Part of being a well-rounded adult is deciding that you actually have to feed and care for yourself properly. (Taco Bell at 2 a.m. worked in college but that was never a good long-term strategy!) Once we finally learned how to boil water and roast vegetables, we all began to make decisions about the best ways to nourish our insides—it’s important to be mindful of what we put into our bodies.
But what about what we’re putting on our bodies? How many skincare product ingredients can you pronounce? There are a lot of terrifying ingredients in skincare and makeup and very few vendors who have quality standards in place to keep non-toxic items off shelves. If you’re experiencing problems with your skin, it might be time to consider that the ingredients with 18 letters on the label of your cleanser might be the filler, dye, or fragrance behind your recurrent breakouts or skin redness. Our skin is our largest organ, so in addition to feeding our insides healthy whole foods we need to consider what our skin might be starving from.
The next time you pop into Whole Foods, Natural Grocer, or your favorite local health food store, meander down the body care aisle and consider that a quality organic skincare product is just as good for you as that pound bag of quinoa.
Where to Buy: Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk, Ulta ($22.00)
Why You’ll Love It: It’s an inexpensive multi-purpose cleanser from one of the most trusted organic brands in the game.
The Secret: We could lavish praise on Juice Beauty’s entire product line for days, but if you have to choose only one place to start, make sure it’s the Cleansing Milk. Remove the day’s oil, sweat, and makeup with this silky milk to foam formula packed with soothing ingredients for your tired skin. Grapeseed oil, aloe, and vitamin E ensure that your face stays fully hydrated as it melts away grime, while chamomile extract soothes your problem areas.
Where to Buy: Soap Girl Feed Your Face Mask Pumpkin + Marshmallow Root, Soapgirl ($20.00)
Why You’ll Love It: This powder-based formula is packed with powerful acne fighting fruit enzymes (and yields about 25 masks per jar!).
The Secret: If you thought you loved pumpkin in lattes and pies, then you’re going to be elated after putting it on your face. Pumpkin extract is packed with natural AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) and antioxidants vitamin A and C, and mixed with Moroccan red clay will help encourage skin cell turnover and extract nasty sebum waiting to express itself as blemishes. Marshmallow root also steps in to provide balancing moisture so the bentonite clay won’t dry out skin.
Where to Buy: Kensington Apothecary Skin Serum #2 – City Girl, Amazon ($33.00)
Why You’ll Love It: It’s a potent serum specially formulated to combat the damaging effects of pollution and stress.
The Secret: It’s hard enough living in a heavily populated area without having to stress about what the bright lights, late nights, and happy hours are doing to your complexion. Kensington packs its City Girl serum full of kombucha and silk seed extract to target the free radicals that are following you home long after you’ve gotten off the subway.
Where to Buy: Heritage Store Rosewater + Glycerin Facial Mist, Amazon ($7.09)
Why You’ll Love It: It’s an inexpensive rosewater spray that sets makeup and doubles as a post cleansing essence!
The Secret: Vegetable glycerin probably sounds like a really weird moisturizing agent, but it’s most likely hidden on the ingredient labels of pretty much everything you’re already using. Glycerin helps skin to naturally retain water without being oily or slick and paired with rose water essence to soothe and heal, you now have the perfect multi-purpose facial mist at only $6 for 4 oz. Plus, it smells like an earthy, freshly watered rose garden.
Where to Buy: Acure Clarifying Acne Wipes with Glycolic Acid + Zinc, Amazon ($20.17)
Why You’ll Love It: It’s unique ingredients go above and beyond to keep skin fresh and acne free.
The Secret: We’re all guilty of being a little lazy at times when it comes to cleansing our skin properly at the end of the day or after a workout, but Acure’s Clarifying wipes have got our back in those moments. Zinc is an incredibly effective ingredient in the war against breakouts as it encourages rapid cell turnover, Acure goes the extra mile by adding in glycolic and salicylic acid along with Argan oil to heal and moisturize troubled skin.
Where to Buy: Evan Healy Lemongrass Facial Polish, Amazon ($29.95)
Why You’ll Love It: This multi-tasking Ayurvedic powder combines a variety of healing ingredients to effectively cleanse, tone, and exfoliate in one step.
The Secret: It’s often really tricky to find a store bought exfoliate treatment that doesn’t irritate sensitive skin, as most are filled with harsh stripping agents and granular material that actually causes tears and damage, leading to premature aging. Evanhealy’s combines the fine plant-based powders by hand through a meticulous sifting process that results in a gentle but effective way to emulsify and remove dead skin.
Where to Buy: Avalon Organics Intense Defence with Vitamin C Cleansing Milk, Amazon ($7.12)
Why You’ll Love It: It’s the perfect morning cleanser that ensures you get your skin’s daily dose of vitamin C without irritation.
The Secret: Vitamin C is crucial when caring for acne-prone, damaged, aging, and tired skin, but using it in the fall and winter months can sometimes cause more problems as we are dealing with the changing weather conditions. Starting your day with a vitamin C infused milk cleanser is the best way to ensure that you’re still getting the free-radical fighting antioxidants while also keeping skin calm.
Where to Buy: Thayers Body Bar with Witch Hazel and Aloe Vera, exclusively sold at Whole Foods through the end of 2016
Why You’ll Love It: Balances body skin by fighting off blemishes and it’s deeply moisturizing.
The Secret: Thayers Witch Hazel has been a must-have product for ages, as witch hazel has a multitude of benefits for those suffering from breakouts but also for those with skin too sensitive for most toners. Thayers’ recently launched a line of bar soaps that bring this powerful anti-acne agent off the cotton pads and into our showers with a variety of all natural fresh fragrances.
Where to Buy: Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Organic Shaving Soap, Amazon ($11.99)
Why You’ll Love It: The cult favorite castile soap reformulated to provide a close and comfortable shave with only organic ingredients.
The Secret: There are few products that need to be organic and non-sketchy chemical free as shaving lotion because they penetrate much deeper into your skin than most products. Dr. Bronner’s can already be used for anything from doing your dishes to washing your hair and brushing your teeth, but we appreciate that they have thickened the formula for shaving. The lavender scent is perfect for a luxurious soak and shave before bed, and the peppermint will perk you up with a few quick underarm swipes early in the morning.