Have you ever heard the statement that your skin is the largest organ of the human body? It’s true! Both my assistant and my sister can attest to this statement based on what they learned in their anatomy classes. Your skin spans about 20 square feet, and is designed to protect your muscles, internal organs, and bones from the outside elements. Your skin is literally a suit of armor! Since your skin serves as such, it’s important that you nourish it!
Similar to how we worry about the foods we put into our bodies, and the products we use on our hair, we also need to be equally conscious of what chemicals are in the products we are putting on our skin. As I’ve ventured further into a sustainable lifestyle, I have learned how important it is to be conscious of these chemicals and have discovered so many companies dedicated to ensuring quality ingredients for our skin care products. So without further adieu, here’s a (YEP YOU GUESSED IT) listacle of the skin care products currently in my cabinet.
*Just a disclaimer, you’ll notice that I separate the items I’m discussing by which shelf they’re on in my cabinet. It does not mean that one product is superior to the other; I just happened to like how I organized it!*
Here are the skin care items I currently have on the top shelf of my cabinet. I’ll also give a little insight on why the product is sustainable and why I personally enjoy it!
This is a fantastic everyday moisturizer! Unlike other moisturizers that have a cream or gel base, this has an oil base so a little definitely goes a long way. It’s made with natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories such as olive oil and shea butter. Not only does it help moisturize your face, but it can also be used to treat rashes, calm burns, remove your makeup, and help with eczema and acne breakouts! All of the ingredients are organic and fair trade items, and the jar it arrives in is reusable and recyclable.
Why I Love it: it's deeply nourishing without being too heavy.
Get It Here: Yay for Earth Sensitive Skin Face Lotion
This is a body lotion that comes in the form of a bar. It’s made with natural herbs such as calendula and comfrey to help moisturize your skin. In addition to the lotion bar, they also make salves and balms, herbal hand soap, lip balm, and cleansing body bars. All of their products are homemade in Washington state and arrives in post consumer recycled packaging.
Why I Love it: it's more affordable than my favorite zero waste lotion by Plaine, but it's also packaged without any plastic and comes with a reusable tin.
Get It Here: Moon Melt Lotion Bar in Lemon Vanilla
Lush is one of my tried and true favorite brands. They really do make an effort to create products that address many skin needs. This toner tab is quick and easy to use, plus super portable! All you have to do is put it in a bowl of hot water and let the steam hit your face. It’s made with tea tree oil and organic aloe vera powder; both of which are scientifically proven to help with redness and inflammation.
Why I Love it: they come completely unpackaged but feel like you're having a full on spa day
Get It Here: Lush Tea Tree Toner Tab
Aluminum-free deodorant is quickly becoming more popular and readily available than ever before. Native is a deodorant brand that I consistently have used and returned to. A bonus to not having aluminum in their deodorant is that it doesn’t create yellow pit stains on your clothing! Native also has a very wide variety of scents that are all gender-neutral, for the most part.
Why I Love it: I promise I had tried every deodorant on the market before coming to this one. The DIYs, the ones in glass jars, the ones that come in cardboard, and the unpackaged ones from Lush. I HAVE TRIED IT ALL and this is the only one that doesn't make me feel like I'm walking around & people smell me before they see me. **UPDATE: Native now carries plastic free versions of their amazing deoderant! And yes, IT'S FABULOUS!
Next up are the products on the second shelf of my cabinet!
Urban Oreganics is a skin care company founded in 2013 that is based out of the owner’s home studio in West Linn, Oregon. All of their products are made in small batches and packaged in recyclable glass and cardboard containers. Their makeup remover is strong enough to remove even the best of waterproof makeup. It’s made from several key ingredients such as aloe vera juice, coconut oil, vitamin E oil, and alcohol-free witch hazel. All ingredients are organic and Non-GMO.
Why I Love it: This is the only make up remover I know of that doesn't come in plastic. It actually works really well on days where I have light make up on and don't need an oil cleanser.
Get It Here: Urban Oreganics Organic Makeup Remover
Frownies Facial Patches were created in 1889 by Margaret Wright to help smooth her daughter’s premature wrinkles. Fast forward to 2019 and four generations later, the company is still family owned and operated! These patches are placed between the eyes and forehead, helping to smooth and lift facial wrinkles and creases while you sleep. Each box comes with 144 patches. All of the patches are made with paper, which is easier to dispose of than plastic. They also do not contain silicones and use a dextrin based adhesive, making it gluten free and hypoallergenic.
