All Things Beauty · Naturals & Non-Toxic · Products · Skin Care

Skin Care Routine…Ritual?

Happy weekend, Beauties!

My body feels like it’s been put through ten different wringers, but, I’m almost back to my usual normal. Which means that my level of fatigue is almost back to what it usually is, the bodily aches and pains, feeling like I have a constant low grade fever is just about back to how I usually feel. I’m not blogging today to talk about my body though! I mean yeah, in a way, but not to give too honest of a look into my day to day pain levels.

I’m writing today because a. I actually feel like it, and b. I figured it was time to talk about all of the natural skin care products I’ve switched to and what I think about them. Taking care of my outside is one of the ways I do self care. If the outside of my body feels somewhat okay, then I can handle the chaos of the inside of my body a bit better. Taking care of my skin has become almost a ritual for me. Every morning and every night, I do the same things. I used to feel so ashamed of how bad my face broke out as a kid and teenager. It is still a thorn in my side at times, but I am understanding better how what’s going on inside my body affects the outside. I understand and can have a little bit more compassion for myself because I know it’s one of my body’s ways of telling me that something’s wrong. Having a good skin care routine has helped too though. Having products and ways of consistently managing break outs has done a lot for my mental health.

So first off, cleanser! I’m going to list the products I use in the order I use them.

 CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser$13.99 Amazon, $13.99 Target

I honestly haven’t swapped this for a more natural option because I have been using this for 2 1/2 years and it works really well for me. I also get the 16 ounce container and it lasts me for 6+ months. So $14 for a bottle of cleanser that lasts for 6+ months? And it doesn’t dry your skin out? Check. I mainly only use this cleanser at night to get everything off my face from the day; makeup, dirt and oil from being out in the elements and having touched my face during the day.

I do however use an all natural facial scrub.

Acure Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub$8.49 Amazon, $8.49 Target

I first got a little sample of this in an Ipsy bag years ago, and really liked it. It’s a pretty constant addition to my weekly facial routines. I found that if I exfoliate in the mornings (yes I know that’s the opposite of what is usually recommended) 3x a week, not only have I managed minimize the amount of random flaky dry spots I get, my makeup sits a lot smoother. Every time I wash my hair, I exfoliate my face. I do recommend this scrub for how gentle it is too. My skin has never felt irritated by this facial scrub. One tip though, I find that exfoliating at least 2-3 times a week is just right for my skin. If this is too much for your face, then definitely back off.

TruSkin Naturals Rose Water Toner$14.95 Amazon

I used to make my own rose water years and years ago, and while it smelled so good and I have no remembrance of it actually doing anything for my skin, I do remember it molding fairly quickly with each batch. I use rose water in the mornings to help my face kind of wake up. This one bottle lasted me for 2 1/2 months and when it was almost out, I just put witch hazel into the bottle and mixed it with the rest of the rose water. Both witch hazel and rose water are good toners and both of them are soothing to your skin. I’m really happy with the TruSkin Naturals brand, but I think once this bottle finally runs out I’m going to look back into making my own rose water.

TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum For Face$19.99 w/$1.00 coupon Amazon (Target C serum options – $16, $19.59)

Okay, so this is one of those products that I’ve come to believe is a very good thing to add to your facial routine. I don’t really have an opinion on “anti-aging” products as I don’t believe it is a good or possible thing to try to stop  your face from aging. BUT! I think it is prudent to protect the skin you have been given, and nourish your body inside and out. I have used three different Vitamin C serums for the past 6 months, and I think I like this one the best. I have noticed less breakouts, and my skin feels smoother and calmer. With how much is going on with my body right now, the breakouts I do have around my jawline I have expected. But my forehead and around my nose have been clearer and haven’t felt as inflamed. I have had some “beauty experts” tell me that vitamin c isn’t good for acne, but I seriously beg to differ. I have done a fair bit of research on the effects of Vitamin C serum specifically for acne, and have heard and can attest to all good things. Vitamin C serum can break out your skin when you first use it, but I haven’t experienced that, and my skin is the type that breaks out almost the instant I try one new thing that my skin doesn’t like.

