Buying skincare in 2021 is hard. The market is saturated with offers of products that claim of solving any problem of yours, even that one mistake you made five years ago. Thus, it’s necessary to adopt some filters in order to learn how to maneuver in this product-filled industry.
Well, there are two main things you can consider to start with: firstly, you have to recognize your skin type; secondly, you should definitely be an aware consumer and try to buy from sustainable brands.
The reason why you should start with identifying your skin type is simple: if you know the nature of the issue, you know how to solve it. Indeed, I am going to address this article particularly to who has acne-prone skin, as I do.
I have been struggling with cystic acne due to hormonal problems for a while now. Albeit being no expert, I tried to make the best out of it. Accepting it was hard, but I decided that I didn’t want to let a skin condition dictate my freedom. I embraced my issue and, at the same time, went on the hunt for a remedy to recover from what I was “fighting” with. The first step, of course, was understanding the behavior of my skin.
It was shocking for me to acknowledge my skin type at first, because I had a completely different idea of it in my head. And it is still shocking to know that most people out there don’t know what type their skin is. Especially when it comes to acne. There is this misleading prejudice that connects acne to dirty or oily skin, which is completely wrong. It is true that an excess of sebum can lead to clogged pores, thus to acne. But, even though oily skin and acne often are best pals, it can also occur with dry skin. Anything that clogs your pores can cause breakouts. And while sebum is a common culprit, it’s not the only one.
As a matter of fact, it’s also important to learn to consider the environmental impact of production, in order to respect the biodiversity that surrounds us as much as we can. Being an aware consumer means paying special attention to some small gimmicks. Like, turning to cruelty-free products and choosing brands that put effort into recycling.
Thanks to the awareness that has been raised lately, sourcing brands with a similar philosophy isn’t impossible. Sure, it isn’t easy as well, such market can be overwhelming. However this is the perfect spot where we meet halfway. I made the effort of looking into them and you made the effort to find me.
After some years of tests and researches… here I come, with a sustainable daily skincare regimen. I elaborated an entire routine for both the AM and PM. And it is winter-proof, for those who struggle with dry skin’s wrinkles and flakey skin, like I do.
That being said, having all of these products is not necessary. That’s a wide range and I’m aware of that. Nonetheless, peaking for inspiration for a couple of products you have been looking for, might turn out helpful. And raising attention towards brands that have special care for Mother Earth, even more.
Acne-Prone Routine: The 5 Steps
Step 1: (Double) Cleansing
AM: Youth to the People – Superfood Cleanser
A very gentle daily face wash packed with antioxidants from kale, spinach, and green tea – to cleanse, remove makeup, and balance pH without the stripping feeling at the end. Antioxidants are perfect alleys to fight environmental stress in a package totally environment friendly. I dare you not to buy the refill bottle.
PM: Dermalogica – PreCleanse + Special Cleansing Gel
Double cleansing changed my skin completely. It consists in a two steps face wash. Precleanse has an oily consistency designed to melt your make-up and dirt away. The foaming gel washes away the additional toxins. This combo allows a deep cleanse without a dry result, due to its soft formula with vitamin E, effective to fight inflammations.
Step 2: Toner
AM: Glow Recipe – Watermelon Glow PHA+BHA Tight Toner
Exfoliating is fundamental to remove dead skin cells, soothe inflammation and reduce appearance of scars. In this miraculous toner there are two types of exfoliators: PHA which are softer acids that help to resurface and smooth skin; BHA a naturally derived oil that decongests clogged pores. It contains also Tea Tree, a potent antimicrobial, and cucumber, great source of vitamin C – ideal to lighten dark spots. The toner is suitable for every skin type and comes in an adorable pink bottle of recycled glass.
PM: Huxley – Extract It Toner
A balancing toner formulated with more than 90% naturally organic Sahara cactus seed oil. The Extract It Toner helps to maintain skin’s optimal pH balance while leaving skin hydrated. It is ideal for all skin types, including those dealing with sensitive skin, as well as any skin suffering from pollution and stress in urban areas.
Step 3: Serum
AM: Aesop – Parsley Seed Anti-oxidant Serum
As you can tell, living in a city with pollution, one of the things that I look for the most in my skincare are antioxidants. They create a barrier that protects skin from additional stress, beside the occasional acne.
What I love about this serum, alongside the amazing smell, is its calming and hydrating properties. Containing Aloe Vera, it is a relief to wear especially when your skin isn’t doing great.
PM: Pai – All Becomes Clear
All Becomes Clear is the must-have serum for blemish-prone skin. Suitable for sensitive skin as well, Zinc and Copaiba act against blemishes while keeping a balance. The worst thing about treating acne, particularly in winter, is drying out the surrounding skin. This serum, though, helps to kick away blemishes without the drying effects. Copaiba and Zinc collaborate to reduce the severity and the frequency of breakouts, improving skin’s health and calming down the irritation.
Step 4: Moisturizer
AM: Biossance – Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer
A soft and gentle gel that contributes to calm skin with redness. It strengthens skin’s natural barrier and restores balance, while reducing the appearance of your pores. The sugarcane-derived, sustainable squalane oil delivers and locks in essential moisture, while the probiotic balances redness and reduces the effects of daytime stressors, leaving skin visibly brighter and more balanced.