Why I Love it: I have some serious frown lines happening on my forehead (from my RBF syndrome) and they seem to work really well on calming those down over night! Plus they're compostable.
Get It Here: Frownies Facial Patches
Upcircle Beauty Face Cleansing Balm
If you haven't heard of double cleansing by now, definitely look into it. To sum it up, simply your washing your face with a daily cleanser isn't sufficient enough to remove all of the makeup and build up on your face. As the word says, double cleansing means to use two different cleansers to help clean your face. The first cleanse is generally to remove the bulk of your makeup, spf, or any other products you might have. Cleansing balms (or oils) are perfect for this step! Upcircle Beauty's cleansing balm is gentle but effective; it can even remove waterproof mascara! It's 100% vegan and cruelty free. It's also made with nourishing ingredients like sea buckthorn to support skin elasticity, oat oil to soothe redness and restore the skin's natural oil balance, and candelilia wax to provide rich nourishment and ease discoloration.
Why I Love it: It's super hydrating and doesn't strip my skin considering I still follow up with a water based cleanser afterwards. It's also extremely effective at removing my makeup.
Get It Here: Upcircle Cleansing Face Balm
Indie Lee is a skin care brand devoted to making products using only natural ingredients. This face wash is made with lycopene and hydrolyzed wheat protein to help cleanse and hydrate your skin without stripping it. It is also great for all skin types!
Why I Love It: It's definitely helped with the complexion of my skin and doesn't leave my face feeling tight. Also, it smells pretty good! It has a light strawberry scent to it due to the strawberry seed oil!
Get It Here: Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser
OSEA- Ocean, Sun, Earth, Atmosphere- was founded 22 years ago by Jenefer Palmer whose mission was to design a skincare line free of toxic, synthetic ingredients. All of their products are made without parabens, petrochemicals, and sulfates. They are also cruelty free, and free of animal-derived ingredients such as beeswax, carmine, and lanolin. The Atmosphere Protection Cream is a lightweight facial moisturizer that is not only meant to hydrate, but to create a barrier against the outside environment. It’s made with certified organic algae, shea butter, and avocado oil. It can be used prior to applying sunscreen or as a priming base before makeup application.
Why I Love it: This is the newest addition to my skincare cabinet but I have multiple friends who rave about it. So I'm giving it a solid test run as an alternative to the moisturizer I was using which turned out to not be cruelty free.
Get It Here: OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream
This lotion, unlike the Atmosphere Protection Cream, is a body moisturizer. It’s designed to provide ultimate hydration and aid dry, flaky skin. It’s made with rosehip, kukui, and avocado oils. Like all OSEA products, it’s also made with algae, which is credited for providing a potent amount of vitamins and minerals that really targets dry skin.
Why I Love it: I find this lotion is a little too thick for my face but I still use it for my neck & chest area.
Get It Here: OSEA Ocean Lotion
And thus, we have reached the products on the final shelf of my cabinet. Here's what I've placed on that shelf:
This product is a mist that is meant to hydrate and prep your skin before you add your moisturizer or serum. In other words, it’s a toner! It’s made with organic seaweed, dead sea salt, and aloe vera, providing maximum hydration and reducing the amount of redness and pore size. Just a disclaimer, if you’re new to the full blown skin-care-regimen-game like I was, your toner should be applied after your cleanser, but before your moisturizer. Essentially, it provides additional cleaning by ensuring all traces of makeup and dirt that your primary facial cleanser didn’t get are removed.
Why I Love it: I don't need any cloth or pads to put this toner on so it's super easy and simple. It doesn't cause redness when I apply it like I have found so many other toners do and it makes it even easier to distribute my serums that follow.
Get It Here: OSEA Sea Minerals Mist
Skin oils are really great alternative to facial moisturizers in dry winter weather as they help penetrate the skin deeper than creams which can often end up sitting on the surface. Plus a little goes a long way with oils, making your product last so much longer! This hydrating oil is made with jojoba and sesame seed oils, providing hydration and aiding with the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. It also contains a blend of lavender, rosewood, and geranium essential oils giving a nice aromatic experience all while leaving a dewy finish on your skin.
Why I Love it: This is like a spa in a bottle. I don't use it everyday but likely once a week or if I have a break out. It's packed full of essential oils so you don't want to be heavy handed with it, but it will leave you smelling like the spa.
