Can natural skincare products improve complexion?

I know many of you who read my blog are for aging in the most natural possible way and you support my stand to use natural/organic skincare products too. I also know many who read my blog are skeptics and don’t believe that natural is worth anything skin deep. I have had some people writing to me telling me that there’s only so much that natural skincare can do and beyond that, we need more “help” aesthetically. I don’t deny that there is a limit that natural/organic skincare can do but I also question if it’s that necessary to receive all the aesthetic treatments. Sure, I think my face would look better with some botox jabs and some fillers but I just can’t bring myself to go for them. So let me show you how my face is doing now without going for facials, without going for any aesthetic treatments and using mostly natural/organic skincare products. You be the judge and tell me if natural is all that bad okay?

Sun protection is most important
I’ve just passed my 46 birthday a month ago. I don’t go for facials frequently. So far this year, I think I only had two. I’ve been using a couple of interesting skincare products this year, the latest being the Ujene range from Switzerland. The only thing I’m truly religious about is sun protection. I use a DIY sun protection oil with Astaxanthin before I slather on my Marie Veronique Organics Moisturizing Facescreen. I really think the combination is potent for me.

October 2011
Some of you may remember seeing this picture I posted in my skincare routine last October. I was barefaced and only had my MVO Moisturizing Face Screen.

July 2012
This is how I look currently. Still barefaced except for my MVO Moisturizing Face Screen. There was a small zit on my chin area during the time of photo taking but other than that, my complexion has improved over this half year period. I’ve tried my best to take this picture in the same toilet, during the same time period but yes, there could be some differences in lighting that you need to take into consideration.

Diet and lifestyle
Other than skin care products, I think diet and lifestyle is more important than any aesthetic treatments. I’ve also been drinking mostly Cell-Gen Antioxidant Water since April and that is something I believe has made a difference for me too. The only supplements I still take are the AFC Japan Collagen Beauty and the Kordel Mega Acidophilus. I’ve even stopped taking Astaxanthin because I ran out of it and haven’t ordered since.

Did I encourage you?
I suppose I could look better if I go for aesthetic treatments. At least, I won’t have to wait a few months to see results. But is it something I really need? My answer is no. I am actually happy experimenting with my skincare, checking out the best ingredient for my face and trying to use formulations that are as simple and natural as possible. And my point of writing this entry is to encourage some of you who have the same question – can natural skincare products improve my skin or do I need more?


  1. Santhi says:

    Kudos to you for this post! I have been using DIY food based skincare for about a year. Not sure about results but I am very happy with my skin and hair condition. I have no doubt that what I make for myself has been very kind yo my skin and even kinder on the pocket! ;D

  2. Sesame says:

    Glad that your DIY food based skincare is doing well for your skin and hair. I’m not there with DIY stuff…I only use them for masks whenever I can.

  3. Brownies says:

    My answer is yes and no. It works for me, since natural skin care products did control my blemishes and slows darkening of my face. I do exercise quite a bit under the sun and only my arms are darker compared to my face. However it does not work on my sister, who uses retail, non-natural products. Both of us are able to keep our face blemish free, controlled skin tone.

    Maybe different people have different focus. Just like fighting a war, there is defence and attack to fend off enemies. Its whether we want to defend (sun and diet protection) or direct changing (aesthetic correction ).

  4. Audris says:

    Looking good, Sesame!

    Aging is really acceptance at whichever level you’re comfortable with. Regardless of how many aesthetic treatments, it’s only superficial and they only a serve as a retardation of it. The body and its functions will continue to age. It’s a personal choice, ultimately, so long as you’re happy with yourself and about it.

  5. Sesame says:

    You’re right…different skincare strategies work for different people. But many people seem to think that natural products do not work so well or work more slowly. Personally, I still think the whole concept of diet and lifestyle is important…more so than what we use actually.

  6. Sesame says:

    The thing about aesthetic treatment as one dermatologist has put it is, you have to have deep pockets to sustain the treatments. I also realized that too much fillers can make some parts of the face look stiff. I think we have examples thru some of the celebs. But well, it’s definitely a faster way to take some years off.

  7. EcoBeauty says:

    Your skin improved! At 46, you definitely look good and young ?

    After using natural products for some time now, I would have to say that they work like their non-natural based counterparts. Only difference is the time involved. Natural products work slower but since results are not drastic, they are sustainable. There is slow bounce-back rate when I stop using them. And of course, in the end, it is still based on a case to case basis since products, both natural and not, have different ingredients which have different effects on different people.

    Going for aesthetic treatments is a choice, both of the person and her bank account :p
    EcoBeauty last post is: DIY: Match that lemony yogurt lightening facial mask with Matcha!

  8. Arthi says:

    You are definitely good lucking. Also, i see that your spots have reduced from the last year’s photo. You have been my inspiration in using organic skin care products. I have started to use MVO products after your reviews on them. Natural skin care is always the best, even it is slow, it is steady.

