If you have been with me on my blogging journey for awhile, you may know that I suffer from very sensitive skin! (if new here, you can read a little bit more of my skin backstory here!) Much like life, my skin has gotten better with time, but it’s taken years to adapt to cleaner products. With that said, I try to blog about clean beauty when I can in order to save you all the time. And since it is National Clean Beauty day, I thought it was the perfect time to walk you all through my AM & PM Clean Beauty Skincare.
Skincare is a very personal thing, so I always caveat by saying these are recommendations that have worked for me, but you should always consult with your dermatologist first!
An additional point is that skincare has come along way! It not longer costs an arm and a leg to have really great skin. There are many skincare experts that now have brands at Target and other budget stores that work just as well.
So let’s get to the good stuff!
AM Clean Beauty Skincare Routine
First up is the am clean beauty skincare routine! If you are in a hurry, try to cleanse and use moisturizer as the bare minimum (and of course sunscreen). If you have a little more time, you can add in a serum, eye cream, etc. to help brighten and wake up the skin.
Step 1: Cleanser
Step 2: Brightening Serum (Optional)
This step is optional, but is a great addition if you have the time! Brightening serums help alleviate dark spots and combat dullness. Many brands use Vitamin C in their brightening serums, but sometimes they can be too harsh on the skin if in pure form. The ones listed below work well for sensitive skin. In addition, serums are best applied to slightly damp skin so that the penetrate the skin deeper.
- Versed Brightening Serum ($19.99): This serum uses Vitamin C, licorice root, plant extracts and anti-oxidants to reveal radiant skin. It also uses niacinamide which is a popular ingredient that reduces discoloration.
- True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil ($110 for full bottle or $13 for mini): This oil is on the high end, but a drop goes a long way! This oil works to improve dryness, fine lines/wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. True Botanicals uses seed oils vs. nut oils so that they won’t clog the skin. Use code “NC15” for 15% off your next order.
Step 3: Moisturizer
The last step before sunscreen is moisturizer! It can be tricky to find a moisturizer that works for your skin because it stays on skin for long periods. Also, since it is something you wear every day, your skin can become irritated if not using the correct moisturizer. Furthermore, MANY moisturizers have aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice/extract which should be avoided. There have been some significant studies that show a potential link between aloe vera and cancer so try to avoid when possible.
- Good Molecules Silicone-Free Priming Moisturizer ($12): This is one of the few moisturizers that does not have aloe vera or silicone in it! It is vegan, fragrance-free, mineral-free, PEG-free, alcohol-free at an affordable price point. Leaves skin feeling moisturized and not greasy or tacky.
Step 4: Sunscreen
You may have heard that sunscreen is an important skincare step, but few may realize just how much aging comes from the sun. By using sunscreen, you can control and prevent many of the early signs of aging. There have even been some studies that suggest that you could reverse some aging signs with consistent and regular use.
In addition, at my last dermatologist appointment, I asked if chemical or mineral sunscreens were better. Her answer was mineral! Chemical sunscreens require frequent application which many do not do which results in more sun exposure. Mineral sunscreens have longer staying power and have come a long way from those “white cast” days.
- Supergoop Mineral Sheerscreen SPF30 ($17): This is the mineral version to the popular Unseen Sunscreen under the same company. Much like the unseen sunscreen, it works well as a primer under makeup. It provides SPF30 but also blue light protection which comes in handy!
PM Clean Beauty Skincare Routine
One of my favorite beauty influencers is Susan Yara from Mixed Makeup. She once said that your AM routine is meant to protect while your PM routine is meant to repair. This is a perfect way to view each of your skincare routines. With this in mind, I tend to have a few more steps in my PM skincare routine to help repair the skin.
Step 1: Cleansing Balm
If you tend to wear daily makeup, then it is a necessity to double cleanse and wash off your makeup before bed. Makeup wipes are very harsh and can cause micro tears in the skin which leads to premature aging. As an alternative to wipes, try a cleansing balm that gently breaks up makeup and grime.
- Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm ($17.99): Another favorite from the Versed collection. It is gentle on skin without leaving an oily after feel. Easy to wash off makeup with your favorite clean beauty cleanser!
Step 2: Cleanser
Same cleansers as above 🙂
Step 3: Rejuvenating Masks (Optional)
This step is optional, but it is a good step if you feel like your skin needs some extra help. I tend to do masks on weekends to help provide extra repair. If your skin tends to be more oily/breakouts then try a clay-based mask. If it tends to be more dry, then a more plant based one might work better!
- Honest Beauty Prime + Perfect Mask ($19.99): This is the one I tend to use if I am noticing more breakouts or oil on my skin! It has shea butter and kaolin clay which provides a great base for nourished skin. You will want to wash off the mask before it completely dries so that it does not dry out your skin!
- Pangea Organics Facial Mask ($22): This is one of those times where you buy something on sale and end up loving it! This mask has matcha, goji berries, and other antioxidants that deeply clean and detoxify your skin!
Step 4: Serums
The serums at night are a little different than the day time ones. The ones at night are meant to restore and repair while morning is meant to brighten and awaken. It is best to keep a few serums on rotation in order to not irritate the skin.
- Naturium Glycolic Acid Resurfacing Gel ($23): This is a chemical “exfoliant” that uses AHA and Glycolic acid to resurface skin which improves fine lines/wrinkles. This is the skincare line of Susan Yara that I mentioned above, and she has really put in the attention to detail! Please note that you only need to exfoliate 1-2 times a week and should not be used everyday!
- Herbivore Bakuchiol Serum ($54): Bakuchiol is a natural alternative to retinol which is a saving grace for those that have sensitive skin. From my own experience, retinol wrecked my skin and has also shown to be a possible carcinogen. Bakuchiol is a good alternative if you want similar retinol benefits without the harshness. This is also a serum that is best used every other day etc. to not cause excess irritation.
Step 5: Evening Moisturizer
You can use the same daytime moisturizer, but some people need a more heavy duty one for PM! It is nice to be able to lather on a deep moisturizer since a lot of moisture is lost while you are sleeping. There are ones that have hyaluronic acid (which can holds 1000x its weight in water) or
- Naturium Plant Ceramide Rich Moisture Cream ($25): Another moisturizer that is free of aloe vera! It is infused with squalene and other moisture dense ingredients that provide lasting hydration to the skin! It is considered a clean product at Target since it is formulated without phthalates, SLES/SLS, parabens, etc.