Some people go to a yoga class to unwind, while others like to read a book. For me, doing my morning and night skincare routine is my form of self-care. Those ten minutes are a time for me to breathe and show myself some love. However, I began noticing that I didn’t know half of the ingredients in my products. If my skincare routine was a form of self-care, why would I want to put random and potentially harmful chemicals on my skin? Due to my obsession with skincare and love for all things natural, I took the time to find skincare products that are nontoxic and made with clean ingredients. Our skin absorbs almost everything we put on it, so that means we are absorbing all of those chemicals in our daily products. I was skeptical of the clean beauty movement because let’s be honest, they didn’t seem to work as well as the pharmaceutical brands. But through trial and error, I have found some of the best products that are free from dangerous chemicals and actually work to clear skin.
In the morning, I always cleanse after my morning workout. I usually use the Ocean Cleanser from OSEA because it is light and refreshing on my tired skin. OSEA is a Malibu based brand that uses organic, cruelty-free, plant-based ingredients with a mission to be as sustainable as possible. Other days, I will exfoliate with Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser (aka the miracle worker). I use this twice a week, though you can use it everyday, and it is one of my favorite products. I leave it on for at least five minutes before rinsing with warm water, and it leaves my skin feeling rejuvenated, unlike some other harsh exfoliators. Tata Harper is my beauty icon. She grows all of her ingredients on her farm in Vermont, and has truly made a luxury brand of non-toxic skincare — something that isn’t easy to find. Though expensive, all of her products are brilliant and lasts a long time. Just the tiniest bit goes a long way.
After cleansing, I will spray my face with Cocokind’s Glow Essence, which is filled with eucalyptus and sea grape caviar. Cocokind, founded by Priscilla Tsai, is one of my favorite clean skincare brands because their ingredients are plant-based, organic, sustainably sources and packaged, and super affordable. The essence hydrates your skin and helps toners, serums, and oils penetrate deeper into your skin. Next, I put on my favorite COQ-10 toner from Indie Lee. Indie Lee is another amazing businesswomen who started a clean line of skincare products after almost dying from a rare brain tumor. She is now dedicated to making products that are safe and free from harmful toxins. I love this toner because along with balancing your skin’s pH levels, it also prevents break-outs from occurring. Then, I apply my Cocokind Vitamin C Serum, and it helps reduce the size of my blemishes and offers protection and follow up with their Chia Facial Oil, which is perfect as the weather gets colder. To help my facial oil absorb, I will usually use my jade roller for ten to fifteen minutes to help reduce puffiness and clear my lymphatic system. Before heading out for the day I use Naturopathica’s Lavender Protective Moisturizer with SPF because you should always wear SPF, regardless of the amount of sunlight.
Now onto the nighttime routine — At night, it’s all about winding down and using gentle products on my skin. I start with Cocokind’s Facial Cleansing Oil and then follow up with their Oil to Milk Cleanser, two gentle cleansers that feel amazing at night. Next, I use the same essence from my morning routine, because I just love it so much. Then I use Cocokind’s Raspberry Vinegar Toner to target break-outs and balance my skin’s pH levels. My nightly serum of choice goes to Tata Harper’s Regenerating Serum, which creates a perfect glow and helps reduce scarring. Again, this serum is a bit pricier but it is a pump serum, so it lasts for a long time, and I make sure to use it conservatively. To moisturize, I love to OSEA Blemish Balm. Not only does it feel light and soothing on the skin, but it is designed to prevent acne, and who doesn’t love that? If I am not using a face mask, I use Pai’s Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil right before bed to replenish and calm my skin down for the night. Pai is an amazing skincare company that uses the highest quality ingredients and designed for people with sensitive skin.
When it comes to mask, I do have some favorites. Tata Harper wins first place for creating my two favorite mask, the Regenerating Mask and the Clarifying Mask. The Regenerating Mask is jelly-like consistency that retouches your skin and eliminates blemishes to give you that dewey glow. On the other hand, the Clarifying Mask goes deep into your pores and helps extract impurities and toxins. I also love Herbivore Botanicals’ Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Mask, which really does “brighten” your skin. Lastly, I love the Cocokind Sea Kale Clay Mask because it helps eradicate dirt in your pores while leaving the skin soft and smooth.
I swear by all of these products and brands, and my skin has seen the benefits of ditching conventional brands with harmful chemicals and using clean ingredients instead. PSA: when you switch to clean beauty, your skin will take about a week to adjust, so if you break out, I’ve been there too. Unfortunately, the U.S. doesn’t have a lot of restrictions on what can be put in our products, so it’s up to us to research what’s healthy for our skin. Luckily, the movement for non-toxic skincare has grown and so has the accessibility. If you’re looking to switch, I recommend shopping on Follain, an online retailer for all things non-toxic. They do all the research for you, so you can trust that the products you buy are the cleanest on the market. When you sign up, you take a skin quiz and it matches you with products that will best suit your skin. My routine works for me, but skincare is so individualized, which is why i love the personalized recommendations on Follain. Not only do these products help my skin glow, but it feels amazing to know that I am using real and safe ingredients on my skin that won’t harm me in the long run.
Follain, West Village, NYC