It’s been a while since I’ve posted about anything beauty related, but lately I’ve been feeling really passionate about the natural products I’m using. While I used to be really obsessed with a shine-free matte look, I’m now all about hydrated skin with a little glow. There’s really no makeup that compares to having naturally healthy skin, and my new routine has made me so much more comfortable wearing minimal makeup and even going bare faced from time to time.
Before I get into the products I’m loving, here’s a little background…
To be completely transparent, when I first moved to NYC in the heart of winter, my skin went ballistic and I truly felt hopeless. For starters, my skin was breaking out like crazy. I think the cause was a combination of stress from moving and starting a new job, and of course the polluted city-air (a far cry from Florida’s ocean breeze!).
I literally tried everything — salicylic products, facials, peels — you name it. Nothing was working and the harsh products ended up making my skin so dry that it almost looked worse when I tried covering things up with makeup. Eventually, I decided to go on Accutane. I went on it back in middle school and literally never had skin issues again until last year, so I’m a huge advocate for the drug (seriously, if you’re contemplating trying it, just do it). It definitely is a commitment, but as long as you use Aquaphor like it’s your job, it really isn’t as bad as they say it is. I’ve been off of it for about four months now and haven’t had a breakout since.
Now on to my current routine…
When I started Accutane, I really needed to rotate any harsh products out of my routine because the drug is already extremely drying. I started using this One Love Organics Vitamin B Oil Cleanser twice a day, and it really changed my life. I had no idea that I could cleanse and remove my makeup without something that gets sudsy, but this stuff really does the job without stripping my skin of moisture — if anything, I feel like it adds moisture.
On nights where I have on extra makeup or feel like I need a deeper cleanse, I like to follow up with this Grown Alchemist Hydra-Restore Cream Cleanser. It feels like an absolute dream and smells even better. It basically feels like you’re applying a moisturizer — sometimes I apply it to dry skin, let my skin drink it up, then rinse it off. It’s formulated with natural antioxidants like Olive Leaf and Plantago, so it doesn’t dehydrate my skin like other cleansers. I like to think of it as a conditioner for my skin.
At night, I follow up with a rich moisturizer. I’ve been using this Image Ormedic Balacing-Peptide Cream. It smells absolutely incredible and the blend of organic Japanese green tea, aloe vera, chamomile and grape seed makes my skin feel so soft. Another favorite is this Alchimie Kantic Calming Cream, which also has an irresistible smell (can you tell I’m a sucker for scents yet?) and uses natural antioxidants like European blueberries. Both of these products are available online and at HeyDay, my go-to facial spot in the city.
In the morning after cleansing, I always use this Image Daily Ultimate Moisturizer SPF 50. For the past few years, I’ve been really dedicated to using sun protection everyday, but it’s been tough to find one that my sensitive skin agrees with. One of my pet peeves are SPF moisturizers that have that pungent sunscreen smell, but this stuff honestly smells like candy and feels so sheer. I started using it prior to going on Accutane, so even if you’re prone to breakouts, I think you’ll love this stuff. There’s also a SPF 30 formulation that has more of a matte finish.
As far as exfoliation goes, I just started rotating this step back into my regimen. My skin is super sensitive, so I was really excited when Derma-E offered to send me some free products because they use natural ingredients. I was a bit hesitant to try charcoal during the winter months, but their formulations are super gentle. I’m obsessed with this 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask. It detoxifies pores (much needed in NYC!) and exfoliates. I just leave on for five minutes, then once it feels nice and tight, I run my fingers under water and massage gently to activate exfoliants (especially in areas where I get flaky like my forehead, chin and nose) then rinse it off completely. I’ve been using the mask every other week. On the opposite week, I use the Purifying Daily Detox Scrub for quick maintenance once a week. It’s gentle enough for daily use, but this is just what works for my skin!
Two more musts for me are eye cream and lip balm. The It’s Potent! Eye Cream from Benefit Cosmetics is one of my favorites, and morning and night I always use a little Aquaphor on my lips. It sounds so simple, but there’s really nothing more hydrating.
What are your favorite natural products for achieving hydrated, healthy skin? Leave me a comment below!