Okay, here’s the deal. You guys have asked me about this topic for SO freaking long… and everytime I get a question about it, I find myself with SO MUCH much to say on it, that it never seems to fit in a quick IG post or reply.
So, finally (in between baby feeds, meetings and the 2nd cookbook launch planning over here lately), I had a few minutes to gather my best thoughts, advice, and of course specifics on this very huge (but very important topic) of natural skincare, and how to get your healthiest, glowiest skin ever. Including: why you might want to make the switch, what to look for, think about, and my favorite items that make healthier skincare a ritual you look forward to each day.
Let’s get to it:
So first, let me tell you this: that I am a 100% believer that beauty starts on the inside. Like, yes, of COURSE, it starts with having a kind heart, grace for others, knowing yourself well and living in alignment with the things that make you feel good and come alive. That is true beauty.
But after that? When it comes to beauty and skincare products that work, my first tip isn’t something you even put on your skin.
It comes before that. It starts with what we put in our body.
If you want better skin, eating REAL FOOD is 100% the best place to start and focus on (if you’re not already there). Because the truth is this: your skin is a pretty good reflection of what’s going on inside your bod, that no product can quick-fix.
Why? Let me break this down real quick for you:
First: your body is made up of millions of cells. Cells that are literally built by the food (aka, the raw materials) you are putting in, day in and day out.
When you look at it like this, it’s a simple equation: if you put in foods that are vibrant, fresh, simple and real… the result is this: those foods are super easy for your body to digest, absorb and USE.
All with ease.
But if you put in stuff that’s processed, altered, man-made, full of chemicals and preservatives? Welp. That’s what you’re making your cells out of.
And not only that, it’s also so much harder for your body to process any of it. It requires so much time and energy and resources from your sweet bod to do so. Precious energy, might I add, that you could be using other places in your day that matter more.
So cellularly, food always matters. That’s where all health truly starts.
But secondly, your skin is your biggest organ. And it’s a detox organ, just like our liver, kidneys & guts.
Its purpose is protection: to keep germs and pathogens out, externally, but also internally, our skin is there to help us get rid of stuff that isn’t helpful for our bodies.
Sweat? Yup, even though we try to avoid it, it serves a BIG and very important purpose: to remove anything from our bodies that is dangerous: chemicals & toxins from food, water, our air & our environment.
Our bodies are designed to always keep us well. And sweating through the skin’s layers is one of the ways we are always detoxing.
But our skin also has a second very important job- as the barrier between our outside world and our inside world, it also absorbs everything that we put on it… directly into our bodies and cells. Whatever you put on your skin, goes IN to your skin, and IN to your body.
And scary fact? A lot of the chemicals, fragrances and compounds found in most personal care products are hormone disruptors, too, not only affecting how we detox but how our hormones function (or don’t).
So it’s no wonder that studies have shown such a crazy strong connection between chemical and carcinogen exposure and rates of cancer, reproductive and developmental issues for women and babies and other massive health issues.
Did you know that an average woman applies at least 168 different types of chemicals DAILY on her skin? Between deodorant, lotions, makeup, toothpaste, serums, face wash, masks, shampoo, body wash, fragrances, it’s easy to believe. (And 168 per day is a conservative number at that, as this article talks about).
When I first found that out back in college– I was like UM…wait, what? Why doesn’t anyone talk about this? And why are we constantly marketed — especially as women, to be buying and consuming so many of these products?
Well, it’s sadly so much like the food industry in that way: all about marketing and the industry making money, and not about what’s actually healthy for us, for our families and for our bodies long term. The industry, just like the supplement industry is totally unregulated in the US. (If you want to know more about this, and help to distinguish between true “real food” and what we are marketed as “healthy food”, take a listen to this free workshop I did earlier this year on it).
So going cleaner and more natural with everything — your food, your daily products, etc — won’t only help you simplify your life, but it’s a matter of health.
When you surround yourself with things that are truly SIMPLE & PURE, your body can function better, has less of a toxic load to deal with and can focus its time on creating more energy, vibrancy and true health, from the inside out.
