Hi beauties! Friends and followers often ask me what brands and products I would recommend. Sharing my morning skincare routine made the most sense for my FIRST BLOG POST! I don’t HAVE to change my serum and my facial oil or moisturizer, though I love essential oils help me sleep.
My Skin Type
I have sensitive and “combination skin” meaning my face is oily in some places and dry in others. Before converting to clean beauty I struggled to find conventional cleansers that worked. They often stripped my skin of all moisture and oil.
It may surprise you that some oil is necessary to avoid your sebum (oil) levels trying to overcompensate for the sudden lack of oil after cleaning. Using these stripping or drying cleansers can cause acne. Oil is not the enemy as the cosmetic industry marketing made us think it was for years. More on this in my facial oil section below.
The first thing I do every morning is wash my face with Indie Lee’s Brightening Cleanser. It smells like a field of strawberries because it’s made used strawberry seed oil! This is the first product I have ever heard of that uses this innovative antioxidant ingredient. It aids moisture, fades hyper pigmentation (dark spots) and keeps acne at bay. It also uses tomato which is high in vitamins A, C and K that help clear your pores.
I also love that the Brighten Cleanser has a clear gel consistency. First wet your hands and apply 1 pump as the water will aid moving the cleanser onto your skin. Remember, face AND neck. Using cold or warm water to remove the cleanser you’ll notice the gel turns into a white sudsy cleanser. Once removed you’ll feel refreshingly clean afterwards and still hydrated.
Exfoliating is important!
My favorite aspect aside from the strawberry scent is that it can double as a flash mask. Meaning, if you leave the cleanser on your face AND neck for five minutes it can be used as a gentle chemical exfoliator. I confirmed with Indie Lee’s community manager that the Brightening Cleanser is safe to use two times per a day. I recommend starting with once a day to see if your skin agrees with the new product.
Why is exfoliating important? It helps remove dead skin cells and allow for skin cell regeneration and leaves your face bright vs dull. I have sensitive skin and can use the Brightening Cleanser twice a day. I recommend using this once a day in the beginning to see if your skin likes the gentle exfoliation. Exfoliating helps remove fine lines and dead skin. It is a hugely underrated step of skincare. Whether you use an enzymatic, chemical or manual exfoliation you should do it at least 1x a week. Some people’s skin tolerates gentle exfoliation every day.
The Brightening Cleanser is cruelty free, vegan and sold in a 4.2 oz or 125 ml glass bottle for $34 or a 1 oz travel size for $10 in a plastic tube. Indie Lee is based in New York and the products are made in the USA and France.
If you’ve seen my Instagram, you probably have seen me talk about my respect for the brilliant maker, Josh Rosebrook. He recently released his Daily Acid Toner. It is 100 ml or 3.3oz for $29 in glass packaging made in Southern California.
If I could only choose a toner or essence I would choose essence every day. Though wearing my mask and being inside more often than before Covid-19 my skin has not been as happy and acne-free. I have been using Josh’s toner product daily to help brighten and balance the pH level of my skin.
The Daily Acid Toner may reduce acne, though I have not noticed a difference. I do think the aloe juice, regenerating red and brown algae and amino acids have helped increase the hydration levels in my pores.
This Organic Girl, Lisa introduced me to Maya Chia’s The Optimist and I absolutely love it. I tried a Jasmine toner before this that I loathed the smell of so I tried an essence. Essences increase hydration more than toners do so I prefer them over toners. The Optimist has a very fine mist that feels luxurious, refreshing and weightless. The jasmine scent is so lovely it’s hard not to smile when spraying this all over my face and neck. Usually 5ish squirts work for my skincare routine.
All of Maya Chia’s products are formulated with chia seeds, understand the name now? Chia seeds are one of the many antioxidants in this product that helps lock in hydration making your pores disappear like they are Photoshopped. When I remember, I spray this on my face midday so that my pores do not look dehydrated. This happens when I may not be drinking enough water. *Takes a big sip of lemon water*.
This product is bottled in sleek black glass with a perfect spray if you don’t mess it up like I did somehow. It is sensitive skin safe, great for acne prone skin and or mature skin. $58 for 3.4 oz or 100 ml. It’s a sizable bottle and I think well worth the price, especially if you can find it on sale. If you care about magazine skincare awards this has won a few.
