9 Green Beauty Swaps for Sensitive Skin
Green Beauty ... that term is everywhere now, but until recently I didn't understand how beneficial clean, all-natural products were for my skincare. If you had asked me just a few years ago, I wouldn't even know where to begin to describe the benefits. I cleaned my skin regularly already and put products on it that seemed to feel good, so why would I need to change anything? Then this happened: I had a baby and after finishing our journey of nursing, the worst-case skin scenario happened and suddenly my skin went crazy. Everything from painful cystic acne to different irritations on my face. No amount of cleansing or products either fixed or covered what was going on.
Fast forward a year later and I had been taking a high dosage of antibiotics and using a topical gel almost daily, and although my skin looked so much happier, I felt absolutely awful. My stomach had taken the worst kind of beating being on antibiotics for so long, and my skin felt like it was being punished each time I had to apply medication on it when it acted up.
I've never had amazing skin -- in fact I struggled with skin issues in high school and then for a time in college as well -- but revisiting these problems in adulthood and motherhood was unexpected and disheartening.
So I began doing my research on not only what I was putting on my skin (cleansing and makeup), but what I was consuming, and started learning about how different ingredients (both makeup and food-wise) impact me personally.
Note: If you are the type of person that needs a game plan to tackle a problem, such as skin issues, I highly recommend starting with this book: Skin Cleanse by Adina Grigore! It helped me make discover where some of my challenges were coming from and helped me put together a simple food and skin care strategy.
I'm now pregnant with baby number 2, and as expected, my hormones and skin have struggled this time around as well. However, in what I've learned and in making a switch to products that heal rather than punish, I've found ways to work through this time period. I also feel like I have a strong game plan for balancing my hormones and skin issues after baby is born this Fall. So I'm sharing below what I've learned and 9 Green Beauty Swaps I've made this year for my sensitive skin.
Through a process of elimination dieting (slowly cutting things out to see what triggers issues) as well as researching ingredients that would help my skin rather than punish it, I found out the following (and I'm still learning!):
Food: Dairy, refined sugar and grains are not my friend. I love them so much, but inflammation and breakouts (at least for me) are definitely tied in some ways to food. Cutting these items out is harder to follow while pregnant -- I've been sick a lot, and will eat the things I can stomach -- however, post-preganancy, I know these things have to go for the most part.
Health: My skin issues are both hormonal and bacterial -- meaning that after I was finished nursing etc. my hormones were all over the place, thus impacting my skin -- and the bacterial problem was only made worse long-term by taking antibiotics...the medicine made me so sick, and I could tell the impact of killing all of the good bacteria in my gut.
Products: Product-wise, I have always been one to try and find a good deal, so I never looked at ingredients, I always went based on what would give me the most coverage for the best price. The impact is that I was putting really harmful ingredients on the largest organ of my body on a daily basis -- the damage might not be immediate, but longterm there was no telling. When it came to products for "cleanings and treating" I used things like ProActive and similar solutions that only worsened the problem over time.
The Solution: I know now the connection between ingredients to my skin. There may be other things I haven't discovered as well that irritate it, so after pregnancy an elimination diet to rule out any other irritants is definitely something I want to do. In the very least, I know avoiding dairy, sugar and grain where I can will make a difference.
The second approach has been healing my skin naturally through products that contain only safe, nature-based ingredients. I get the majority of my products through Be Pure Beauty -- an amazing online and brick and mortar store that curates only natural/clean solutions for skin and health. I've listed all my current skin and beauty products I'm using below so you can see the 9 Green Beauty Swaps I made this year.
Note: I'll also be adding in more high-dose probiotics when I'm done nursing -- gut health is so important in this equation too. Glow Inner Beauty Powder is what I plan to purchase, if you're curious.
In the last 6 months, I've switched out my beauty products with non-toxic, natural solutions. Here is what I'm using on my skin! I'm used all of these items for several months, and give you the low down on my favorites and even ones that were great, but I might not necessarily purchase again once I run out.
My Skin Care Routine
1. Theo Face Wash & Mask by Hidden Forest. I use this every night before bed as my face wash. It comes in a powder form and you just add a few drops of water or a carrier oil, massage on your face and then rinse with warm water. I love to add coconut oil to the powder once a week for a 10-min mask! I've used this product for a year now and LOVE it.
2. Calm Toner by Hidden Forest. I use this in the a.m. and p.m. after I wash my face. It helps to balance the pH in my oily skin. This toner also comes in the Glow version, which is great to use if you have dry skin or want to add more moisture in during Winter months.
