[Not sponsored by any of this stuff, I just simply love it and want you to love it too!]
I have shared my skin care regimens on this blog many times, and I’m embarrassed to say that I keep changing my mind. Every time I post about a product I swear by, I shortly after, either find something better, or decide that I don’t like it as much as I used to. But that’s okay, we all do that, right?
I also believe that we are always searching for perfection when it comes to skin care, and always aiming for the best of the best, the one and only answer, the magic spell to invoke our most actualized youthful beauty. Maybe it’s part of being a woman, or being human, or striving for goddess status. Maybe it’s the pure power of advertising, or maybe it’s a reflection of our ego and greed. I would like to think it’s not based in anything evil at all, and is simply harmless fun. I just love thinking about it, talking about it, experiencing it, and sharing it with others, and that is all!
I think Frances McDormand’s character Jane in Friends with Money (2006) said it best when she said…
“I was obsessed with shampoo. I thought if I could find the right one, my hair would be the hair I always wanted. Like, every time I washed, it was a new opportunity. A new chance to be pretty.”
Now, let’s get right into it, shall we, since I think between Jane and myself, we’ve explored enough justification behind the philosophy of this post, yes?
TOXICITY IN BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Let me begin by saying that non- (or low-) toxic beauty products are the only products I use. Please check your products against the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Database before you purchase anything new or continue with existing products. I’m happy to say that I think more companies worldwide are becoming more conscious of the fact that people actually really care about the amount of harmful chemicals that go into their bodies, and non-toxic products are not just a trend, but are really the future when it comes to the beauty industry.
Still, an unassuming product such as Oil of Olay’s Overnight Gel Masks has moderate risk for Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity, Non-reproductive organ system toxicity, and Persistence and bioaccumulation, as well as high risk for Endocrine Disruption, and Allergies/Immunotoxicity. If the EWG website does not have a particular product in their database, I always search the rating for each individual ingredient in a product, one by one, to make sure the entire product ranks between a 1 and 2 on the toxicity scale (10 is the rating for the highest amount of risk for toxicity).
I follow both Vogue and Bazaar on YouTube and they both actively post highly entertaining and obsession-inducing videos of celebrities doing their own skin care routines in front of the mirror in their own bathrooms. It’s fascinating to see how other women take care of themselves, but it also fascinates me how many women still choose high performance over low-toxicity. In this post, and in life, you will see that I strive for, and settle for nothing less than…both.
YouTube still from the most entertaining beauty routine I’ve seen. Tracee Ellis Ross is gorgeous, hysterical, adorable, and a true goddess. Click here to view Vogue’s Beauty Secrets with Tracee Ellis Ross.
I actually use different products for morning and evening, and I wanted to focus exclusively on nighttime for this post in order to keep things organized. Also, I was doing my skin care routine last night and felt like whipping out the camera to take pictures of everything, so since I was in the mood to document all of this last night, I’m inspired to put words to the gorgeous images I captured.
I have actually been cleansing with this miracle product for many years, so this is a repeat from some of my previous posts. I know it sounds weird, but please try it for yourself if you haven’t already.
I use Manuka honey as my only facial cleanser. Manuka honey is a bit more expensive and is made in New Zealand from bees that have collected nectar from the Manuka flower. Manuka honey has antimicrobial properties, making it antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. No other honey has this level of concentration of antimicrobial properties, so it’s worth the extra cost and lasts a very long time. This is the perfect product to use as a gentle, effective, nourishing, and low-toxicity cleanser.
Simply glob a bit of honey on your finger tip and run it quickly under some warm water (I’m talking like a split second). This instantly makes the honey more “spreadable” across your face and it essentially feels like a liquid cleanser once it’s mixed with water.
I also typically leave the honey on my face for a few minutes while I brush my teeth or putter around my bathroom, and this makes for a perfect five minute, mini-mask.
PINK CLAY KONJAC SPONGE
I heard about this milk + honey Pink Clay Konjac Sponge from another goddess I follow on YouTube, Frederique Bros, and she was using this sponge to take off her makeup. HUGE GAME-CHANGER ALERT! My skin has reached new levels of alabaster creamy smoothness ever since I purchased this sponge, and I beg you to please try it out!
I rinse off the honey with this dream sponge, but if you don’t have or want this sponge (I can’t imagine why), you can simply rinse off the honey with warm water. No residue left on your skin, I promise!
I’m in a fancy mood tonight, so I’m French-i-fying my heading.
Directly after cleansing, about once a week, I use a brightening face mask (I’ll go back to the non-French version now, the mood has already passed).
**This has one ingredient, Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Leaf Gel, that ranks between a 1 and 3 on the EWG site, depending on usage. I take the risk, but I always keep this in mind, and I only use this product about once a week**
I have actually mentioned this product in previous posts as well because this one also has lots of staying power for me. I use Herbivore Botanicals Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Mask to remove dead skin cells from the week and to regenerate and revitalize the surface of my face.
