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I'm excited to bring you the rundown on my top 3 skincare products of all time – for the face!
If you're interested in even more of my healthy skin and body care favorites, including nail polish, deodorant and dry shampoo, check out my feature on Healthline!
(FYI: a few folks wanted to know – the mascara I'm wearing in the photo below can be found here.)
Note, before I get started: I'm an affiliate of all 3 of these brands, after a long history of using and recommending them. Read more about affiliation, what it means, and my affiliate selection process here.
As a skincare science junkie and product enthusiast, I'm always trying new things and falling down a new rabbit-hole of research, so it makes sense that my routine changes now and then.
Yet a few products have become non-negotiable, tried-and-true, forever favorites.
These products are amazing for the face. They do things like balance the complexion, repair the signs of premature aging, nourish the skin, blast blackheads and keep pores clear. And they do it gently and safely!
Because NOBODY I know wants their beautiful skin with a side of irritants or questionable ingredients.
Even more than that: nobody I know wants to buy products that flat-out don't keep their promises.
Another thing I love: these could, in theory, comprise your ENTIRE skincare routine. We've got cleansing, toning and nourishing right here in 3 quick, powerful steps – so I've listed them in the order you'd use them.
Warning: these products aren't cheap. And depending on your own skin's needs, and what you value most, they might not be the perfect products for everyone.
But in a world where most skincare products, cheap or pricey, make promises they absolutely cannot keep, I can say with absolute confidence that these products are completely worth the price. No fillers, no garbage, just flat-out effectiveness across multiple categories of skincare needs – and a little goes a long way.
These are my top 3 skincare products of all time – for the face!
1. The Beautycounter Balancing Charcoal Mask ($48): for deep cleansing (FYI: the packaging below is old – I bought 5 of them so I'd never run out!)
What it does: deep cleanses, fights blackheads, minimizes pores, exfoliates and smoothes without irritation, calms inflammation, detoxifies.
This mask really does it all, and is excellent for all skin types. Despite the fact that Beautycounter's Charcoal Bar is the “cult favorite,” I actually think this is their absolute best product ever.
If I had to choose just one Beautycounter product to use, this would be the one.
You can use this every few days, when deep cleansing is needed, in place of your normal cleanser. It should last through at least 20 applications.
2. The Primally Pure Everything Spray ($18): nourish, revitalize and tone.
What it does: soothes, heals, balances, nourishes, evens tone.
This spray is another workhorse, just like the charcoal mask – in fact, that's what Bethany, the woman behind Primally Pure, sets out to do with all her products. She designs things that do everything, so you don't need 55 different steps to get results with safe, natural ingredients.
This spray contains hydrosols and – my favorite addition – magnesium oil, which is amazing for the skin.
You can use this daily, several times each day, after cleansing (or any time you wish).
Other Primally Pure Standouts: hands down, their deodorant is the best natural deodorant out there.
Last, but not least…
3. The Primal Life Organics C-Ex Natural Vitamin C Serum ($130-$225): the natural vitamin C serum
Yes. It's that expensive.
But since I helped design this serum, I can tell you exactly why, and exactly why it's worth it.
What it does: uses the most naturally vitamin C rich oils and extracts on the planet to renew skin, rejuvenate, even skin tone, moisturize, brighten, and repair.
I've had people tell me that this serum helped with everything from wrinkles to hyperpigmentation to uneven skin tone and texture. Primal Life Organics and I took a gamble sourcing these rare, potent oils and extracts in hopes that people would give a naturally-derived vitamin C serum a chance – and the gamble was so worth it.
There's not a single ounce of filler, stabilizer or texturizer in this product. It's pure, active antioxidants and plant constituents.
It's what has kept my skin from falling apart after having a baby and experiencing more stress and less sleep than ever before in my life.
A few of the vitamin C-rich ingredients in C-Ex and what they do:
- Rose Hip Seed Oil restores skin elasticity (it's a favorite for stretch marks for this reason) and helps reduce scarring and signs of premature aging
- Maracuja oil evens skin tone and helps brighten the skin
- Blackberry seed oil is incredibly rich in antioxidants
- Acai berries, golden berries and Camu Camu are incredibly high in vitamin C and other skin-nourishing nutrients
- Mango butter is amazing for cell regeneration
- Maqui Berries and Mangosteen and are high in antioxidants
…and there are many more ingredients and extracts in this serum that are well-known in the natural skincare world for their ability to repair, regenerate, and soothe the skin.
You've GOT to read the ingredients list to truly understand how amazing this serum is.
Just a few drops after cleansing and toning in the evening is perfect – this will allow the treatment to do its work overnight, and also makes the larger sized serum last for up to 6 months. I use this in conjunction with the Coffee Bean Serum, which is also phenomenal (and would have made my top four!), and the two also come as a package at a discount here.
Honorable mention: HiQ Cosmetics Facial Serum ($125)
This is an absolutely MAGICAL serum designed by a peptide scientist who is passionate about skincare. CoQ10 is neck-and-neck with vitamin C as my FAVORITE active ingredient in skincare – our skin NEEDS CoQ10 – but it's hard to work with (unless you're the scientists at HiQ), and even harder to get in to a safe formulation like this water-based treatment! HiQ has created such an amazing, light serum that's a perfect delivery system for a strong, effective form of CoQ10. I've added this to my daily routine, before my morning oil serum, and always on my neck, chest, and backs of my hands, too.
You can hear me talk about it in my podcast interview I did with Juli of PaleOMG!
Wrapping it up
Time and time again, I come back to these core products. They do everything – cleanse, tone, repair, regenerate, soothe, and improve to an incredible degree.
They're also multi-purpose, and can be used by people who want to repair the signs of aging, fight blemishes or inflammation, or even fight oily skin or dry skin.
And most importantly, they're crafted to be safer, more pure, and better-performing than most conventional skincare. These are well worth the investment!
Thanks for reading!
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