We are “au naturel”-loving junkies over here, especially when it comes to our skin and our babies. I spent the better part of 27 years putting some nasty stuff on my face and body, and quite frankly, didn’t really care because it smelled good. But when I found out I was pregnant, I became obsessed with ridding everything toxic from my life, starting with my face. (I dare you to look up some of your products here and see the score.) I’ve spent the past 4.5 years now testing out nearly every “natural” product out there. After all that time, here are my favorites that make up my 4-step routine:
Step One: Clean
Both morning and night, I use this Juice Beauty Exfoliating Cleanser to wash my face. It’s a little pricey, yes, but it lasts for months so I kind of validate the price point in that way. I also really enjoy this face wash as an alternative and keep it on hand to use when I’m out of my Juice Beauty cleanser.
To remove my makeup at the end of the day, I use this magical makeup eraser cloth. Don’t ask me how it works, but using only water, this thing gets it all off, even mascara. However, if you use waterproof mascara, I recommend rubbing a little pure jojoba oil on your eyes first to loosen it up.
Step Two: Balance
Using a cotton ball, I rub this witch hazel toner all over face and neck. Witch hazel is an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and brings your skin back to optimal pH. And there’s no alcohol in this so it won’t leave your skin dry and stripped of all the good oils. My favorite is the cucumber for its ability to reduce old scarring.
Bonus: I used to have a small skin tag on my neck, but after I started using this witch hazel toner, it completely went away. I didn’t even know it could/intend for it to disappear, but low and behold this dang stuff completely removed it. Who knew?
Step Three: Renew
This vitamin C serum is a new addition to my routine over the past two months. I had been hearing/reading so much about vitamin C benefits for skin, most notably is power to promote collagen production.
One thing I want to note is that vitamin C serums, at any strength, are going to lead to a small breakout for about a week or two. After my first day of using this, I got a pimple for the first time in years and wanted to banish this stuff from ever touching my face again. So after not picking it up again for about two months, I decided to do a little more research. Because of it’s amazing strength to boost collagen production and speed up cellular turnover, it is going to cause pimples to surface faster than they would have on their own (i.e. you were going to get them anyway).
This is called “purging”. In the short term (only a week or two, I promise), your face is going to rid itself of pimples that were sure to come anyway. In the long term, it’s going to keep your pores clear so you never have to deal with them again!
By week three, I felt like my skin was literally glowing and looks so much more “even”. Despite the rough start, I swear by this and highly recommend you give it a try for at least one month.
Step Four: Moisturize
This is my favorite step because I just adore rubbing oil on my face. Contrary to popular belief, oil will not clog your pores. Repeating for those in the back, OIL WILL NOT CLOG YOUR PORES! Your skin is actually begging you for some oil, yes, even if you have oily skin. I have combination skin — oily in some spots, dry in others. For those with oily skin, it’s likely due to it having to work extra hard to compensate for all the drying products you are using. By applying nutrient-rich oils to your skin, it will stop working in overdrive and become much more happy 🙂
I used to make my own jojoba oil based blend using essential oils, but it got time consuming and too costly (because essential oils). Then my fave company came out with this jojoba oil blend, which included everything I was putting in my own and there we go, problem solved. So this is what I use as my morning moisturizer.
Side note: Jojoba oil is without a doubt the crème de la crème of skin products and my life. I use it for everything. It was even 50% of the cure for my toddler’s extreme eczema (I’ll tell you about the other 50% here soon).
At night I use this retinol cream with hyaluronic acid as my moisturizer. I just started using this about a month ago and love it. Retinol is THE key anti-aging ingredient you need in your life. I’ll be 32 this year and while not old, I’d rather work to keep my youthful looking skin than try to get it back. Though don’t fret, aunties, this is still for you — check out the reviews on the Amazon link.
Every now and again’s
About once every other week I do micro-needling — yes, that little needle roller thing. It’s a bit creepy at first because it literally is little needles that you roll across your face. Micro-needling is another collagen booster (sensing a theme yet?) and actually strengthens the epidermis of your skin.
When rolled over your face, it creates little micro “injuries” that trigger collagen production. Your body is then prompted to produce new collagen and elastin to fill the microscopic “wound”. It actually feels quite nice! There are no side effects, just a little redness that will go away in a minute or two.
In the three months I’ve been doing this, I’ve noticed a very visible differences in the fine lines on my forehead and old scars (from both high school acne and childhood chicken pox) — they are fading away!
Side note: Don’t forget to clean your roller with alcohol before and after every use. Because it actually penetrates your skin, you want to make sure it’s sterilized.
I also do an exfoliating mask about once a month to really get in there for the deep clean. I’ve experimented with a ton of different ones just to switch it up, but this calcium bentonite clay is the one I always find myself going back to. It’s the best for clearing those tiny little blackheads that seem to accumulate (vomit). I recommend using apple cider vinegar as your mixer with this and don’t panic after you wash it off, redness is 100% expected for about 30 minutes.
I do both the roller and the mask between steps 2 and 3 and typically alternate weeks that I use them — i.e. roller one week, mask the next, etc. There’s no rhyme or reason to that method, it’s just what I found works best for my skin. So by all means experiment with what works best for you!
What skin care products can you not live without?