) devices, microcurrent rollers, and light-emitting diode (LED) masks can help encourage the body’s natural processes without the need for chemicals. For instance, LED masks use light to help boost skin’s natural collagen production and improve overall skin condition.
Topical products can use high-tech ingredients and formulations while still upholding natural beauty principles. For example, ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and niacinamide are frequently used in creams, serums, and cleansers for their many skin benefits. However, vitamin C, for example, is unstable when exposed to air, meaning this naturally occurring water-soluble vitamin can use a little beauty tech behind it to help ensure its effectiveness—this can come in the form of high-tech product formulations or advanced packaging solutions.
The emergence of beauty AI
An increasing number of beauty companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) to help their customers identify the ingredients, products, and beauty routines that will work best for their unique needs.
Beauty AI technology can take a wide array of factors into account—such as skin and hair types; spot, wrinkle, and acne analyses; and local climate, UV index, and air quality—to make customized beauty product recommendations and, in some cases, even formulate custom makeup and skincare products right on the spot.
Not only does beauty AI offer the potential to help identify and provide a personalized beauty routine, but it could also translate to reduced overconsumption and wasted product, less packaging, and fewer sample bottles rolling around your makeup bag.
Tips for creating a tech-friendly natural beauty routine
Consider individual ingredients
Since being kind to your body and the environment is what lies at the heart of the natural beauty philosophy, take time to consider the safety and sustainability of individual ingredients in the skincare products you choose to use. Whether they come from a lab or your own garden, you can check ingredient safety and sustainability by using databases such as healabel.com or ewg.org/skindeep.
Consult a professional
Talking to a dermatologist or holistic skincare professional can help you identify and select beauty tech options that align with your natural beauty principles and individual needs. Understanding how a beauty procedure or device works, as well as any possible side effects that it can cause you or the planet, can help empower you to make informed decisions on whether to include certain beauty tech products in your natural beauty routine.
No matter what beauty products or devices you choose to use—high-tech or not—an effective natural beauty routine should start with feeding your body a nutritious diet, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, exercising, keeping stress to a minimum, and protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging rays.
These naturally occurring ingredients may be some of beauty tech’s most powerful ingredients and can be found in toners, serums, creams, supplements, and more.
|Ingredient||What it is||What it does|
|hyaluronic acid||· Found naturally in human and animal skin, connective tissues, and joint fluid
· helps your body to produce collagen and elastin
|· used as a moisturizer in skincare products
· helps skin absorption of other skincare products
· may boost skin elasticity
|squalane||· hydrogenated version of squalene—a lipid produced by skin cells and contained in sebum
· comes from both plant and animal sources
|· acts as a skin moisturizer, improving elasticity and reducing appearance of fine lines|
|niacinamide||· a form of vitamin B3 that helps the skin to build proteins and retain moisture
· contained in foods like fish, meat milk, eggs, grains, and green vegetables
|· reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation
· used to help treat certain skin conditions like acne and eczema
|vitamin C||· a water-soluble vitamin and a naturally occurring antioxidant
· found in fresh fruit and vegetables
· the most abundant antioxidant in human skin
|· reduces appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and hyperpigmentation
· supports collagen production
· acts as an anti-inflammatory to help with skin conditions, such as acne and rosacea
|collagen||· produced naturally, making up about one-third of the body’s protein
· collagen keeps the skin plump and supple
· food sources of collagen include chicken, fish, eggs, and bone broth
|· oral collagen supplements can improve skin elasticity and may reduce the appearance of wrinkles
· used topically, collagen can form a protective barrier and reduce moisture loss
|alpha-lipoic acid||· a chemical produced naturally in the body and contained in every human cell
· works as an antioxidant to eliminate free radicals
|· helps gives skin a healthy glow
· diminishes the look of fines lines
|coenzyme Q-10||· an antioxidant produced in the human body
· found in food sources such as meat, fish, and nuts
|· has been shown to help reduce wrinkles, including “crow’s feet”|