  9. stella says:

    i think natural skincare is as good as any when it comes to topical functions like improving moisture content / brightening etc., but if you want permanent or more pronounced fixes to certain conditions, sometimes the only way is aesthetic procedures e.g. fillers/botox for entrenched lines / face slimming–some people don’t mind them, but some do i suppose and prefer to just hide them; if you can afford it, it’s mostly safe and it makes you happy, why not?

    for me, irreversible deep facial scarring from teenage/early adult cystic acne have always bugged me. i resisted aesthetic lasers for years until i found a doctor i could trust; so i went for it and after many aggressive laser sessions, i’d say i’m happy with my skin now. i still wouldn’t recommend it unless you have bad scarring like me, and can find a trustworthy doctor, as the procedures are pretty aggressive. my skin is also thick (hardy), oily/combi and has also pretty good since my mid-20s so it’s all suitable and stable for the ‘permanent’ fix. i don’t think i will fix lines in the future though.

    i think it’s important that before embarking on aesthetic lasers etc, you know your own skin and how much it can take; i really don’t think doctors necessarily understand your skin as well–they give advice on what they know and believe to be true based on science, but everyone’s skin is different and the doctor doesn’t see you everyday

    prevention is of course better than cure, but it’s easier said than done for periods of hormonal imbalance etc. while a healthy lifestyle is important, i think it’s very important you learn to understand your skin and what it needs to keep it in optimal condition–if you care a lot about how your skin looks that is, some people don’t (yes, it’s true, they exist). natural may not be everything; just like lasers may not be necessary for most but may be the only thing that really work for some conditions like my acne scars

  10. Swati says:

    whoa!!! what an improvement in complexion…I am sure you are definitely a shade lighter even if considering the time and lighting differences ? you know I have actually noticed that using MVO had really protected my skin complexion but it has deteriorated even if I am using neutrogena sunscreen pretty regularly and I apply it very generously. the only reason I am not getting MVO is the high dollar exchange rate right now ? Paris did talk about shiesido sunscreen which I shall try next.
    Swati last post is: Weird outgrowth on my skin {Skin Care}

  11. Dora says:

    For me it depends. I think natural is not better if people start puting lemon all over their face to lighten it. Then they might be better off with a conventional skin lightening cream. But on the other hand most treatments seem to be just so rough. I think it is more of a general rule that the gentler the better no matter if natural skincare or not.
    Dora =)

  12. Sesame says:

    I wanted to write something about the DIY ingredients, that while some of them are interesting and I do feature them on and off, but one gotta be careful how they are used. I’m not really in favor of using lemon for the face too cos it can cause sensitivity over the long run. So in that sense, not all natural are gentle.

  13. Sesame says:

    Yes, I do notice my skin tone has become a shade lighter and I believe it’s got to do with the astaxanthin as well. Shiseido is okay but I think they contain silicones and alcohol if I’m not mistaken…most Japanese sunscreens do.

  14. Sesame says:

    You’re right. If there are some things that products can’t fix, then probably aesthetic is the best choice. It’s also faster. I would go for fixing more than maintaining cos the latter means you have to have deep pockets and also that the treatments need to be consistently working well. I’m a bit freaked out by botox and fillers after seeing some of the results and the way I see it now, those two are what I would be recommended if I were to venture into that area. But if there’s something I really want to fix, it’s my eyebags.

    It’s good you raise the point about prevention, that one should just take care of her skin on a long term basis. I think that’s really important.

  15. Sesame says:

    Thank you Arthi. Yes, the spots have diminished and that’s something I’m really happy about. I hope MVO works well for you too.

  16. Sesame says:

    Thank you Vivi. Actually I don’t really find natural working less slowly than the non-natural. If you use those with active ingredients, they do work quite quickly. These are not the 100% natural, which I find to be quite useless at times. But they’re definitely not as quick as aesthetic treatments for sure.

  17. Amanda says:

    Sesame, applause to you! Really, I do think that you look young at your age. I hope I will look like you when I become your age! You know what? I didn’t go to facials for over one year, and I find that I am perfectly fine without them! First, they are really a splurge for me, and consider that most of them are package-based with time limit, I don’t think I will ever finish them before they expire.

    Onto supplements. I think they are really something necessary when one becomes older (at least in my case). They do magic for my skin. I don’t know what will become of me if they fail to work for me one day!
    Amanda last post is: Supplements: Why Do I Finally Give in?

  18. Sara says:

    Dear Sesame,
    My first comment on your great blog. OK, I think you look great before and after. Honestly, I do not see the difference, but that is maybe due to photos. Natural products? Yes and no. I hate the hype that everything “natural” is better, because it is not. I hate the price, and I think most of them just want to make money. I hate that most of them are full of other kinds of chemicals which clog my pores. The best way to keep your complexion beautiful is to minimize the amount of products you put on your face. The simpler, the better. Yes, I do use natural products, but I do not see any difference regarding my complexion. I think the lifestyle is much more important than any product. Anyway, you look great!

