17 Jul My Natural Skincare Regimen
Why I care about natural skincare
I am kind of a psycho when it comes to my skin, and I think that is an understatement. It has always been my biggest insecurity, and this is really the first time I’ve ever really admitted that out loud – well, I guess in writing.
For a lot of women the best part of their day is taking off their bra after work, working out, or having a cup of coffee in the morning. The best part of my day is getting home from work and taking off my makeup.
I like clean things. Clean sheets, clean towels, clean feet in my clean sheets and a clean face on my clean pillows. I doubt I’m the only one here, but I definitely take it to an extreme. I won’t nap with makeup on, I won’t workout with makeup on; if I’m sweating wearing makeup I just imagine that it’s going to result in clogged pores. Okay I definitely sound like a psycho…
I am also pretty crazy (most of the time) when it comes to what I eat. I’ll go for In N Out on a “treat yo’self” kind of day, which obviously isn’t organic, but I will never go to the grocery store and buy chicken, steak, milk, yogurt and so much more unless it’s organic. I’ll definitely turn a blind eye when eating out sometimes because so few places offer all organic options, but I make a point when I do my grocery shopping to buy almost exclusively organic, especially when it comes to meat and dairy.
I talk a lot about skincare in my daily life and get a lot of questions about what products I use, so I wanted to share more about what I love and things you should be aware of. That doesn’t mean this is the end all be all of what you should and shouldn’t put on your skin, but it’s what works for me.
Let’s talk toxic ingredients
Newsflash: the FDA is terrible when it comes to telling you what is in the skincare products you’re using. There’s very little regulation when it comes to what you’re putting on your skin, yet those products are absorbed directly into your body.
Parebens, for one, which are proven to increase the risk of breast cancer, are found in face washes, body washes, deodorants… the list goes on. If you’re not using something clearly labeled paraben free, then most likely it’s because it actually does contain parabens. So, why are they even in cosmetic products? They are preservatives that hinder the growth of mold and bacteria. With that said, the risk here is NOT worth the reward.
Formaldehyde. Yes, as in the preservative that smells vile and the frogs you dissected in high school floated in. Pretty disgusting, yet actually included in MANY skincare products. It’s also linked to cancer.
Fragrance is another chemical that makes products more appealing, but is a toxic additive to skincare products that has been associated with allergies, dermatitis, and respiratory distress. If you are using a natural product that is fragrance-free, or the scent comes from a natural ingredient, then you’re good to go. Otherwise, it’s probably synthetic and no bueno.
The list goes on when it comes to toxic additives and carcinogens. Ultimately, make sure you’re reading labels. Just like food labels, if an ingredient list is never-ending and sounds like something you would find in a science lab, you probably shouldn’t be putting it on your skin or inside your body.
Natural skincare: it really works
I can’t tell you how much natural skincare has helped my skin. I use a cleanser, toner, scrub, mask, and a variety of serums and moisturizers. They’re all natural and they are THE BEST. If my skin is feeling dry, I’ll load up on the moisturizers or use coconut oil for a mask, but if I’m feeling oily or breaking out, I’ll use a mask and serum and go light on the moisturizers. I like knowing that what I’m putting on my skin is good for my health and good for the environment.
Here’s what I use:
- Cleanser: Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Wash – it smells like coconut (without added fragrance) and contains coconut water, antioxidants, and sea algae. It takes off your makeup and makes your skin feel super clean without the drying and tightness. Plus, it’s only $10 a bottle and you can get it at Sprouts, Target and Ulta! I also recently blasted through a whole container of Organic Doctor’s Tea Tree face wash, which was amazing.
- Scrub: I discovered about a month ago the Alba Even Advanced Sea Algae Enzyme Scrub and I’m hooked. I go gentle when I use a scrub because with any scrub you can do some serious damage and cause tiny cuts if you rub too hard. I use this about every other day! (I get it at Sprouts)
- Toner: Depending on how my skin is feeling I use one of two Andalou Naturals toners daily: the Clementine + C Illuminating Toner or the Blossom + Leaf Toning Refresher. I find that the Illuminating Toner is gentler and I can use every day, while the Toning Refresher is better for when I’m feeling oily and breakout-prone since it tends to dry me up a little more. Another option for more breakout-prone skin (typically more in summer) if Alba’s Hawaiian Facial Toner in Hibiscus – smells amazing and soothes your skin. (I get them all at Sprouts)
- Serum: I just tried a few from Born Skincare, Biossance, and Organic Doctor that I am reallyyy liking – otherwise I stick to Andalou’s Vitamin C Serum.
