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Since safe, effective skin and body care is a huge part of what I do (see: skincare guide) I'm always asked about my skincare routine. I keep my Guide customers updated, but I thought it was time to share with you, too!
Any solid skincare routine needs to be flexible. My routine changes based on what my skin is telling me, the weather, how much time I've got and (as a new-ish mom) how much energy I wake up with and how much I've got left at the end of the day.
When I had the baby, the best I could manage was wiping my face with a Norwex cloth at the end of the day. But cleansing, toning and exfoliating like I used to? Forget it.
Now that I've got a slight grip on the parenthood gig, I've started building up my skincare routine again – and I've made some changes.
The one thing that NEVER changes, though, no matter how much effort I'm putting in, is that I will always use and recommend SAFE, effective products free of known toxins (like phthalates and parabens).
The products I use and recommend are sometimes über-natural, and sometimes they're the best of safe science, using fascinating, scientifically proven active ingredients that pack a huge punch.
I research tirelessly to find the products that fit the above criteria. Skincare is both an art and a science. I love both sides!
I'm covering a LOT of ground in this post, so feel free to skip to the sections that interest you most.
If you're interested in a particular product, please click through my links below!
YOU DON'T NEED ALL THE THINGS. Pick and choose what sounds most relevant to you. It's part of my job to try a million things. That's why I have all of these products. (Check out my top 3 skincare products for the face if you just want the basics.)
Remember, this is what I'm using currently, but there are many other, amazing products out there that work great.
Skip to: Facial cleansing…nourishing while removing grime
Skip to: Toner…refreshing the skin and balancing its pH
Skip to: Exfoliation…get rid of dead skin without scrubbing
Skip to: Eye area…the active ingredient that brightens and reduces puffiness
Skip to: Masks for deep cleansing…detox & clear pores, draw out toxins, brighten the skin
Skip to: Treatments (Serums & Actives)…this is where the powerful ingredients are
Skip to: Makeup…retain moisture, lengthen lashes & fight inflammation
Skip to: Teeth…it's not your average toothpaste
Skip to: Summary of my morning & night routines…it's not that complicated
Facial cleansing…nourishing while removing grime
Because the oil cleansing method I LOVE simply takes up too much time – meaning, I won't make time to do it – I made some adjustments that allow me to cleanse more quickly without stripping oil. This is particularly effective for the winter months.
FYI, this isn't a Beautycounter-only post. It just starts out that way (wink)…
- Mornings: I wipe my face with a Norwex Enviro Cloth. (My friend Tori is my consultant.)
- Evenings: I use the Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar – I'm obsessed. The green tea is an amazing active ingredient that reduces inflammation, and the charcoal binds to impurities. This bar is perfectly formulated to cleanse without stripping.
- Sometimes: the Beautycounter Cleansing Balm is a major indulgence and the price point is steep, but it's so incredibly moisturizing that I find using it once or twice a week is totally worth it.It's used much like the oil cleansing method, but the ingredients include both oils and emulsifiers, and THAT'S actually why I like it – this is “safe science” at its most simple and effective.The safe emulsifier I particularly like, glyceryl stearate, helps the skin to retain moisture. You can certainly feel it when you use this to cleanse or moisturize (it works both ways).The shea butter, mango seed butter, and raspberry seed oil are some seriously strong nourishing and reparative ingredients, and it would cost much more to combine them yourself a-la-carte.
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Toner…refreshing the skin and balancing its pH
Toning is such a simple, low-fuss way to add a lot of power to your skincare routine. Whether you use something as simple as rose water or a homemade tea + vinegar toner, you can do everything from soothe to rebalance pH to – as in my pick below – add nutrients to your skincare.
- Mornings and Evenings (or whenever I remember, but always right after cleansing): I use the Primally Pure Everything Spray on my face.This spray soothes with lavender hydrosol, balances pH with unfiltered apple cider vinegar, and adds extra nourishment with the addition of magnesium oil. Magnesium works topically as well as systemically, so it's a brilliant addition!
