When it comes to beauty, Allure Magazine has the golden touch. Every beauty brand on Earth covets a spot on Allure’s yearly Best of Beauty Awards and the list is instantly shopped by product fiends across the globe. With the artful care normally reserved for A-list actresses and couture designers, Allure features beauty on another level, covering the looks and products we’re obsessed with in a way that has turned beauty shopping into a precision sport.

When it comes to the topic of natural beauty here on The Chalkboard, we love to bring you perspectives from every angle. We’ve shared beauty insights from Bobbi Brown and her health-coaching sister, traditional wisdom from organic herbalists, skin-friendly diets from nutritionists, and guidance from more green goddesses than we can count. When we met Kelly Atterton, Allure’s West Coast Editor, we knew she was someone our readers needed to hear from.

Kelly has seen everything under the sun when it comes to beauty products and trends – including the massive shift toward safer skincare and non-toxic formulations across the board. We could gab with Kelly for hours on our latest favorite skin oils and beauty tools and we knew Kelly’s unique and expert look at the beauty market was something our readers would love to hear. Recently, we met up with Kelly for a little one-on-one beauty shopping at an LA spot we both love, The Detox Market, and chatted about everything going on in the world of natural beauty. Here’s Kelly…

The Chalkboard Mag: How have you seen the market share of natural products change over the years?
Kelly Atterton: According to market research published by Transparency Market Research, the market share of organic personal-care products was around $7.6 billion in 2012 and is expected to grow to around $13.2 billion by 2018. Beauty trends often correspond to food trends and that’s some of what we’re seeing with the increased demand for natural products. People have developed a greater awareness about the importance of knowing the ingredients in the products they use and consume.

TCM: Detoxing your product regimen can be overwhelming. Any rules you go by?
KA: There isn’t a set way to go about making these types of changes in your life. Some people approach it full on and just toss out virtually every product they own and start over again. For me, I took a milder approach. I started with clearing out everything in my house that contained parabens. I couldn’t believe how many products my family and I were using on a daily basis that contained parabens – it was shocking! What I noticed during this process is that companies that are conscious about the toxicity of their products tend to keep more than one disturbing ingredient out of their formulas. So out with the parabens, really meant out with a lot of other junk as well. A wonderful company called The Beauty Counter has created “The Never List” – it’s a great tool to help educate you about harmful chemicals often found in beauty products.

TCM: How have you seen the big brands change with these trends?
KA: Big brands are definitely aware that the modern consumer is much better educated regarding ingredients that have taken a beating. You can see the effort being made to eliminate parabens, sulfates and phthalates from top brands. The most current ingredient debate has been over the use of microbeads (the tiny plastic beads often found facial scrubs, shampoo, and toothpaste, and listed the ingredients as polyethylene or polypropylene) and their harmful effect on the environment. Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, and Colgate-Palmolive have all made commitments to start phasing microbeads out of their products. Something to remember is that the bigger the brand, the more money they have for product development and research. This means that while they are often vilified by hardcore naturalists, they are actually the ones innovating the way toward safer, more effective products. Let’s face it, if you are looking for serious anti-aging results there are a few super-ingredients that certainly aren’t deemed ‘all natural,’ but you can make wiser decisions by becoming more and more educated about the products you are using. Ask questions at the beauty counter and, by all means, use the Internet to research any concerns you may have.

TCM: Who are your top favorite natural brands? 
KA: When it comes to anti-aging products, I can’t say I use only completely all natural – we all have to pick our battles. I still try to avoid certain ingredients, but when looking for best results some of the most potent substances (like tretinoin, the active ingredient in Retin-A) can’t be found in nature. Some of my favorite natural brands include: Restorsea, Skin Owl, MV, Liz Earl, Earth tu Face, Odacite, Weleda,The Organic Pharmacy, Josie Maran, Ilia and RMS Beauty.

TCM: Any ingredients you specifically avoid? 
KA: I try to avoid parabens, mineral oils (any petroleum by-product), sulfates, and phthalates. I’m not always perfect, but I try my best to keep these things off me and my family.

TCM: Always on your vanity:
KA: My life would not be complete without the following:
Restorsea – I am in love with the whole system: the face wash, serum, eye cream, and face cream. It’s been a revelation for my skin texture!
Odacite – An Autumn on the World face serum contains a whopping 15% of the highest quality vitamin C. My skin G.L.O.W.S. from this product!
Weleda Skin Food – This is my go-to product. It seems to cure any skin issue from rashes to minor irritations. It’s also great under the eyes, I use it to keep any makeup from settling. It makes the skin soft and dewey. It also smells heavenly!
Skin Owl Body Oil – A wonderful blend of neem, apricot, safflower and sweet almond oils. It’s also got jojoba, aloe and vitamin E. It smells fantastic and my skin just drinks it up. It absorbs very quickly, so you don’t feel all greasy when you get dressed.
Earth tu Face – Their Skin Stick is awesome. You use it on any part of your body that needs hydration. I use it on my lips, nails, hands, and on and on…
Shiva Rose’s Rose Face Oil – This is a treat for my face! It is the most wonderful rose essential oil infused with loads of other hydrating ingredients. It’s like face medicine – hydrating and also anti-inflammatory.
Josie Maran – Jive Lip Stain is a sexy coral color that drives my husband crazy!
IliaPolkadots and Moonbeams highlighter is the perfect way to play with how the light reflects on your face.

TCM: Who are the top natural beauty spas and practitioners you love to visit in LA?
KA: Facials at The Organic Pharmacy. A day of beauty at Alchemie Spa in Venice. The Margot mani/pedi using Odacite products at Olive & June. Every service at the Polishbar.

TCM: Best nontoxic beauty trick you’ve ever learned at Allure:
KA: One, have your hair colorist brush coconut oil through your hair before coloring. It will help minimize the damage. Two, face oils should not be feared, they are your friend and will help you through the rough times.

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