(Mostly) Natural Beauty: My Skincare Faves

Transitioning from a food blog to a “lifestyle” blog has been really fun.  I feel less limited in what I can talk about, and even though recipes are fun, there are other fun things to talk about too!  If you haven’t, please read my post about dealing with skin after acne, and also please check out my last post about making major lifestyle changes. 

I had so much fun with this post because I got to try a new photography style:  the ever-popular flat lay.  It’s not so great for food, but it is wonderful for posts like this!  I’m a bargain hunter, but I also want (mostly) natural products that improve my skin.  I hate strong scents when it comes to skincare, especially on my face.  This is probably a result of having such awful acne for so long. 

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Let’s get right into it!  Here are my skincare products!

  • (1) Aloe Moisturizer: This is my go-to, all-purpose moisturizer from the décolletage down to my feet.  Vaseline makes the name brand, but I actually prefer Target’s Up & Up (I don’t like the label, so I always peel it off!).  This is my favorite because it’s a medium weight lotion, it goes on smoothly (not at all sticky), and it has a light scent.  It’s not going to compete with perfume or anything else, and it’s great all year.  One thing I learned about 15 years ago when I was a tanning bed goer:  z.JPGmoisturize your entire body every single day.  Do it as soon as you get out of the shower and have toweled off.  Specifically focus on your elbows, legs, and feet because those areas are usually the driest.  I used to be afraid to moisturize my feet because I was always a foot sweater.  However, once I started moisturizing my feet every day, the sweating actually stopped AND they are never dry or cracked.  They’re as soft as my hands!  In this case, an emollient completely took away the need to exfoliate.  I use this on my entire body once a day, on my hands multiple times throughout the day, and on my feet 1-2 times per day (after the shower and before bed).


  • (2) Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion +: I can’t quit this stuff as hard as I try.  I’ve been using a version of this for almost 20 years.  For me, it is the best all-purpose face moisturizer, hands down.  It’s lightweight, it has no scent zz.JPGor sunscreen, and it quenches all skin types (when I had acne, I used the gel version).  I’ve tried other kinds of “all purpose” moisturizers, and this one always wins out.  I’m very weird about scented products on my face, and it is hard to find a moisturizer without any smell.  For other Clinique skincare products, I’ve found myself replacing them with something more effective or cheaper (see below), but I will not part with this lotion.  I use this multiple times a day, always first thing in the morning because my skin feels dry when I first wake up.


  • (3) Schmidt’s Lavender and Sage Natural Deodorant: Like I said above, I used to be a big sweater, mostly throughout my teen years and early 20s.  It was anxiety paired with hormones –that’s my non-medical opinion. I don’t have this problem at zzz.JPGall anymore, so I don’t need super strength deodorants anymore.  I like this one because it’s all natural and way less harsh than the typical brands.  Also, if you didn’t already know, I am a sucker for anything herbal.  I love the smell of essential oils, herbs, and spices.  On top of that, lavender and sage are 2 of my most favorite smells (along with rosemary and basil).  I use this once a day, after I get out of the shower and after moisturizing.


  • (4) Alba Botanical Even Advanced Sea Mineral Cleansing Gel: This is my current favorite.   It was a challenge going from an acne-fighting skincare routine to a sensitive skincare routine to an anti-aging skincare routine.   When I had acne, I zzzzzzzz.JPGused oil-free everything and was super aggressive until I did a cycle of Accutane at age 27.  Then my skin went from acne to super sensitive.  After 7 years of that, everything seems to have balanced out; however, being 34 means I am officially in the anti-aging category.  No shame in that, but let’s use appropriate products.  My favorite place to get skincare stuff is Whole Foods because I know they vet every single products.  I feel good knowing my cleanser is all-natural, and even better knowing it’s only about $10.  I wash my face with this once a day, usually in the shower after exfoliating.


  • (5) Thayer’s Witch Hazel: I have totally switched over from alcohol-based toners to witch hazel and micellar cleansing water.  The exception to this is if I get an actual img_4991.jpgpimple.  In this case I’ll spot treat the area with an alcohol-based toner.  The reason I’m talking about witch hazel is because it is also all-natural.  This is also available at Whole Foods, and in several different scents like rose and aloe.  I’m just a devoted lavender person.  If you have acne, though, they do have an alcohol version of this product.  I use this twice a day:  as part of my morning skin routine, and at night after I get out of the shower.


