Full disclosure, my skincare routine is a little wild. I’m unapologetically meticulous about tending to my skin, especially with quality natural products. About 2 years ago I had the realization that I needed to give a shit about what was going on my body - not just in it - and so I began the journey into natural, non-toxic skincare. Because what’s the point of spending money (and a lot of it) on organic groceries, adaptogenic herbs, and Ayurvedic teas while using face wash laced with chemicals and endocrine disrupters?
I'm not naturally blessed with great skin. I have to work hard to keep it calm and clear. Diet and stress management are by far the most effective beauty-boosters, but skincare is not to be neglected. Since finding my near-perfect-for-me skincare routine, my skin has improved dramatically. So for those of you who inquire about whether I use natural products or not (the answer is yes), what my routine looks like, and what products I recommend, I compiled it all here for your reference and inspiration.
For me, the biggest change when making the transition from toxic to non-toxic was the intention behind how I selected and used my products. In years past, I was seeking out the harshest, most drying face washes and creams, convinced this was the only way to tame my “problem” skin. Instead of punishing my skin, I’m now committed to nourishing and healing it. Working with it, not against it. The gentler the better. And it’s really crazy, because since making the switch to more nourishing products (that I feared would be far less effective), the entire composition of my skin has changed. I no longer deal with super oily + shiny skin, my breakouts are fewer and far between, and (for the first time in ever) my complexion has a glow to it.
When beginning to make the shift to more conscious products, feel free to start slowly. Quality products can be expensive, so there’s no need to drop a ton of money all at once. My method was (and is, as I venture into natural haircare.. stay tuned) when I ran out of something, I used that as an opportunity to replace it with something more wholesome and natural.
Below, find my (slightly nutzo) daily skincare routine and list of skin essentials.
Upon waking, I wash my face. Depending on my skin sitch that day, the weather, and my immediate morning plans, I either cleanse with an oil-based wash or something more purifying. In the evenings (especially if I’ve worn makeup that day), I double cleanse beginning with the oil.
One Love Organics Vitamin B Oil Cleanser: Totally hooked on this stuff, and oil cleansing in general. The oils bind to and remove dirt, bacteria, excess oil, and makeup yet keep all the good, natural oils in tact. Skin feels clean and crazy soft afterwards. This particular cleanser is packed with ultra-nourishig pumpkin and papaya seed oil, and is an absolute must for dry, winter skin. Again, depending on the time of day and what’s going on with my skin, this is sometimes my only cleansing step.
Tammy Fender Purifying Cleansing Gel: Tammy Fender is the queen of plant-based skincare. Each product is hand-crafted (right here in Palm Beach, in fact) with only the finest plant-derived ingredients, creating a truly divine botanical experience with every use. This cleanser is super gentle yet effective enough to tame even the most irritated and acne-prone skin, as I can personally attest. And the ingredient list, which features spearmint, alfalfa, cucumber, and aloe juice, is as clean as it gets.
Acure Facial Cleansing Gel: Another one of my favorite brands, Acure makes some real deal effective, plant-based skincare products. I switch off between this and the Tammy Fender cleanser. This gel is gentle on my super sensitive skin yet strong enough to wash off makeup - it’s definitely my go-to when I’m feeling a bit too lazy for the whole double cleansing routine. Among an impressive list of organic, good-enough-to-eat ingredients are acai, pomegranate, probiotics, and chlorella (yes, please). And added bonus, the entire line is really affordable.
Once a week or so, I exfoliate (post-cleansing) for extra softness, clarity, and glow.
Acure Brightening Facial Scrub: Another favorite product from Acure. Hands down, this scrub is the best of the best. It actually feels like it’s working (and not just ripping my skin apart) and always leaves my skin looking brighter and clearer. I know I keep listing ingredients, but I can't help but get excited by all the real-ness - walnut shell powder, lemon peel granules, and french green clay work to exfoliate and draw out impurities while blackberry, pomegranate, and calendula nourish and replenish.
After cleansing, it’s time to tone. I do this twice a day, every day. This step is what really makes the skin feel squeaky clean.
Divine Botanicals Gypsy Rose Tea Astringent: This past summer, I stumbled into a random little store in the LES of New York, and on a shelf was a bottle of this toner. I read the ingredients, totally died, bought it immediately, and have been head over heels obsessed ever since. It’s probably my favorite skincare product I own. Prior to using this, I was actually toning with a homemade blend of apple cider vinegar + water, so this felt like a natural upgrade. Laced with Bulgarian rosewater, rose petals, chamomile, sage, and a medley of other herbs and oils, this apple cider vinegar-based toner delicately balances the skin’s pH, heals, brightens, and prevents + treats breakouts gently yet effectively. It’s just the best.
Using some sort of water-based hydrosol helps to prep the skin for your serum and/or moisturizer. Without this step, your facial serum, oil, or cream will just kind of sit on top of your skin and we miss out on all the healing benefits. I spray my face liberally with hydrosol both before and after applying my serum. I swear, the hydration makes such a difference and the skin is able to absorb all the goodness so much more effectively.
Heritage Store Rosewater with Glycerin: I carry this stuff with me everywhere. It’s a super simple but extremely effective blend of rosewater and glycerin. The rosewater hydrates, clarifies, and refreshes the skin, while the glycerin seals in moisture and protects the skin. It also smells like literal heaven. In addition to using this morning and night, I’ll spritz myself with it whenever I need a pick-me-up. It even works to set makeup.