And while, yes, some skin issues can be genetic or hormonally based, eating real food first and focusing on swapping out your conventional products (slowly if you want to) with pure ingredients in our skincare and body care, too, is the BEST possible thing you can do to heal your skin (and help your health), no matter what’s going on.
And for me, it’s been years of finding and testing and trying to find things that work just as well, that feel like a treat to use and that are actually and truly clean (and not just marketed as so). Meaning sooooo many natural products tried. And then being annoyed when they didn’t work.
But there ARE some amazing brands and products out there this day in age, that do work so beautifully well, and most of them aren’t any more expensive that what you might be using now.
So, I wanted to share them with you all, in hopes it helps make the transition to better skin and better health, so much easier. Send it to your friends, your sisters, and loved ones, too– like food, it can be a hard world to navigate.
I use all of these things listed below weekly, if not daily, and hope you’ll love incorporating them into your routine, too:
Here are my top favorite natural skincare products that I use and swear by, round-up style. My overall theory is this: take care of your skin from the inside out, and the fewer products, makeup or things you need to cover it up.
Skin Cleanser — Primally Pure Oil Cleanser: you guys, this stuff is the best for cleansing your skin without stripping it of all the good oils your skin needs to truly glow and hydrate from the inside out. Also great to remove any makeup. I’ve never used a better skin cleanser. Use the code “simplyrealhealth” at checkout for 10% off your order (or anything at Primally Pure, I love them so much).
Exfoliant — Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Exfoliant: I love this as a more medium exfoliant, once a week or so in the shower. It smells amazing and works great without irritating the skin with harsh chemicals or abrasives.
Exfoliating Sponge — One Love Organics Konjac Sponge: great as a gentle exfoliant (not an aggressive scrubber that irritates skin). I love keeping this guy in the shower and using twice a week before my oil cleansing.
Rose Glow Cream– hands down, the most I’ve seen my skin visibly glow (when paired with my nightly oil cleansing routine). Plus it smells AMAZING and has a texture like whipped butter that is so hydrating and feels so luxurious to put on.
Moisturizing Cream — Primally Pure Blue Tansy Beauty Cream: This one is amazing… Great for inflammation, redness and anti-aging. I always pack this in my travel bag because it’s small and so compact, and all you need is a little bit. Use the code “simplyrealhealth” at checkout for 10% off your order.
Day Cream — Dr. Hauschka Skin Care Rose Day Cream: Love this one so much for a gentle and light daily moisturizer. Someone told me once it’s what Jennifer Lopez uses on her skin and I was sold.
Serum — Primally Pure Plumping Serum: I LOVE this stuff. It works wonders on softening fine lines and firming the skin right on up, plus it just feels decadent on your skin and has so many healing oils & compounds in it. Use the code “simplyrealhealth” at checkout for 10% off your order.
Serum- Rose Glow Serum. I love pairing this with the Rose Glow Cream (above). A few drops is all you need. Currently so obsessed with this one!
Serum — Doterra Verage Immortelle Hydrating Serum: a beautiful blend of all the essential oils that truly promote healthier skin from the inside out: sandalwood, jojoba oil, squalene, lavender, myrrh and rose, this one smells amazing and is so calming on every pore. I get most of my oils from Doterra and signed up for their wholesale membership so I get better pricing but I don’t sell them, ha. Read more about my story with essential oils & the full guide blog post here.
Make Your Own Soothing Facial Serum Blend — A dropper full of organic cold-pressed rosehip oil (I like this one), plus a drop of high quality/food grade frankincense and/or lavender essential oil is the combo I use almost nightly. It smells AMAZING, is so soothing before bed, and I wake up with skin that feels soft and plumped up for the day (no matter how little sleep I’ve gotten). It feels like a bath for your pores. Sometimes I swap the oils out and use sandalwood or yarrow pom, it just depends on my mood. Read more about what to look for and how to use essential oils here, in my full guide & blog post.
