Late last year I found myself reading an article about steps to cleaner lifestyles, and one of those steps was incorporating cleaner beauty products into our regular routine. To be 100% honest, I enjoy natural skincare and beauty lines, but never put much thought into what I was putting on my face (chemicals, toxins, etc.), and just used products because I loved them or liked the brand.
In the last few months, I decided to take it upon myself to try out some different clean and natural skincare lines. So, here are my recommendations for 5 natural skincare products worth trying!
Let’s get the fine print out of the way first! This post is not sponsored. I decided to explore the realms of clean skincare earlier this year, and looked for products that fit the bill and might be worthwhile to test out. I did receive the Elemis and Timeless products courtesy of, from the perspective brands, but the other three products I purchased on my own.
Alright, with the fine print aside, let’s dive in! Chances are you’re like me, and purchase skincare products based off the name recognition, the sales person’s recommendation at the beauty counter or after seeing in magazines. I know more often than not, I personally picked my skincare products based off of recommendations I received at Sephora or items I received in PR packages. I never really took a look at the ingredients on the back of the packaging, or if I did, I assumed that they were okay ingredients if the brand was including them in their products.
As I previously mentioned, I hadn’t really thought about the affects of certain ingredients in my skincare products… at all. I will admit, one time, a few years ago, Rick and I were in Austin for SXSW and I used a tester of Kiehl’s eye cream that I had thrown into my travel kit before the trip. I followed the instructions and made sure to keep it away from my actual eyes, finished the rest of my evening beauty routine and went to bed. Well, you know where this is going… I woke up the next morning to one of my eyes partially swollen shut and what looked like a somewhat serious allergic reaction happening on my skin.
First and foremost, this is not by any means an attack on the Kiehl’s brand. One thing I have learned in my clean beauty search, is that everyone’s skin is different and we all react differently to different products. Needless to say, after doing a quick search on different reviews for the eye cream, some not so positive reviews came up, claiming similar reactions from said cream. Let’s just say, I looked at the ingredients and searched their toxicity. Since then, I have rarely used Kiehl’s products.
In my preliminary research for clean skincare, I came across well-known buzzwords and phrases like all-natural, organic, paraben-free, cruelty-free, etc. But I found myself asking, “What exactly do these phrases actually mean?“
According to the FDA, here are a few answers:
- Cruelty-free, doesn’t always mean, cruelty-free. This personally, is not a huge determining factor for me, but I will say I have found myself gravitating towards being anti-animal testing/cruelty-free in products. Here is what the FDA has to say about the phrases cruelty free and not tested on animals when it comes to beauty product labels.
- Organic cosmetics are regulated under the USDA who oversees the Natural Organic Program (NOP), and include a definition of organic to be such that these ingredients have been produced under the requirements that meet the qualifications for the term ‘Organic’.
Of course, I am by no means a physician, scientist or member of a governmental body that oversees this terminology, testing on products etc. but I do find the explanations to these buzz-words and phrases to be interesting. Essentially, what I gathered from my initial research is… do more research. Just because a brand says it’s all-natural or organic, doesn’t necessarily mean such. Just like food, you will see a USDA Organic stamp on items that are actually declared organic. Fact of the matter is, do your research!
Okay, I digress, because clearly I could write a short novel on all of this.
I tried out a few different clean skincare products and came away with 5 natural skincare products worth trying. I’ll share them with you below and what I loved about each.
1. Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser // My search for a clean and natural cleanser began about two months ago when I noticed the Peter Thomas Roth cleanser I’d been using, at recommendation from someone at Sephora, was both drying out my forehead and causing weird breakouts around my chin. When I looked up the ingredients in the PTR cleanser, I realized that I couldn’t pronounce half of them and had no idea what a handful even were! I actually first read about Indie Lee on The Detox Market Instagram page, and dug in a little further. Let me just say, this cleanser is SO good. I’ve even got Rick using it every so often. It smells amazing and fresh, has ingredients I actually understand, and not too many at that, plus it’s gentle and all my previous blemishes have cleared. What also made me click ‘add to cart’ on Indie Lee products is this: Indie Lee created her line after she beat her battle with a brain tumor. This hits home for me, because my mother-in-law passed away from a brain tumor. No one knows if toxic ingredients in botox or our skincare can actually cause these tumors, but signs definitely point to it!
