It's been a long time comin' but I am here talking in depth about SKINCARE. I have been on a journey with beauty products the past few years, and slowing accumulating only "clean" products. I am realizing that it's all the harmful chemicals in typical skincare that affects your skin! Do not be fooled by the expensive price tag, and assume it's going to heal your skin... look at the ingredients and research what is in it!
BUT WHAT IS CLEAN SKINCARE?
minimally processed products without harmful additives that can cause inflammation and speed the aging process of your skin (source).
I am not an esthetician or a professional by any means on this topic. I've just experienced really bad situations with skincare and have found the solution that works for me! So here we go, yeah!!
Now, sometimes I go overboard with all of these (lol) and the process can take what feels like an hour. I am not saying you have to do ALL of this, so I have highlighted the steps that are critical to a consistent routine. The main thing to remember is applying first, the lightest ingredients, and working your way up to the heaviest (i.e. serums before oils). Also do a couple masks throughout the week to really detoxify.
First up, WASH YOUR HANDS. You do not want to be using dirty hands to wash your face, so wash them. I use this little wooden scrubby block from The Foundry Home Goods to get under my nails. Ps that shop has SO many other little home goods (i.e. the ceramic dish that brush is sitting in).
I have always used the typical Neutrogena/Target brand remover. I'd dab it on a cotton ball, and carefully remove my mascara while not pulling at my lashes, or scrubbing under my eyes (that skin is so thin and sensitive so it's very important to not agitate it). I am honestly still working my way through the bottle, because I don't want to be wasteful (very key when switching to clean ingredients...finish what you have and add the new bit by bit). BUT when I am done with that I will use this RESET remover by Plant. I love their products.- all organic and clean. Plus this stuff doesn't leave any oily residue. OPTION #2: I have been using Whyld's Facewash as a first cleanse + makeup remover. I takes 95% of your eye makeup off, so I just do a simple clean sweep with a cotton ball & remover after.
I grew up using Mary Kay products... and for about 6 years, I used just that- a cleanser, a little witch hazel, and then the Mary Kay moisturizer. Until I entered college, and had hysteria explode on my face- eczema, acne, you name it, it was upon my innocent freshman skin, unaware of my critical skincare needs. So the doctor prescribed CeraVe cleanser and moisturizer. You can pick it up from Target, is affordable and is the best option for simple skincare (i.e. contains hyaluronic acid, is aluminum-free, noncomedogenic, Dermatologist Developed, no fragrance added, phthalate-free, dye-free). It definitely worked to completely heal my skin at that time, but it eventually got a little too drying after 4 years of using it. I now use the heavenly, Osea Ocean Cleansing Milk (pictured above. pause for the sound of angels singing). Osea is my favorite clean skincare brand I have found. It is loaded with organic, yummy plants, and algae extracts to reduce redness, smooth, and deeply hydrate. Milky textures are key for eczema prone/dry skin. 10/10 on this cleanser.
exfoliate (1-2x a week, PM)
I use this cutie dry brush from Gray Home & Lifestyle (Also can be found at The Foundry Home Goods). Made of oak and goat hair. Use the brush dry on a clean dry face. Don't put water on the brush though, because it will ruin the goat fibre. This brush effectively removes dead skin cells and give the skin new luster. Massage with circular motions for 5 minutes once or twice a week, avoiding the eye and mouth. I store this little buddy in an old candle jar on my counter, along with my oil roller (coming up soon)...
I use a couple different items for this depending on the day. If I feel like my face needs a little extra scrub to it, to take off any tougher residue, I use Thayers non alcoholic Witch Hazel on a cotton ball and move in circular motions all over my face. This is to A. balance the skin and B. to remove oil and traces of dirt and grime (if you want extra cleansing after wearing makeup or other heavy skin products such as sunscreen). I do this primarily a few times a week, and in the evening. In the morning, I use either Oxalis Toning Mist or Soul Sunday Gentle Toner. I just spray them a couple times on my face, and wait a second before the next step. I love both of these equally.
