Beauty and health have been bound up together for millennia, since beauty is part of health in all kinds of medicine: Ayurvedic, Chinese, Hippocratic, etc.. In the West, this idea has long been sidelined by beauty product brands, who instead aimed to advocate only external beauty, achieved through artifice. These days this standpoint is changing, particularly thanks to naturopathy.
External beauty also predominated for a long time because complementary medicine was frowned upon, or even decried (it’s still partly the case in France, unlike in most other European countries). It was difficult for naturopathy to fit in among these types of complementary medicine as recently as 20 years ago. But over the past decade it has all changed, thanks to the arrival of millennials, social media, the increase in awareness and, of course, the results yielded. Women have fully understood that beauty is not only skin deep, and involves diet, exercise, quality sleep and self-care. So naturopathy is enjoying a real comeback, and there is an ever-increasing number of courses to train as a naturopath on offer. They are even available via French national employment agency Pôle Emploi, and there is no shortage of applicants.
The link between beauty and health has existed since Antiquity
For the Greek physicians of the time, who would be consulted to get beauty prescriptions, beauty equalled health! When examining the patient, if they had a flush of healthy colour and a glowing complexion, it meant that they were healthy on the inside. Doctors also treated patients to restore natural, healthy beauty. In its original state, true beauty is natural beauty. Without artifice, without make-up. For the Greeks, this was to remain an ideal of beauty for a very long time.
In our times, the skin still reflects a person’s state of physical and mental health, and multidisciplinary approaches have been developed to treat organic disorders. This trend towards joined-up treatments, led by the American integrative wellbeing movement, is echoed in naturopathy with treatment plans tailored to suit anyone, based on natural products, specific rituals and health-promoting physical movement (breathing, sensory gymnastics, walking, etc.).
What is naturopathy?
According to the World Health Organisation: “Naturopathy is a set of treatment methods aiming to strengthen the body’s defences by means that are considered natural and biological”. They encompass a healthy balanced diet; sufficient sleep and rest; pleasurable physical activity (preferably practised in the open air for oxygenation and to take in “prana”); the use of plants, not least adaptogenic ones; well-tolerated essential oils; homeopathy; relaxation and body-mind harmonisation practices; massages; spa treatments, etc., and, of course, natural beauty products.
In other words, naturopathy offers natural body revitalisation methods, to foster an optimal gut microbiome (intestinal flora) and counter stress.
Beauty and naturopathy: the equation of all things clean?
By clean, more than anything else we mean the healthy, revitalising, radiant side of health and beauty. Far removed from obsessions and dogma, the aim is to be free, to eat and take care of oneself in a simple and most importantly enjoyable way.
The link between diet and health has also been forged since Antiquity: “Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” said Hippocrates, the Greek physician of the 5th century BC. Naturopaths advise eating a living (but not raw-food) diet, with – and this is important – an unfettered and reconciled relationship with food. Its direct effect on the skin’s glow and state of health can be observed within a short time, as can that on general vitality levels.
In recent years, young beauty product brands in the clean and natural segment have been dispensing an increasing amount of advice on the healthy living lifestyle to their communities. Collaborations between brands and experts are all over Instagram. For example Anne-Sophie Nardy, founder of beauty product brand On The Wild Side, has co-authored a recipe book based on wild plants with Jennifer Hart-Smith, a naturopath and pastry chef (she’s the one behind Tookies, the health-conscious bakery). She has also made a series of videos with Angèle Ferreux-Maeght, the star naturopath at La Ginguette d’Angèle, and regularly invites yoga instructors, facialists, etc. to come and speak in her live sessions. Even naturopaths are setting up their own beauty product brands to link the inner with the outer, like Ma Thérapie set up by Céline Julien and Jalon Rituels set up by Victoire Eggermont.
Naturopathy, which has put diet front and centre in beauty, has without a doubt inspired other new brands like Oden with a range of plant-based oils or Freedge Beauty which produces super-fresh beauty products not unlike freshly-squeezed juices. The list is growing ever longer!
In conclusion, the holistic vision of beauty, which has been in evidence for 25 years in the USA, Asia and some European countries, is now really taking off in France. This clean beauty related to naturopathy makes it possible to take an overall body-mind approach to the self, one which is gentler and more respectful. It makes it possible to connect with your naturalness and divine essence.