Introducing an oil-based serum into my skincare routine has been a complete game changer. For so long, I couldn’t wrap my head around putting an oil on my already oily skin. I had read so much about the benefits of using facial oils but I was still super hesitant to try it. I finally made the leap last year and haven’t looked back since. I first spray my face with a hydrosol, and while the skin is still wet, massage the serum in with my fingers. I then spritz with the hydrosol a few more times and allow my skin to air dry.
Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Oil: Pure magic. This oil feels super light-weight yet delivers serious all-day hydration. The gorgeous, other-worldly blue color comes from Blue Tansy oil, which acts as a potent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, helping to reduce redness and clarify the complexion. Since adding this product to my daily skincare regime, my skin has improved enormously and I don’t breakout nearly as often. A true essential.
Benshen Serum No. 1: Another heavenly blend of plant oils, the serum is a bit heavier - perfect for combination/dry skin types, as well as for winter weather. Though the seasonal weather changes are subtle here in Palm Beach, I do feel that my skin is drier and in need of more moisture during the winter months, so I’ve been loving on this product for that extra hydration. This particular blend of oils feels extremely nourishing (especially on less-than-perfect skin), and is designed to not only moisturize but to heal. I swear, my skin glows after every use. Carrot seed, blue chamomile, sea buckthorn, rose hips, and olive oils are a few of the medicinal ingredients that make this serum so effective.
In the evenings (or if the weather is particularly cold and drying), I top my serum with a moisturizer for a little extra nourishment.
Simplicity Apothecary Simply Glowing Cream: My go-to for pretty much any skin issue - breakouts, dryness, under eye circles, and wrinkle prevention. I use this every evening over my serum for super clear and soft skin the next morning. Every now and then, I will get an eczema breakout (lucky me) and this clears it right up. I even got my boyfriend hooked, who swears by it for calming his super sensitive skin.
Tata Harper Illuminating Moisturizer: Anything from the Tata Harper line is such a treat. This particular moisturizer is infused with diamond dust (so lux) which adds a subtle glow to the skin. It also works to blur out the appearance of imperfections (blemishes, discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles), so many mornings I simply use this in lieu of makeup. The non-toxic, botanical blend also features hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate the skin for serious radiance. It’s a total indulgence, but I can’t help but feel gorgeous + luminous when I wear it. The cream itself is super light-weight, so I layer it over my serum for a glowy day-time look.
I used to think eye creams weren’t necessary until you began noticing wrinkles, but prevention is absolutely essential if you want to prolong the aging process. And as a total sun-worshiper, I need all the protection I can get on this delicate, quick-to-age portion of the skin.
Acure Rose Hip Oil: Before bed, I apply a few drops of pure rose hip oil on and around my eyelids, as well as on my lashes. In addition to hydrating and healing the skin, it’s also been found to reduce dark under eye circles with regular use.
Tata Harper Illuminating Eye Crème: The equally glowy and luxurious counterpart to the Illuminating Facial Moisturizer. I love using highlighter around my eyes, on my lids, and just beneath my brows, and this product does just that while also hydrating and protecting the skin. Another multi-tasking, must-have product for achieving a super radiant look. I use this in the morning or before a night out in lieu of or underneath my makeup.
Because every wellness babe needs a few hard-working, go-to masks for a glow boost. I have tried a lot of masks, and these are the absolute best of the bests. I try to do masks at least twice a week for increased healing, hydration, and detoxification.
Uma Deeply Clarifying Face Mask: This is truly the only clarifying mask I have ever used that not only deep cleans my skin and leaves it noticeably clearer, but also soothes and hydrates. Super drying masks will only make your skin produce more oil to replenish what was lost, resulting in increased breakouts, so it's essential to find a balance between clarification and hydration. Uma is one of my favorite brands, using only the finest medicinal essential oils for a truly luxurious botanical experience, and this mask is no exception. It feels really gentle on the skin (no burning or redness) yet is powerful enough leave my skin looking noticeably clearer after just one use. Containing turmeric, tomato extract, aloe, wet clay, and a medley of healing oils, nothing will leave your skin feeling (or looking) cleaner.
Farmacy Soothing Coconut Gel Mask: I love a good sheet mask, and these are my favorites. Perfect for stressed, dull, dry, irritated skin. The masks combine a variety of ‘farm fresh’ vegetable extracts, including kale, for a potent antioxidant boost. These are a must for girls on the go, as they feel divine on stressed-out post-travel skin. Before a big night out, I prep with one of these for an extra dose of glow.
When my skin is feeling particularly problematic, I use a nourishing spot treatment for some concentrated healing.
Uma Deeply Clarifying Blemish Spot Treatment: True to everything Uma, this product makes even treating blemishes feel luxurious. In lieu of ointments designed to dry-out the skin, I opt for this blend of organic + medicinal essential oils. Tea tree, juniper berry, clary sage, and lavender oils work to eliminate breakout-causing bacteria, reduce swelling, redness, and inflammation, and accelerate the healing process. Within only a matter of hours after applying, my skin is looking and feeling clearer and less inflamed. An absolute necessity for those of us who experience the occasional (or perhaps not-so-occasional..) breakout.