Shocker, it’s another Josh Rosebrook product. I have tried $100+ serums and nothing compares to the hydration and plumpness that Josh’s Hydration Boost Concentrate visibly gives me. It has hyaluronic acid, a hero ingredient to look for if you’re seeking hydration like me.
The Hydration Boost Concentrate is a golden brown color. Josh says it is unscented though it is a little earthy to me. I’ve grown to like it. It is oil free and essential oil-free if they are not your jam. Like the goal of all serums, this helps to slow decline of the skin and is your #2 anti-aging skincare product.
Packaged in white glass with a glass pipette within the rubber dropper for $42 for 0.5 oz or 15 ml. Also made primarily of organic ingredients and formulated and packaged in Southern California. When I sense I’m running low on this I stock-up in fear of running out, it’s that good.
It’s a life goal of mine to have everyone try Tata Harper’s Restorative Eye Cream. Four friends have tried this and they saw the same results as me. Within 1-3 days the wrinkles around their eyes started to soften. Will I try another eye cream, yes, though Tata has set the bar very high.
Tata Harper is a local skincare company for me, based in Vermont where she grows many of the ingredients on her 1,200 acre farm. Also, a Latina women owned. She has been in the clean skincare sphere for 10+ years and I have learned my two favorite clean beauty saying from her IGTVs, “Eye cream is your #1 anti-aging product and serums are #2.” Secondly, “Oil penetrates everything, not everything penetrates oil.” Keep this in mind if you’re using an oil based serum (reminder, Josh’s serum is oil free), and swap the order of your eye cream and oil serum.
The Restorative Eye Cream is great for all skin types. Aside from reducing wrinkles it helps reduce the visibility of puffiness, dark circles, elasticity and hydrating to help prevent more wrinkles forming. I tested to see if my wrinkles reappeared when I did not use this consistently for three weeks. You bet your bottom they came back, so wear your eye cream!
It’s packaged in a green 0.5 oz or 15 ml glass bottle, with a plastic gold lid and costs $105. I know, it’s not inexpensive though it last me 10 months using it twice a day on my eyes and around my smile lines. Clean beauty retailers like Aillea, Credo or Follain have great sales so it’s worth buying or repurchasing this like I recently did via a sale.
My last skincare step before my daily Babo Tinted Sunscreen is my beloved Le Prunier Organic Plum Oil that is the most beautiful gold color and smells like candy. Truly a treat for your face as the glow and hydration level leaves you dewy.
Le Prunier has a company model that I hope more companies follow, not just skincare c. It has been organic since 1985. They’re focused on one product which is very sustainable compared to producing tons of products that may be a hit or miss kind of like fast fashion. I would call their business model intentionally slow-beauty. #intentionallyslowbeauty
It’s grown on over a 100 year old family farm in Northern California using solar power, recycled water irrigation and as the world’s largest organic producer of plums they decided to upcycle the seeds into this cold-pressed facial oil. It does not stop there! They are USDA, CCOF organic certified, PETA certified, Cruelty-Free, Vegan and Halal certified. They are currently striving for their ECOCert which is a very stringent organic certification.
It is sold in a sleek black bottle with a glass pipette and a rubber dropper for $72. 3-5 drops of this on your face and neck and you’re golden, literally glowing, gorgeous skin.
It can also be used for your hair and nails. It helped my scalp heal after using a Lush shampoo bar which unknowingly has SLS which can cause itchy and flaking scalp. You can use this facial oil at night though I prefer to save it for the day as the 100% organic plum oil has natural UV protection, vitamin A and E and omega fatty acids 5 and 6. I love this small family company so much and cannot imagine not using Le Prunier’s plum product.
Use this link for $10 off of your order of $50+ from Follain, a Boston-based clean-beauty retailer that’s women owned. They were the first company to help me transition to clean beauty. Aillea offers 15% off of your first order and has become a favorite clean beauty store!
If you have any questions or would like to collaborate please let me know. My email is Team@moiraholistic.com or you can DM me on Instagram @MoiraHolistic.