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!

Essences: Huh?

Your First Step to Hydrated, Supple Skin!

If you want to add a step to your skincare routine that will make the biggest difference in hydration and impact the rest of your product’s effectiveness, an essence is where to start.

Did you say “essence”? “Essence” of what? Most people who are only cleansing and moisturizing might have heard of a toner, but the idea of an essence is fairly new. Essences are like watery serums, they have rich ingredients that are easily absorbed into the skin, and allow the products that follow to penetrate deeper for better results.

Think of a dry sponge, when you add soap to a dry sponge, the soap doesn’t absorb or lather well until you saturate the sponge with water. Instantly, the soap soaks in and the sponge becomes more supple.

Our skin is like a sponge, it has the ability to absorb water better than it has the ability to absorb oil – that is why essences are so important.

When I first began incorporating an essence into my routine a few years ago, the biggest difference I noticed was my skin feeling more hydrated, supple and plump. I also noticed my skincare products absorbing more quickly which is fabulous because I know my skin is fully absorbing the beautiful ingredients, instead of just sitting on top of my face.

In the order of applying skincare, an essence is one of the first steps after cleansing your face. Toners help to balance the ph of your skin prior, and essences prep your skin for the rest of your routine. Tip: Make sure your skin is still damp from the essence before applying your serum and remaining skincare products. That moisture is what draws the rest of your products into the skin.

Some of my favorite essences are below:

  • Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening essence $160

Special Mention:

  • Caudalie Beauty Elixir $18-49

Final thoughts:

If you are not using an essence, your skin is not reaching its fullest potential! Especially as we age, it is important to hydrate; do your skin a favor and add an essence today.

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

XOXO,

Erika

Comment below! I would love to know what your favorite essence is and the difference it has made in your skin.