As a follow up to my last clean beauty makeup blogpost I received a T O N of questions about what kind of skincare products I use that also get the clean, non-toxic, natural and vegan seal of approval. So, as promised, I’ll be sharing with you a complete list of products I use and would recommend. Most of these products are available at The Detox Market once again, which is hands down my favourite place to shop clean products because they really take the work out of screening products for nasties. If it’s not available on TDM, I’ll include a link to purchase online elsewhere. A few non-vegan ingredients to keep in mind when it comes to skincare include beeswax, pearl or honey (which, are non-toxic, but not vegan).
WHY CLEAN/NON-TOXIC SKINCARE MATTERS
In my makeup blogpost, I went into depth about why clean beauty is so important, particularly for our health, and the same applies to skincare too. Just like makeup, skincare products come in direct contact with our skin, and actually, is the first layer to sit on the skin (even before makeup), so it is perhaps even more important to pay attention to skincare products than anything else.
Something a little more unique to skincare to look out for are the environmental impacts of using toxic and “dirty” skincare products. I’ve spoken about preservatives in makeup that are toxic to marine life once they go down the drain or are released into water (when we swim in oceans, for example) but some ingredients in skincare have the potential to be even more damaging. Not only do we send a lot more skincare product down the drain (think face wash, masks, treatments that we rinse off), but the ingredients in them can be especially damaging to Mother Earth.
One well known example is microbeads–tiny pieces of plastic commonly found in face washes that help to exfoliate the skin. They go down the drain but are too small to be filtered out properly and as a result, end up in oceans, in the stomachs of marine life and significantly harming the environment. You can read more about the environmental impact of microbeads and why they are now banned here. And that’s just one example!
MY JOURNEY TO CLEAN PRODUCTS
I completely got rid of any products in my bathroom that didn’t fit the bill after about 3-4 months and have finally found my favourites after giving a ton of different products a test run. It’s a good idea to test out products for at least 1-2 weeks to see how your skin reacts because you may not really have a feel for how they’re working unless you give them enough time. Also, not all products are equal and unfortunately, some natural products just don’t perform quite as well as their conventional counterparts.
So now, after testing them out *for* you, I bring you the products in my bathroom, and things I use on a regular basis–all 100% clean, nontoxic, earth friendly and vegan!
MY CURRENT SKINCARE FAVOURITES
*indicates holy grail product you need in your life
[updated as of April 2019]
C L E A N S I N G
**For Removing Makeup / Makeup Eraser Remover Cloth – I actually use a microfiber cloth to remove my makeup. No cleanser, no makeup remover, and that’s the truth! Using just water, it removes all makeup from my skin and can then be washed and reused. It’s a lot more earth-friendly than one time use makeup wipes, and eliminates the need for an additional makeup remover product or even cotton swabs. I haven’t purchased makeup remover wipes or solutions since, but I will list a few cleansing products that are vegan + nontoxic.
Odacité Black Mint Cleanser – To cleanse my face, I use this cleanser which feels especially good after a workout because it has a really refreshing minty-ness to it. Don’t worry, it’s not strong at all! But if you have sensitive skin, you may want to test it out to make sure mint doesn’t irritate you. Odacité also has some great oils targeting specific skin problems. I’ve personally used their acne targeting oil and really felt like it made a noticeable difference in my skin and very quickly too!
Osea Ocean Cleansing Mudd – This was the very first nontoxic cleanser I had ever tried, and my youngest sister is actually still hooked on this cleanser from her first day trying it too! My skin has significantly cleared since then, but back when I had more frequent breakouts, I remember that switching to this cleanser was one of the first times I had noticed clearing in my skin. Before that, I was definitely using a highly perfumed and very chemically harsh cleanser, so perhaps it was just the switch that helped, but I will always have a special place in my heart for this Mudd Cleanser.
M O I S T U R I Z I N G
Day Moisturizer / OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream or Pai Chamomile & Rosehip Calming Day Cream – For daytime, I like to use a lighter moisturizer and if I’m wearing makeup, I avoid using a facial oil because unless I have enough time to let it sit on my face and sink in, it can make foundation slip a little bit. I use this light OSEA moisturizer which has a gel-like consistency before applying SPF or any makeup. It’s a really great simple moisturizer and it actually protects the skin from pollutants and toxins in the air. Especially if you live in a city like New York, this is a great product to use. I love to also use it whenever I’m traveling to Shanghai, which is notorious for its pollution. The Pai Day Cream is also a great simple moisturizer for everyday use!
Night Moisturizer / Herbivore Botanicals Lapis Oil – At night time, I like to use a thicker cream or simply use a facial oil. For oils, I use either generic jojoba oil, or the Herbivore Lapis Oil. The lapis oil smells incredible and really makes me feel relaxed before bed. If you’re wondering why it’s blue, it contains blue tansy oil. I also love the moon treatment, which is definitely a thicker cream. In the morning, my skin always feels so hydrated after I use it.
O R Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil – Another great oil, especially if you’re just looking for a hydration boost while you sleep. Note, beware white clothing and bed sheets may stain if you don’t properly allow for this to sink into the skin for a few minutes first. I find this oil really gives me a nice glow to my skin and I believe it really helped my skin appearance this winter particularly.
/ t o n e r
*Osea Sea Mineral Mist OR Biossance Mineral Mist
After cleansing I like to rehydrate my face and I use either the Osea mist or an ACV blend. I won’t lie. The ACV mist doesn’t smell great, but it’s a very affordable and natural way to re-balance the PH of your skin after cleansing. The Osea mist uses ingredients like organic Patagonian seaweed, which is used in almost all of their products, and Dead Sea salt. Both ingredients contribute to prepping your skin to absorb moisturizer. The Osea Sea Mist is one of my all time favourites because I personally find that my skin tends to clear when I’m in a beachy part of the world, and I feel like the sea mist is a similar effect, but bottled (and no flight required).
