How Important is Cleansing, Really?

My A.M. Cleansing Routine

Lately, I’ve been witnessing the rising trend of ditching facial cleansers in the morning in lieu of splashing one’s face with water. Does anyone else find this ritual bizarre? To me, this is about as normal as brushing one’s teeth without toothpaste, or taking a shower without soap.

I happen to think that cleansing my face, especially in the morning, is the most important step that sets the tone for the rest of my (skincare) day!

Our skin does a lot while we sleep including increased cellular turnover; it is also the bodies largest organ and the requirements of our skin can change daily based on hormones, diet, etc. For these reasons, I like to listen to my skin when I wake up to understand what it needs.

Is my face feeling tight? Is it rough? Does my skin need a double cleanse? Extra exfoliation? Or can I just use a gentle cleanser? When I tailor my cleansing routine to my skin’s daily needs, the results I achieve are a more healthy and vibrant glow.

My Morning Routine Options:

My skin feels tight: Exfoliation followed by a gentle cleanse or mask.

My skin feels normal: Gentle cleanse or active cleanse.

My skin feels rough: Exfoliation followed by an active cleanse or mask.

My Favorite A.M. Cleansers:

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser $42-$82

This gritty cleanser is a holy grail ritual for me. It has an aloe-base so it rinses really clean and leaves my skin feeling fresh! The scent is also bright and awakening! With 11 active ingredients, it polishes, refines, decongests & plumps the skin. Using this first thing in the morning on dry skin really helps to soften my complexion if I wake up and my face feels tight.

Osea Ocean Cleanser $48

I have written about this cleanser in-depth in a previous post and absolutely love how potent it is with algae extract and lactic acid. My skin LOVES lactic acid! It does a fabulous job of keeping my skin smooth which sets the perfect canvas for the rest of my skincare regimen and make up. Tip: This would be what I consider an “active cleanser” with its powerful ingredients that work deep to exfoliate the skin.

Nuori Vital Foaming Cleanser $35

I discovered Nuori when I traveled to Denmark with my sister last fall, and I love how this unique brand boasts freshness (Nuori recommends using their products within a few months of batching to get the most effectiveness from their ingredients). This foaming cleanser is uber gentle and has a beautiful floral-citrus scent. Full of humectants and pomegranate enzymes, it leaves my face feeling undisturbed yet cleansed and soft.

Earthwise Beauty Marshmallow Cleanser $60

Earthwise Beauty has captivated my heart and this cleanser had me instantly smitten! This small-batch, organic, unrefined cleanser leaves my skin silky-soft and clean. A little goes a long way and the formula is full of calming and soothing ingredients like calendula & chamomile flowers, marshmallow roots, cold-pressed pumpkin seed oil and jojoba seed oil to nourish my skin and keep it clear.

Final Thoughts

Gone are the days of using Cetaphil to cleanse, and I don’t think I will ever forgo cleansing to simply rinse my face with water in the morning. I enjoy a variety of cleansers depending on my skin truth each and every day. Giving myself options allows me to truly listen to my skin and give it what it needs to achieve a more smooth and glowy complexion.

Remember, you are appreciated and worthy of self-care and love.

XOXO,

Erika

Please comment below! What is your favorite morning cleanser? Have you ever tried just splashing with water? What are your thoughts?

Clean Skincare Ruined My Life

And I Am Forever Grateful (Continue Reading)

I was never excited about “clean” skincare. Sure, I saw Kourtney Kardashian talk about it all the time on KUWTK and I figured it was inevitably better for me, but still it was something I didn’t gravitate towards. I thought that somehow, clean skincare offered only two choices. The choice to “DIY” a mask, and slather my face in honey, yogurt and camu-camu powder (which I have done, admittedly), or go to Sprouts Farmers Market and spend $7 on an organic face cream that offered little benefit.

Well, after attempting the DIY method and not ever wanting to resort to a $7 face cream, I decided one day that chemicals and science were just more effective.

Clean skincare ruined my life.

I could take you all the way back to the sixth-grade and talk about how I’ve struggled with acne for forever, or how I was prescribed Accutane in high school, but this blog would take too long to read.

