The pretty ugly truth; my alternative beauty regimen


As part of my role as a nutritionist, it would be rude for me not to account for what you are eating via your skin. 

What beauty products you're using matters

Your skin absorbs roughly 60%-90% of what you’re putting on it, and this doesn’t even account for what you’re breathing in. All those 10 or more years ago, I figured that if I am going to be concerned with what is going in my mouth, then I should really consider what I was lathering on my body and breathing in. So this is why I have included my personal alternative regimen below that I have been following for YEARS because they work. I get it, you’re hooked on what works, and our outer appearance is important to each and every one of us so it can be scary to deviate from our staples. But, let’s think beyond what’s going on on the outside, let’s dig deep into the inside of YOU and what’s in those cleverly marketed bottles. We know it’s absorbed. Many medications (such as hormones) and natural medicine is applied to the skin for it to be effective, and it works. The ingredients are absorbed and enter your bloodstream at varying rates and then do its job, or, create toxicity. 

I am not here to tell you all the ins and outs of how the countless chemicals in skincare affect you, I am here to give you alternatives, however, to give you a snippet of why you want to think twice, here is why. Some ingredients used in 80% of our skincare has been shown to be carcinogenic, hormone disrupting, damaging to our DNA, and simply cause inflammation that can lead to various symptoms in the body which may reflect differently in each person. 

Here is ONE example - Phthalates. Phthalates are a group of many chemicals that are found in more than 70% of personal care products, and have been linked to serious hormonal issues, altered development of genitals, low sperm count (a cause of infertility), some cancers and much more.

TAKE NOTE: It is what is going on inside you that contributes to your external appearance most. You can lather yourself in all the potions and take all the pills, but what you’re eating, any underlying gut issues, nutrient deficiencies, stress and more is THE most important part of your beauty regimen. I wrote about skin health HERE in a previous blog post, have written about hair health HERE

Some cosmetic ingredients to be mindful of:

The MUST avoid chemicals due to known side-effects:

  • Parabens 

  • Phthalates 

  • Lead 

  • Formaldehyde 

  • Aluminium 

  • Triclosan

  • Propylene Glycol

The BEST AVOIDED chemicals:

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (otherwise known as Laureth)

  • Amines

  • Petrolatum Products (Mineral Oils, Petroleum Jelly)

  • Diethanolamine (DEA) & Tiethanolamine (TEA)

  • Isopropyl Alcohol

  • AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids)

  • Preservatives

  • Ingredients derived from wheat (it often states this in the ingredients list)

  • Artificial Colours

  • Imadazolidinyl Urea

  • PEGs (Polyethylene Glycol) 

  • And much more… 

The safety of these chemicals is not well regulated, and although many are shown to be unsafe, they continue to be used in abundance in the beauty world. Today - lead is found in most lipsticks, phthalates are found in many deodorants, perfumes, hair and skincare, formaldehyde is found in hair treatments, soap and nail polish. The list goes on. So, lets play it safe rather than be sorry.

It’s a process, this change won’t happen overnight.

But the thing is… Nature works best. It has everything in it’s package to increase your inner and outer beauty.

My personal staples

Below are direct links to all of my favourites that make up my regimen that remains the same for years and years now after much trial and error - my favourites!



Pure jojoba oil - you can find the brands I use find it HERE or HERE. This has the same pH as your skin, so if you’re too oily or too dry, it can assist in balancing this. I remove my makeup with this also, and will just keep the oil on my skin from the removal of the makeup. 

Essential oils - I choose organic essential oils that you can find HERE by Twenty8 which I occasionally apply one or a combination of all three essential oils including lavender, frankincense or clary sage. Each have their own incredible benefits for your skin, such as being incredibly anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants.

Facial scrub - I use and absolutely love THIS scrub by Mukti just a couple of times a week, and now and then I will treat myself to THIS cleanser also by Mukti or this cleanser by Twenty8

Rosehip oil - only very occasionally will I use this, but it is deeply nourishing for dry skin, so I will apply this around my eyes. 

Cheeky addition - If I find my skin needs more support, I have a jar of Healing Skin Boost by Twenty8 which I also have had on hand for many years now. It not only smells divine, though is a blend of incredibly healing ingredients. I have also used this on Malakai for mild skin rashes. 



I have tried countless (seriously… far too many) natural shampoos and conditioners on the market, and I cannot recommend this company enough. They work. I found other products would be too heavy on my hair, or leave my hair feeling disgustingly dry or oily. Did I mention  they work? Just, trust me! Out of their range, my personal favourite is their Moisture shampoo and conditioner, with an orange label you can find here, and occasionally I will use their Berry Blonde range to brighten things up and prevent any yellowing. My hair can be oily at the roots and dry at the ends, and these work perfectly, although I am yet to try out their new bundle that is specific to oily roots and dry ends - surely nothing can beat what I am already doing but I am excited to try something even better! They have many other types to suit you personally, and if you need help deciding simply contact them and I am sure they will be able to assist you! They use only natural ingredients, and a bonus (for me) is that they are local, and I mean the 15 minutes down the road kind of local. 

What’s even better, is that they are ridiculously environmentally friendly PLUS you can save a penny because of this. You can get your bottles refilled and receive a discount. A win-win thank you very much. 

COMING SOON in the next couple of days, for 24 hours, you will be able to get 20% off by using the code SHERIDANJOY20 to allow you to try them for yourself, and please... let me know if you love them too! Stay tuned via my Instagram and I will also update you here!

For internal hair love, see this blog post on ‘How to eat your way to better hair’ because this is just as (if not more) important than the external love you give it. 



I trust this brand as it uses mostly organic ingredients, and I know there are no nasties. For me, the two staples from their range include their concealer and incredible primer which I honestly love. I understand the primer is a little exy, though I only use a little and not every day, so it lasts me forever!

Byron Bay Minerals 

I love their powder that you can find HERE. I am lazy when it comes to makeup, so having a powder that I can dust all over my face in a hurry is perfect for me - I am certainly on the contouring type!


Once again, a huge trial and error, and THIS mascara by Lily Lolo has been my favourite of them all for years. It doesn’t run or smudge, which is a huge issue when it comes to natural or even unnatural mascaras. I love the water, and still find this one does not run like others even though it is isn’t labelled as waterproof! 


Schmidt's Charcoal + Magnesium Mineral-Enriched Deodorant - it’s absolutely fabulous. I know that there are a few different natural brands out there, but this one seems to be our favourite as it really truly WORKS! 



You guessed it, essential oils. I LOVE Twenty8 for this, and I change things up depending on my mood or what I am doing. However, long time favourites include Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang and their blend Romance and Intimacy

I also love the Vanessa Megan blends, they are heaven in you feel like treating yourself. I wore one of their blends on my wedding day! 

Body moisturiser

To be honest, it is whatever oil I have access to at the time such as olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and when I feel like smelling like superwoman and have extra smooth and silky legs, I love the Twenty8 Body Moisturiser

I would love to know if you try anything of the above, but also, let me know of any other natural brands or potions that you have found work wonders for you!

With oh so much love,

Sheridan Austin

Nutritionist and GAPS Practitioner


Sheridan Williamson