Skincare is something I’ve been obsessed with since forever. I consider myself pretty knowledgable on the subject, when really, I am just a snob. Before my philosophy is that I wanted ALL the latest greatest most potent active ingredients, all the best science-based products that reflected that, was completely cruelty free and vegan, but now I want simple solutions that work, are green, natural, and zero waste as much as possible, even if that means using honey which is not vegan, but fits my skin needs and my standards. This is my “transition” routine, or rather products I’m using up, and some steps I’ve already taken. Because I don’t want to waste anything, I’m dealing with some of these products until they are gone, which just makes me more excited to make the green switch. I am going green because why not? Although yes, any cosmetic chemist, dermatologist, etc. etc. will tell you not to listen to greenwashed quacks who say certain ingredients disrupt hormones, cause cancer, etc., I want to use green products because they are often biodegradable, made with ingredients that are less likely to cause contact dermatitis, irritate skin, or clog pores, better sourced, eco-friendly, and so on. If I can find a natural, simple alternatives to these complicated products and no longer be a slave to them, why not? (Also eco-luxe products are so chic, case and point, the entire may lindstrom range. )
My goal is to have the majority of my skincare internal, only wearing sunscreen and washing it off with honey in the evening and maybe moisturizing with a bit of fair trade, responsibly sourced, organic 100% argan oil, after spritzing my face with a homemade soothing hydrosol. After all, topical skincare just helps to alleviate symptoms of an internal problem. I also want to try the caveman regimen. Although I have a long way to go, and that plan might not even work out, I am willing to make the journey.
My skin type: hormonal acne-prone, clog prone, prone to post inflammatory erythema (red spots), HIGHLY SENSITIVE, leans oily, dehydrated
Ingredients my skin does not like: higher concentrations of essential oils, fatty alcohols, coconut oil based ingredients, heavier oils like olive oil, cocoa butter, fragrance
CF = Cruelty Free
V = Vegan
ZW = Zero Waste
All of these things are not all of those things all at once. Some are vegan, some are zero waste, some are not. Hopefully the title is not too misleading. Nothing here is tested on animals.
Remove makeup + Cleanse.
If wearing makeup, I will first remove eye makeup with Medusa’s makeup eye makeup remover on a piece of old legging, and then follow up by oil cleansing with almond oil bought in bulk. Afterwards cleanse with either Cerave foaming cleanser or raw honey. Sometimes I use a konjac sponge which is biodegradable.
Almond Oil bought in bulk – $2
- Cruelty Free, Natural, Vegan, Zero Waste, Inexpensive
- Now Foods brand. comedogenicity of 2, oils work best for getting rid of hard to remove foundation, as sort of the first phase of “double cleansing” before actual cleanser
- Replacement: Organic Cold Pressed Jojoba Oil
- Would I recommend?: Yes If your skin can tolerate it
- Cruelty Free, Vegan
- Got this because I was desperately looking for a 100% vegan & cruelty free eye makeup remover, it works well and is the most gentle eye makeup remover I have ever used (besides plant oils)
- Replacement: Organic Cold Pressed Jojoba Oil
- Would I recommend? Yes if you are looking for a vegan eye makeup remover that works well, although it doesn’t have the greenest of ingredients and is packaged in plastic
CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser – $14
- Cruelty Free
- Fragrance free, Dye Free, well formulated
- Have been using this for probably 3+ years, I wholly recommend it as one of the best options for facial cleansers available at drugstores across America. It’s about $14 a bottle, and it lasts forever. Probably took me over a year to finish my first one, and this is my second one I am working on. I used to think it was vegan, but learned it is not, because the cholesterol in it is animal derived
- Replacement: Organic Raw honey + oil cleansing
- Would I recommend?: Yes, if you are looking for a well formulated, non offensive/bland cleanser to cleanse your face with. Can be drying, so only for those with oily skin. Although it does not fit under my current skincare philosophy of green + botanic which is why i’ll be discontinuing.