PM: Cle Cosmetics – Multi Cream
We love a multitasking product. This moisturizer is a rich & luxurious multifunctional cream infused with Palo Santo Essential Oil and extract. It works effectively as a daily moisturizer for all skin types and relies on ingredients like Niacinamide, a vitamin b3 derivative. Amazing at treating acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties. The Multi Cream can be applied on any skin and all over your face and body, and even on hair. Perfect for your rude baby hair, or the dry ends.
Step 5: SPF or Oil
AM: Bybi – Day Defence
Day Defence is a natural SPF 30 moisturizer with broad spectrum UVA/UVB. A non-greasy moisturizer providing daily protection from environmental stress while giving hydration. Day Defence is non-comedogenic and suitable for all skin types. It contains Buriti oil, a natural SPF booster, rich in vitamins A and E which help to support and repair the skin; Zinc oxide, an effective natural protector against UVA rays, that cause aging and worsen pigmentation. Zinc is also reef-friendly. Like the tube made from sugarcane, a carbon-neutral material that is 100% recyclable.
PM: Herbivore – Lapis Blue Tansy Face Oil
Lapis Lazuli, a favorite stone of ancient Egypt, is known for its deep blue color. Lapis Facial Oil is named after the blue oil it contains, the Blue Tansy. This oil holds a component called Azulene, which soothes dry irritated skin, reducing the appearance of redness and balancing skin. Formulated for combination, oily, and blemish-prone skin types, or any skin in need of balance in hydration. Often, when over-washed or dehydrated, our skin overcompensates by producing more sebum leading to oilier skin and clogged pores (aka blackheads). This oil is made of natural plant oils that will hydrate your skin without clogging pores so that it can stop producing excess oil and find the needed balance.
Summer Friday – Jet Leg Mask
This mask is la pièce de résistance of the list. Its amazing vegan formula cuddles you skin with a nourishing mix of vitamins, ceramides, antioxidants and gently exfoliating extracts, which work together to hydrate skin, leaving things uber-dewy. Chestnut extract activates skin’s natural exfoliation process, polishing away dullness; and vitamin C… you already know her. It contains also Niacinamide that reduces the impact of pores and imperfections and Green Tea extract, which reduces puffiness and inflammation while guarding against free radicals.
Remember, though, to hold on to your empty packagings and send them back to Summer Fridays! To help them recycle and receive a nice gift for the effort.
On the Wild Side – Exfoliating Mask
An exfoliating mask that gently removes impurities, smoothes the surface of the skin and accelerates cell renewal leaving skin soft like silk. Its gel texture, enriched with rice powder and fruit acids, is very pleasant and suitable for any skin, without leaving any kind of irritation. The Exfoliating Mask, indeed, allows a gentle double exfoliation: the rice powder helps with a mechanical exfoliation and the fruit acids with an enzymatic one. In addition, like all of their products, this mask contains active ingredients from wild plants as well, the Beech Bud and the Birch Sap, which improve in synergy cell regeneration while strengthening the skin’s barrier.
Evolve Organic Beauty – Bio-Retinol Gold Mask
This karat-worth face mask works to tackle scars and wrinkles whilst nourishing your skin, leaving you shimmery (in any sense). It is suitable for all skin types, especially those with dry or ageing skin, as it is packed with organic ingredients that give your skin the care it deserves. The major player is the Bio-Retinol, a sustainable natural retinol-like plant extract from Bidens Pilosa, that works on the skin to deliver the same rejuvenation and cellular renewal benefits as Retinol. This golden mask also contains organic Argan Oil and Rosehip Oil to improve your skins’ hydration and elasticity. But the extra mile is given by the sustainably sourced mineral Mica used to give the classy golden effect and to cheer your mood up.
Plant Apothecary – Not a Spot
Not a Spot is powered by the double-whammy of organic essential oil of basil – a powerful antibacterial acne fighter – and highly absorbent activated charcoal, which draws impurities from deep within the skin’s surface. Combined with Clay, these three components act as anti-bacterials while detoxifying away your impurities. Mix the powder with some drops of water and let it do its magic on your blemishes.
An additional reason to love this Brooklyn-based brand, is their mission: in fact, they yield their products in collaboration with a non-profit association sustaining adults affected by mental and physical disabilities.
Lixir Skin – Vitamin C Paste
As if I didn’t state it enough, Vitamin C is a wonderful molecule, one of the most active of them all. The acid form, L Ascorbic Acid 10%, is yet more effective than any pretender derivatives. This formula, exactly, is designed to be rinsed off, partly to activate the vitamin C in just a few minutes (or 15 if you have more time). The Vitamin C Paste is going to be the hero product on your shelf. It is totally fuss-free while it neutralizes dulling oxidized sebum on the skin’s surface to uncover radiance; scavenges free radicals; acts as a shield against UVA and UVB rays; regulates melanin production and, above all, diminishes pigmentation. Basically, an holy grail that smells like jasmine and mandarin.