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Baby step: Healthy, everday skin care


So this photo has nothing really to do with skin care, except that maybe that's exactly how my skin feels since switching over to healthier skin care products. Soft and dewey. Plus I took it at Portland's Chinese Garden over the weekend and it makes me feel calm and happy. Who doesn't need more of that?

This whole green living journey I started two-plus years ago has changed my life and made me more aware of all the chemicals and nasty ingredients in so many products. It is OVERWHELMING how many products we have in our lives everyday. I think that's why so many people think they can't make changes -- because it seems too overwhelming. Cleaning, laundry, personal care -- it goes on and on. I could list plenty of areas I where I still default to my traditional personal care habits: toothpaste (Crest); OTC cold medicine (though this is waning); deodorant/antiperspirant (Secret, despite my success with tea tree oil...though re-reading the comments in that post has got me all excited to do more experimenting!); and recently switching back to Pantene Pro-V shampoo because ShiKai was giving me nothing but bad hair days. But one area I have successfully conquered is my everyday skin care routine. Check it off the list, baby.


Now, I've never been big into cosmetics, so my daily skin care regimen is very simple. I wash morning and night with Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash, which contains organic tea tree oil and awapuhi. This is a really inexpensive product available at Trader Joe's and in the 'healthy lifestyle' section of many grocery stores, and one bottle lasts at least nine months if not longer. I recognize the name of every ingredient in this wash, and it scores a 1 (low hazard) on the Skin Deep database. And I really like it. I still get that once-a-month little hormone-induced breakout, but overall I think it does a really good job. After washing I rub Aveda's All-Sensitive Body Oil, which is just jojoba oil and vitamins A & E, all over my face. The Aveda salesperson told me that jojoba oil is an oil that most closely mimics the skin's natural oils and that the best aging defense for your skin is moisture. OK, sold! I love this stuff (plus it comes in a glass bottle). It absorbs right in and I never feel greasy. I use it day and night.

I gotta tell you, I've been using that combo for well over a year now and I really think my skin looks better than it ever has after years of using Lancome and Neutrogena products. I feel good about using them and I'm not spending a small fortune. But skin care is pretty personal, as you know. What works for one doesn't necessarily work for everyone.

For the rest of my skin I use Avalon Organics Peppermint Hand & Body Lotion, which is paraben-free and scores a 2 on Skin Deep. I could probably improve on this, but for now it's just fine and I love the lotion. Finally, I use Burt's Bees lip balm throughout the day on my smackers, and we suds up our bodies with Dr. Bronner's vegetable-based, biodegradable bar soaps. That's it!

While I really love these products, one of the bummers is that the face wash, lotion and lip balm are packaged in plastic. The plastic bottles can be recycled, but not the pumps nor the lip balm tube. So from a healthy ingredients angle it's pretty good, but from a packaging angle there is much room for improvement. For now I'm happy to check skin care off my list and move on to toothpaste. Oh for a natural toothpaste that can replicate that fresh mouth buzz I get from Crest!

Have you found a healthy skin care routine that you are loving?


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