After I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease a year ago, I quickly realized my chemical-laden beauty products had to go. I’ve talked a lot about why I cleaned up my diet and my home, ditched the endocrine disruptors and gradually made the switch to clean beauty, but now that I’ve done ALL the research and product testing, I can finally talk about the how and what!
My only rules are; don’t feel like you need to replace everything at once and if there’s a product you can’t live without that’s ok! If you run out of something try out a non-toxic product to replace it. Eventually the good will start to outweigh the not-so-good.
For ingredients to avoid check out Credo Beauty, EWG’s Skin Deep Guide and the Think Dirty app.
After a few months of transitioning to clean products, I realized I didn’t need as many products as I did before. A simple cleanser, toner and oil are really all you’ll need. Serums and masks are great as well but truthfully, I find myself using less of them! The hands down best cleanser I’ve tried is the Pure + E.O. Free Oil Cleanser from Marie Veronique x Kristina Holey. It gently removes surface debris, sunscreen and makeup with low-sud surfactants while hydrating your skin with Omega-6 rich oils and protecting your lipid barrier with antioxidants. I use Marie Veronique’s Balancing Hypotonic as a hydrating toner after I cleanse.
To moisturize, I keep a few oils on hand. In the morning, I use the famous Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil. Any product with minimal ingredients that uses rosemary oil as a natural preservative gets an A+ from me. During the winter I add a couple drops of Marie Veronique Barrier Lipid Complex to protect my lipid barrier and help retain hydration throughout the day. You can also make your own blend of oils. Mountain Rose Herbs has almost every organic oil you can imagine at great prices. Check out The Power of the Seed for a comprehensive guide to oils.
At night, after cleansing and toning, I alternate between the Marie Veronique Barrier Lipid Complex and Jordan Samuel Etoile with Retinol Treatment Oil. I can’t vouch for this product enough. I ran out for a few months and just hadn’t got around to reordering, but I’ll never go without it again. It makes your skin porcelain smooth and hydrated without any of the unwanted side effects of adjusting to a retinol.
If you want to take your routine a step further Drunk Elephant and One Love Organics make excellent Vitamin C Serums, while Marie Veronique Vitamin C, E + Ferulic Acid Serum is the perfect replacement for your beloved Skinceuticals C E Ferulic.
Drunk Elephant Sukari Baby Facial and Marie Veronique Micronutrient + Hydro Mask are all you need for a Sunday afternoon facial. For any stray breakouts, nothing beats mixing Franklin & Whitman Queen Village Face Mask with a bit of Manuka Honey.
During my switch, I thought makeup would be the hardest part. But once again, after a few months in, I didn’t need as much as I did before because I don’t have the same issues with redness and breakouts anymore.
For a light tinted moisturizer/SPF I love Marie Veronique Everyday Coverage Tinted Sunscreen SPF 30. I also love RMS “Un” Cover Up because of how versatile it is. It’s hydrating and gives the perfect dewy finish, and you can blend it out sheer using a brush over an oil, or build it up for more coverage. I also use it as a concealer. If you want to get into contouring, pick up a shade or two darker as well. For a fuller coverage I use Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation. If you tend to have an oily t-zone or just want a matte finish, try RMS “Un” Powder, it only contains silica and mica and creates a velvet matte finish with no caking.
RMS Living Luminiser has been a go-to for a while, it’s the most natural subtle highlighter around. Lily Lolo Pressed Bronzer in Miami Beach is the clean version of Hoola, the most universal bronzer. For blush I love Kjaer Weiss Cream Blush in Desired Glow. Its creamy texture melts into skin but the color stays put.
For eyebrows I use Alima Pure Natural Definition Brow Pencil. It has the perfect powdery-light texture to define your brows without looking overdone. Then I top with Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Brow Envy Gel to create a clean, full brow and hold the hairs in place.
For eyeshadow you can’t go wrong with Kjaer Weis, my everyday shade is Magnetic. I also use their Eye Pencil in brown for a subtle cat eye. If you love a cream shadow try RMS Eye Polish, Myth creates the perfect 90’s eye. Mascara is a bit trickier, I haven’t found a good replacement for big volume, but a great everyday option for length and definition is Well People Expressionist Mascara.
There’s so many amazing clean hair product brands out now, a few favorites are Sisters and Rahua. I usually lean towards the volume conditioners as they tend to be a bit lighter where some heavier conditioners leave a little too much oil behind. I’ve also heard great things about Playa, which is next on my list to try!
Once a week I put a little oil on my ends as an overnight mask. I alternate between coconut oil, Everyday Oil Unscented Blend and Camellia Seed oil. Just massage your shampoo in before wetting your hair and the oil comes right out and leaves behind a seriously hydrated head of hair. If your hair is on the drier side camellia seed oil is also light enough to run a tiny bit through your ends.
I like to keep my body care fairly simple because after writing this article I realized I might actually be higher maintenance than I even thought. I love the good old Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Baby Mild Liquid Castile Soap and their Shaving Soap makes the richest lather and smells like brown sugar.
I try to dry brush a couple times a week and moisturize with Pai Apple & Mallow Face and Body Cream for babies. I realize this is the second product specifically for babies that I use, but doesn’t your skin deserve to be coddled a bit? On drier spots like feet and elbows, I use Sun Potion Shea Butter.
While natural deodorant is a highly debated and personal topic, I’ve got a high and low option for you that have both worked for me; Schmidts Natural Deodorant in Cedarwood & Juniper and Agent Nateur No.3 Deodarant. Personally, I think it’s all about finding a scent that works with you, not trying to find one that masks everything.
Much like haircare, there’s more of a non-toxic nail polish market than you would expect. There are even some non-toxic gel nail polish brands and salons like Sundays and tenoverten. RMS makes my favorite red, but a few other brands I love are Deborah Lippmann, Butter London, and Cote. Don’t forget to finish off your manicure with a cuticle oil like tenoverten Rose Oil and Pai Fragonia & Sea Buckthorn Instant Therapy Hand Cream.