A face mist is for the purpose of helping the skin absorb serum or moisturizing ingredients better. I choose between these two depending on what I am feeling. The Soul Sunday Cool Rose facial mist contains geranium and clary sage which are a really great oils to reduce inflammation, balance the skin, and help with eczema. However, since water evaporates, apply your serum before the mist is dry, to not dry out your skin. I've done this before, and my skin was FREAKING OUT with huge red patches where I spritz'ed the Rose Spray. It still works amazing, just don't let it completely dry out haha. This Osea Sea Vitamin Boost contains Gigartina Skottsbergii Extract (a red algae that deeply hydrates skin and promotes the appearance of youthful volume and firmness. Helps protect skin from external aggressors such as wind, dry climates and air pollution). I really love this stuff. You can also store it in the fridge for an extra cooling hydration boost on those hotter days. Spray 2-3 spritz's!
AM- I apply literally all three of these lol. So the first one pictured is a home-made serum via an essential oils event (in which, if you wanna join my Young living team, lmk because oils have change my life). You can easily make this for yourself at home! Its a glass dropper bottle from amazon with hyaluronic acid, 3 drops frankincense and 3 drops geranium. Frankincense is the healing power to all things skin. Shake it all up and you're good to go! I do one little squirt into my hand and firmly pat all over my face and décolletage. Once that dries (a few minutes), I use the Osea Eye Gel Serum to visibly diminishes the appearance of fine lines and surface puffiness for an instant illuminated look. I apply this the same way (with pats), but just around my eyes- gentle pats. I let that dry again, and apply Oxalis Facial Serum, Daily Glow. This has more of an oil texture, than a serum but I like that, when I'm applying so many serums and i know I am not going to use an oil during the day. Also if you want to use just one serum, and don't want to make your own, this one is great. It adds literally a daily brightened glow to your skin. Love it.
PM- Same process except the daily glow facial serum.
oil (PM only, unless you want a nice really hydrated hairline during the day...)
The holy grail of face oils. I love to apply 1-2 a night with the Rose Quartz Roller (see how on Herbivore's saved insta story of this) and it's soooo luxurious for your skin. These oils are by Herbivore Botanicals and all do different things:
Lapis Facial Oil: Contains Blue Tansy!! This oil acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial that aids in reducing redness and clarifying the complexion. The Blue Tansy mask is also amazing, by the way (I use that once a week in the evening, for exfoliation & smoothing of the skin).
Phoenix Facial Oil: This oil dramatically rehydrates and rejuvenates your skin at the cellular level. Leaves skin soft and silky with a renewed appearance and texture. THIS ONE IS MY FAV and really great for dry dry skin. I for sure use this one every day.
Orchid Facial Oil: An exquisite blend of Orchid Extract, precious Jasmine Sambac, and Japanese Camellia Flower Oil combine to defend against free radicals, increase elasticity, and feed the skin with beneficial vitamins and fatty acids such as Omega 3 and 6 to protect against premature aging. And it smells like the Garden of Eden (if we knew what it smelled like, it would smell like this).
UGH it has been so hard to find good eye creams. Here are some of my favs from my search... Berlin Skin's Cocoa Eye Butter has worked wonders, but then I gave it to my sister haha, so I went off to try One Love Organics Eye Balm, and then also Osea's Eyes and Lips Cream! I apply Osea during the day, and the Vitamin E Balm liberally at night for a deeply moisturizing treatment. Eyes and lips target the sensitive areas where premature aging can occur, replenishes moisture and elasticity, and boosts collagen AND the texture is light enough to layer with makeup. Vitamin E is a blend of Vitamin E, organic shea butter, pomegranate and sea kelp and is a luxurious, intensely rich eye balm that helps smooth, firm and provide continuous hydration. I tried this for day time wear but it made my makeup all shmushy under my eyes, so I would suggest keeping this a part of just your night routine.