I could talk about how, for 6 years, before having my first son, I only used Cetaphil & Olay Regenerist, but that’s irrelevant.

I could also mention how I went crazy with a 10-step skincare regimen after having my son, buying every discovery-set in sight, but that would only belabor what this blog post is ultimately about.

Clean skincare ruined my life.

When I decided to change my regimen, before becoming pregnant with my second son (editors note: I am currently 28 weeks pregnant; glory to God), I hated clean skincare. My face was no longer smooth and was full of blemishes. I distinctly remember my cousin asking me if I was enjoying my new, “clean” routine. “I hate it!” I remember answering, “My skin loves chemicals!” But pregnancy is a sacrifice. Much like not being able to drink alcohol, or eat cold lunch meat; we can’t have good skin during pregnancy.

I vowed to return to my beloved peel pads and facial masks the moment I was done breastfeeding. I mean, I don’t have to breastfeed for 15 months this time, right? 6 months is sufficient, right!?

Clean skincare ruined my life.

And then, one day, I struck gold! I found natural cleansers with lactic acid and fruit enzymes that began deep cleaning my pores, I found clean peel pads that resurfaced my skin back to a smooth, silky texture. I found healing moisturizers full of raw nutrients that fed my face as I slept, oils that hydrated, essences that brightened and serums that restored. Somewhere along my clean skincare journey, I found a tropical island, a rain forest, a treasure trove of vivid formulas that were void of fillers, chemicals, synthetic preservatives and instead contained the most precious of natural ingredients. These ingredients began to transform my skin like never before.

Something magical happens to our skin when we feed it pure nature. Our skin desires to be bathed in exotic fruits, rare flowers and golden rich oils extracted from raw seeds & nuts. The very idea that we ever slather industrial sludge on our faces and call it beauty is absolutely bizarre.

Clean skincare ruined my life, it forever set my beauty standards higher. It has become a passion, a fixation that I cannot quit. The uniqueness of each clean brand: how they source, batch and pour each lovingly sought-out ingredient has me captivated. God has given us rain forests that are encyclopedias of potent and effective elements; tropical islands that are an oasis of brightly colored nutrients to feed our skin back to a state of radiance. Science and nature have collided in a way, that today, is undeniable.

Clean Skincare ruined my life.

Clean skincare ruined my life because I don’t want to go back to the products and chemicals I was using before. My skin has never felt more nourished, more clear, more loved. Each gleaming bottle is an indulgent ritual of self-care. Every step in my regimen is a moment of bliss and pure delight. After reluctantly giving up the synthetic products I was used to, I have found there are boundless amounts of effective, clean, natural, non-toxic beauty rituals out there for me to feel, touch, smell, explore and discover!

Clean Skincare ruined my life and I am forever grateful.

Remember, you are appreciated and worthy of self-care and love.

XOXO,

Erika

Please comment below! I would love to know about your clean skincare journey or if you’ve recently decided to start!

Product Highlight: Go-To Exfoliating Swipeys

When I first turned to clean beauty and discovered I was pregnant, my prestige-brand exfoliating pads were among the first to go. The salicylic acid, retinol and chemical preservatives determined my decision to ditch them temporarily. I was devastated, and promised to return to them the moment I was done with pregnancy and breastfeeding. I slowly watched the texture of my skin become more rough, and breakouts ensued (I’m sure mostly due to the pregnancy, but that’s not the point!). As if there aren’t already enough sacrifices during pregnancy, I was wrecked to watch my skin become another one.

Wrecked, until the fabulous day I discovered Go-To’s Exfoliating Swipeys at sephora.com. The ingredients were simple, clean and I ran to pick them up.

Initial thoughts:

These are such a good deal! At $35 per jar for 50 pads, they will last me forever, or 3 months. And – the new brand out of Australia, Go-To Skincare, is fun, spunky and focused on making skincare easy to understand.

Ingredient Highlights:

  • Lactic Acid – these pads are extremely potent due to the fact that lactic acid is the second ingredient listed after water. So strong, that the pads are only to be used every other day, and washed off after 60 seconds.
  • Aloe Vera – obviously helping to soothe skin, enough said.