- Fun fact: It is pronounced cera like michael cera and ve, as in vehicle. It is short for ceramide vehicle, ceramides being an ingredient the line includes in all their products, and this cleanser being a vehicle at which to get the ceramides to the skin
Raw honey (non-organic) – $15 for 32 oz
- Natural, minimalist, zero waste
- Ph near skin’s natural PH
- My skin tolerates honey well, although I do find it sometimes doesn’t cleanse enough on it’s own, hence double cleansing. I prefer to use this to the Cerave. It’s fun and I feel good using it, but I need to finish up the Cerave first. The one pictured has a wonderful consistency. I really do prefer & recommend looking for a raw honey with a very thick, jelly like consistency, they are easier to work with than runnier ones, and feel luxurious. I wash my hands, dry thoroughly, and then just dip hand directly into the jar, slather face, maybe leave on, then afterwards emulsify with water and massage hard sebum clogs/congestion or “grits” and dry skin off.
- Replacement: An organic variety
- Pro tip: Previously I was using local organic bulk raw honey for skincare, but it is too expensive to be sustainable on a personal level, so I now buy honey at discount stores. I reserve my bulk honey for internal use since I get the local pollen benefit which I swear by for relieving allergy symptoms.
raw honey + bulk turmeric ($3)
zero waste, natural
Really simple and easy, although MESSY. I reserve this mask for days off or the day before a day off because I like to leave it on long, which stains the skin.
Replacement: Garden of Wisdom makes a more complex, but similar mask that has these ingredients, is naturally derived, but apparently does not tint the skin. I do want to try it out, although it is packaged in plastic and is therefore not zero waste.
Treatment + Moisture + SPF.
I wanted to sell the BHA & brightening essence, because I want to avoid the ingredients in them, but resumed usage of the BHA because although my lifestyle changes and new skincare philosophy has been helping with my skin, my skin still has old blackheads which I know will not go away without either extraction or chemical exfoliation. I cup a few drops of the BHA liquid in my hand, pat across face, let rest on skin for 20+ minutes before moving on. I apply day and night, and in the morning, I do not incorporate the wait time. Afterwards I moisturize with Andalou naturals night cream dotted across face and then mixed with 2 drops of the essence. In the morning I always apply the appropriate amount of the Paula’s Choice Resist SPF 30.
- Cruelty free, vegan
- The propylene glycol in this, which is a petrochemical and is used as both a slip agent and penetration enhancer, leaves the skin with a shiny waxy look, which I hate. It does help to even out the texture of the skin. I try not to do it everyday to give my skin a break, although I honestly don’t always follow this because I am just motivated to use it up.
- Replacement: Garden of Wisdom 2% BHA serums or sprays, or their mandelic acid serums, mandelic acid being more gently than salicylic acid.
- Cruelty free, possibly vegan
- I can’t tell you if this works, I just want to use it up. Although arguably my skin does look brighter, I can’t attribute it directly to this because I haven’t been using it consistency. Although I am now dedicating myself to doing so.
- Replacement: maybe none, since I want to keep my skincare routine simple, although Marie Veronique has a promising vitamin c serum, and a promising retinol serum I am interested in due to the amazing ingredients lists.
Andalou Naturals Heavenly Night Cream – $20 (I paid $12)
- cruelty free, vegan, eco friendly, natural
- Heavily perfumed, but that’s honestly why I bought this on a whim @ Grocery Outlet. . One of the first commercial skincare purchases I made that fits my new skincare philosophy, although it doesn’t fit with mainstays from my old one. For example, this contains fatty alcohols, which I know break out my skin and clogs my pores, as well as fragrance. I also hate the texture of fatty alcohol based creams, they feel heavy on the skin and are easy to overdo.
- Replacement: argan oil
- This says it’s a moisturizer + SPF, but it is not moisturizing at all, hence why I always use a moisturizer beforehand. It is the most cosmetically elegant sunscreen I have ever used, cruelty free, vegan, or not. It has some nice skin beneficial ingredients, and is completely zinc oxide based, although I do think they use nano zinc particles
- It is mattifying, which is nice, as my skin doesn’t get oily when it’s on, but it is often times too mattifying, which dries out my skin. If i forget to wash my face off, this is sure to dry it the fuck out.
- Replacement: Josh Rosenbrook Sunscreen, or Pratiya one.
- PRO TIP: When trying to get leftover product that won’t squeeze out, cut off the top with scissors, and put two slits through the sides to get every last bit out.
Here is my skin right now, looks decent, and is recovering from these breakouts I got on my cheek, still getting chin breakouts but the BHA is helping with clogs in my skin, and the moisturizer i’m using, which might be breaking me out too honestly, is just helping me combat dryness from the BHA, cleansing, the essence, and more.
Disclaimer: All of these products were purchased with my own money, opinions are 100% my own, and there are no affiliate links in this post.