THE BEAUTY POST: A Complete Guide to the Products I Use, and How to Make Safer Skincare Work on a Budget
Let first just preface this post by saying I’ve never considered myself a “product hoarder”, meaning I’ve never been one of those women who is up to date with the latest beauty trends, frequented Ulta, or spent more than $10 on any product in my life. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s just never been a thing I’ve spent time or money on. In fact, for the first probably 30 years of my life, I used drugstore brand makeup, and my skincare routine consisted of a one-size fits all face wash plus a one size fits all general moisturizer, and you know what, it worked for me at the time, and back then I didn’t care because DAMNNN my skin looked good. (insert sassy finger snap here)
Oh, the things we take for granted in youth! Right after the birth of my first child, maybe due to sleep deprivation, stress, weird postpartum hormones, or a combination of all of the above, I noticed a definite shift in my skin. I’m talking fine lines, drier skin, random breakouts I hadn’t had to deal with since high school, and my eyes just looked DAMN TIRED all the time. I had already pretty much been following a paleo/primal diet, and exercised regularly, but I was really resisting giving up my cheap beauty products for a variety of reasons…tell me if any of these sound familiar to you…
“I can’t spend that much money on myself.”
“The stuff I have works well enough, I don’t need to change.”
“What I’m using can’t be THAT bad…”
And then add that to the fact that I didn’t even really know where to start as far as replacing products, or who to trust, or ANYTHING--I just never did anything about it.
Fast forward to 3 years later, and there I was just a few months post partum after the birth of my second kiddo, and my skin was WORSE! In between that time, I’d tried a number of homemade skin care products (HELLO OIL CLEANSING, hey there ACV baking soda hair rinsing) and not only was my skin not necessarily better, but it had gotten WORSE. So, I'd attempted to switch to safer skincare but wasn't finding any products (homemade or otherwise) that were actually working!
I was sleep deprived (AGAIN), stressed (AGAIN), and this time experiencing REALLY dry skin and pregnancy melasma (hyperpigmentation), and at my wits end. I was still just washing my face and putting on a generic moisturizer, and still using drugstore makeup that I’ve always used. So what do i do? I research the heck out of what’s out there in terms of safer skincare, and experiment A LOT, and end up finding through trial and error some of my favorite skin care brands that I’m about to share with you now! In the spirit of full disclosure, I loved one brand so much (Beautycounter) that I signed up as a consultant to join their mission of changing the beauty industry through the products they offer and the legislation they fight for. I LOVE their products, but I also use a wide variety of different brands based on my budget, and what works well for me!
If you want to learn more about WHY safer skincare is so important to me and to the health of our nation click here to read more! This post is about the products I use and love, but equally important is knowing WHY choosing safer options is so paramount.
Here we go! I'll give a little bit about each of the products I use, and why I love them, but feel free to reach out if you have any specific questions about anything on here! I'm an open book, and I'd love to get you started on your journey to safer skincare!
Primally Pure Lemongrass Deodorant Smells amazing. The only "natural" deodorant I've found that WORKS and doesn't irritate my skin! They even have a version for sensitive skin if that's an issue for you!
Dr. Bronner’s Body Wash See below post on budget friendly products on why this shiz is the BEES FREAKIN KNEES.
Dessert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil and Neem Toothpaste The best "natural" toothpaste I've ever used, and I've used them all. Great flavor, great lather, and great price!
Beautycounter Peppermint Lip Conditioner A must for the winter, and at night to keep lips soft and reduce lines...we use this like crazy during mouth breathing cold and flu season!
Primally Pure Citrus and Mint Body Butter My favorite and most cost effective pick for all over body moisture. THICK, MOISTURIZING, and smells AMAZING. I always get compliments on how I smell after using, and because I love compliments, you can imagine I'm obsessed with it. :)
Beautycounter Smooth and Control Hair Care Collection Right now, I'm still on the hunt for a cost-effective and safer shampoo/conditioner that I can't live without. Until I find it, I've had the best results so far with this line from Beautycounter! It took my hair a few weeks to adjust to a more natural cleanser, but after that, it's been shiny, full, and easy to handle!
Essential Changes to Aging Skin Routine:
I've never been one to freak about the idea of aging, but after my second kiddo I noticed a couple of things that prompted me to change up my skincare routine to address some of the natural signs of aging I was seeing. My three biggest issues were DRYNESS, hormonal breakouts postpartum, and an increase in dark circles and fine lines around my eyes. Here's what I added that has made a world of difference to my skin!
Primally Pure Everything Spray I've never used a toner regularly before, but a toner is great for balancing the pH level of your skin, soothing redness and irritation, and healing and regeneration of the skin in general..this spray IS LIFE.
No. 3 Balancing Facial Oil As I mentioned, both dry skin and breakouts were something I struggled with. Adding a facial oil was the single most important thing I did for my skin. Many people shy away from facial oils, thinking that they'll increase already oily skin--which couldn't be farther from the truth. Not only does this oil smell amazing, but applied after a toner and before a moisturizer, it helps to LOCK in moisture and prevent dryness, creating a balanced environment for the overactive oil glands in your skin...IT IS MAGIC.
Rejuvenating Eye Cream A legit game changer for my eye situation. In an independent study, 89% of women tested said they found a reduction in puffiness and fine lines after using this product for 8 weeks and I can personally attest to that! This is a must have for aging skin as it has more active ingredients in it (versus the nourishing eye cream), including caffeine. I noticed a change in my eyes after 2 weeks of consistent use, and I now never go a night without it!
