September 11, 2019

My Clean Skincare Routine

I finally transitioned to an entirely clean and natural skincare routine 
and my skin is the best it has ever been in my entire life.


Skincare products are already such a costly expense, so transitioning all the products in my routine like my cleanser, moisturizer, etc. would be impossible to do all at once. I started shifting to clean skincare products about three years ago and only now in 2019 have I successfully switched out all of the old with new, clean, quality products for my best skin. I've been lucky to try plenty of incredible brands that make clean or all-natural products, so I hope this can become a helpful guide for you to make the switch!

The reason I decided to take the step towards clean skincare is that I had gone through a health scare that was serious enough for me to evaluate my lifestyle and look at everything I was consuming. I changed everything in my day-to-day, like what I was eating and how I managed my stress. The biggest thing was switching to an organic, vegan diet and just being conscious of all the ingredients that was going into my body. The whole situation was a blessing, because I came out of it with so much education in nutrition and wellness and I felt like for the first time in my life, I had put myself first and took care of me. Since I was focusing so much on what I was putting into my body, I realized I needed to also be mindful of what I was putting onto my body that was being immediately absorbed through my skin. When I started using natural skincare products, I immediately saw a difference in the clarity, texture, and oiliness of my skin. I'm sure a huge part of that is also due to the change in my diet, but the products just felt so good on my face and for the first time in my life, I had good skin. 

As you can see, I keep quite a stock on my shelves. I believe in investing in a variety of products to target specific skin concerns and varying seasons, like winter dryness. I have a unique regimen for when I break out, when I need my skin to really glow, and when I need to detox my skin from pollution and stress. I'll get into those at a later time, because today I'll share what I use every day to maintain clear, healthy skin. My skin is sensitive and acne-prone, so all of the products I use work really well for my skin type.

I always double cleanse at night, which means starting with an oil-based cleanser to thoroughly wash off makeup and pollution and finishing with either a cream- or gel-based cleanser (any normal one really) to cleanse the pores and get in deep. I made the mistake at one point in time of only cleansing with an oil-based cleanser and it broke me out horribly. Oil-based cleansers just don't completely rinse off with water, so it can clog your pores if you don't do the second step of cleansing. I double cleanse at night, but in the mornings if my skin is completely clean from the night before, I'll just do a simple water rinse with my muslin cloth. I learned from the French that over-cleansing can also harm your skin, so you can simply leave it be in the mornings to protect your natural skin barrier. So for my double cleanse, I love using True Botanicals Pre Cleanse Oil. It's a really simple blend of oils that are safe enough to use to remove eye makeup and is virtually unscented. I absolutely take advantage of this step to massage my face too and really work in the oil cleanser to deep clean. Then I use Skinesque Enzyme Cleansing Powder as the second cleanser. It's soothing, and foamy without sulfates. I'll completely wipe off my cleanser with a muslin cloth, rather than use hands and water. And when I need a little bit of exfoliation, Nuori Supreme Polishing Treatment is my go-to. It gently buffs away texture and I also love to leave it on for a minute or two to let the enzymes work a bit.

Step Two: TREAT
When my skin is clean and dry, that's when I notice my pigmentation, blemishes, clogged pores, texture, etc. (99 problems). So I always double task at this moment and put on a flash treatment while I brush my teeth, floss, mouthwash, and peruse my phone a bit for 3-5 minutes. I do something every single day, but I alternate the products so that I'm not doing anything too harsh for my skin barrier. When I need a serious glow, I slather on a good layer of Goop Exfoliating Instant Facial or Odacité Bioactive Rose Gommage, but I make sure with these chemical exfoliants that I am only using these every other day minimum. In between, I'll detox with a thin layer of of French Green clay that I just buy in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Step Three: TONE
To me this is the most important step that makes a huge difference in my skin. It's crucial to use a toner / essence / serum on top of clean skin, so that the good stuff gets maximum absorption. I learned from April Gargiulo, the founder of Vintner's Daughter, that a toner is an essential complementary skincare treatment, because it's the best way key water-soluble nutrients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin c can absorb into skin. This is why April masterfully launched the Active Treatment Essence as the synergistic sister to the cult-favorite Active Botanical Serum (which in contrast delivers all the good oil-soluble nutrients to your skin). So, after cleansing, I squeeze a few drops of Active Treatment Essence into my palms and pat the essence into my skin all over. I love using my hands rather than a cotton pad, because I can't bear to sacrifice a single drop of product. The other toner I frequently switch between is Circumference Active Botanical Refining Toner. Ingredients like aloe, chamomile flower, and cactus flower make this an incredibly soothing formula and leaves my skin a super soft canvas.