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Exfoliation…get rid of dead skin without scrubbing
I HATE scrubbing. No, I HATE it. Scrubbing is harsh, and it often leads to temporary improvement followed by worsening of skin issues.
I prefer to exfoliate using safe chemicals, like salicylic acid, lactic acid, and enzymes. These ingredients, in varying ways, help “un-stick” skin cells without scrubbing.
The benefit to chemical exfoliation? Your other topical products penetrate better when dead skin is removed.
Because these are masks, you don't have to scrub. Just leave them on (or use as directed in the case of the Lactic Acid peel) and let the active ingredients do the work.
Use them on clean skin and follow the instructions that come with them. Never use more than one chemical exfoliant on the same day.
I use the following products at different times of year, for different skincare needs.
- Balancing Charcoal Mask: I use this a few times each week. This is one of my FAVORITE multi-purpose products ever. (FYI: the product packaging has changed since I took the above photo!)
It contains some of my favorite science-y actives, like charcoal, lactic acid, and salicylic acid. Not only does it help un-stick skin cells, but it is simultaneously amazingly effective for blackheads and acne and is gentle enough to use every few days.
- Enzymatic exfoliation powder: I use this on the backs of my arms weekly. Bromelain, an enzyme, helps un-stick and lift dead skin cells.
- Lactic Acid Peel: I am hoping to get back to using this every week or so; but never on the same day as I use the Charcoal Mask. Lactic acid is one of the least intimidating options for at-home peels, as there's no downtime and no excessive peeling.
The benefit of peels? They stimulate collagen formation. I've been reluctant to recommend any at-home treatment publicly since they do require more caution and preparation than other methods – so PLEASE follow instructions and use at your own risk!
Another gentle exfoliation option I love and need to re-order: the pumpkin enzyme peel.
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Eye area…the active ingredient that brightens and reduces puffiness
I've written before about CAFFEINE and how it's amazing for the eye area. It has been studied to repair DNA, reduce redness in combination with other actives, and reduce puffiness by increasing circulation and mobilizing sodium to fight water retention (which is a huge issue with under-eye bags).
- When I remember (which isn't often) I use the 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream.
While I LOVE the coffee bean serum from Primal Life Organics (you'll see it mentioned in Serums & Treatments), I prefer to use water/cream-based treatments around my eyes these days. They absorb very quickly and I have less of an issue with getting them in my sensitive eyes. Since caffeine is both oil and water-soluble, this delivery system is just as effective.
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Masks for deep cleansing…detox & clear pores, draw out toxins, brighten the skin
Several of these do double-duty as exfoliants. It's all about what you need in the moment.
- Balancing Charcoal Mask: see my comments on “Exfoliants.”
- 100 Percent Pure Brightening Scrub & Mask: I use this a few times each month when I feel my skin needs some brightening. I DO NOT use it as a scrub (I hate scrubbing, remember?)
This one really could have gone under “exfoliants” since what it really does isn't so much deep clean, but renew and exfoliate as it brightens (but the photo's already taken, so whadyagonnado?) It uses effective actives like sodium ascorbate, kojic acid, and licorice root to soothe as it brightens.
- Pascalite Clay: this is one of the most powerful drawing clays I've ever used – I've used it on severe bites as well as acne and on blackhead-prone areas. If there's anything IN your pores that you want OUT, this is the stuff to use.
I use it as a spot treatment rather than a mask on my whole face.
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Treatments (Serums & Actives)…this is where the powerful ingredients are
This is by far my favorite topic. Serums are ultra-concentrated nourishment powerhouses that absorb quickly and work amazingly well (that's why the good ones are so pricey). Actives are ingredients that are scientifically proven and used for a very specific purpose. Together, you can REALLY transform your skin!
Note that the Coffee Bean Serum and C-Ex are available as a package at a discount.