Upgrading to Rejuvenating Line All in all, as a whole, upgrading to the entire Rejuvenating line was a huge step for me in really tailoring my skin care products to the needs of my skin. While I loved the Nourishing Line, I found that my needs required a few more active ingredients, and a focus on healing and preventing further damage, rather than just simple prevention. I needed more ingredients specifically for aging skin, and once I switched from the Nourishing line I noticed immediate improvements! I would recommend considering a switch for anyone who is having similar struggles...it was a game changer for me!
My Nightly Routine:
Wash with Beautycounter Rejuvenating Facial Cleanser
Remove Eye Makeup with Beautycounter Baby Soothing Oil
Spritz of Primally Pure Everything Spray (sometimes I leave the spritz to air dry, and sometimes I wipe clean with a cotton ball to get extra dirt!)
Apply 2-3 drops of Beautycounter No 3 Balancing Facial Oil (I want to eat this stuff, no lie)
Apply one pump of Rejuvenating Day Cream (I use the day cream for both day and night since I have extra moisture from the facial oil, I find I don't need a thick night cream!)
Lightly pat a TINY bit of Rejuvenating Eye Cream around the creases and undereye area
My Morning Routine:
A few spritz of Primally Pure Everything Spray, which I then use a cotton ball to wipe off for a light clean
Apply one pump of the Rejuvenating Day Cream, and DONE!
Skin Routine Extras:
Wash face in shower with Beautycounter Charcoal Bar 1-2 times a week in place of facial cleanser (I LOVE THIS PRODUCT for a good detox of buildup, but I tend to not use this every day as it can be drying for some skin types, for me it is an occasional use, but my husband is obsessed with it and uses it as his daily facial cleanser with no issues!)
Wash face with Beautycounter Cleansing Balm 1-2 times a week in place of facial cleanser (this is the first "splurge" item I would invest in! It's multi use, magical, and one container has lasted me OVER a year...it's magical moisture for dry skin!)
Occasional spot treat for breakouts with Beautycounter Charcoal Mask
Easy Make Up Routine:
Beautycounter Eye Liner in Black (If I'm feeling fancy!)
Beautycounter Lip Sheer in Nude for a minimal every day look
Beautycounter Lip Sheer in Plum for those days when I'm feeling' myself!
Budget/Multi Use Items:
Dr. Bronner’s Body Wash There is literally NOTHING you can't do with this body wash...It lasts FOREVER (you only need a few drops for a sudsy experience, it's fair trade, organic, vegan, and packaged in recycled packaging. You can wash fruits and vegetables, your clothes, your hair, your dog, your floors, and your dishes if you so choose! THE ULTIMATE budget friendly item, and easily available almost everywhere! It smells delicious, and leaves our skin feeling amazing!
Beautycounter Soothing Baby Oil Another incredibly long lasting and multi use product. I'm about 1/4 of the way through my first bottle and it's been over a year! I use this for my eye make up remover, for dry spots on my skin that need a little extra love, and occasionally mix it in my day cream if I want a little extra moisture...it's amazing and economical!
Beautycounter Cleansing Balm This product is the first product I'd recommend purchasing outside of your normal skin care routine. It can be used as a daily or occasional face wash (when your skin needs EXTRA moisture), a nightly moisturizing face mask (especially helpful during winter months, and/or anywhere on your body that needs some extra moisture..my product has lasted me OVER a year, and still going strong as a little of this bad boy goes a LONG way!
Beautycounter Daily Protective Baby Balm I used this balm every. single. night on our daughter as a protective layer for her little bum, and I can honestly say she never developed a diaper rash (and still hasn't to this day!) Any signs of redness on her tush and we lather her up--POOF, redness gone. It's incredible! A tube will last 6 months or more depending on how often you use it, and we will use it for chapped lips, chapped hands, and chapped noses during the cold and flu season! Such a great multi use product!
Beautycounter Charcoal Mask I put this on as a budget item because that's how I use it! Rather than slathering on a thick layer once a week to my entire face, I will use the mask as a spot treatment for breakouts, or occasionally on my T area during certain times of the month...in doing this I've been able to keep my original product for over a year!
Beautycounter Charcoal Bar A charcoal bar, if properly stored away from moisture between uses, will last FOR-EV-ER. I use the bar 1-2 times a week as a daily face wash, and my husband uses the same bar daily in the shower as his facial cleanser and I would say a bar lasts 6 months or more between the two of us..this is a great introductory product for most people, and leaves our skin feeling smooth and super clean!
Beautycounter Kid's Bath Collection We use the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash every other night on our oldest, and the entire line will last us about 9 months with consistent use! The shampoo gets super sudsy, and you only need about 1-2 pumps of each to get a good clean! Works great with my son's curly hair, and I'll even occasionally use the shampoo and conditioner for myself if I run out of mine!
Beautycounter Baby Line (The body wash will last you over a year for your little one--we only wash her about once a week at this age!)
I hope you enjoyed my recommendations, and as always feel free to reach out at any time and I can talk to you about other companies I can recommend for safer skincare and makeup, and help you find products that work within your budget. It's all about starting where you can, and slowly switching over to products that work for you! I'm always on the lookout for different products that are safe and effective, so I'll be sure to update this list as new items come to my attention! Feel free to comment with some of your favorite safer skincare companies and products too!