A few years ago, I started making the switch to all-natural products for everything from cleaning supplies to skincare. Harsh, toxic ingredients were not doing my skin any favors. I’m still working on finding a few all-natural cosmetic pieces for my make-up routine, but I’ve pretty much nailed down a skincare routine that has made a HUGE difference in my skin, which I’m sharing with you today!
My skin is combination and acne-prone. I tend to get a slightly oily T-zone about midday, and my cheeks tend to be on the dryer side. My skin has evened out and is much more normal then it used to be after switching up my skincare routine.
- Cleanse – SheaMoisture Black Soap Body Wash ($9.99)
I’ve raved about SheaMoisture before, and I cannot say enough wonderful things about their black soap. I use their black soap body wash from face to toes using a konjac sponge, and it has really kept any acne flare-ups at bay. I seriously love this stuff! The bottle typically lasts me about a month and a half. The konjac sponge is a gentle exfoliator, and you can buy them in an assortment of flavors – clay, charcoal, etc. Rough exfoliation is a huge no-no as it can exacerbate acne, dry out and damage skin. The konjac sponges are awesome and provide gentle exfoliation. They can be found on Amazon or your local pharmacy.
Ingredients: African Black Soap, Coconut Oil Soap, Decyl Glucoside (Coconut Oil), Lauroyl Lactylate (Palm Kernel), Deionized Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Essential Oil, Jojoba Beads, Lonicera Capriflorium (Honeysuckle) Flower (and) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Salicylic Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Dead Sea Salt, Aloe Barbadensis Leave Juice* The star denotes a certified organic ingredient.
2. Tone – SheaMoisture Black Soap Toner ($9.99)
SheaMoisture knocks it out of the park again with their black soap toner. It removes any traces of make-up or dirt left behind by cleansing but never leaves my skin tight-feeling. My skin feels refreshed and clean.
Ingredients: Deionized Water, African Black Soap Extract, Methylsulfonyl Methane (Sulfur), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerine, Witch Hazel, Vitamin C, Pathenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5), Salicylic Acid, Spiraea Ulmerea (Meadowsweet) Extract, Allantoin (Comfrey Root) Extract, Tamarind Extract, Willow Bark Extract, Moroccan Camomile Sauvage Oil, Tea Tree Oil
3. Spot Treatment – Burt’s Bees Herbal Blemish Stick ($8) or Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Oil ($9)
For any pimples that do crop up or are starting to make an appearance, I reach for this Burt’s Bees or plain ol’ tea tree oil. The alcohol content in the Herbal Blemish stick can be a little harsh, but you don’t need much to see a noticeable difference in the morning. It instantly calms any redness and irritation. I’ve also noticed that any time I have to suffer with a pimple is cut in half. Tea Tree oil is a natural antiseptic and calms redness and irritation immediately.
Ingredients: SD alcohol 40-B (from yellow corn), calendula flower oil, borago seed oil, yarrow oil, parsley seed extract, willowbark extract, lemon oil, fennel oil, water, tea tree leaf oil, juniper fruit oil, eucalyptus leaf oil
4. Serum – Nabbie’s Handmade Organic Vitamin C Age-Defy Serum w/Hyaluronic Acid and Ferulic Acid ($11)
This stuff is the bomb. You only need a dime-sized amount for the entire face, neck and chest area. It’s completely natural and absorbs relatively quickly in the skin for being oil-based. Vitamin C is known to reduce the appearance of age spots and other types of damage caused by the sun. It helps boost collagen production and reduces inflammation and irritation. Hyaluronic acid is a natural structural component of skin and is present in connective tissue throughout the human body. Ferulic Acid extracted from Rice Bran Oil, is one of the most powerful natural plant-based antioxidants. This serum has really evened out my skin tone and chased away any hyper-pigmentation left by healed blemishes. I use this one morning and night. You can purchase from Nabbie’s Etsy shop, or check out her web page by clicking HERE. The owner is wonderful as well and she has a lot of other great products, one more of which is mentioned below :)
Ingredients: Organic Avocado Oil, Argan Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Grapeseed Oil, Vitamin C Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Ferulic Acid, Vitamin E Oil
5. Face Moisturizer – SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Anti-Aging Moisturizer ($11.99)/ Nabbie’s Handmade Regular Skin Night Cream ($9.25)
I’m currently finishing up a tub of SheaMoisture’s anti-aging moisturizer but will be switching to Nabbie’s Handmade Regular Skin Night Cream very soon. I only use this moisturizer at night after I’ve let the serum absorb into my skin for a bit. The SheaMoisture cream is thick, but not too thick, and it absorbs very nicely into the skin leaving it smooth and hydrated. The biggest problem I have with SheaMoisture’s moisturizer is that it contains sodium benzoate.
Why is Sodium Benzoate scary? Based on my research, I’ve learned that the ingredient can cause some pretty severe allergic reactions, none of which I’ve ever experienced though. The other, more troublesome issue, however, is the combination of sodium benzoate and citric acid and/or ascorbic acid (vitamin C). When these ingredients get together, they form benzene, a cancer-causing chemical associated with leukemia and other blood cancers. SheaMoisture doesn’t have any added ascorbic acid, but my serum does. I’d rather do without. I’m looking forward to checking out Nabbie’s Handmade Regular Skin Night Cream, which is entirely natural. The reviews rave about the bentonite clay detox, which is kind of a cool addition to the cream, and the cream contains awesome anti-aging ingredients.
SheaMoisture Anti-Aging Moisturizer Ingredients: Deionized Water, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)*, Vegetable Emulsifying Wax, Simmondia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter*, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Oil* Potassium Lauroyl Wheat Amino Acids, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Palm Glycerides, Capryloyl Glycine, Magnolia Grandiflora Bark Extract, Vitamin Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Stearate, Sodium Behenoyl Lactylate, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Argania Spinosa Sprout Cell Extract, Bisabolol (Chamomile), Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract (and) Vitis Vinifera Seed Extract, Frankincense & Myrrh Extract, Beet Sugar, Lecithin, Maltodextrin, Sodium Benzoate, Proprietary Essential Oil Blend.
Nabbie’s Handmade Regular Skin Night Cream: Raw African Organic Shea Butter, Raw Organic Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Bentonite Clay, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Argan Oil, Lavender Essential Oil
6. Body Moisturizer – Trader Joe’s Jojoba Oil
I use jojoba oil as a body moisturizer, and it’s the closest oil to our natural skin oils (sebum). It absorbs quickly, nourishes and cleanses pores. I don’t use it every day – more like 2-3 times a weeks, but you can’t go wrong with jojoba.
7. Twice Weekly Mask – Raw Honey or Manuka Honey ($13)
Honey masks are my favorite. Honey has natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties that calm inflammation and reduce infection. Honey is also a fabulous moisturizer and cleanser. I just keep a jar of honey in the bathroom and slather on a spoon full at least twice a week. I typically leave the mask on for about 15-30 minutes, and my face is always so soft once I rinse it away. Good stuff!
It’s taken me a long time to find an all-natural skincare routine that has worked for me. I’ve spent a lot of time researching and experimenting. I encourage you to ditch the toxins, too :)