Get It Here: OSEA Essential Hydrating Oil
Serums are similar to oils in that they also allow for deeper penetration into the skin. However, serums are much thicker in consistency than oils and have the texture of a gel the majority of the time. This serum by OSEA contains hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring chemical that really helps hydrate the skin by binding to water molecules and strengthening the skin’s barrier to the outside elements. When paired with organic seaweed, it allows for longer lasting results and provides a boost of antioxidants and minerals.
Why I Love it: This is my favorite part of my skincare routine because it's so easy to spread and it makes my skin feel hydrated instantly. If there was one thing I would never change about this routine it would be this. The syringe distributes the perfect amount of product, plus the bottle it super simple to reuse after the product is gone.
Get It Here: OSEA Hyaluronic Sea Serum
Biossance is a company designed by members of the same team of scientists responsible for creating the cure to malaria in 2003. The same technology that was used to develop this cure is also used in developing their skin care products. They employ sustainable practices by using renewable sugarcane, vegan formulas, and compostable boxes. They are even Forest Stewardship Council- Certified (FSC). Biossance is partnered with Zagaya, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to facilitating the eradication of malaria, and donates a portion of the profit from each purchase to Zagaya. Their Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil was strategically created to help brighten the appearance of dull skin, dark spots, and discolorations in addition to providing firmness and hydration.
Why I Love it: This company does beautiful things with skincare and this oil combines all of the things I want in a face product. Ideally, this product is perfect for the issues I want to correct which is dullness, uneven skintone, and hyper-pigmentation.
Get It Here: Biossance Squalane Vitamin C Rose Oil
Exfoliants typically act as a deep cleanser. They are usually capable of really working into the surface of your skin and removing any dirt, bacteria, or dead skin cells that are not easily removed by your daily cleanser. This exfoliating serum by Mad Hippie is designed to decrease the appearance of skin discoloration and wrinkles. It’s made with lactic acid and apple stem cells both of which work to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration.
Why I Love it: Exfoliating is an important part of a skincare routine and my. esthetician recommended adding in a exfoliating serum because physical exfoliants can dull and damage your skin. I haven't noticed a huge different since using this product but I will finish it up and update this post if it was worth it.
Get It Here: Mad Hippie Exfoliating Serum
Similar to their Exfoliating Serum, Mad Hippe’s Vitamin C Serum also acts as an exfoliant. Since its primary ingredient is vitamin C, it really works to help brighten your overall complexion and reduce discoloration. Since exfoliants can be abrasive, it contains chamomile to help calm and soothe your skin.
Why I Love it: I would buy each step in my skincare routine with vitamin C if I could. But honestly I landed on Mad Hippies serum because it was affordable and in an amber glass bottle.
Get It Here: Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
This is just a standard bottle of 100% organic jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is super versatile in that it can be used on your face, body, and hair. Jojoba oil has smoothening and moisturizing properties, hence why it’s great for wrinkles and frizzy hair. It can even be used to treat dry cuticles and stimulate hair growth! This specific brand of jojoba oil is imported from Peru and processed and packaged in the Kate Blanc facility in California. It also comes in a reusable glass bottle.
Why I Love it: This is probably the cheapest way to oil cleanse without clogging your pores. My face did not like coconut, olive, or grapeseed but it was more than happy with jojoba. ,I have since switched to Mad Hippie Cleansing Oil, and it is better, but it comes at a price.
Get It Here: Jojoba Oil
Other skincare products I use but not pictured:
OSEA’s Ocean Cleanser is a fantastic daily cleanser that comes in the form of a gel. It’s packed with seaweed to really help detox your skin of bacteria and excess oils. This gel cleanser even contains lactic acid which gently exfoliates and minimizes the size of pores. It also contains lime, cypress, jasmine, and juniper essential oils, providing a pleasant and energizing aroma. Unlike other cleansers, it will not foam up but it’s still very effective! It’s even gentle enough for twice daily use!
Why I Love it: This cleanser is so gentle and it was the only cleanser I used while I used up my first bottle. It smells like sour skittles without the artificial flavors or scents and I don't see myself ever go without it.
Get It Here: OSEA Ocean Cleanser
This mask, and any mint mask, is a cult favorite! It’s provides intensive cleaning without being harsh and abrasive. The clay and peppermint oil in the mask really target the bacteria and junk in your pores, effectively removing it. It also helps reduce the amount of oil released by your pores and calms redness.
Why I Love it: This mask smells like mint and doesn't over strip my skin. I've been using it for almost 10 years at this point and it is always in my cabinet.
Get It Here: Mask of Magnaminty