I actually don't use a lotion on a regular basis. Most days I skip this step because I feel that a facial oil on top of my toner is just enough for me. But when I do use a lotion, I apply Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream all over, including my eyes. I mean some days, I just use this one product and that's it! It's so moisturizing and effective as an all-in-one kind of formula. When I only have a moment away from mom duty, I'll just quickly cleanse and massage The Rich Cream in and I'll feel like my skin got everything it needs.

Step Five: OIL
I'm a huge fan of facial oils, even for oily skin! Good oils balance out your skin's sebum so that it won't want to overproduce. The one I always have to keep stocked is Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum. It's heaven in a bottle and it's just the one you need whenever your skin is going through a thing. Yes, this cult-favorite is worth all the hype! It completely transformed my skin the first time I tried it. It's chock full of natural botanicals and powerful nutrients that your skin needs and when I use it consistently, I get the kind of skin that actually doesn't need any foundation or concealer. Isn't that the dream? But when my skin is having a real retrograde moment and breaking out due to hormones, I switch to True Botanicals Clear Pure Radiance Oil for a few days straight. I always pat and press the facial oils into my skin and then I'll massage the oil into my face with a bit of pressure using my fingertips, knuckles, and palms. I spend at least a minute doing this to activate my dermis and muscles. It's similar to using a facial roller or gua sha tool to stimulate your skin for benefits like lymphatic drainage, collagen production, and blood circulation. I seriously believe this will show its promise in the long term and it just feels amazing. It's the right amount of TLC you deserve each morning and night.

Step Six: SPF
I only put SPF when I know I'll be out in the sun for more than 15 minutes. I love Kari Gran's Three Sixty Five SPF 28 and so far this is my holy grail sunscreen. Zinc oxide is the best, natural sun protection mineral, so always look for that in a sunscreen. I love this Kari Gran one because the zinc oxide is carried in a simple blend of natural oils (it's only 9 ingredients total!) and it doesn't dry out my skin like most sunscreens do due to the high mineral content.

Extra Step: MASKING
Everyone needs to mask! Even if you have the most perfect skin, think of masking as a conscious act of self-care. I have a few different favorites, but right now I'm so impressed by the new Susanne Kaufmann Glow Mask. It's such a beautiful, luxurious experience as soon as you put it on and it leaves my skin so glowy and fresh, with a slight tingling feeling which I always love because I know that the product is activating. In the evening, I've been going to sleep with True Botanicals Moisture Lock Overnight Mask blended with True Botanicals Antioxidant Booster. It layers over my nighttime skincare and seals it in with hydration. I wake up with soft skin and virtually no pores.

I touched upon some of my most favorite clean and natural skincare products, but as you can see, that's just a fraction of what's in my vanity! I highly vouch for everything you see on the shelves, but let me know if you have any questions in the comments and I'm happy to dive into more product details. I can't wait to share more of my routines for specific skin concerns, so watch out for that soon

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  1. When you wipe away your cleanser, do you use a dampened muslin cloth? Love this, thank you for sharing!

    1. Yes! My muslin cloth is damp with water. I wet it then wring it out before wiping off the cleanser!

  2. Thank you for sharing. This is incredibly helpful!

  3. but omg not all of us can afford this overpriced clean skincare routine

    1. I truly believe in the quality of the products. After trying so many different brands and formulas of all different price ranges, these are the ones I highly vouch for as worthwhile investments. I will be putting together a list of my favorite clean skincare products that are under $75!