Christina Moss Naturals Facial Moisturizer$25.99 w/20% coupon Amazon, $25.99 +S/H Christina Moss Naturals

Do you know how darn expensive “non-toxic, all natural” moisturizers are?! When I got my estrogen dominance confirmed, I knew I needed to changed the things I use on my body. I know, I know, this is one of those sayings that crunchy mamas say, but your skin is the biggest organ, and with how badly my hormones are imbalanced and how sick my body is, doesn’t it make sense to pay attention to ingredients of the products I’m using? Which then leads me to the frustration I had with trying to find even one decently priced non-toxic facial moisturizer. Not only that, but from a brand that I knew wouldn’t make me break out. Besides the Rose & Abbott moisturizer (click here & here) I’ve used, this is the second one I would highly recommend. It comes in two different “scents;” unscented and anise or original scent. I got the one above and it is extremely concentrated, so I barely even need a half pump. Also, because of the design of the bottle, it is an airless pump which means even though there are very few preservatives in the moisturizer, it lasts for a long time. Some of the reviews even said a bottle lasted them 6 months.

LaMav Organic BB Creme$17.95 Amazon

So I use a bb cream just about every day, and I prefer one with SPF in it, but to find an organic/all natural one that didn’t break the bank and felt okay on my skin was nearly impossible. I tried Pacifica’s bb cream, cc cream, AND dream foundation, and all of those were too…luminous and drying. I tried Juice Beauty’s cc cream, and whoa, talk about feeling like a walking highlighter. I highly recommend Juice Beauty products, but dang, I’m not sure what’s up with their foundations and cc creams. Way too brightening I guess. I don’t actually remember how I stumbled upon this LaMav bb creme, but I liked that it was organic, has natural sunscreen in it, and I could actually use it as a moisturizer and bb cream combined. It is not drying, it is thin, but besides breakout spots on my jawline, I don’t feel like I have to hide under any foundation anymore. My only complaint is that it is definitely NOT for very fair skin tones. I wish there was an even lighter shade available, but I make this one work. Because it’s the summer time, my face is not quite as pale as it is during the winter. I will have to find a lighter bb cream for the winter, but I’ve got a handful of months to go before winter comes back around again. It also has no scent either, so that’s another plus.

I will do another post some time soon about all natural foundations. I have found a few that I mostly like, but I am waiting on one other brand to get here before I do reviews and give recommendations.

Night Time Routine

My night time routine is a little different and that’s when I will spot treat any breakouts I have. I usually use Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Tea Tree oils for spot treatments. I will apply this after I’ve washed my face and applied a toner. To apply the essential oils, I will put a few drops of each on a cotton ball and then dab on the breakout spots. I usually put the essential oils on a cotton ball in the order of the oils listed above. I’m not sure it really makes a difference, but I have had the best luck with those three oils clearing up raging breakouts fairly quickly.

Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Toner$4.69 Target

I prefer this toner, and both Phil and I use it every night. One bottle lasts us both for two months…I think? I don’t have to buy it very often and that’s with two people using it daily. I will use this typically at night, using the rose water in the mornings, and then will apply the essential oils. Once I’ve given the oils about 30 seconds to settle on my skin, I’ll then apply about a 1/3 of a dropper of the Vitamin C serum to my face. I will let that dry completely before putting on a night cream.

 Avalon Organics Wrinkle Therapy Night Creme$11.70 Amazon

I didn’t think I liked this when I first got it, but I am rather enjoying it now. I don’t actually notice a scent, and it is also an airless pump bottle. This means that there’s no “straw” inside the bottle, a little disc slides up with each pump of the top. This minimizes waste left in the bottle, and means you get about all that you can get out of the bottle. I honestly picked this night cream because it was not only the cheapest one I could find, but I hadn’t ever tried Avalon Organics before. The fact it’s a night cream for wrinkles doesn’t phase me, as I didn’t buy it for that purpose! It also does not have any added fragrances or parfums. That’s a hard thing to find and the product also be a reasonable cost.