“A truly natural radiance mask featuring Rice Powder and Pineapple Enzymes to smooth and brighten skin, plus micronized Brazilian Tourmaline Gemstone to give a glowing complexion.“-Herbivore Botanicals
I get more compliments the day after I use this product, than any other product in my high performing arsenal.
I leave this product on for about ten minutes since my skin is fairly sensitive, and then rinse again using my Konjac Sponge…
Now that my face is uber clean, super silky buffed, and wide open to receive, it’s time to nourish my skin with more delicious, healthy, non-toxic, high-performing potions.
I don’t go crazy for serums and am still kind of an old school “moisturizer is all you need” kind of gal. However, I’m not going to lie. Serums work! And I have finally found one that I truly feel aligned with.
**The full ingredient list is not on the product website, so I emailed customer service to obtain the list. This product is incredibly safe in terms of toxicity, with the exception of one ingredient, Rosa Damascena Flower Extract, that ranks a 3 on the EWG site. Rose can be an irritant for many, so this one is ranked a bit higher. Full ingredient list: Water (Aqua), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Phytocannabinoid-Rich Hemp Extract, including Cannabidiol (“CBD”), Sodium Hyaluronate, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopherol, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Oil, Boswellia Carterii Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Extract, Phenethyl Alcohol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid.**
After cleansing and masking, I use The Everyday Serum by Superflower. This serum has three powerful, yet gentle ingredients to heal, soothe, and smooth our skin: CBD (for calming), Vitamin C (for nourishing), and Hyaluronic Acid (for that supple glow). This serum is super light and smells really fresh, kind of like coffee + flowers. This is probably my most favorite product of all right now, and I look forward to using it every night.
Retinols are one of the only scientifically proven substances that actually help to combat fine lines and wrinkles. However, Retinol in the form of Vitamin A found in most Retinol-based beauty products, ranks a 9 out of 10 on the toxicity scale and has a moderate to high risk for cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, and biochemical or cellular level changes.
Stay away from Retinol products.
However, there are many plant-based, Retinol-alternative products emerging now, and many of them are just as effective, and much safer. I have used a few, but I do have really sensitive skin, so the one I like best that gives me absolutely no negative skin reactions is Herbivore Botanicals Bakuchiol Smoothing Serum.
“Bakuchiol Serum is a naturally derived retinol-alternative treatment to help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while sealing in hydration. Bakuchiol, the key ingredient, is sourced sustainably from the Ayurvedic Babchi plant.“-Herbivore Botanicals
**This product has two Aloe Barbadensis ingredients that rank between a 1 and 3 on the EWG website, so I use this one in moderation as well, about once a week**
Even though this product is plant-based and very safe, it is still high performing and rather intense. If I use this serum once a week, I can still see the smoothing effects for days, so I stick to this level of moderation. I have mentioned this product in previous posts as well, so this obviously has some staying power.
I used to think moisturizers were for fighting wrinkles, and depending on the kind you use, I suppose that’s true. However, after doing lots of research, and from my own personal experience, I have found that facial moisturizers are more about sealing your face and locking in nutrients.
Once I have applied all of my products, I cap the whole thing off with my number one, most favorite moisturizer that I have been using for several years as well.
Biossance is truly one of my favorite beauty product lines and all of their products rank low on the toxicity scale. Some of their products cause a bit of irritation to my sensitive skin, but not their Squalene + Omega Repair Cream. It’s a dream!
“A whipped texture moisturizer, rich in lipids and ceramides, to exceptionally hydrate, plump and smooth skin. It leaves skin radiant, improves the appearance of fine lines for a healthy-looking complexion.”-Biossance
I won’t ever go the plastic surgery, botox, fillers route and plan to only ever use natural methods to age gracefully. I love the French beauty philosophy which is all about embracing your flaws. French women don’t try to fight their signs of aging (the idea is actually ludicrous to them), and instead, they lean into the marks, spots, and lines that make them unique. They work with what they have and really celebrate their own natural beauty. It’s a lovely concept and I’ve always agreed.
ONCE A WEEK, GIVE YOUR SKIN A BREAK
This is just my own personal opinion, but I do think our skin appreciates some rest from all the gunk we apply twice daily. So, once a week, I avoid putting anything on my face all together. My skin won’t greatly suffer from one night of not cleansing (I don’t wear make-up, so I can get away with this) and not moisturizing. Let the skin breathe, and rest, and reset every once in awhile.
Well this wraps up my nighttime beauty regimen for 2021, and if I were you, I would keep a look out for my daytime routine, most likely coming soon.
Be safe and be well ay’one! Until next time…