Every now and then you meet someone that changes your life. Unexpectedly. By a joke, a comment or an advice. Saskia did that to me. While she created five (!) chemical free beauty looks on one day, she taught me stuff that has transformed my beauty routine into simple, but effective. Today you’re lucky to learn from her too. ‘Cause guess what: she’s having a chat with model Deborah (remember her interview series?) for Great Body & Skin!

Lees in het Nederlands

Q: It’s been a while since you did my make-up for that campaign. I remember you very well though, you’re gorgeous.
A: Haha, thank you! In my younger days I’ve been modeling too.

Q: Is that as well how you got into beauty?
A: No, I already started playing with makeup in my childhood. It was my way to express my creativity. Later on I got into John Kattenberg’s – founder of House of Orange, Dutch top agency for makeup artists – make-up class. I was his very first student to graduate. There’s even a number one written on my paper, haha.

Q: And after that you started working through the House of Orange? Or did you try out modeling first?
A: Both. I’ve been with the House for ten years. That caused some confusion at the start. I’ve always looked younger. So I’d arrive at a job and clients would ask the model to do my hair instead of the other way around. To avoid awkward situations I decided to go with a model agency too.

Q: Auch, that’s awkward indeed! And doing a good hair job is easier said than done.
A: Clients found out about that too. So later on they would double book me. I’d do the hair and makeup of the models, myself included. That was a bit too much, so I decided to focus just on make-up. I was happier behind the camera’s than in front.

Q: Well decided. How did you get to the decision to work with pure, chemical free makeup only?
A: Before you put makeup on a model’s face, you try it out on your hand. Left hand, in my case. After a while it was fully covered with eczema. Plus I was affected by acne. As a test I stayed away from makeup for two weeks. Suddenly it was all gone!

Q: Shocking! So what did you do? I mean, makeup earned you a living.
A: The cause was clear, but I loved my job. I didn’t just wanna give up on it. It so happened that my husband, who studied medical science, read something about chemicals in makeup and how they affect our health. From that moment we started to collect all information available about synthetic substances. Our skin absorbes sixty percent of what we apply, you know. Almost as if you’d eat it. No wonder we’re getting health issues. So I listed all the good and the bad ingredients, and found out it was basically impossible to get nice chemical free cosmetics in the Netherlands. America was the answer. Over there I could study natural healthcare and detoxing. On my way back I packed myself with loads of beautiful, clean products to work with.

Q: Was this new, natural vision well received?
A: Well, once I got back here I rocked up with my detox juices and salads in tupperware boxes. Still a bit odd back then. So I got laughed at, but people got curious too. Models and Dutch artists were surprised by the light and soft feel of the makeup and wondered: “Where did you get this!?”. After sharing my story a thousand times I decided to write it all out and to make it available through a new website: Heelnatuurlijk.nl. And because I had to bring more and more stuff for others from my America trips, I decided to become the distributor for the Netherlands. That’s how my webshop was born.

Q: No wonder everyone was all ears. I’m guilty too! So for a flawless skin like yours natural makeup is the key?
A: Off duty my advice would be not to wear make-up at all. Give your skin a break to recover! In case you prefer to grease anyway, the cream or foundation you’re using shouldn’t leave the slightest layer. So avoid paraffin and mineral oils like petroleum. They close off your skin like a plastic bag, making her unable to eliminate by-products and hydrate. Oh, and for the models: always make sure the makeup artist uses the brushes just for you. If not, they should be cleaned in between. Like this you won’t risk other ones infirmities.

Q: What is your advice for cleansing rituals?
A: A gentle oil like jojoba or almond is enough. For a deeper cleanse I’d recommend PNS Avocado cleanser. The avocado oil cleanses and treats your skin while the kelp grains gently peel your skin.


avocado cleanser pure nuff stuff

PNS Avocado cleanser. Step 1: Apply a coin size drop Avocado cleanser on a damp pad. Step 2: Close your eye and gently push the pad onto your lashes for five seconds. Step 3: Move the pad to your inner eye corner in one pull. Step 4: Repeat on the other eye. Step 5: Clean your face by giving it a circulating massage with a new pad. Image credit: Saskia van der Molen

Q: Natural makeup, check. Basic cleansing, check. Is there anything food can add?
A: Absolutely. Main thing is to eat like nature meant us to. Veggies, fruits and seeds are up for grabs. You can have them unlimited. Green veggies protect your skin from the inside out, so you won’t burn as quick and get more tanned in summer. They also help your skin to renew cells, just like yellow veggies (pumpkin, parsnip and sweet potato) will do. Renewing cells is required for a young looking, flawless skin. Milk is for calves, trees don’t grow oil, and cracking nuts takes ages. After nine or ten of them you’d probably be tired of it. Good, cause too much fats – yes, both good and bad ones – will cause pimples. Furthermore, the rule to stay away from chemicals and other non-existing-ingredients-in-nature goes for food as well.

Q: Allright, mindful eating it is. But what if you’re affected by acne and you feel the need to go see a dermatologist?
A: Acne is a way of flushing out by-products. That usually goes via eliminatory organs like the bowel, kidneys and the liver. But in case of constipation or overburden (think: too much alcohol), your body will look for another escape: the skin! Dermatologists usually prescribe antibiotics. What they really do is pushing the acne back into your system. Once you’re healed, there are two options. A) Your skin flushes it all out again, or B) the by-products will look for a different stock point. Most likely that will be your fatty tissue. In worst case scenario that will give rise to a tumor. Breast cancer for example…

Q: So by-products are slightly comparable to being gassy? You gotta let out the fart, or the air will store elsewhere.
A: Haha, exactly! Prevention is better than cure. I happened to write about that on my blog short time ago. 

Q: Thank you so much, Saskia. For the time being we’ve got enough food for thought. To close off: any practical tip?
A: Hmm… according to skin care: less is more. Manufacturers are happy to have you believe in multiple action plans. First a cleansing milk, followed up by a toner. Preferrably twice a day. Same goes for hydration: primer, eye cream, lip balm. Really, all you need to do is remove makeup or dirt, and hydrate in case of dry or dehydrated skin. And the cream you use for that, is just a cream. It should be ok for any skin part. We therefore sell multi-purpose products that you can use as lotion, conditioner, cleansing milk, hand cream and aftersun. Easy, just buy the products you really need!

Saskia van der Molen her make-up chair has been seated by dozens of models, celebrities like Lady Gaga and many Dutch artists. Yet her equipment is a bit different from the usual. All of her make-up is free from chemicals! And for those who’d fancy, she sells her products through her health platform Heelnatuurlijk.nl, where she also posts about natural health.

Deborah Schoutema

About Author

Dutch fashion model Deborah Schoutema is signed at a-list modeling agencies, with Ulla Models as her mother agency. She has a Bachelor degree in Journalism. In her free time, she likes to run the green track, do hot pilates and test vegan restaurants. Image credit: Ellen van Bennekom

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