Clean beauty is trending right now, that’s for sure. But there are so many products that greenwash, are unnecessary, don’t work, or just flat out aren’t good for you. When it comes to clean beauty and skincare, it’s hard to know where to start! So today, I’m sharing my natural skincare routine, which is what I define as “minimalist” and super, super simple.
My History with Beauty & Skincare
I started developing beauty and skincare routines for myself in my early teenage years. I was 13 years old around 2009. My early teenage years occurred at the same time when the Youtube beauty community was beginning to flourish. These were the OG beauty Youtube days, with creators like Bethany Mota, Michelle Phan, and Bunny Meyer. I also watched smaller Youtubers like Kristee Vetter and Lindsey Hughes. Watching all of these different channels meant constantly seeing PR unboxings and tutorials that made me want to buy all the products. And that’s pretty much why I have a giant bag full of old makeup in my closet that I literally never use.
Makeup was my main focus for a while. But I quickly learned two things: it was expensive and I never had the time or patience to do a full face everyday. So I eventually settled on the makeup routine that I still use today. I only use mascara, eyeliner, and (eventually, please no one look at photos of me before I started using this) an eyebrow pencil. Skincare was something I never took seriously as a teenager. You’d think I would since lots of teens struggle with acne, but mine was never that bad. I’m so thankful for that! I used Clean & Clear products from time to time and washed my body with different varieties of Bath & Body Works shower gel. Using serums and moisturizers was something I never really felt the need to do. Natural skincare was clearly not a priority for me either.
Getting Into Natural Skincare
In my later teenage years, I had some skin-related health issues, like recurring staph infections. This is when I began to learn about natural skincare. I started using tea tree oil, as I had oily skin and never needed to moisturize. I also discovered the brand LUSH, and I still use their products from time to time today. With health issues on my mind, I began to realize that the ingredients I was putting on my body would also go into my body. I rapidly learned that a product doesn’t need harsh ingredients to be effective. And I decided that using more natural products was important to me.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time doing research and trying out different products to see what does and doesn’t work for my skin. I briefly talked about my favorite clean skincare products in my Why Beautycounter is Problematic blog post, but I want to share my natural skincare routine today in its entirety.
So enough chit chat! Let’s get into it!
I wash my face once a day, usually in the evening. Once a day works for me because overwashing can throw off the pH balance of the skin. The skin’s pH level is important because it is reliant on the skin’s acid mantle, which helps to protect it from bacteria and other nasty things. Overwashing can cause dry and tight skin. Face washes with too much exfoliating power can also cause this.
All my life I’ve heard that using cleansers that are water based was better than using oil based cleansers. I used to think that oil-based products would just make me super oily! This is something that I now realize is not true. The oil that our skin naturally produces is good for us, and constantly eliminating it can dry us out. This is why I use OY-L’s Face Wash. It’s literally the best smelling cleanser ever! It’s made with Manuka 20+ honey and oils- like hemp seed oil and grapeseed oil just to name a few. What they say on their website is true: “try it once and you will be devoted to it for a lifetime”.
Before I started using this product last year, I was rotating between a few cleansers from LUSH that just weren’t performing as well as I wanted. Now, I’m a loyal OY-L customer! It’s a very gentle cleanser that can work for any type of skin. My skin always looks so glowy and hydrated after using it. The Manuka honey works wonders when it comes to decreasing inflammation and balancing the skin’s pH balance!
Toner was never something I frequently used. I always thought they were too acidic and drying until I discovered OY-L’s Hydrating Facial Mist. Again, literally the best smelling product ever. Everyday, I look forward to getting out of the shower and just spraying the honey rose scent all over my face. It’s seriously divine! This mist is calming and brightening, with ingredients like rose hydrosol, aloe vera juice, and alcohol-free witch hazel. This is probably my favorite part of my natural skincare routine.
My go-to moisturizer is TULA’s Hydrating Day & Night Cream. This stuff is pricey but so luxurious and so worth it. I will say that the ingredients are not as clean as I usually like, but dang- this cream is so smooth and soft and amazing! It seriously just sinks right into my skin. I feel so fresh and moisturized and like I just went to the spa after I apply it at night. It seriously makes you glow.
Like I mentioned before, this moisturizer does have a lengthy list of ingredients (which makes me nervous) and fragrance, but it does contain an active probiotic strain which helps to hydrate and lock in moisture. It just feels so amazing, I can’t stop using it.
Trying out new face masks is one of my favorite things. I’ve use a variety of face masks from LUSH, including Cupcake, Don’t Look at Me (my favorite), Cup O’ Coffee, Mask of Magnaminty, and some of their jelly masks. Really, I do love all of these masks. I especially love how the fresh masks feel on the face right after they’ve been in the fridge. However, I never use them up by the expiration date. Recently, I’ve been using OY-L’s Exfoliating Manuka Mask and I love it. It has a heavenly lavender scent and is full of natural ingredients, like Manuka 20+ honey, blueberry & cranberry seeds, organic lavender buds, organic rose petals, and a variety of oils. It’s an exfoliating mask that isn’t too harsh, made in small batches.
I swear this post is NOT an ad for OY-L; I just love them this much!! Things I love about OY-L are that they’re based in Akron, use high quality ingredients, are super transparent, and have a bottle/jar refill program!
I’ve, again, used a bunch of LUSH shower gels. My favorite is Rose Jam; it just smells SO good. A brand I’ve worked with before and have really been enjoying is Plant Apothecary. I featured them in my 2019 Self Care Gift Guide. Their body washes lather incredibly well. Their entire line is certified USDA organic, and they don’t use any weird ingredients. Most of their products are scented with essential oils rather than parfum/fragrance.
Lips are skin too! My favorite lip balms are the Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm and Cocokind’s Mymatcha Stick. The Dr. Bronner’s lip balm is some of the most moisturizing I’ve ever tried, being made with organic beeswax, jojoba, avocado, and hemp oils. The Cocokind matcha stick can be used as a lip balm or to apply moisture wherever you may need, like under the eyes or on dry patches. It’s USDA organic and non-GMO with only a few ingredients: coconut oil, beeswax, and matcha powder. The shorter the ingredient list, the better!
I hope you guys enjoyed learning about my minimalist, natural skincare routine. Something I am looking for right now is lotion suggestions! I have yet to find a natural and clean lotion that I like, something that isn’t too greasy and just seeps right in. Leave me any suggestions below please! Same goes for shaving cream!! Leave any other natural skincare favorites, products that changed your life, or questions below in the comments. Thank you so much for reading!