Moisturisers, lotions, oils, powders and make up — we use beauty products on our skin every day, but do we actually know what’s in them and what they’re doing to us?

According to new research by Australian beauty company Natural Instinct, 76 per cent of Aussie women have no idea what they’re putting on their skin.

Natural Health Practitioner and blogger behind Supercharged Food, Lee Holmes, is a strong advocate for helping women understand what’s in their skincare and believes what you put ON your body is just as important as what goes IN your body.

“Our skin is our largest organ and it absorbs 60 per cent of what’s put on it, so you’ve got to treat it right,” she says.

“A lot of products can cause dryness and itchiness and even rashes. You’ve really got to try and avoid any chemicals in your products; it’s really bad for your skin.”

So what should we do? Lee says it’s time to go natural.

“There is a huge movement at the moment in learning more about what’s in your food. People are a lot more conscious about artificial elements and chemicals and that trend has now come over to the beauty industry with people wanting a lot more natural alternatives,” she says.

“Natural products are a lot more affordable now days and because there has been a positive change in mindset towards natural alternatives, there is a much broader range out there.”

Lee says when choosing natural products there are certain things you should look for.

“Look for plant derived ingredients in beauty products and in fragrances look for natural oils like lavender and rosehip,” she says.

“Natural oils give you hydration and moisturise the skin. Rosehip oil in particular has incredible anti-aging benefits with heaps of vitamins, and it’s very cooling on the skin.”

Lee also recommends using coconut oil for moisturiser for the skin and hair, and even as a body scrub with the addition of a little sea salt. So, you’ll not only feel great, you’ll smell delicious too!

“It really gives you peace of mind knowing what you’re putting on your body,” she says.

Lee says there is a list of ingredients and additives you should avoid in beauty products.

“Look on the labels and at the ingredients for things like PEGS or PPGS, Petrochemical, Synthetic alcohols, artificial fragrances, synthetic colours and preservatives, paraben-based preservatives, silicon oils and Triethanolamine – which can cause skin irritations, dermatitis and dry spots,” she says.

“You just have to find what works best for you, based on what skin type you have. Ask yourself; do you have sensitive skin, oily skin, are you prone to rashes things like that and go from there.”

Here are some of Lee’s natural beauty tips for summer:

  • Buy a natural sunscreen, SPF 30 with natural oils and a lightweight moisturiser in it. It’s not greasy or as thick as some of the others.
  • Avoid heavy foundation as it blocks the pores and it can get very oily on the skin.
  • Put rosehip oil on your face before you apply your foundation, it will keep your face hydrated throughout the day.
  • Always shower after swimming in salt water and then apply moisturiser, so your skin doesn’t dry out.
  • Use natural face wipes with natural oils or aloe vera. They are really easy to pop in your bag too.
  • If you have sensitive skin, always test the product out on your arm first.

Do you pay attention to what’s in the beauty products you use? Let us know in the comments below!