5 Natural Alternatives to Popular Beauty Treatments

Beauty and fashion images have become more inclusive in recent years, encouraging us to embrace our individuality and natural beauty. This summer, let’s skip the rainbow hair and metallic faux freckles in favor of keeping it au naturel with these suggestions.

Instead of Lash Extensions…

Skip the dramatic spider leg eyelash extensions. They require regular maintenance and do real damage to your eyelashes, so it becomes an expensive cycle that’s hard to break. Instead, nourish your real eyelashes with a conditioning serum like RevitaLash or Skin Research Laboratories neuLASH Eye Lash Enhancing Serum and then get a lash lift and/or tint to give them a permanent curl. The results from a lash lift last for about a month, and the perm only takes about 45 minutes as opposed to nearly two hours for a full set of extensions. It’s also a more wallet-friendly solution, although you might still need a swipe of mascara for that big night out. Choose your lash lift studio wisely — if it’s not done well, the effect can be more crimped than curled. In Chicago, Exhale Spa does a nice job.


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Instead of Highlights… 

Don’t destroy your hair too much this season with bleaching and color. Instead, nourish your hair with TIGI’s SOS Extreme Recovery Treatment. Made entirely with plant-based protein, this salon-only treatment will strengthen and moisturize your hair while helping to prevent future damage and breakage. “Think of this like feeding your hair,” says Fuga Salon & Spa owner Antonio Favaro. “This is good for everybody. Thin, thick, straight, or curly.” You’ll see an immediate improvement in hair texture and Favaro recommends coming in for a treatment every four weeks or as needed, depending on the extent of damage your hair is regularly subject to. It’s an ideal pre-vacation treatment when you know you’ll be out in the sun by the beach, pool, and ocean. 

Natural Alternatives to Popular Beauty Treatments
Photo by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash.

Instead of Botox and Fillers…

While it might not yield instantaneous results, a consistent series of HydraFacial treatments can be just as beneficial at diminishing wrinkles and restoring a youthful radiance to your skin in a more natural fashion. The exfoliation and resurfacing peel are gentle enough for all skin types, extracting impurities while infusing the skin with booster serums tailored to your skincare concerns. For example, the growth factor serum minimizes fine lines while dermabuilder recharges skin with a patented combination of peptides. NoMI Spa at Park Hyatt Chicago does an excellent job with the HydraFacial, as does Erickson Dermatology. In Napa Valley, the new Senses by JCB boutique spa in Yountville offers the HydraFacial too.

“HydraFacial is a relaxing treatment that can be completed in as little as 30 minutes and results in dramatically improved skin hydration and plumping of fine lines while firming and toning skin,” explains esthetician Ashley Amaral. “All of our clients at Senses by JCB medi-spa have seen incredible and immediately visible results, proving that you don’t have to inject your face with harsh chemicals to get rid of lines and improve aging skin.”


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Instead of Butt Implants or Liposuction…

A good workout is never easy, but Pilates is a low-impact, total body exercise that helps tremendously with muscle tone by working smaller, stabilizing muscles. Pilates + Coffee is a newer boutique studio in Chicago’s Roscoe Village with an inclusive community focused on total wellness. “Through the specificity of Pilates you can teach students to engage the smaller muscles, which lead to a more toned look and gives the body more shape and definition,” co-founder Jacquelyn Brennan says. The machines are so versatile that Brennan and her team of instructors can accommodate for all fitness levels and she says she’d love to see more men trying Pilates. “Other workouts tend to overwork large muscles and are not able to give as much precision in toning our bodies. Whether you come in with the goal of improving your physique or not, it naturally occurs as you build your Pilates practice.”

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Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash.

Instead of Collagen Supplements…

Colorful collagen gummies are all the rage, promising to reduce wrinkles and improve the health and appearance of hair, skin, and nails. However, it’s questionable how readily this processed form of collagen can be absorbed by the body and the added sugars in most gummies make them no more than a glorified candy. Instead, try getting your dose of collagen through whole foods. Bone broth is your best bet unless you’d like to try pig’s feet, fish maw, or bird’s nest like they have enjoyed for centuries in China. If you don’t have time to cook your own bone broth (it’s not that difficult!), Bonafide Provisions has a great organic, frozen variety.

Amber Gibson spends 340 nights a year in hotels searching for the latest and greatest in the travel industry. Her writing and photographs have appeared in print, online, and on the radio for outlets including Four Seasons Magazine, NPR, Saveur, Departures, Rhapsody, Hemispheres, American Way, Private Air, Wine Folly, Plate, Chicago Magazine, Tasting Table, and Serious Eats. She graduated as valedictorian from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and received a fellowship to attend the 2017 Wine Writers Symposium at Meadowood Napa Valley. Champagne, dark chocolate, and gelato are her biggest weaknesses. She also admires and supports CAASE in Chicago. Follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter. 


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