Product Experience:

These exfoliating pads are thin, and perfectly saturated with a citrusy, acidic smelling formula. One side is smooth, and the other side is slightly rough to help with any dry-skin, patches, flakes, etc. I am able to swipe my entire face thoroughly, along with my neck and chest before the pad dries out. Without fail, the pad is always dirty when I am done with it, which for me, is a great sign of success in my quest for ultimate exfoliation (lol)! I use these every other night on a clean face, and after rinsing off, I follow with my normal routine. After just several uses, the texture of my skin went back to a place I could be proud of and I still continue to see improvement. Tip: Their site does not recommend this, but if your skin can handle it, you may be able to start off using these pads three nights in a row to jump start your exfoliation before switching to every-other night.

Final Thoughts:

These pads are another product that make me such a strong advocate of clean beauty. Their strength and effectiveness cause me to question ever returning to products that contain harsh ingredients and chemical preservatives. I have been using these pads for over two months now and give them to friends and family to try whenever I have the chance. If I ever have a day of dry, flaky skin, after just one use, I wake up to smoother skin. These pads have become a staple in my routine and I don’t see that changing.

If you are looking for a great, natural exfoliator that works quickly to help improve the texture of your skin, this product is for you!

Remember, you are appreciated and worthy of self-care and love.

XOXO,

Erika

Ingredients:
Water, lactic acid, aloe vera, ethanol, propanediol, polysorbate 20, fragrance (natural mandarin and lemon), dehydroacetic acid, benzyl alcohol, sodium citrate, potassium sorbate. 

https://www.gotoskincare.com/products/face/exfoliating-swipeys

Dry Brushing

Where Has This Been All My Life!?

I’m choosing to do my first post on a dry brush. It doesn’t sound so exciting, but it’s intentional! Dry brushing is something that a lot of women don’t participate in already and it has been the best addition to my self-care routine. I first read in-depth about dry brushing on goop.com and after shopping around and reading reviews, I was excited to purchase this one (pictured) from biossance.com for $10 on sale! It retails for $17, and I would pay that in an instant, especially after falling in love with dry brushing and loving the quality of this brush.

Goop Article: How to Dry Brush -and Why It’s So Potent

Overview:

Now in the world of gimmicky skincare products (and I own several), this is not one of them! I use this product DAILY. It takes only 2 minutes while my shower is heating up and it feels so invigorating! I start at my feet, working my way toward my heart and it awakens all of my senses. I know there are many health benefits to dry brushing (improved circulation, promoting lymph flow/drainage, possible reduction in cellulite, etc.), but above and beyond documented health benefits, it scratches every itch I’ve ever had in my existence. It scratches areas I didn’t know had an itch! Being a married woman, I am used to my husband wanting his back scratched and now I get it, only I can do it myself, quickly, EVERY day. By the time I get to my neck, chest and back, I am in a euphoric state and don’t want to stop!

After dry brushing consistently for 3 days, my skin was undeniably smoother and I’ve been consistently dry brushing my skin now for 3 weeks. The brush is rough and clearly does a great job at sloughing off dead skin and hair. No more exfoliating gloves in the shower that get mildew on them; No more body scrubs that dissolve before you’ve had the chance to thoroughly exfoliate. Dry brushing gets the job done, and I’m only wondering why I didn’t start this years ago.

Review:

For the price, this brush cannot be beat. It is sturdy, and I love the curved brush-head to reach every inch of my body. The handle allows me a longer reach, and the bristles are strong. I have witnessed zero shedding or fallout due to the plastic that the bristles are embedded in, and for these reasons I would recommend this dry brush to all of my friends!

Final Thoughts:

If you are looking to incorporate a new self-care routine to your entire body, and you want the added benefits of smoother skin and better absorption of your body products (among the many health benefits of dry brushing), and if you have $20 to spend, this would be the most loving thing you could purchase for yourself today. When it comes to return-on-investment, this is at the top of the list.

Remember, you are appreciated and worthy of self-care and love.

XOXO,

Erika

Comment below! I would love to know if you have tried dry brushing, and what you love about it.

*$15 off $50 Biossance offer*