First things first: I am very passionate about eco-friendly skincare, okay? And although my skin looked flawless and balanced in high school, I paid for it later in life. I talk about my struggle with acne in adulthood in THIS post. It all started when I moved to Australia… The massive climate change didn’t help. It forced me to rebalance my skin, body, and emotions from the ground up. I say emotions because I know the stress, pain and shame that acne can cause – you know the drill! I started paying attention to what I was using on my skin and what I was putting into my body. Today, I can say that my skin has returned to its original state and is more radiant, hydrated, and happy than ever before. I believe that beautiful skin results from balanced hormones, good hydration, and good UV protection.
Cruelty-Free vs Vegan
My Australian sister’s golden advice: do not put products on your face that you could not eat, and do not feed your body things that your skin does not appreciate. I added the latter later, after finding out that certain foods were massive acne triggers for me, as they messed with my cortisol and hormone levels. It was a challenge to find natural products that worked. I also believe that no animal should suffer for my skincare and find it important to only use cruelty-free and vegan products.
On a side note, cruelty-free means the product has not been tested on animals, while vegan means the product does not contain any ingredients derived from animals.
Believe me when I say that I have tried and tested every natural skincare product I could get my hands on. Here are all my favorite skincare products, from facial cleansers to moisturizers, none of them sponsored! One more little disclaimer before we continue: I am not a dermatologist, I can only speak from my own experience. Oh yeah, I can best describe my skin as acne prone, a combination of oily and dry under the eyes.
My step-by-step Daytime Skincare Routine
It’s a misconception to think that you do not need to cleanse your face in the morning. I was one of those people who thought I could just give my face a quick rinse because it did not come in contact with anything that really needed to be washed off. I was wrong because I clearly forgot about the bacteria and sebum that can build up overnight. Tata Harper’s Purifying Cleanser is one of my favorite cleansers of all time. It smells heavenly, like herbs and leaves skin clean and hydrated. I use the Emma Hardie Dual Action Cleansing Cloth to wash off the product.
2. Tone & Exfoliate
Not all of Paula’s Choice’s products are vegan, but my favorite: the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant is, thankfully. It keeps pimples at bay and shrinks enlarged pores. I use my hands to swipe the liquid solution into my skin. Non-reusable cotton pads soak up way too much of the solution and are NOT very environmentally friendly.
I do not always have the time, but when I do, I like to make myself a little concoction (a drop or 2) of these serums and let them soak in:
Breakfast is served and it’s not cereal! I bet your skin will enjoy this nutrient-rich blend of organic superfood seed oils. This blend is not to be confused with essential oils (which can cause breakouts) and is known for its detoxifying and moisturizing benefits.
If I could marry one product (other than sunscreen), it would be this little guy. Is it expensive? Yes! Is it worth the price tag? Why yes! (Sorry for your bank account). Will I ever stop using it? Not in a million years! The facial oil of all facial oils contains 22 of the most nutrient-rich botanicals in the world to help maintain a radiant, even complexion.
It has been scientifically proven that the patented Viniferine used in this product is 62 times more effective than Vitamin C. This serum is especially interesting for correcting dark spots like acne scars or sun damage. You know what else is really great? Caudalie uses 100% recycled glass and plastic for the packaging.
4. Eye Cream
My eye area is usually dry and sensitive, so most eye creams are too irritating for me. My current favourite eye cream is Biossance’s Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream, but I have to admit I am always on the lookout for new, even more moisturising options.
When it comes to moisturizers, I try to change them depending on the season.
- Sonya Dakar’s Blue Butterfly Balm is my favorite fall/winter or night cream. The consistency of this balm is SO unique. The substance turns into a luxurious oil after you warm it in your hands.
- Dr. Barbara Strum’s face cream is a delightfully soothing dream. It was love at first try. I love everything about this cream, including the light texture and the fact that it’s unscented.
Is wearing sunscreen indoors absolutely necessary? The answer is YES, unless you always stay far away from the windows. My favorite is the CC screen from Supergoop. Not only is it reef safe (which is MOST important), but it is also 100% mineral and color correcting. Looking for a nice CC cream with SPF 50? Your prayers have been answered.
7. Diet, Supplements & Superfoods
Drinking plenty of good quality water is very important, I know it, you know it! I will go into more detail about water in another post. I usually add a scoop of H3O Hydration Powder to my water. I try to limit my coffee consumption to 2 cups a day and keep my dairy and refined sugar consumption to an absolute minimum. And why? Because I have noticed a huge difference in my skin. Cows are often fed artificial hormones that get into their milk and can eventually mess with human hormones (and therefore your skin). Sugar, on the other hand, spikes your blood sugar levels and releases a hormone called insulin. Excess insulin can cause your oil glands to produce more oil – of course, we do not want that! Instead of refined sugar, I prefer to use monk fruit or stevia.
Gut health plays a very important, if not THE most important role in your overall health and skin. If you want to have a happy gut, you need to balance it. This is where pre and probiotics come into play. Every morning I dissolve a tablespoon of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar in lukewarm water and also take a probiotic supplement.
And finally, my favorite supplement and true game changer in my skincare routine, drum roll… Vitex Angus (also called chasteberry). This Mediterranean herb helps balance estrogen and progesterone during the menstrual cycle. Put an end to monthly zit stress, Hum’s Moody Bird is the supplement for you.