So those are the products I’ve switched to and I got to say I feel like my face doesn’t get as inflamed as much as it used to, and I am noticing whenever I put something on my skin that isn’t “natural.” I guess that’s one of the frustrations of cutting out “bad” things out of your diet or skin care products – you try to add that bad thing back in, and your body/skin freaks out. Just goes to show how negative of an effect the body has when exposed to toxins and chemicals that aren’t good for it.

**This post may contain affiliate links. This means I get a percentage of whatever you purchase through a link I’ve posted at no extra cost to you. I use affiliate links to help a little with keeping this blog up and running. 

All Things Beauty · Beauty Favorites · Makeup · Products · Self Care · Skin Care

Beauty Favorites – Skin & Body Care Edition

Hello Beauties!

We’re almost to the end of March, and I thought now would be a good time to round up some of my favorite skin and body care products and techniques that I’ve used this past month. I hope to do something like this at the end of every month and it will be interesting to see how many and which products change from month to month. Being the young mama of two littles, 1 and almost 4, life can be and usually is pretty busy. Chaotic at times for sure, but I have found that by keeping with certain routines for my hair, taking care of my face/skin, and doing my makeup helps me feel calm and more put together and able to handle the busyness of having young kids. I’ll talk more about what it’s like being mama to young ones, and the specific things I do for self care in another post.

Let’s start with skin/body care! As I’m nearing 30, I really don’t want to be dealing with acne any more (thanks unbalanced hormones) and I want to get a head start on worry lines. Allow me to clarify though, I do not think there is anything wrong with fine lines and wrinkles! I think they are distinguishing and I think it is a natural part of aging. However, I do believe in hydrating your skin, taking care of your skin, and doing what you can for maintaining the integrity of your skin Within In Reason. I also believe that skin care is essential to any good makeup routine, and as I’ve been working on changing my eating and cutting out foods I’m reacting to, I’ve see a change with my skin through that as well. But, more on that in another post! Several of my favorites are essential oils, and others aren’t “natural” so much. I’d say that I have a fairly even mix of natural and not so “natural” skin care products in my bathroom. So some of my favorites are things you may already have (if you’re in to essential oils).

So, with that in mind, here are several body/skin care techniques and products that I have fallen in love with (and am not so in love with) from the month of March.

** Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links! That means I get a small percentage of any purchase you may make through one of these links. 

 

– Body Care I Love –

SheaMoisture African Black Soap with Shea Butter – I use this every morning in the shower with a pouf. My back has completely cleared up, and this is what I use on my face to wash off night cream and such. I love the smell, it’s very mild, and one 8 oz bar lasts 3-4 months.

Body lotion – I have always come back to one specific brand – St. Ives. It’s the only lotion I don’t react to, the smell doesn’t make me sick, and it actually makes my skin feel good! This one has been my favorite right now, St. Ives Revitalizing Body Lotion Acai, Blueberry & Chia Seed OilLiving in Colorado means really dry air and skin that prone to drying out really quickly. As long as I have a bottle of this on hand, then I’m good!

 

– Skin Care I Love –
I will list products in the order I use them!

{Daytime Skin Care}

 

Rose Water Toner – I used to make my own rose water about 15 years ago, but I think I stopped because I didn’t like the upkeep of having to keep making it. I found this one – Rose Water Facial Toner Spray – Natural Astringent Face MistI love that this is a spray, and it is so easy to put on. It smells very delicate, and this is what I use first thing after I’ve gotten out of the shower in the morning. I will usually spritz a couple times around my face after drying off after getting out of the shower. I’ll let it dry on my face, then put on the serum below.