Cocokind Chia Facial Oil– I have not tried this one myself, but whenever I’ve asked you guys for your own favorite natural finds, this one always comes up, along with their matcha facial moisturizer stick. Both have coconut oil in them, which can be a bit tricky for some people’s faces (it’s a heavier oil and for some can cause more breakouts), but for both products, the ingredients are super clean & simple, so would be good ones to check out too, and some are now available at Target and Anthropologie too.
Herbivore Botanicals: another amazing company (local to Seattle too, yay!). I’ve only tried a few things from them, but I’ve loved each one. Their Rose Set would make a perfect gift or great way to try a few different products, and I’m obsessed with the smell of their After Sun Spray. I keep it in the fridge and it’s to DIE FOR. I go overboard everytime.
Deodorant — Primally Pure Deodorant: I adore the unscented, tea tree and blue tansy versions the best…. and let me tell you I’ve tried SO MANY brands. This one actually works. Like sooo well. Because the sweat glands in your armpits are directly over your lymph nodes, making sure you have a deodorant that is aluminum and chemical free is so very important. IF YOU TRANSITION ONE THING FIRST, a natural & clean deodorant would be my first suggestion. But give your body a few weeks to adjust. Remember, sweat is normal– it’s just the stink you don’t want. Make sure you give your body a few weeks to adjust before you judge. Antiperspirants (sweat blockers with chemicals) and deodorants (smell enhancers) are very different. Side note: the cleaner you eat, the less stink you’ll have, so the two go hand in hand here.
Body Butter — Primally Pure Vanilla Almond Body Butter: pure bliss, this stuff is the most hydrating and best-smelling lotion ever. I used it all through pregnancy to prevent stretch marks and as a nightly treat and part of my bedtime ritual. Just do it.
Body Wash — Dr. Bronner’s 18-in1 Hemp Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap: so soothing and refreshing, this soap is heavenly (and the natural peppermint fragrance literally makes your skin feel tingly and revived as you use it). It’s organic, biodegradable and so effective– plus, you can actually use it to clean everything, from your skin to your hair to your dishes, floors and even your pets. It truly does it ALL.
Body Wash — Alaffia Everyday Shea Body Wash in Vanilla Mint: another purely made body wash that is just so lovely on the skin, with shea butter, coconut oil and neem to love on and replenish the skin while it cleanses it.
Beauty By Earth Natural Self Tanner: I was skeptical about this, but guys. It really works. And no chemical or weird smells. I love blending this with equal parts body or face lotion to make it look even more natural. This brand also has great sunscreens, tinted sunscreens, etc.
Toner & Refreshing Day Spray — Primally Pure Everything Spray & Toner: This spray does it ALL. It helps with inflammation on your face, as well as ingrown hairs in sensitive areas after shaving. I love the Everything Spray for everything (and as a toner added to an organic cotton ball when needed, like after a photoshoot or heavier makeup that day), but also adore the Neroli (orange blossom), Geranium & Lavender complexion sprays mid morning, mid-day… well, really whenever I need a little reset. Use the code “simplyrealhealth” at checkout for 10% off your order.
Heritage Store Rosewater Face Spray: they say that a spritz of this can change your energetic field. I use it whenever I need a little refreshing boost or good vibes.
Eye Mask — Grace & Stella Anti-Wrinkle + Energizing Gold Collagen Eye Masks: These are just as fun to Instagram story as they are beneficial for soothing and smoothing the under eyes. New mom necessities if there ever was one!
Face Mask — Aztec Secret – Indian Healing Clay: OMG so affordable and SO amazing on the skin. It’ll feel like butter afterward.
Face Mask — Acure Brightening Mask: the quickest and easiest ready-to-go face mask that leaves your skin hydrated and smooth. I love bringing this with me when I travel or doing it on a Sunday or Monday night to get ready for the week!
Curious to learn more of this stuff? We’ve got PART 2 coming soon, covering my favorite natural beauty & makeup finds, so stay tuned!
Love this post? You’d love the cookbook then too. And be sure to check out the seasonal meal plans (or the new easy DINNER ONLY plan)! Wanna know more about this real-food lifestyle made simple I always talk about? Be sure to check out this little podcast workshop I created for you, called: Simply Real FOOD: Real food, finally explained. Check it out here!