The tools in my morning vegan skin care routine.
Every morning I follow the same skin care routine. It took me several years to really settle on a routine that suits my skin and my budget. Like most people, I have skin that’s hard to classify. It can be sensitive—but also insensitive, as in, not at all responsive to some treatments! I have hormonal breakouts on occasion, but my skin is mostly clear-ish, sometimes with excessive oil production, sometimes a little dry (depending a lot on the season and the climate). With the help of this routine, however, my skin is clearer, more oil balanced, and happily glowy. The following products are vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated with natural, skin-loving goodness.
Konjac Sponge. I love this little guy. For a while, I was never quite sure how often to exfoliate—and how to exfoliate in the optimal way. (Major crisis, I know.) You read a lot of things in magazines and on blogs—Exfoliate like your life depends on it! Or, Don’t let anything touch your face that’s rougher than a baby’s butt! I’ve found that abrasive scrubs, like grainy face soaps, are usually too harsh for my skin, leaving it red and sensitive. On the other hand, if I go for several days without exfoliating, my skin looks dull and feels a little rough. Fortunately, I’ve found a happy medium with the very gentle Konjac Sponge. I use it just about every morning. It’s made with vegetable fibers, and depending on the brand you get, it may also include clay or minerals for extra skin benefits. It may be used with or without soap. I normally don’t bother with soap in the morning.
Andalou Naturals 1,000 Roses Floral Toner. I started using this toner after I read Juhea’s post on beauty for a youthful look. I love that the first ingredient is aloe, followed by ingredients like vitamin E and hyaluronic acid. A few sprays makes my skin feel refreshed and calmed. Plus, it smells divine.
Juice Beauty Anti-Blemish Serum. After my toner dries a bit, I follow with a few drops of this anti-blemish serum. It’s made with natural salicylic acid (from willow bark extract), which works as a chemical exfoliant to improve skin cell turnover. Because the serum is so gentle (and even hydrating!), I apply it to my entire face—not just problem areas. I let it soak in for a few minutes before moving to the next step.
Acure Eye Cream. I pat this eye cream around my under-eye using my ring fingers (these are supposedly the most gentle!). I love this part of my routine because it feels so pampering. Acure’s eye cream is designed to reduce the appearance of fine lines around the eye area while protecting skin from damage with Edelweiss Stem Cell and Chlorella Growth Factor. Moisturizer around the eye is definitely a must if you’re planning to use any under-eye concealer that could potentially look cakey without anything beneath it.
My Clear Skin Serum. I shared this DIY serum a few months ago. I’m still using it daily. A few drops manage to moisturize my skin without “seeping” through the makeup that I put on shortly afterwards. There are only four ingredients (two carrier oils and two essential oils). Argan oil helps balance sebum production while nourishing the skin with antioxidants, tamanu oil aids in the healing of minor wounds/broken skin, tea tree oil serves as an antiseptic and bacteria-fighting powerhouse, and clary sage oil reduces inflammation. I use my fingertips to pat (rather than rub) the oil onto my skin.
Suntegrity 5-in-1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen Tinted Broad Spectrum SPF 30. If I’m going to be spending a lot of time outdoors, I will wear a good dollop of this natural sunscreen. (Normally, however, I just follow my clear skin serum with mineral foundation. Putting makeup over this results in a greasy disaster for me.) Like many BB creams, this sunscreen moisturizes and gives skin an antioxidant boost while protecting it from harmful UV rays. It contains aloe, coconut oil extract, jojoba wax, hyaluronic acid, and red algae. It could easily function as an antioxidant serum on its own!
Do you have a favorite morning skin care routine?
Also see: Bedtime Rituals for Beauty Sleep
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Photo: Mary Luttrell, Suntegrity