- Morning: I use the Coffee Bean Serum (refer to my previous comments on caffeine) after cleansing (er, wiping), toning, and any mask or exfoliation treatment if applicable. It's an amazing makeup “primer” and is one of my favorite products of all time.
- Evening step 1: after cleansing, I mix a dab of Green Tea Extract (standardized for EGCG) with water in my palm and pat it all over my skin. Green Tea/EGCG is a perfect active ingredient for me. It is a potent antioxidant and has been studied for its ability to help control oil production. It also soothes redness and helps repair the skin.
- Evening step 2: once dry, I use a few drops of C-Ex, the amazing, powerful, anti-aging, nutritive, phenomenal serum I co-designed with Primal Life Organics. There's truly nothing on the market that can touch C-Ex. We built our “dream vitamin C serum” and the reviews speak for itself! Read more here.
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Makeup…retain moisture, lengthen lashes & avoid heavy metals
I've slowly replaced all my makeup with Beautycounter. While I still love 100 Percent Pure, Caren Minerals and Primal Colors, this is simply the easiest, safest and most effective option for me personally.
Beautycounter tests all color cosmetics three times for heavy metal contamination, which is incredibly important to me. I don't know of any brands, mineral or otherwise, that do this. They also rigorously screen every single ingredient for safety.
- The Palette: Beautycounter's seasonal limited-edition Palettes are INCREDIBLE!
- Concealer Pen: I'll be honest – I like this one because it performs AND because it's so darn easy to travel with and apply. No nerd-speak on this one!
- Tint Skin Foundation: this has actually IMPROVED my skin with consistent use. Sodium hyaluronate is another favorite “active” of mine because it helps the skin retain moisture. When skin is moisturized, it suffers less from outside irritants – moisture is a large part of skin barrier function, so the more moisture you can retain, the better.
- Lengthening Mascara: this is a HUGE home-run. It lengthens, conditions, and doesn't flake, itch, or run like other safer mascaras I've used. (I'm wearing it in this pic.) Easy to remove with the cleansing balm – soap and water won't touch it.
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Teeth…it's not your average toothpaste
When I discovered real food, I was able to connect many of the dots that likely led to poor dental health from early in life. (Read my book Eat the Yolks for the important stuff.)
My dental health has vastly improved in the last decade, but I still have to be incredibly watchful – especially since, during pregnancy and immediately post-partum, I really let things slide and ended up with some serious issues that I'm still fighting back from today.
While I'd like to incorporate oil pulling again, I haven't gotten there just yet. It's a big time investment on top of what I'm already doing, and not entirely realistic for me right now.
- Morning: I use Orawellness, a phenomenal blend of oils that I highly recommend, with the Bass Brushing technique.
- Evening: At the recommendation of my AMAZING dentist, I use my Sonicare to keep scale at bay.
I learned the hard way, though, that oil-based brushing blends lead to the Sonicare brush head bristles popping out. So, after I use the Sonicare with water only, I'll use Orawellness with the Bass Brush OR use a standard brush with Ozonated Oil from PurO3.
I then dip my floss in the peppermint ozonated oil from PurO3. It tastes funky, but has a profound effect against bacteria. FLOSS, PEOPLE!
- Weekly: I use the Black Peppermint Tooth Powder from Primal Life Organics. It contains activated charcoal, which has amazing whitening power.
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Summary of my morning & night routines…it's not that complicated
- Morning: wipe face, toner, coffee bean serum. Makeup depending on the day. Brush teeth with Orawellness.
- Evening: Charcoal Bar or Cleansing Balm, toner, green tea active, C-Ex serum. Eye cream when I remember. Floss with ozonated oil, brush with Sonicare.
- Sometimes: Exfoliant depending on what I need. Mask depending on what I need.
Soon I'll tackle my body care routine, including deodorant, body moisture, cellulite treatment, sun care, and hair care.
Thanks for reading!
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