Application is KEY when applying an eye cream:
1. Just dab a peanut size (or less honestly) onto your middle fingers.
2. Warm up the contents between your two middle fingers
3. Gently pat your middle fingers under your eyes for a few minutes to circulate blood flow, and to evenly apply the cream/balm without stretching the thin skin. Little butterfly taps. 🦋
BALMS- If my skin has had a hard week, I will use a balm in the evening. I love both of these: Osea Anti-Aging Body Balm and Ursa Major Fortifying Face Balm. At first I didn't really know what a balm was, so I had to look it up: A fragrant cream or liquid used to heal or soothe the skin (dictionary.com). So for skincare, this means the benefits of balms are, increasing elasticity, clearer, firmer and smoother skin to keep you looking healthier, longer. A win. Layer under moisturizer at night.
AM- Ursa Major Daily Defense Lotion with SPF 18 MIXED with a little Osea Undaria Argan Oil. I love this lotion because it leaves a matte finish, which is perfect for when I want to wear makeup. And it is CRAZY hydrating. I don't have that crinkly/dry skin feeling by the end of the day- it is forever hydrated. Also Ursa Major is an incredible company with some of the cleanest ingredients out there. Seriously you could just switch to just their face wash and lotion and your face will be healed from anything haha. I mix the two products because, the Argan Oil is infused with mineral-rich Organic Undaria Seaweed to lock in moisture. I roll it onto my fingers (because it's an oil roller bottle fyi) then squirt the lotion, and literally mix it in my hands, then pat onto my face and neck. Boom.
PM- I mix the Osea Undaria Argan Oil with Ursa Major Golden Hour Recovery Cream. This is one kick butt “wrinkle-busting” night cream. It's like, my favorite part of the routine: finishing off with this moisturizer. Soooo soothing.
I honesty haven't found a clean SPF that I love yet, SO I have just been relying on the SPF in the daily moisturizer above! If I find one I love, I will update this for you all! If you have any reccs, let me know!
Other tips and tricks!
Have a hormonal pimple/zit that came out of nowhere? Dab a drop of Basil Essential Oil on it overnight after your skincare routine. Also DO NOT TOUCH IT, or poke at it or try to pop it. Let it be. It will be gone in two days.
MASKS- I do 1-2 masks a week to just reset my skin, "deep clean" my pores, and clear out the dead skin surface. *Tip: when using a CLAY mask, be sure to not let it completely dry. I use Herbivore's Rose Mist to keep it hydrated throughout the time it's on my face* Also, I use a little sauce dish and foundation brush from target for $3 total to mix my masks in. It's the best way to apply them! Painting your face!
Here are a few of my favs:
Sea and Nettle Face Mask by Scandic Botanica: Straight from the website- It's brimming with circulation-boosting minerals that draw out impurities, increase elasticity and help fine lines disappear, leaving skin refreshed, deeply cleansed, and glowing! (Seriously every word is true, I have never felt more glowy and bright than after using this mask). I don't use my sauce dish and brush to apply this mask because the consistency is very different and sandy. So, I pour a tiny amount into my hand, and slowly add tiny tiny drops of water to it and layer it onto my face (it's messy, but works).
Blue Clay Detoxifying Mask by Herbivore Botanicals: Blue Clay pulls impurities from deep within the pores. Excellent as a spot treatment for blemishes, Blue Clay reduces appearance of redness and inflammation in the skin. Can also be used as a full face mask for all-over purification of pores (I use this as a full face mask 100% of the time lol).
Moon Fruit Superfruit Night Treatment by Herbivore Botanicals: A multi-tasking night treatment that feeds skin with superfruits, gently resurfaces with fruit enzymes and hydrates deeply with a blend of exotic butters and bio-identical vegan Hyaluronic Acid all while you sleep. Sweet dreams xo. (Moon Fruit is not a mask and not meant to sit on the surface of skin, be sure to massage it in completely so it can work its magic while you sleep). Also if you want to do an oil after this mask too, it's amazing and works even better.
Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Mask by Herbivore Botanicals: This mask illuminates and energizes skin and exfoliates gently and naturally, giving skin a fresh new glow. Continual use increases radiance, softness, and a renewed appearance. The skin tingles a lot using this one, only let it sit on your face for 5 minutes if your skin is sensitive! Also, only use this at night unless you have a strong face SPF to put on after, if you apply during the day.
ALRIGHT FRIENDS! That's all for now! Thanks for making it to the end, and I truly hope this information was helpful to you in some way! <3