  19. Sesame says:

    Thanks Amanda! I love facials in the past, I used to go quite often in my late 20s and early 30s but with a family, this becomes a luxury in the sense that time is taken away. So I can’t do it as much and yes, I also find that it’s not a necessity if we know how to care for our skin.

    I concur with you about supplements. I find it helps me a lot too.

  20. Sesame says:

    Thanks Sara. I think using the right product will help and also if you eat healthy enough and stay away from the sun, that’s another bonus. Some of the prices are high I agree but well, some of the commercial products are also in the same category. And certainly like what you said, minimize products and keep the routine simple! ?

  21. Stephanie/Yukaeshi says:

    Wow! Not to try and shine your boots but you do look amazing and really younger than your age. I’d guess you were about 10 years younger to under 45 for sure. There does seem to be some marked improvement in your skin tone, clarity and lines as well- very well done I’d say!

    You’re the reason why I keep seeking out as natural products as possible for my skin (Chief being the MVO Moisturising Face Screen), partly also because I have sensitive skin and can’t tolerate harsh stuff, apart from wanting to be more eco-friendly and do as much as I can hehe! And yes I do agree that lifestyle and diet plays an important role as well, it helps to expedite the healthy process at least.

    BTW to digress a little, how long does it take for you to finish a bottle of the MVO Moisturising Face Screen, and how much do you use a day? (E.g. a pump/half a pump/two pumps).
    Stephanie/Yukaeshi last post is: iS Clinical Cleansing Complex

  22. Holly M. says:

    Great advice. Sun is the main cause of wrinkles and so to protect against it is to reduce your chance of wrinkles. And, as is well known, drinking plenty of water also helps. If you’re a smoker then that will also add to your skin ageing. It is completely possible to ward of wrinkles and unhealthy looking skin naturally. Thanks for sharing.

  23. Sesame says:

    Thanks Stephanie for your compliments. I gladly accept them. Hehe…

    It takes me around 3 to 4 months to finish a bottle I think. I’m thinking of writing a post to show how much I use each time cos I get queried on that too.

  24. Sesame says:

    Yes smoking is a big no no. It ages one a lot faster. And I don’t understand…the scent is awful.

  25. Tani says:

    Your 46!!! Absolutely unbelievable!!!!
    I wish my skin looked as fresh as yours!!!
    I was hoping that you could give me advice on eye treatment. Your eye area looks amazing!
    My eyes have tiny sunspots and what seems to be some kind of blemish, which makes me look much older than I am(I’m 31).

  26. Sesame says:

    Thanks Tani. ?

    For the eyes, it’s a challenging spot. I have trouble keeping up but I find that cleansing it well without traces of makeup (not rubbing or pulling) and using an eye cream help. I do use my sunscreen on my eye area but not direct application…it’s just after I’ve pat the sunscreen on my face, I just bring whatever is left and pat on my eye area.

  27. Tani says:

    I always apply the sunblock as well! Do you believe in exfoliating the eye area, even if it’s done gently, and at least once a month?

  28. Sesame says:

    I have not tried exfoliating the eye area myself…only once if I remember correctly, it was done at a beauty salon. But I find the skin there too thin and delicate…probably can do a gentle/natural AHA exfoliation but it’s a bit risky cos it’s too near the eye area. I think with those products, it can help minimize lines.

  29. Jenny says:

    46? Seriously? You look amazing! I have to agree, diet and lifestyle plays a big part in taking care of our skin!

  30. Sesame says:

    Thank you! Diet and lifestyle absolutely play a key role…more so than skincare.

  31. Pam says:

    Hi Sesame, it looks like your skin tone has improved! Have you changed any of the products you routinely used since you showed us last October? I am encouraged by your improvement and want to give it a try. Also, what is your favorite eye serum? I don’t have luck finding one that is very effective. Thanks.

  32. Sesame says:

    I mentioned some of the new products I’m trying…namely from Ujene currently. Also I use a DIY sun protection oil with astaxanthin along with the antioxidant serum from Skinactives. Eye products are tricky…I haven’t found one that works very well.

  33. john eckles says:

    Dear manager can you find for me were l can get the very best collagen to give me a face lift l only want type one collagen with cells and genes pills if l cant get then l will have only type one collagen pills and l want too elastin pills to keep my collagen young l want the strongest in all the pills l take what is the very best collage l can get from anywere can you find out for me thankyou .

  34. Ratna Puspita Dewi says:

    What the price of bottle of MVO ?

  35. Ratna Puspita Dewi says:

    Where are you from ?
    I’m from Indonesia ?

  36. rachel1301 says:

    HI , i think your regime is working as it is evident from the b4 and after pics. The problem of regime is it takes so much time (and money) before you find something really works for your skin. I am still looking…
    rachel1301 last post is: Keeping breasts youthful in a natural way

  37. Sesame says:

    Well, it does take some trial and error and yes, quite a bit of money.

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