First things first: I am very passionate about natural skincare. And I got my adult acne to thank for that! Cause although my skin looked flawless and glowing in high school, my A-friend came knocking on my door later in life. It all started with me moving to Australia… Changing climates while turning 30 were not the most helpful factors in this matter. Here’s how I have managed to discover a skincare regimen that brought my skin back to balance and restored my confidence. Allow me to add that this was not an overnight transformation.

Cruelty-Free vs. Vegan

to eat or not to eat

My Australian sister once said: Do not put anything on your face that you would not eat. I added the latter later, after discovering 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. Additionally, I believe no animal should suffer for my skincare. I find it essential to use cruelty-free and vegan products. 

On a side note, cruelty-free means the product has not been tested on animals. Vegan, on the other hand, claims that the product does not contain any ingredients derived from animals.

I have tried and tested almost 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 is sponsored! One more little disclaimer before we continue: I am not a dermatologist. I can only speak from my own experience. I have acne-prone combination skin with an oily t-zone and dry under the eyes. It can get sensitive at times, especially when I travel.

Daytime Skincare: Step-by-step

Step 1: Cleanse or double cleanse

It’s a misconception 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. It smells heavenly and leaves skin clean and semi-hydrated. I use the Emma Hardie Dual Action Cleansing Cloth to wash off the product and Foreo Luna to massage it. I like using Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser in rotation with the other cleanser. Oil-based cleansers work better for me at night when I need to remove makeup.

Step 2: Tone & Exfoliate

Not all Paula’s Choice’s products are vegan, but my favorite is: the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. It keeps pimples at bay and shrinks enlarged pores. I use my hands to swipe the liquid solution into my Skin. Unfortunately, non-reusable cotton pads soak up too much of the solution and are NOT very environmentally friendly. 

When I don’t use the BHA liquid, I like to prep my skin with the Mario Badescu Witch Hazel & Rosewater Toner. It smells heavenly and brings back what’s been stripped during the washing process: moisture.

Step 2: Heal & prep

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:

Suppose you want to slow skin aging, prevent wrinkles, and improve dark spots or acne (scars). In that case, you will genuinely enjoy using topical vitamin C. Glow up in a bottle!

Breakfast is served, and it’s not cereal! Instead, I bet your skin will enjoy this nutrient-rich blend of the most bioactive and powerful antioxidants: the Chebula ayurvedic fruit. This blend is hydrating and anti-aging.

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). But will I ever stop using it? Not in a million years! This facial oil contains 22 of the most nutrient-rich botanicals in the world to help maintain a radiant, even complexion.

This product replaced my foundation (most of the time). It brings my skin back to life time after time. I genuinely enjoy the calming natural scent, and I can immediately see the plumping effect. It feels divine to have this anti-aging hydrator on my skin.

Step 3: Eye Cream

My eye area is usually dry and sensitive, so most eye creams are too irritating for me. My current favorite eye cream is Biossance’s Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream. Still, I have to admit I am always looking for new, even more moisturizing options.

Step 4: Moisturize

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 becomes a luxurious oil after you warm it in your hands.
  • Dr. Barbara Strum’s face cream is a delightfully soothing dream. It was love on the first try. I love everything about this cream, including the light texture and the fact that it’s unscented.

Step: Protect from the Sun

Is wearing sunscreen indoors absolutely necessary? The answer is YES unless you always stay far away from the windows. One of my favorites is the CC screen from Supergoop. It is reef safe (crucial), but it is also 100% mineral and color correcting. Looking for a nice CC cream with SPF 50? Your prayers have been answered. The other brand I swear by is Colorscience. I’m never without their brush-on shield. It’s an SPF50 on a brush. It works mattifying and pore refining. Ideal product for… well, everywhere you go. Sometimes I just can’t be bothered to reapply my sunscreen over my makeup. That’s where this brush comes in. I use this guy every single day. Big plus: It fits in every handbag. 

Diet, Supplements & Superfoods

Hydration & gut health

Drinking plenty of good quality water is very important. I know it, you know it! Sometimes, I’ll 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 massive 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 – we do not want that! Instead of refined sugar, I prefer to use monk fruit or stevia.

Gut health plays a significant, if not THE most essential, role in your overall health and skin. However, to maintain 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 take a probiotic supplement. 

And finally, my favorite supplement and true game changer in my skincare routine, drum roll… Vitex Angus (also called chaste berry). 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.

with love,
Anna

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