Vitamin C Serum – I’ve always looked so kindly on serums for your face. Especially when it seemed to just add yet another step into a skin care routine. But, as I’ve been trying to keep my skin clear, and now that my hormones aren’t causing breakouts quite as much, I have put a lot more effort into learning how to take care of my skin. I got this one – Noche Y Dia Night and Day Vitamin C Revitalizing Concentrate Serum for Face with Bitter Orange, Lemon, & Kiwi Seed. So far it has lasted me two months, and I gotta say I have actually noticed a difference with it. My skin has become smoother, I haven’t had as many flaky spots around my nose, and I haven’t had any non-hormonal breakouts. This one is more expensive (I found a deal for it when I got it) but I’m planning on trying another Vitamin C serum when this one runs out. How I use this one is I’ll use about 1/2 a pump of the serum, gently massage it all over my face AFTER putting on a toner. Either the rose water (above) or witch hazel which I’ll use at night. This serum says to let it absorb into your face for about 5 minutes before putting on a moisturizer. So I’ll apply it, then get dressed, or finishing putting on lotion, and then apply my daily moisturizer or night cream.

Daily Moisturizer – My absolute favorite day cream isn’t carried anywhere any more which thoroughly sucks. I loved it because it was a gel moisturizer and kept my face from getting itchy or dried out. However, I did find this one – Olay Active Botanicals Moisturizing Day Lotion – and I like it. Not as much as my old one, but I love the gentle scent and it seems to do a fairly good job of keeping my skin from getting too dry (especially with the addition of putting serum on before this).

*bonus daytime skin care/makeup I use daily*

SKIN79 Super+ BB cream Triple Function Hot Pink SPF30 – I have been using this BB cream since July last year, and it goes on right over my daily moisturizer just about every day. There are four, I think, different shades of this BB cream (all of them pretty pale, I’m afraid, it is a Korean brand), but the Hot Pink one is the one that matches my skin tone the best. One bottle lasts roughly 5-6 months.

 

{Nighttime Skin Care}

Cleanser – I have used honey for cleansing my face, I’ve used acne prone skin cleansers, but this cleanser is the only one that hasn’t dried out my skin or made me feel like my skin is breaking out or reacting – Cerave Foaming Facial CleanserOne container lasts 4-5 months. I use only one pump every night and it usually does a really good job removing makeup too!

Witch Hazel Toners – Both my spouse and I use witch hazel as a toner after washing our faces at night. His skin care routine is literally wash his face off with water, put witch hazel on a cotton ball, then wipe it around his face, then apply a night cream. This simplified routine has actually cleared up his acne really well! Both of these toners I like – Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner, Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol Toner with Lavender. I think I prefer the Dickinson’s though more than the Thayers.

Serum – I will alternate with the Vitamin C serum above or this one – Tea Tree Clear Skin Serum, Age-Defying formula for acne-prone skin with 20% Vitamin C, Retinol, Niacinamide, Salicylic Acid & Hyaluronic Acid for Blemish-Free, Soft, Radiant, Youthful Skin.

 Essential Oils – I will use a mixture of 3ish drops from Eucalyptus, Lemon, and Tea Tree Oils (in that order) on a cotton ball on the nights I’m not using the above tea tree serum. I will apply witch hazel first, then the oils, then add the vitamin c serum. I particularly like Now Foods Oils, Tea Tree, Lemon, EucalyptusEach bottle lasts roughly two months or more (or less). I use all three of those oils to make a homemade Vick’s Vapor rub for my boys to use when they’re sick.

Night Cream – my spouse and I use the same pot of night cream, but I recently found a night cream for $4 on clearance at Target. The bummer about that is that the night cream being on clearance means Target isn’t selling it on their shelves anymore! Our favorite night cream is this one by St. Ives – St. Ives Timeless Skin Collagen Elastin Facial Moisturizer. My current favorite that I use most night is this one – Olay Active Botanicals Overnight Moisture Mask. It is a bit more gel like than the St. Ives one, but it sinks into my skin fairly quickly and doesn’t make my face feel greasy or oily at all.

Well, that’s about all I can think of for now! I’d say my night time routine (including brushing my teeth) takes me maybe 10 minutes at most night. Morning skin care routine takes even less. Enjoy and let me know about your favorite skin care/body care products!