Updated: Aug 10, 2022
by Rebecca McCarthy
The skin care industry is flooded with products claiming to turn back time on your skin or make your pores virtually invisible, but many contain ingredients that are not proven safe for long-term use on your skin.
Are you curious about cleaning up your skin care products but are not sure where to begin? I decided to compile a few of my current skin care favorites for a simple pre-makeup routine! I am not affiliated with any of these brands and have gone through countless products over the years to find things that are high quality and effective for my skin. If you have sensitive skin, always do a patch test before using a new product and check your ingredient lists for allergies.
To check the products in your skin care before you buy, you can visit EWG’s Skin deep data base. EWG offers a comprehensive guide to the ingredients in your skin care so you can make educated choices about the products you use. No more mysteries!
MORNING / BEFORE MAKEUP ROUTINE
1. CLEANSE - Biossance Squalane Tea Tree Cleansing Oil - $29
Typically I don’t wash my face in the morning (after a recommendation from an esthetician friend who said to just splash water on my face in the morning) but it’s always a great idea to begin with clean skin. This cleanser is great for skin that needs moisture but is still battling some acne prone moments. What I love about Biossance cleansers is that they are GREAT at removing makeup but they don’t leave my skin dry and tight. Plus they are EWG Verified!
2. EXFOLIATE - Andalou Naturals Clear Skin Lemon Sugar Scrub - $15
This was a recent discovery for me - and I love it! This is not a product to use every day, however I usually give myself a good scrub about twice a week or when my skin is feeling particularly dull. The texture of this scrub is very fine but still feels like its doing a fantastic job at resurfacing. It smells wonderful, and the citrus oil is brightening as well as clarifying! If you have particularly sensitive skin - start with a patch test here.
3. TONER - Derma-E Essentials Radiance Toner - $15 for full size (pictured is the sample size)
Toner can be controversial and I personally don’t think its necessary for every skin type. I originally picked up this toner as a potential replacement for Glossier’s Solution, which I had been using for years and was keeping my skin clear and smooth. This toner contains glycolic acid as a gentle chemical exfoliator and gives me a super smooth base for any makeup I want to wear during the day. I don’t find this drying, as it’s alcohol free, and it uses rose hip extract to brighten skin.
4. SERUM - Eminence Organics Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum - $48 I’ll be honest and say I received this as a gift, and fell in LOVE! This serum smells incredibly delicious, exactly like strawberry candy. The experience of putting this on is an absolute treat and it’s also very hydrating for dry or aging skin. Hyaluronic Acid hydrates deep into skin and strawberry contains salicylic acid which helps remove impurities!
5. EYE CREAM - Biossance Marine Algae Eye Cream - $54 (Also available in the starter kits!)
This cream is everything you want and more. It’s silky, plumping, softening and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines. I love the pink color, and the texture is unbeatable.
6. MOISTURIZER - Biossance Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer - $52 full size (pictured is travel size) This moisturizer is so light - and a little goes a long way. I was not sure if I would like the gel texture, but it absorbs so quickly and leaves my skin very silky smooth! This is really designed to create balance, and there has a been a noticeable change in my skin texture since I started using this. Probiotics help calm redness and it keeps me moisturized from morning to night. It lays very well under any make up I choose to wear and doesn’t have a greasy texture. I have been using the travel size daily for 3 weeks and have yet to finish it.
7. SPF - Derma-E Sun Protection Mineral Powder Spf 30 - $22 What I love about this: it's travel friendly for your bag, easy to reapply on top of whatever makeup you have on, and it's translucent. SO often, using SPF products on your face is a "set it and forget it" moment in the morning, without any reapplication through the day to protect your skin. This powder is so easy to dust on your face whenever you need to top up and it helps control any shine that develops through the day! If you are not a fan of cream sunscreens for the face - this is a brilliant alternative with clean ingredients.
Honorable mention: Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen - $30 Let’s be honest, if you have tried natural sunscreens you have experienced at least one of the following: a thick cream that has a permanent white cast, weird dry flaky texture or an oily greasy separating cream. This is the FIRST EVER natural sunscreen for the face I have ever found to actually be sheer. There is no white cast at all and the texture is incredible. It’s moisturizing, smooth and gives you sun protection. I don’t know how they did it, but they did!
I hope you enjoyed this run down of a few products I love right now. I know the struggle of transitioning to natural skin care can be difficult, but well worth it! Want more skin care routines or natural product reviews? Let me know in the comments below.