But if there's one area where going natural has made the BIGGEST difference for me, it's my face.
For some months now, I've tried my best to avoid unnecessary chemicals, fragrances and sulfates in my cleansers, serums and moisturizers.
And my complexion is apparently happy about that! I feel like it has been calmer, more hydrated and more resilient, perhaps because I'm not irritating it with questionable ingredients.
Today, I wanted to share some of the skincare products I've been loving lately:
Let me walk you through what I'm using:
Primavera Balancing Gel Cleanser
Avoiding sulfates in my cleansers has been a key change for me (they are skin irritants, and also increase the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream). So I look for cleansers like the Primavera Balancing Gel Cleanser, which is sulfate-free and 100 percent natural. Yes, 100!
Even though it is a gel, and made for combo and oily skin, I don't find this to be drying (probably thanks to the high proportion of glycerin). It does a thorough job of removing oil and makeup, leaving my skin soft and comfortable. The scent is botanical and refreshing, and the green glass packaging is so gorgeous!
Like all of Primavera's products, everything in here is organic, fair trade and plant-based. In fact, this German brand has been formulating their products that way for 20 years, long before it was fashionable! If your skin is normal-to-oily, I think you'll love this.
Leaves of Trees Yoghurt Turmeric Soap
Again, no sulfates. Instead, you'll find yogurt, turmeric powder and lemon essential oil, in an olive and coconut oil base. These ingredients are ideal for acne-prone skin, as the yogurt is soothing and moisturizing, the turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory and the lemon is antibacterial and an astringent.
Unlike foaming cleansers that strip your skin, this soap leaves a thin layer of moisture behind, which I think is very healing—but you can always remove it with toner, if you desire. I find I don't even need a moisturizing cream after, just serum. If your skin is irritated and acne-prone, this soap would be worth a shot! (And the price is SO right.)
Graydon Superfood Mask + Scrub
From The Skincare Edit Archives
I'm all about the masks these days, and scrub masks are one of my new favourite things! They are a new skincare hybrid that can be used two ways: as a gentle exfoliator, and/or as a leave-on mask.
The Graydon Superfood Mask + Scrub is the most unique one I've seen. There are 20 capsules in the jar—each a pre-portioned dose of 19 "superfoods"—and you need to open and pour the contents into your hand. Then you mix the powder with water, yogurt, honey or your favourite cleanser to form a paste, before applying it to your face.
As you massage it around, the grainy texture will help to gently buff away dead skin cells. You can leave it on for as long as you like; when I rinse off, my skin feels brighter and looks glowier. This is safe for all skin types, and I love the idea of mixing and matching it with different things depending on what your skin needs that day.
Kahina Giving Beauty Toning Mist
I can't live without face mist. I always have one at my desk, and one where I do my makeup. Besides spritzing throughout the day to refresh my skin, I like to layer it underneath moisturizer and foundation, and also on top of makeup to cut the powdery finish. Anyone who likes dewy skin needs to get on board!
Currently, the Toning Mist from Kahina Giving Beauty is taking top spot chez moi . You might recall this brand's beautiful Argan Soap, reviewed here. Well, this blend is equally impressive. The base is aloe vera, which I love, plus tons of other good stuff like rose water, hyaluronic acid, argan extract and glycerin. This makes it a better choice than plain mineral water mists, which can actually dry your skin more when they evaporate, because they don't contain any moisturizing agents.
Yes, it is a bit splurgey, but when you consider that it's really part of your skincare routine—like a serum—then the investment makes more sense. Plus, the quality of the ingredients is outstanding.
Odacité Beautiful Day Moisturizer
Finding a good natural face moisturizer is no easy feat, so I am thrilled to have discovered the Odacité Beautiful Day Moisturizer. This formula is exactly what I've been looking for—lightweight but still hydrating—and I just love it.
In case you are not familiar with Odacité, the brand is all about freshness. They don't use any preservatives, which means all their extracts and oils have to be of the highest quality. In fact, each product comes with a "Freshiency date," their version of a best-before date!
I would describe the texture of this moisturizer as a lightweight cream-gel. But even though it feels quite watery as you spread it around, it is actually moisturizing enough to be suitable for even dry, mature and sensitive skin types. And the scent is, well, fresh! It is such a pleasure to put this on.
PS: Don't let the coconut oil in here scare you. I can be acne-prone, but I've had zero issues from it. I also love that this contains aloe vera, jojoba oil and vitamin E—all good skin ingredients!
Province Apothecary Clear Skin Blemish Treatment
If you get pimples from time to time, it's good to have a spot treatment on hand to speed up the healing time. But I had just about given up on them! Any commercial ones I tried would dry out my skin so much that it ended up looking worse than the original breakout. And I have serious concerns about ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, which is an oxidizing agent.
Enter the Clear Skin Blemish Treatment from Province Apothecary, a Toronto-based aromatherapy range that uses certified organic, biodynamic and wildcrafted ingredients sourced from each Canadian province (how cool is that?!). This product is an essential oil blend that you simply dab directly onto pimples—or hives, red lines, ingrown hairs or scars.
Honestly, it works for me! In my testing, I think it really helped to reduce the inflammation, but didn't leave my skin dry, irritated, red or peeling. I am a believer! I have also tried tea tree oil before, but this is so much more effective, yet gentle.
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