I try to keep my skincare and beauty routines as simple as possible. Between taking care of my busy family, working out, and writing this blog, I usually only have a few minutes to get ready in the morning and clean up at night. So I look for the following when I’m shopping for skincare:
Clean skincare products (no parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, PEGs, phthalates, etc.) I try to avoid known toxins and often check the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Database before buying products.
Affordable and accessible shopping.
Multitasking products to keep my routine quick and easy.
Over the past 15 years, I’ve experimented with a lot of different brands. The following are the ones I’m currently using and loving…
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I first discovered Everyone™ products when I was shopping for a family size cleanser for my kids. Their 3-in-1 Soap (shampoo, bubble bath, and body wash in one) and 3-in-1 Lotion are cruelty-free, non-GMO, and synthetic fragrance-free.
My kids use the soap and I use the 3-in-1 Lotion (which moisturizes well and absorbs quickly.) I often buy these products at my local grocery store, but you can also find them at Target and Amazon.
(If you’re curious about my haircare products, take a look at this post.)
2. Drunk Elephant
Drunk Elephant products focus on helping your skin stay at a healthy pH level. They use both natural and synthetic ingredients, but remove what they call the “Suspicious 6”: silicones, essential oils, chemical sunscreens, alcohols, fragrances, and Sodium Lauryl Sulphates. (You can read more about their philosophy here.)
I’m using the Slaai™ Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser every night. It’s a balm that you warm between your hands, slather on and wash off with water (I use a warm, damp washcloth to make sure I get every trace of makeup off.) Once a week, I add the Bamboo Booster which is a combination of bamboo and charcoal powder to help with exfoliation.
I’ve also used Drunk Elephant’s Beste™ No. 9 Jelly Cleanser and loved it. (I switched to the butter cleanser for the winter and early spring when my skin is extra dry… and besides, I was just so curious about using a balm!) You can find Drunk Elephant products at Sephora or at Amazon.
3. Derma E
To moisturize my face, I have been using Derma E, another clean skincare brand that is GMO-free, gluten-free, and cruelty-free. It’s also available at grocery stores, Target and on Amazon (you can even add them to your Subscribe & Save cart.)
In the morning, I use their Firming Moisturizer. I haven’t figured out a way to test “firming” capabilities but in terms of moisturizing and softening my skin, it works wonders. At night, I am using their Ultra Hydrating Serum and then their Anti-Wrinkle Treatment Oil. Why both? Serums penetrate deeper into your skin, while oils stay closer to the surface creating a skin barrier. I like to use both but depending on what else is in your routine, you may want to choose one or the other.
I’ve tried a few eye creams including Derma E’s Hydrating Eye Cream but I have to be honest, I haven’t noticed much of a difference over the past month or so.
After cleansing and moisturizing, I use sunblock (all year round on my face and hands.) It took me a while to find a mineral sunscreen that didn’t leave an ashy-white color on my brown skin. Mineral sunscreens use zinc dioxide and titanium dioxide as their main ingredients, which create a whiteish layer to reflect the sun’s rays off your skin.
For a makeup friendly sunscreen, I love Mychelle Dermaceuticals’ SunShield SPF 28. Like the Everyone™ brand, MyChelle is EWG Certified.
I’ve also tried MyChelle’s Magnolia Fresh Eyes, Refining Sugar Cleanser, and Fruit Enzyme Hydrating Mist, but none of them ended up being products I couldn’t live without. Having said that, I feel really comfortable using this brand and will continue to try out more of their products.
I wash my hands at least a dozen times in the morning, and again at night. Between cooking, and doing dishes, my hands are constantly in water. I wanted a hand lotion that would keep them moisturized but be free of synthetic fragrances or mineral oil that would end up in our food.
Weleda’s Skin Food has been a lifesaver! I have also tried the Regenerating Hand Cream in Pomegranate which absorbs more, but the scent is fairly strong. (I like it but my sons complain!)
How To Find Your Favorite Clean Skincare…
Now, I know everyone’s skincare needs are unique so in case these brands don’t work for you, here’s a simple way to make sure you find products that work for you.
1. Enlist Help From A Screening Organization
Reading ingredients on every product can confusing and time-consuming. As I mentioned earlier, I use the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database to check brands that I’d like to try. I also often use the products that pass an extra layer of testing to be labeled EWG Verified. The Good Guide which has a direct link to Amazon is another great option.
2. Find What’s Accessible And Affordable
I’ve tried my share of expensive brands, but haven’t found them to make a huge difference in my skin. I also like to keep trying out different products, so I don’t like to make too much of a commitment to any particular product.
If you like to keep your skincare simple, take a look at what you can find in the stores that you already shop from. Do you buy your essentials from Target? Check out their clean beauty offerings. Do you tend to have an Amazon package on your doorstep every month? Start there. Clean beauty has become so accessible and affordable!
3. Test Products
I love beauty samples. I pick them up whenever I can! They’ve really helped me narrow down some favorite products. A one-time-use sample may not help you see whether product is working for you, but some companies offer pretty generous sizes. Travel-sized products are also a great way to try out something new.
I hope these tips help you find affordable, accessible, clean skincare. If you have any other favorite clean skincare brands, leave me a comment and let me know!