  • (6) Alba Botanical Even Advanced Sea Algae Enzyme Scrub: I’m as picky about my facial exfoliators as I am about moisturizer.  I want it to be unscented or very zzzzzzz.JPGlightly scented at most.  I want the particles to be small and evenly shaped because I don’t want to irritate my skin (for example, original Saint Ive’s particles are not small or evenly shaped, and that’s a problem for me).  I want there to be enough particles to soap ratio to really feel like your scrubbing the dead skin off (for example, Clinique’s 7 Day Scrub Cream feels weak to me, and there are not enough scrubbers in the cream).  I use this about every other day, in the shower before using the Alba Cleansing Gel.


  • (7) Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream: k.a. the best product ever.  This cream is my twice a day cream for intense moisture and skin repair.  It is only made with olive oil, bee pollen, beeswax, bee propolis, royal jelly, and honey.  It has a very subtle scent.  To apply this, you need way less than you think you do.  Start zzzzzz.JPGsmall, like with an eighth of a teaspoon, warm it between your fingers, dab it on your face and neck, then smooth it out.  If that’s not enough, repeat again with a tiny amount.  If I end up with a bit extra, I either rub it on my lips, eyelids, or in my hair.  It seems pricey at $40 a pop, but it lasts so long.  It’s also available at Whole Foods.  If you have acne-prone skin, I would be wary of this product; but if you have normal to dry skin, you will love this.  You may see this for sale on Amazon, but get it at Whole Foods.  Amazon has had issues with counterfeits of Eqyptian Magic.  I use this twice a day, immediately after 40 Carrots Serum.


  • (8) 40 Carrots Serum: Serums are everything right now!  This is an extra step, but it only takes a second.  I’m not super picky about this brand and have tried others zzzzz.JPGthat I like too.  The main thing to look for is that it’s a Vitamin C Serum.  Vitamin C is a great antioxidant and has anti-aging properties.  I like this brand because it also has Vitamin A.  Vitamin A is the main ingredient in the strongest skin products like Accutane and Retin-A.  Like Vitamin C, Vitamin A is great for anti-aging (it helps with blood flow and collagen production).  I use this twice a day:  always after toning with Thayer’s Witch Hazel and right before Egyptian Magic.


  • (9) C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve: Finally, my go-to most favorite lip balm ever.  I’ve zzzzbeen using this almost exclusively for 7 years.  I was pity shopping after JD broke up with my in 2010 (before we got engaged); I found this at Bath & Body Works and never looked back.  They don’t stock it anymore, but you can still find it online, on Amazon, through C.O. Bigelow, and through Bath & Body Works.  I use this multiple times a day and keep a tin in my car, on my fridge downstairs, in my purse, and on my nightstand!




Morning Skin Routine: Immediately upon waking up, I use my Clinique Moisturizer.  When I get ready for the day (brushing my teeth, etc), I use my ice roller first.  I didn’t show this in the photo, but it’s the equivalent of dunking your face in ice water –just less messy (here’s where you can read about it, and here’s where you can buy it)!  Then I use witch hazel followed by 40 Carrots serum, and finally a thin layer of Eyptian Magic.

Throughout the Day:  Keep skin moisturized with Clinique.  Keep lips moisturized with Rose Salve.  Keep everything else moisturized with Aloe lotion.  For me, it’s all about moisturizing, especially during the winter.

Evening Skincare Routine:  In the shower, exfoliate with Alba Enzyme Scrub.  Wash with Alba Face Wash.  After the shower, moisturize entire body with Aloe Lotion.  Use the Lavender and Sage Deodorant.  Using Thayer’s Witch Hazel on face and neck.  Follow up with a layer of 40 Carrots serum.  Last, apply a thin layer of Egyptian Magic.


What do you think of this post?  I want to be informative, but of course my opinions are just that…I am not a professional, but I want to share what works for me!  I also want to link my favorite blogger, Lauryn Evarts of The Skinny Confidential –she unknowingly has inspired me to branch out, be myself, and talk about what I love!  Thanks!