Long before I was home all day every day (forever and ever?), I had a pretty low maintenance makeup skin care routine. I’ve since amped up the skincare part, but broke up with makeup for the time being. I generally wore minimal makeup during the workweek to begin with and often only applied a full face of makeup on the weekends if I was going out. ‘Member going out?
I’ve had breakouts from a young age and have been on an endless journey to find the best products possible for my skin. I cringe when I think about all of the harsh things I’ve used over the years — I went through a straight up rubbing alcohol phase (!!!!!!!!) as a teen. So needless to say, I’m doing a lot of cleanup. That cleanup process has been including a lot more earth friendly, skin friendly, cruelty-free products. I’m not perfect and I’m still learning — but here are a few I’m using allllll the time these days while I’m home.
Drunk Elephant Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser I got this in a mini-size a while back from Sephora and it lasted me a long time, so when it finally ran out I bought the regular size. It’s super easy on my skin, doesn’t have a scent and is cruelty free.
A few times a week I’ll use an exfoliating face wash. Finding the right exfoliant has been kind of difficult, I think I finally found THE one. Accure Brightening Facial Scrub. The brand is new to me, but it’s cruelty free, vegan, and unscented. It leaves my face feeling like a million bucks, and it’s under $10!
Toners! Moisturizers! Other Skin Potions!
In the morning, I always use Thayers Witch Hazel Astringent after I was my face. It’s a water-based toner that leaves my skin feeling fresh, plus it’s cruelty free. I don’t bother with a cotton ball, either. Just pour a little bit into my hands and right on my face.
I don’t use this one every morning, but most mornings I do. I like to rotate my moisturizers to make them last a bit longer, especially the more expensive ones. Leahlani Aloha Ambrosia Morning Elixir oil was definitely a splurge item for me, but she does include a smaller size to try. I love it because it smells great, and leaves my skin feeling great. I often used to just throw this on with some mascara and call it a day for work. Leahlani is a woman-owned business which I love, too.
I’ve been using this Honest Company Hydrogel Cream in place of a face oil and WOW. My skin gets that “I’ve been sweating my ass off on the 105 degree subway platform in the dead of summer” dewy look, but ya know, in a pleasant way (and without the sweaty clothes smell). Another cruelty free find. Love love love it.
I use a prescription wipe for my face at night, and because it seems harsh I’ll sometimes add a serum after it dries. My go-to right now has been this Biossance Squalane Serum. It’s light, cruelty free and vegan.
I like a good face mask now and again but I’m not a huge fan of sheet masks, the texture just isn’t for me, yet I have a lot and I often give them out to friends because I just am not going to use them. I am a fan of mud/clay style masks, though. I’ve been rotating a Leahlani Mermaid Mask and a Shea Moisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask lately. Both do the trick and leave my skin feeling nice and smooth. I typically do a mask once a week — it’s like a special skin treat.
SUN SCREEN — It’s not optional
I know we’re inside right now, but I still go for walks around my neighborhood almost daily. If it’s nice out, I’ll also sit in my backyard for a bit, which I’m extremely lucky to have. I’m embarrassed to admit that it took me well into my 20s to realize that wearing sunscreen wasn’t optional. My mother is an Italian-American with olive skin, I on the other hand, have Nordic roots on my dad’s side. I burn or I freckle and not much in between. It took a lot of painful sunburns for me to finally get the hint, but now I don’t leave the house without applying sunscreen. For my face I’ve been using Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen. It’s an SPF 40, SUPER light, cruelty free and free of chemicals. Plus, it doesn’t make putting on makeup a mess. For the whole bod, I use Sun Bum in either SPF 30 or 50, depending on how intense the sun situation will be for the day. For instance, going for a walk – 30, spending time in the relentless Jersey Shore sun on the beach for several hours – SPF 50, and then reapply, reapply, reapply to infinity. I love Sun Bum, they’re cruelty free, vegan, and I rarely get a sunburn when I use it.
Whole Self Care
No lie, I have drawers full of products for my face but I tend to neglect the rest of my body. Since the winter and taking 6,000 degree showers generally takes a toll on my skin, I finally decided to be diligent about making sure the rest of my skin gets some care. I’ve been using Kopari Coconut Melt on my skin recently and I like it a lot. It has one ingredient: organic coconut oil. That’s it. They don’t test on animals, either. The one thing that took adjusting for me was the smell of coconut oil, which I know is a weird hang-up, but overall it’s great!
This Amope Electric Foot File has been a game changer for quite some time for me now, but also now more than ever since getting to a nail salon is not happening. I was always too busy to get to a salon, so I decided to give this a try in order to do some sort of a pedicure at home by myself. It works great, it’s easy to clean and the files are easy to replace.
At night I apply Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Creme and it’s made a big difference. I do not wear shoes in my home, and since we don’t have carpeting, walking around on the floor barefoot all day long tends to take a toll on me. So this has been perfect! It’s a little thick, but it should be I guess and a little goes a long way!
I stopped washing my hair daily almost a decade ago when Superstorm Sandy left us without power for almost two weeks. We had running water but no heat which meant when getting out of the shower I would freeze with wet hair. The thought of going to bed with wet hair, or waiting for my hair to dry (which even with electricity takes forever because I’m not a blow-dryer person) in the cold apartment all day was dreadful. I started going about 2-3 days between washes and have been doing that ever since. I know not washing your hair isn’t for everyone, but this is what works for me. I have very thick hair that does not need to be washed all the time. Don’t worry (MOM) I still shower daily. Since I’ve been home though, I’ve been going longer between washes. Usually 4 or 5 days. I always would use a dry shampoo during the workweek, but have ditched that completely at while I’ve been home. When I do wash my hair I use Matrix Keep Me Vivid Shampoo & Conditioner. Matrix unfortunately is not cruelty free (I said I wasn’t perfect). It does help keep my color from fading while we’re home, though. I’m holding strong with not using boxed dye — my stylist would be so proud. After I wash my hair I use this Amika Soulfood Hair Mask. It makes it so much easier to brush through my hair after washing and overall leaves my hair feeling great between washes.
Let me know what I should add to my skincare shelf!