I haven’t felt moved to blog for a while, but inspiration has struck. I’m going to write three posts all about the best skincare, makeup, and shower/body products for me this past year. There is the rare product that isn’t particularly “clean” on these lists, but that’s because I haven’t found a good enough green beauty alternative. Recommendations welcome :).

FACIAL CLEANSER

Jordan Samuel The After Show (Plie) – I can only handle an oil cleanser if I double cleanse, and this one is affordable, smells great, and removes all the makeup and gunk from my skin. I’ve had it since about May, and I still haven’t finished it despite using it almost daily. Excess product comes off easily with a muslin cloth (I love this one from Pai) and a bar soap. Hence—

Osmia Organics Black Clay Facial Soap – this is the only dupe I can find to my Dove Sensitive Bar Soap. My skin is acne prone, and Dr. Bronner’s and other bar soaps—black African soap, shea butter stuff—just congests my skin. FINALLY, there’s a natural alternative that doesn’t. In fact, the Osmia soap is even better than Dove because it doesn’t leave my skin feeling stripped, though it is a lot pricier at $24 a bar. I HIGHLY recommend if you also have acne-prone skin and can’t find a second cleanser for a double cleanse or can’t find a good body soap for the shower.

MASK

May Lindstrom The Clean Dirt – nothing compares, and I’ve tried a ton of natural masks. Got hormonal break outs? GET THIS MASK. In fact, I need to use it more on myself! I’ve talked about it on the blog A TON.

TONER

Heritage Rosewater and Glycerin Spray – this is a cheap staple. Glycerin adds moisture to my skin, which I can then seal in with an oil. It smells great, it’s affordable, and it just does what I need it to do.

Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator – if you’d like a fancier toner, there is none better than the hydrating accelerator. It smells like vanilla and adds an extra dash of plumping moisture (more than the rose glycerin spray) to the skin before I apply any other serums or creams. The scent alone makes spritzing this a lux experience.

WATER-BASED MOISTURIZER

Jordan Samuel Hydrate Facial Serum – this solution is the texture of aloe and glides on the skin. I do notice a difference when using this before sealing in the moisture with an oil. This year I’ve definitely noticed the appearance of fine lines on my forehead and underneath one of my eyes, so I will take ANY dose of extra moisture that I can get. In addition, I’ve watched a lot of videos on Jordan’s YouTube channel, and he’s taught me a lot about how to properly balance and moisturize my face, and he created his skincare line based on his philosophy.

This moisturizing product is affordable and effective, though I would like the try a hyaluronic acid solution in place of this next.

FACIAL OIL

Kari Gran Essential Serum – I had an issue with the daytime Stark Skincare oil causing breakouts on my forehead, a spot where I never breakout. (I’m a hormonal/chin and jawline breakout person :/). Kari Gran’s formula doesn’t irritate my skin, and I apply it to the top half of my face. I still haven’t found an oil, when used multiple times per week, that doesn’t clog the pores on my jawline or cheeks. This oil definitely seals in my toner and water-based moisturizer, and it doesn’t leave my skin looking overly greasy during the day.

SUNSCREEN

Pratima Neem Rose Face Sunscreen – this is better than any conventional sunscreen I’ve used. It feels light and breathable on the skin, it doesn’t break me out, it doesn’t have any sort of scent, and it doesn’t leave a white cast. I’ve used it for YEARS. Love it.

ACNE TREATMENT(S)

Isun Clarifying Serum –  sometimes I’m not sure if this does a whole lot, but it doesn’t cause breakouts, and I like to think the antibacterial ingredients such as tea tree oil (to name one) do something in the way of fighting back against breakouts. However, I do want to try out the Glossier Super Pure serum this upcoming year.

Arcona Gentle Solution – I use this every other night, and it really helps refine the look of my skin, even out my skin tone, and fight back against breakouts. It also doesn’t irritate my skin at all, though it is a powerful product.

ANTI-AGING TREATMENT

Mychelle Perfect C Serum – I’ve used this intermittently throughout the year, but I’ve been applying it more religiously this last month. I use it in the daytime after applying Jordan Samuel Hydrate to my forehead and eye area. I have definitely noticed a decrease in the appearance of fine lines and a more plumped appearance to my skin. I will definitely keep it in my skincare lineup this upcoming year.

Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5% – not natural, but I had to return to a retinol to combat some seriously annoying acne and the appearance of those pesky fine lines. I have DEFINITELY noticed a decrease in the amount of acne I have when using this product, but I don’t really notice any difference to the fine lines on my forehead, and I RUB (gentle, but I make it absorb) this stuff in. Any thoughts on this? I always make sure to use sunscreen in the daytime (apply retinol in evening) with this because I know it leaves the skin more susceptible to sun damage. I also only use it every other day.

I think I’ll purchase the 1.0% strength next, but I might do a trial and error of using it exclusively for acne treatment—avoiding my forehead—to see if I notice a difference in the fine lines when using only natural products. Will keep you posted!

Makeup is up next. Any of your skincare faves I’ve missed that you think I should know about?