- Mask: I love the Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask by Derma E . It’s a grey-blue color so you can really see when it dries out and turns a lighter shade of gray when it’s ready to wash off. I feel like it really helps when you’re feeling like you need to clear the gunk out from your pores. I usually use this once or twice a week, depending on how my skin is acting, but the bottle lasts a surprisingly long time despite its size! It’s also vegan, non-GMO, and cruelty-free. I’ve also tried Alba’s Papaya Enzyme Mask, which was a little more intense (think mild stinging) and more of a bi-weekly use, but I love it! (I get both at Sprouts)
- Coconut oil: I use Nutiva’s Virgin Coconut Oil. I am such an advocate of coconut oil. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and moisturizing. Sure, you’ll look like a little slimy, but it works! Plus, it smells great. Win-win. I use it as a mask and let it sit for an hour or just sleep with it overnight in the winter when I’m feeling more dry. It WILL NOT make you break out, I promise! Also, big tip is to use this as an eye makeup remover. Put a little bit into your fingers and rub your closed eyes, then wipe away with a cotton pad – works like magic. (I get it online from Thrive)
- Sunscreen: I use Alba’s Hawaiian Sunscreen and Raw Elements’ tinted face sunscreen. Raw Elements’ is totally natural and eco-friendly/reef safe.
- Moisturizer: For a daily moisturizer pre-makeup I use Andalou Naturals’ Acai + Kombucha (you had me at kombucha) Oil-Free Moisturizer. If I’m feeling a little more dry I just discovered Pacifica’s Cactus & Kale Oil-free Renewal Lotion (bought it for the bottle, let’s be honest, but actually love it), which is a little thicker and has rose extract too, which is soothing. I also love Alba’s Aloe & Green Tea Moisturizer (a little heavier) for winter. For all-over body moisturizer I’m really into Andalou Naturals’ Passion Fruit Body Butter. (Again, Sprouts for all three)
- Wash my face with Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Wash
- Spray with toner and sometimes top with a serum or oil
- Apply face sunscreen (the Raw Elements one below is tinted)
- Use a few pumps of moisturizer
- Apply makeup
- Wash my face with Pacifica Sea Foam Complete Wash (always) to remove face makeup
- Use coconut oil to remove eye makeup – TRUST me this works so well and is great for sensitive skin
- Scrub every other night (ish)
- If I’m feeling oily or breaking out I’ll do a mask
- Spray with toner and sometimes top with a serum or oil
- If I’m feeling dry I’ll add a moisturizer on top of the toner/serum
Skincare pre- and post-workout class
Like I mentioned before, working out with makeup on is not happening for me. Ideally, I workout with a fresh face and zero makeup. If I’m heading right from work to catch a 6 p.m. class then I’ll pack my bag with my workout clothes and some makeup wipes.
If you get your makeup wipes at Target, you can opt out from the Neutrogena or Clearasil makeup wipes and snag a natural one. I use Alba’s 3-in-1 Clean Towelettes – they smell amazing and get the job done, plus they’re hypo-allergenic, pH balanced, alcohol free, and contain aloe and awapuhi. You can find these and makeup wipes from Pacifica (I use both) that are natural and non-toxic at Sprouts, Whole Foods, Target, Ulta and online.
Post-workout I do the same thing. If I’m driving home or need to run a quick errand I’ll wipe off the sweat with a towelette. As soon as I get home I either hop in the shower or rinse my face with a face wash to make sure that everything I just sweat out doesn’t sit on the surface and clog my pores.
I’m planning on doing another post about what makeup I use. I typically go light on the makeup unless I’m going out at night, but I’ll dive into all the products I use soon! I’ll admit my natural makeup game is certainly not as strong as my skincare game. If you have any preliminary recommendations, let me know!
Take the plunge!
If you’re afraid to take the plunge and go organic or natural for you skincare because you think the chemicals in what you’re using are keeping your face clear – DON’T BE. I’ve been there and thought the same thing, but truly using products with toxic ingredients is bad for your health and has negative long-term effects.
If you have any recommendations for skincare products I should check out please let me know in the comments! I’m like a kid in a candy store when I’m in the skincare section of Sprouts/Whole Foods, so I get prettyyy excited to check out new things. Also in serious need of a natural deodorant recommendation – I’ve tried a few and they didn’t work very well!
*These are products I really love and use. As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own!