My sustainable skincare journey
It’s taken me a long time to get myself into a skin routine that works for my skin, and an even longer time to try and make sure I use sustainable skincare products. When you think of sustainability, the first thing you think of is ‘plastic-free’ products, but I soon realised that it’s not always possible to be plastic-free in skincare, and there are other ways for brands to be sustainable.
The majority of the sustainable skincare products in this list come in glass, but there are a few exceptions. I always like to make sure that the brand I’m buying from has some sort of sustainable practice behind them and don’t ship their products in plastic
For those of us who have dry skin, you know how hard it can be to find products that actually work for your skin, and my skin has hated me sometimes for trying out different sustainable skincare products that haven’t worked but have thanked me for others. Finding the right balance between hydration and moisture is a long battle (who thought there was a difference!), and it can be a pricey one. For me, the routine that keeps my skin soft and moisturised is Cleansing (double cleansing if I’ve worn make up), Exfoliation, Hyaluronic acid, some form of oil, and a moisturiser. (Don’t forget your sunscreen!) Obviously, everyone’s skin is different, but for me, these are the products that I love and use every day.
You don’t have to go out and buy a sustainable skincare product that markets itself as a makeup remover, you could literally use any oil that you wanted. But this is what I’m using currently. Oil is great at breaking down makeup and much gentler on your skin. Makeup wipes are a huge no-no in general, and I personally found that micellar water irritated my skin. Oils are also great at providing your skin much-needed moisture and remove your make up much easier than any makeup wipe ever could. Face Theory is a great sustainable skincare brand if you’re looking for a one-brand routine, and they often have sales and offers going on.
Vitamin C is great for your skin but can cause irritation to some people, which is why I have it in my cleanser which you wash off. I haven’t found this sustainable skincare product to be irritating, but just a warning that it can You have the option of a scented and unscented version, but I just get unscented because I, personally, don’t like scents in my skincare. This is a really nice, creamy cleanser. It’s on the thicker side which works great for my dry skin for my skin. I should mention that Face Theory products come in glass and are all cruelty-free and vegan. You also get a 365-day guarantee, so if a product doesn’t work for you, then you get your money back.
When you think of an exfoliator, you often think of scrubs which can be very abrasive (for the love of God, stay away from coffee!) They’re not something I personally recommend for dry skin (but don’t just take my word for it, do your own research and see what works for you!) as they bring out my sensitivity and redness. I also find that they make my skin more flakey! But how else can you get all of those impurities out of your skin? By chemical exfoliation! Now it’s time to get a bit science-y.
I know it sounds a bit scary, but it really works and has really helped my skin clear up. There are two types of chemical exfoliators, BHA’s and AHA’s. AHA’s are more gentle, the most commonly used one being glycolic acid. AHA’s are much more suited for those who have really sensitive skin as they don’t penetrate as deep into the pores. BHA’s on the other hand are stronger, the most commonly used one is Salicylic acid. These get deeper into the pores but are not as suited for sensitive skin. My skin can handle BHA’s in lotion form as they are more moisturising that way. But I would definitely recommend buying a sample and doing a patch test to see how your skin reacts. Paula’s Choice products do come in plastic but they are cruelty-free. They also don’t use plastic in their shipping. I, for the life of me, cannot find an exfoliator I like as much as this one.
The Ordinary is probably one of the more well-known brands that have sustainable skincare products. I love The Ordinary as they come in glass, are super cheap, and are as simple as they come. Hyaluronic Acid can attract up to 1,000 times its weight in water and I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical when I first tried this, but now I can’t imagine my routine without it. I noticed a massive difference in my skin when I ran out of my first bottle and had to go without for a few days. This really helps keep my skin moisturised and makes it feel less tight. It’s great to use when you’ve just come out of the shower and the bathroom is still steamy!
I also noticed a big difference in my skin when I misplaced my face oil and had to order another one. Oils are good at stopping my skin from being flakey. I’ve used Rosehip, Squalane and their ‘B’ Oil. I haven’t really noticed a difference in my skin depending on what oils I use, I just know that I need to use them!
God, the road to finding a moisturiser that worked on my skin was a long and frustrating one. I couldn’t find one that worked for my skin and was plastic-free. I felt like I tried everything, but nothing was moisturising enough. Then I decided to just bite the bullet and try a moisturiser that comes in plastic but had a sustainable ethos behind them. And oh my god, when I say this moisturiser changed my skin, that would be an understatement. This stuff is AMAZING, my skin has never been so soft, glowy and flake-free since using this. A total skin-changer and one of my holy grails.
I used to think that night cream was also a waste of money until I tried one out. They are great for dry skin as they are usually a lot thicker than day creams. I really recommend investing in one! I love this Face Theory one because it isn’t so thick that it just feels like it’s sitting on your face. It absorbs really well.
8. Thank You Farmer Sun Project Water Sun Cream SPF50
This is a water-based sunscreen, which means that it isn’t thick. In fact, it doesn’t feel like sunscreen at all it is so light! I know I know, this product does come in plastic but sunscreen is so important to wear every day that I couldn’t miss it out! It doesn’t leave a white cast on me, but I have super pale skin. This is another holy grail product of mine.