Throughout my teens and early 20’s I had really horrible skin. A combination of whiteheads and angry cystic acne would dot my face, so much so that the dermatologist had to prescribe me all kinds of retinol creams in order to get it under control. Around the age of 23 things started to clear up for me but my skin still bared a few scars and would suffer the occasional acne flair up. It wasn’t until I really dove deep into my wellness journey when I was 27 that I started noticing a huge difference. Your skin is the largest organ on your body and greatly reflects your overall health. When you ensure that you are properly hydrated, stay away from processed foods and refined sugars (for the most part), exercise and eat healthy, you may start seeing dramatic differences in how your skin looks and feels.
Of course — a proper skincare regimen doesn’t hurt! Thanks to living the #bloggerlife, I’ve been super fortunate to have tried many different natural and/or cruelty-free skincare brands throughout the past couple years. My skin has been put to the test and there are some brands that came out clear winners and others that, well, I just won’t talk about.
The one you’ve probably seen the most on my Instagram is Tula.
Let’s Talk TULA
Tula is a probiotic skincare line that’s not only cruelty-free but also free from phthalates, parabens, propylene glycol, petrolatum, gluten and mineral oil. What they DO feature is powerful, natural probiotics, healthy superfoods like blueberries and tumeric, and targeted safe ingredients like AHAs, retinol (aka Vitamin A), and Vitamin C. Based on everything I’ve tried I feel like they’re safe for sensitive skin but probably work best on acne-prone skin like mine. If you aren’t sure what products to try, they do offer a nifty little skin quiz that can help!
I’m actually taking over Tula’s Instagram Story for the day to share my skincare routine and how I live a healthy, happy life, so please feel free to tune in! There’s even a fun giveaway if you’d like to try it for yourself. And if you’re impatient and just want to order it right away, you can use my code “HEADSTANDS” for 20% off your purchase. You can find them at select Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus stores throughout the nation but it’s probably your best bet to buy them online.
I’ve tried ALL of Tula’s products but these are my favorites:
- Purifying Facial Cleanser – Light and refreshing probiotic gel cleanser removes impurities and helps condition skin, without over-drying
- Exfoliating Treatment Mask – Detoxifying bentonite clay mask provides gentle exfoliation without stripping the skin of essential oils, making way for antioxidant-rich blueberry extract to hydrate and improve skin tone
- Aqua Infusion Power Liquid – Supercharged serum that provides intense hydration and the feeling of instant soothing
- Hydrating Day and Night Cream – A nourishing cream, full of naturally derived probiotics and superfoods, that provides deep hydration while improving the clarity and texture of skin
Up next, I have another one of my favorite skincare brands, Biossance, which features two super important ingredients: SPF and Squalane.
Why SPF + Squalane from Biossance?
Squalane is essentially our bodies best naturally moisturizer! Our bodies actually already produce its own version of Squalane (known as squalene), but the amount made and retained in the skin decreases over time. It peaks in our teens and then starts to decline in our 20’s, leaving skin rough, dry and vulnerable. Aside from the human body, you can also find Squalane in shark liver — but thankfully for the sharks and the environment, Biossance created their own. Their Squalane comes from 100% plant-based, renewable sugarcane, then bio-fermented to create a beautiful end result that’s sustainable and cruelty-free.
The number one cause of skin damage is sun exposure and having lived in Florida for 12 years of my life, let’s just say my skin has been exposed to A LOT of sun. I wish I had worn more sunscreen growing up but since I can’t go back in time the least I can do is opt to apply a facial SPF every. single. day.
I’m obsessed with Biossance’s Squalane + Mineral SPF 45. It goes on white but immediately blends without leaving an oily texture. The smell is completely neutral which I appreciate SO much (I can’t stand smelling like a pina colada). And the best part is I found that the SPF lotion actually doubles really nicely as a makeup primer. My foundation goes on so smoothly and lasts twice as long! You can pick up all Biossance products at Sephora or online. 🙂
Hello FAB (First Aid Beauty)
It may be a relatively new addition to my skincare regimen but I’m already head over heels in love with First Aid Beauty. All of their skincare is super clean and is perfect for sensitive skin. I received such a lovely package from the FAB team with their entire skincare line and am still in the midst of testing them all out, but so far these really stood out to me:
- Facial Radiance Pads – A daily treatment pad that contains Lactic and Glycolic Acids to safely exfoliate, tone, and brighten skin. The look of them freaked me out because they reminded me of those super harsh acne pads I used in high school but I was pleasantly surprised at how gentle they are!
- Caffeine Matcha Wake Up Pads – Superfood-infused portable facial wipes remove dirt, excess oil and makeup. I’ve used this in the mornings to reduce puffiness and right after workouts for a quick refresh.
- Coconut Water Cream – An oil-free light water cream moisturizer infused with Coconut Water and provides a burst of electrolyte-rich moisture. This is PERFECT for Summer!
- Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum – Hydrating gel that instantly plumps skin and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles (because I’m almost 30 now and def need some anti-aging help)!
- Intensive Lip Balm – Super rich, buttery balm with an incredible texture that delivers long-lasting hydration. My normally chapped lips have been oh so happy.
Love Me Some Face Masks
If you’ve perused my Instagram Story on occasion I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I’m a big big fan of face masks. I use them at least twice a week with major emphasis on #SelfCareSunday which is also when I treat myself to a flower bath and other such luxuries. I’ve already mentioned the one I use from Tula and FAB, but I also swap in Beautycounter’s Charcoal Mask and Mario Badescu’s Flower & Tonic Mask depending on what I think my skin needs most. The charcoal mask is really gentle on my skin and leaves it super soft and smooth without drying it out. On the other hand, the Flower & Tonic mask sucks up ALL the oil which is why I typically reserve it for hot summer days when I know my skin is going on overdrive with oil production.
A few other products that I use regularly include Raw Sugar Living‘s Lemon Sugar hand wash and Pure Bath Soap (also in Lemon Sugar). It’s one of those products that I wish I had discovered earlier because they’re SUPER affordable (you can find them at Target) and they deliver on all the right notes of natural, cruelty-free, amazing smell and philanthropic. I really appreciate that for every bar of soap donated they give one to a family in need. I’ve also been using Rituals “The Ritual Of Sakura” foaming shower gel and it smells SO freakin good. It’s formulated with organic rice milk and cherry blossom and the texture is something very similar to whipped cream. I always smell like a Spring garden after showering with it.
And last but not least, I am obsessed with Wyld skincare’s Konjac facial cleansing sponges. They’re all natural (derived from the Konjac plant) and are super tough when you first take them out of the box. All you have to do is get them wet and then use them with your favorite cleanser for extra exfoliation. I noticed that I never need to double cleanse whenever I’m using the konjac sponge. The best part is you can reuse the sponge over and over again for up to 6 weeks, so you really get your moneys worth. If you’d like to try it out for yourself you can save 20% off with the code: MELANIET20.
Alright friends, I hope you found this helpful! I’ll update you with another skincare post if I end up finding more products that work for me — but for now you can assume that this will be my regimen for quite a long time.
With love and light,