3. Lapis Facial Oil by Herbivore. This product is a game changer. Truly, it's healing properties for skin are crazy. It's an amazing facial oil that I use after my toner has time to dry on my skin, and contains powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ingredients that promote healing of acne and other skin issues, like rosacea and eczema. It's been the best for treating my hormonal acne during pregnancy.
4. Morning Dew by Hidden Forest. Morning Dew is a highly powerful facial serum that targets hydration. I love using this as my a.m. hydrator after toner. The unique part of this serum is that it isn’t oily at all —ingredients like Kadku Plum and Sea Kelp make this a really soothing option, and I love adding a drop to my foundation for a more glowy finish!
Note: For the occasional cystic acne that has shown up during pregnancy, I also use a prescription foam from my dermatologist that is essentially just azelaic acid that I use to spot treat the tough areas. However, the Lapis oil has been very powerful in speeding along healing as well, and I find that I don't need the foam very often.
For natural, clean makeup, here are my go-to green beauty products that I'm currently using daily:
1. Aura Multi-Use by Vapour Beauty. This product is exactly like it sounds -- it's multi-use. I mainly put it on my cheeks for blush (I have Eros as my current color, but there are SO many amazing options to try). However, it's also a quick lip stain too -- so I'll sometimes use it on both my cheeks and lips, which makes traveling with make-up lighter and more minimal!
2. Fruit Pigmented Mascara by 100% Pure. I did A LOT of research on mascara. I sweat mascara off like it's my day job...it's crazy. And I'm kind of picky and hate anything that appears to clump easily or flakes etc. This narrowed things down a ton. I have tried other clean beauty mascaras, like Honest Beauty, and didn't love it, especially for the price. I've been using the 100% Pure mascara for 3 months now in southern summer heat (100+ degrees and 100 percent humidity) and is doesn't smudge or run at all for me. I love it!
3. Solar Translucent Bronzer by Vapour Beauty. This is another multi-stick, and it's great for easy contouring (which I still have to YouTube for tutorials lol, because apparently I didn't know this was a thing until recently!). There are a few different bronze shades to choose from -- since I'm ghostly pale right now, the Simmer 222 color was perfect for me.
4. Phyto-Pigments Flawless Serum Foundation by Juice Beauty. I get this foundation from Ulta and have been using it for 2 years now. They have a great range of color options, and I was able to easily find a match. Normally foundations are either too pale or too yellow for me, but they have a good range of shades, and I was able to find a good fit. It's pricey at $50+ -- however, it lasts me 6+ months, and is so far the best foundation I've used (even compared to non-natural options).
5. Green Tea Fiber Brow Builder by 100% Pure. This is basically mascara for your eyebrows. Of all of the products I use now, I will say honestly that it's my least favorite -- but probably because I have thin eyebrows. I will use it until gone, but it's really designed more for those that have thicker eyebrows, but need something to bring out the color (maybe they are light or need definition) or need something to keep them in place during the day. I however have thin eyebrows to begin with, so I don't feel like it adds much for me other than some extra color and shape on my really light hairs. I would instead try the Long Last gel by 100% Pure in the future when I run out of this current product.
Shown but rarely used: Technically, this would make 10 products, but I rarely use this and likely won't purchase again and here is why...Shown in one of the pictures below is the Phyto-Pigments Illuminating Primer -- it's a great product -- makes your skins feel super soft and gifts you a little extra shimmer under your foundation. However, I have also used the Juice Beauty CC Cream as a primer, and like it much better. It has a natural sunscreen built in, which is great, and also acts as a tinted moisturizer on it's own. The Illuminating Primer is a good product if you are someone that uses a primer everyday (I don't, but couldn't resist trying it anyway), but the CC Cream I think provides more options for someone like me who is trying to downsize with the number of products I use.
So there you have it friends! Those are the 9 Green Beauty Swaps I've made for my sensitive skin in terms of cleaning and makeup. Like any beauty product, especially one with quality/clean ingredients, you are going to pay a little more. However, I try to save over time and only buy when I'm out of a specific item. Also, downsizing my makeup bag to good skincare and a few basics (foundation, mascara etc.), I've found that I cut costs in that way as well. If you're. interested in trying some of these products, I highly recommend Be Pure Beauty -- you can get a discount with BEPURE15 online. Also, I wrote a post last year when I first tried a few products, and you can read all about that HERE.
Tell us the products you are using and loving too! Would love to hear about your experience or discoveries too. If you have questions about any of the products, please let us know as well!