2. Indie Lee COQ-10 Toner // I actually hadn’t used a toner, with the exception of when I got facials every couple of months, for quite some time. I picked up this Indie Lee toner after reading so many positive reviews and love it! I’ve come to expect toners to seriously dry out my skin before they do any good, but this is not one of those toners. Want to know why? Because it’s alcohol free! As you can see, I am all about Indie Lee products and will certainly be adding more of this natural skincare line to my routine. Plus, I really love how the brand features a ‘bad ingredients‘ and ‘good ingredients‘ dropdown menu on their site. Take a moment to check out some of the bad ingredients, and look at your go-to products to see if they’re in the ingredients. It’s pretty eye-opening…
3. Elemis Pro-Collagen Advanced eye-treatment // As previously mentioned, I was sent this product to sample. I really hadn’t heard of Elemis prior to receiving, but was immediately intrigued by their motto: skincare powered by nature, proven by science. Elemis uses natural, plant-based ingredients as their base, but they do use some scientifically-created ingredients in their products too (some may deem this not entirely clean skincare). They are in-fact paraben free, and some of their products do feature ingredients that are vegan. This eye-treatment is plant-based and vegan. I didn’t expect to see much in terms of results from this eye-treatment, but I have been seriously impressed. I apply every evening in my before bed routine and love the way it smells and its lightweight feel. I’ve definitely noticed a reduction in my dark circles and fine little wrinkles. Will definitely purchase again once I run out!
4. Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizer // I’ve been using Juice Beauty for a few years, here and there. I picked up this moisturizer after going through my jar of Olay Whip, read my review here. In search of a more natural and organic moisturizer alternative, I decided to opt for Juice Beauty because I’ve enjoyed their products in the past and this moisturizer has seriously great reviews on their website. Of all the products I tried, Juice Beauty was the easiest to do research on, in terms of what they do and don’t include in their products. Largely readable on each product page, is a note that Juice does not test on animals, and their products are free of parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances. This is another product that I love the smell of and feels weightless when I rub on. I think my only complaint would be, that the packaging is funky and it’s rather deceiving how much is actually inside of the jar. I’ll most likely be finishing this jar of moisturizer quicker than previous brands I’ve used.
5. Timeless Hyaluronic Acid vitamin C serum // In the last few years, I’ve read about the benefits of using serums for skincare, but I also learned that a lot of the ingredients were suspect. Timeless actually reached out last year, and I’ve been using their serums ever since. The last serum bottle I finished had over 15 different ingredients in it and I’ve seen some at Sephora that have over 20! This serum has nine ingredients, listed on the front of the label (nothing to hide!) and is natural and paraben free. Timeless’ motto is more actives, less chemicals. Even better, the ingredients are quality and they aren’t price gouging you! A bottle of this serum is just $20. I’ve spent upwards of $100 on serums before… I use this serum every morning on my face and decoltage, then apply some eye serum and an SPF.
What are y’all’s thoughts on clean skincare? I’ve heard from some friends that would rather just not think about it… which for quite some time, I came from the same school of thought. But, as we get older and hear more and more about toxic products and things that can hurt our health in the future, the least we can do is try to eliminate some of those toxins from our daily skincare and beauty routines.
I’ll be fully honest, I’m not switching out everything just yet and tossing all my toxic beauty products into the trash bin, but I am slowly finishing off older products and replacing with natural, organic and non-toxic skincare alternatives.
Our skin is our biggest organism! We need to respect it and be understanding of what we’re putting on it and what can be absorbed by it! Let me know in the comments any products you’re loving, would love to hear more.
And if you read through this entire post (because it’s a novel), thank you! Enter below to win a $25 e-gift card from Dermstore, where I purchase a lot of my natural skincare and beauty products. Simply follow the prompts below and I’ll announce a winner on the widget. Good luck!