The Biossance mist is a great mist that I tried more recently and definitely sprays a finer mist. It’s apparently great over top of makeup too, and what I love about Biossance is that you can find them at Sephora now too.
/ s e r u m s
***Serums – Odacite Bl + C Pimple Serum & Pa + G Hyperpigmentation Serum – If I had to recommend one product, it would be one of these Odacité serums. I tried them both as samples while I was traveling (during which time, my skin tends to freak out), and was so surprised by how effective they were. Once I ran out of the samples. I noticed my skin was more breakout prone again and not looking quite as glowy. These work almost like boosters for your regular moisturizers or oils, and you only need to add 1-2 drops because the serums are so concentrated. I use a combo of the pimple and hyperpigmentation serums since those are my 2 target issues, but they also have a wide variety of other serums for other skin issues. This is a great product to add to your skincare routine because you can just add it to your existing moisturizer or oils to give them a boost. This is the kind of product that I have 2 back up bottles of in case I ever run out. I bought it for my sister, my aunt, my grandma… yeah.
T R E A T M E N T
Spot Treatment / Indie Lee Blemish Lotion – I like to use this as an overnight spot treatment to target any active blemishes. I try not to use salicylic acid or other harsh chemicals on my skin because I find they may treat the issue but never really fix the underlying cause, and they’re very drying on the skin!
***Gua Sha tool, for facial circulation / Mount Lai Rose Quartz Gua Sha Tool – Another holy grail product that I’ve recently been loving. Every morning, after toning + applying my serums, I like to use my gua sha tool because gua sha can actually increase absorption of the product. It also increases blood flow and circulation in the face, depuffs, and encourages collagen production and elasticity in the skin. If you have TMJ problems, this is also a great way to relax your jaw, and gua sha supposedly also tightens and lifts the skin as well. I personally love it every morning because I wake up with a puffy and pale face most days. I found that the Mount Lai one in particular fits my face the best, whereas other brands were a bit awkward in shape and size. This has been an absolute game changer in my routine. It’s like a cup of coffee for your face.
Eye cream / Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel – If/when I remember to use eye cream, I apply this at night. I like this formula because it has a gel-like consistency, unlike most greasy eye creams. It’s also almost always sold out at Sephora so you know it’s a cult favourite!
Caffeine-free eye cream, for PM or sensitive skin / Bioclarity Eye Will Chill Eye Cream – This is a great one to use in the evenings. I am personally very sensitive to caffeine, and am a firm believer that your skin absorbs product like any other organ would, so I avoid caffeinated eye creams in the evening. Similar to the Biossance eye gel, it’s cooling, not greasy and not too creamy either.
/ e x f o l i a t o r s
***Exfoliator / Osea Vitamin C Probiotic Polish – I exfoliate once or twice a week (or really, whenever I remember to or feel like my skin needs a little scrub) using this polish. It comes in a powdery form and you add a small amount + some water to create a sort of paste. I have definitely noticed improvements in my skin texture after using this polish. It’s potent stuff! Fun fact: Osea was the first ever natural brand I had ever used. This polish contains fermented pomegranate enzymes which target surface build-up. Although it is a probiotic polish, it’s completely vegan.
/ m a s k s
Clay mask, for clearing skin + oily/buildup moments / Nazan Schnapp Regenerating Blue Clay Iris Amethyst & Peony Mask – This mask is not only gorgeous in colour but has beautiful ingredients in it as well, including amethyst gemstone for all my crystal lovers out there. I like to use this about once a week and love the bottle it comes in. It makes it mess-free and I add a little bit into a small bowl, mix with water and apply with a brush. Don’t let it sit on your face for TOO long, as it can become drying if you forget about it.
O R Frank & Whit Northern Liberties Pink Clay Mask – I also love to use the Frank & Whit pink clay mask because it is not as drying as most clay masks. It is made with hibiscus and is great for acne prone skin in particular. It’s gorgeous in colour and a portion of all sales at Frank & Whit support rescue dogs! [use code veggiekins for 20% of all F&W products].
Overnight mask / Youth To The People Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask – This is an overnight mask, or rather a night cream treatment. I love using this as moisturizer alone, following exfoliation with with the Vitamin C polish, especially before shoots, or when my skin really needs a refresh. Think a serious overnight treatment for days when your skin is not at its best, post-flight, or after a heavy makeup day. It’s the ultimate combo!
Retinol overnight mark / 100% Pure Ultra Riche PM Treatment – This was my go to all winter long and it’s amazing for dry skin. This is an intense overnight treatment and must be followed up with SPF the following morning (which you’re already using every day anyway, right?).
/ S P F
Tinted Moisturizer, for lazy days / Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream Tinted Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – I use this tinted SPF on days when I don’t really want to wear a full face of makeup. I’ll wear this as sort of a sub for a light foundation because it has a little bit of tint, and most importantly protection from the sun.
Daily SPF / Biossance SPF Sunscreen – SPF is an EVERYDAY MUST! You know this already though, right? Even though I live in NYC and not every day is sunny, I still SPF myself every morning. Once it becomes routine, it’ll be easier to remember to apply but seriously, USE IT rain or shine (or even snow). I like this lightweight, nontoxic formula that kind of doubles up as a primer as well. I’ve noticed makeup applies really well on top of it and it doesn’t break me out.
Coming next will be an update to my Non-Toxic + Vegan Haircare Blogpost, in which I’ll be adding my body care favourites and more to the list. Essentially, everything else you’ve been asking about 🙂
Love & skincare,
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Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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