Maybe you’ve switched out a few items in your beauty arsenal for clean beauty products. Powder makeup, lip balm, and body products are fairly easy swaps. But how do you go about customizing a complete nontoxic skincare plan that works for you? Follow this plan and you’ll have your very own personalized clean beauty routine in no time.
The process of converting from mainstream skincare to clean beauty isn’t as complicated as it may seem. Taking the important things, like skin type and issues, into account, then adding products based on your lifestyle will make this a painless transition. Here’s how to zero in on what will work for your skin, plus tips on making the switch.
Know Your Skin Type
This is the best place to start. Products designed for your particular skin type will nourish, support, and balance. If you are unsure of your skin type, here are the main types at a glance.
- Normal skin is well behaved, has balanced oil production, and minimal to no breakouts or irritation.
- Combination skin is oily and possibly blemish prone in the T-zone, normal to dry on the rest of the face.
- Oily skin experiences overproduction of oil, looks greasy, often has larger pores and acne.
- Dry skin experiences dryness, flakiness, pallor, and often has fine lines and wrinkles.
- Sensitive skin can be dry, oily, or normal, sees redness, irritation, inflammation, and is intolerant of many ingredients.
Identify Your Skin Issues
Are you in need of acne solutions? Want to lessen signs of aging? Diminish the appearance of rosacea or eczema?
Your skin type does not change, but may behave differently due to your skin issues. Choosing products made for your skin type that treat your specific skin issues will best suit your skin. There are skincare treatments to solve most skin issues.
Sometimes treating a skin condition is more about what you don’t use than what you do. Other times, it helps to change treatment methods. Following are ways to deal with the most common skin issues.
Acne: This can be a stubborn skin issue to treat. You may experience extra oiliness, flakiness, and redness. This does not mean you have three different skin types going on. Rather, your acne is causing your skin type (and that can be oily, dry, or normal) to react in these ways. Skin that is breaking out is usually inflamed, and this requires gentle care. Harsh, drying ingredients will only lead to more redness and blemishes. The key is to keep skin clean and lightly hydrated. Opt for mild cleansers, light moisturizers, and spot treatments made with natural antibacterial ingredients. Exfoliate one to two times weekly to keep flakiness at bay and pores clear.
Aging: Everyone’s skin will show signs of aging at some point, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your complexion looking great in the process. Softening fine lines and wrinkles is all about hydration and skin plumping ingredients. You can lessen the appearance of dark spots and uneven skin tone with natural skin lighteners. And there are products designed to support collagen and elastin production, keeping skin from sagging.
Irritation: Whether your skin is irritated and inflamed due to a skin condition like rosacea or eczema, or experiencing seasonal upset, a simple product switch may be all you need. Skin calming ingredients go a long way toward toning down inflammation and redness, and making skin look more even and feel more comfortable.
Ingredients to look for when treating skin issues:
- Aloe for lightly hydrating and soothing, perfect for treating acne.
- Algae decreases inflammation and detoxifies the skin.
- Citrus essential oils balance oil production, contain antibacterial properties, and gently exfoliate.
- Argan oil diminishes signs of aging, moisturizes, and makes skin look younger.
- Antioxidants fight free radical damage that leads to premature aging, some ingredients that are high in antioxidants are green tea, seaweed, rosehip oil, barbary fig seed oil, sea buckthorn oil, evening primrose oil, avocado oil, and shea butter.
- Vitamin C supports collagen production and reduces UV damage, rosehip oil is high in vitamin C and helps to lighten spots and soften lines.
- Chamomile essential oil makes skin feel calmed and comfortable, soothes inflammation and irritation.
- Vitamin E oil is hydrating, soothing, and healing.
Learn to Read Labels
Don’t get misled by good marketing. Your best defense against nasty ingredients is by reading product ingredient listings. Here is a breakdown on sharpening your label reading skills, plus a list of cosmetic ingredients to avoid.
Making It Work for You
So, now you’ve zeroed in on your skin type and issues, targeted the type of products that fit into your lifestyle, and know about the ingredients you want to avoid and how to ID those on product labels. Next comes putting together a clean beauty routine that your skin will love and is a pleasure for you to use.
Staple products that all skin types need are a cleanser, a daily moisturizer, an eye product, and a nighttime moisturizer. Choose these based on your skin type.
Now, add in products designed to treat your skin issues. Acne skin types often do well with a mildly astringent toner for use after cleansing. Mature skin types benefit from an anti-aging serum applied prior to moisturizer. And sensitive skin types behave best when fewer products are used.
Facial oils are universally appealing and come in a wide range of formulas to suit all skin types. These may be applied before a daily moisturizer so active ingredients penetrate skin. Those with very dry skin may like to apply an oil over moisturizer to protect skin.
All skin types need exfoliation. Just be sure the method and product you use is suited to your skin. Too much sloughing ends in dryness, irritation, and breakouts. Properly exfoliated skin is bright, smooth, and glowing. Find out which type of exfoliant is right for you in our handy exfoliation guide.
Masking is a skin treat that may be used regularly or occasionally. Again, choose a facial mask made for your skin type. There are those that moisturize, soothe, and draw out impurities. Masks are particularly good for making the skin look instantly revitalized and glowing.
Before you go shopping, decide on your plan of attack. The best way to go about switching from mainstream to clean beauty is with one or two products at a time. Cleansers and toners are more easier to swap than a moisturizer or treatment product. If you like a product from one brand, chances are you will like others from that brand, too. Check to see if shops or brands offer samples, or purchase trial sized products before you splurge on full sized products.
That’s it! Your step-by-step plan to a clean beauty routine your skin will love. The time and effort spent up front will ensure a smooth transition and keep you, and your skin, happy.