cleaner clean skin

A few months back, I set a goal (a very long term goal) of overhauling the products we use in our home and ‘green’ them up a bit.  It occurred to me one day how many things come in contact with our skin, the largest organ of our bodies, that we would NEVER want to ingest or have come in contact with any of our internal organs.  I’m not a doctor or scientist (clearly) but something about that didn’t sit right with me. I know that there are chemicals everywhere constantly coming in contact with us and I also know that I will never be able to completely eliminate that.  I get it.  My hope in this journey, for lack of a better word, is to have a little bit more knowledge and control in the places I’m purposefully putting things on our bodies in our daily lives.

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Stuff like this takes a while for me, and even longer for my husband, to come around to.  Rather than throwing everything we own away and spending a ridiculous amount of money on new “green” things, I decided to start small and replace the old with the new as we needed them.  I’m such an adult. First up? My beauty routine.  Specifically my face.

My skin and I have been fighting a war with each other since I was 13…20 damn years! Sometimes when people tell me that I look young, I credit it to the fact I’m still breaking out.  My breakouts come with my cycle, some months with a vengeance, and I’m the worst because my favorite hobby is picking my pimples.  I already know that I’m my own worst enemy, please save your lectures.

There are 2 things I’ve learned in my quest to clear my skin:

  1. There’s a good chance some of my issue could be diet related (a post about that coming soon)..

  2. Sometimes acne prone skin like mine, when treated with harsh products to control, will retaliate because so much of the oils have been stripped actually causing more irritation.  Bloody hell! All the products I’ve been using to fix my skin were potentially just pissing it off!

So, when the time came and my current cleansing system ran out, I took to more research and I invested in both a new line of products for my oily acne prone skin and in a cleaner make-up line as well.

LUMINANCE

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I read amazing reviews, liked the ingredient list, and genuinely got a good vibe from the website and what people were saying about them.  The logical thing to do would have been to buy the sample set, but of course I went right for the whole acne system in full sized bottles.  Go big or go home, right?  They even package their products in biodegradable packing foam! After just a week, I could tell a difference.  My skin felt so healthy and moisturized I couldn’t believe it.  After years of thinking my oily skin didn’t need to be moisturized, I couldn’t get over how much better it was after regular moisturizing!  As great as my skin felt and as much as I LOVE the products, I did still break out before my period, which was another hint to me that there was something bigger going on (again, an update on that coming in a few weeks!)  If you are reading this and DON’T struggle with acne (PS I hate you) they also have a line for other skin types, all with clean ingredients.  I can’t speak to how they work, but based on my experience, I imagine they wouldn’t disappoint.

Note: to remove my makeup I’m using straight jojoba oil on a cotton ball before washing.

BEAUTYCOUNTER

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My makeup style could best be described as non-existent, but I like to have something on hand to make me look a little less disheveled when necessary. Give me a light base, blush and something for my eyes when I’m feeling fancy and my makeup bag is complete. 

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I’ve tried the most expensive foundations from Ulta to the cheapest stuff from Target, but I’ve never really LOVED my makeup.  So again, more reading and reading and reading…and I stumbled on BeautyCounter.  While it’s no new brand, I’ve never really read much about them because they are a little out of the normal amount I would spend on makeup, but I thought if I was going to clean up my product routine, makeup should be included.  After so much freaking reading, and chemical words that are way above my pay-grade, I just decided to try them out for the basics:  I ordered the DEW SKIN MOISTURIZER (love how light, dewey, and natural it looks and feels!), the TOUCHUP SKIN CONCEALER PEN (great coverage on the areas I need it!) and the ILLUMINATING CREAM HIGHLIGHTER (I use this as a blush because I have no idea what I’m doing here but I love it anyway!)

CREDO

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After my initial purchase with BeautyCounter and in my continued research for the cleanest brands out there, I stumbled on Credo and made my life. It is like the Ulta of clean make-up! They have already vetted the brands that they sell, making sure all products meet specific standards (read about them here!) It made shopping so easy and there were TONS of products and colors…I loved it!! I don’t love ordering makeup online because I’d rather see the colors in person, but I was really happy with everything I purchased. I ordered the following brands/items: W3LL People mascara, Ere Perez Jojoba eye pencil, an RMS Eye Polish, EcoBrow defining wax and brush, and a bold-for-me RMS Wild With Desire lipstick.

I love love love all the products I got from them and will definitely go back for some of the other non-makeup items when the need arises.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m not writing this to tell you that chemical free/less chemical products will fix your skin, they certainly did not fix mine, but my skin FEELS amazing and I feel better knowing I’m using good quality ingredients.  I love the results that I’ve seen in a short time and am really happy to be making a purposeful decision about what I’m putting on my skin. 

Full disclosure, this switch was expensive for me. Between the skincare line and makeup, this overhaul cost around $350 over a few months. For me, someone that wears make-up very minimally, that was a big price tag, but I tossed every other item (except my Burts Bees lip shimmer!) I owned before this and now have 10-items in my makeup bag. Before Luminance I was using Proactiv on my face with minimal results, so while I spent slightly more money than if I would have just replaced it, the cost is worth it to me.

Also, I think it’s worth noting this whole process was really stressful for me. The research was fun at first but then it got overwhelming really quick with all of the information that’s out there. One company claims they are squeaky clean while the next website explains they are liars. As just an average person trying to navigate through all the information it’s hard to know who to believe! A friend of mine recommended the app ThinkDirty, and it was definitely useful (though several brands I wanted to learn about weren’t available and I struggled with understanding some of the ratings) to help organize my thoughts a little bit.

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If you’ve gone green with your skincare, I’d love to know what products you are using! I’m probably not getting rid of this face wash or makeup any time soon, but I’m always open to ideas for the future products I’ll need to purchase!