When we eat, meals comprising fewer ingredients are often healthier. The same goes for beauty products. The longer the ingredient list—and the longer the names of the ingredients on said list—the more likely you're exposing yourself to things your skin could do without. While many of our favorite natural beauty go-tos boast just a handful of ingredients, it's possible to find hardworking products formulated from one single ingredient.
These pure power players don't need additives to survive on shelves or work effectively toward your beauty goals. Sometimes single-ingredient beauty products can be some of the most potent remedies. Many single-ingredient products are cold-pressed rather than chemically extracted, meaning their nutritional value and potency are retained. Because they're as natural as it gets, they oftentimes can multitask, serving up nutrients to skin, hair, nails, and beyond.
Furthermore, these products are free of potential irritants like essential oils and fragrance. Plus you don't have to worry about things like parabens and phthalates because you're getting a pure natural product. Here are some of our favorite products that come with an ingredient list of one.
Probably one of the most popular single-ingredient beauty products of the moment, Drunk Elephant's marula oil is a skin savior, combating everything from dryness to uneven skin tone to signs of aging. The oil is sourced from the pip of the marula fruit and is virtually untouched by any chemical or fragrance to remain in its purest form, as it was intended and as it's been used by African women.
We're all familiar with the multiple benefits of castor oil for the hair, scalp, skin, lashes, and brows. Briogeo's is 100% organic and cold-pressed to preserve nutrients originally present in the seed after harvest, retaining the oil's rich levels of vitamin E and omega fatty acids.
Argan oil is another popular single-ingredient beauty product. It absorbs into the skin to moisturize while smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and can even be used on the hair or nails. Josie Maran's pure argan oil is 100% eco-certified organic and free of any fillers, synthetics or fragrance and is cold-pressed and never heated to ensure the highest-grade oil.
Squalane is a lesser-known natural hydrator that's a part of our skin's own natural moisture and is also found in plants (and shark liver). Just a few drops of this plant-derived squalane helps to prevent the ongoing loss of hydration through the day, due to its very high emollience.
Pure rosehip oil and rosa mosqueta sources from the Andes mountain range. Because of the altitude and how it's extracted, the formula boasts high levels of nourishing Omegas 3, 6, and 9 to rejuvenate skin by improving texture and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
One of the most prominent oils from Africa, baobab oil is also rich nutrients like Omegas 3, 6, and 9. It can be applied to the hair to repair damage and support elasticity by nourishing the hair follicles, scalp, and skin. Pump a little into your favorite facial moisturizer or body lotion for an added dose of hydration.
Dubbed the African version of coconut oil, nilotica is a pure, nut-based oil that's a rare type of shea butter and boasts 25% more oleic acid, nourishing skin without stripping it of its natural oils. The traditional formula is cold-pressed oil derived from nilotica nuts harvested from 20-year-old trees that line the Nile River in Uganda. LXMI founder Lelia Janah has previously explained to Byrdie that the brand's nilotica "has a special extraction process which yields the best unique creamy texture and maintains nutrients." This iteration comes in a tube, making on-the-go application even easier.
This multitasking single-ingredient powerhouse removes makeup and moisturizes. RMS harvests its coconut oil using a modern processing technique that makes it superior to store-bought coconut oil. You can apply it directly to nourish skin, hair, and lashes, soothe sunburns, or as a bath oil.
It turns out that this kitchen staple, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, makes for a worthwhile addition to your skincare routine. Formulated from handpicked, 100% certified organic olive, this clean oil from DHC supports your skin's natural moisture barrier without clogging pores or irritating skin.
When you need a spot treatment for your most troubled areas, shea butter is the natural solution. You can apply this all-natural certified organic shea butter to elbows, lips, cuticles, feet, or hair to fight dryness and nourish from head to toe.
Oftentimes the tools and products we use to apply our skincare get left out of the equation when we consider natural approaches to beauty. Koh Gen Do has us covered with these medical-grade cotton pads that haven't been chemically treated, bleached, or pigmented. The cotton was grown without the use of chemical fertilizer or pesticides so you can feel good about using it on your face to remove makeup or apply skincare products.
Here's the beginner's guide to natural and organic beauty brands.