How to choose skin care products and what order to use them in.
When it comes to skin, what IS ‘normal’? While I can teeter on ‘combination’ if I’m not careful, my own skin type would be categorized as ‘normal’. Sure it sounds great, but for most of us ‘normal’ means staying inside that narrow, precarious realm where oil, dryness, pore size and overall suppleness are pretty well managed.
Genes can have a lot to do with determining one’s skin type, but I’ve found that it comes down to a strict, consistent routine to keep skin balanced and to manage any potential problem areas. For me it’s important to avoid harsh chemicals, ingredients I don’t recognize, and anything synthetic. Just like with food, I make it a top priority to know what I’m putting on my body, and why those ingredients are effective. Overall, you could say that to maintain my ‘normal’ skin type, the key is this: the simpler, the better and routine, routine, routine!
Before we can talk skin care or routines, we need to talk about water. Water intake is crucial for supporting cellular health in the skin; our epidermis is our largest organ and is comprised of cells, which are (you guessed it) comprised of water. Without the proper intake of water, our cells cannot hydrate our skin, and our skin will become dry. Dry skin increases susceptibility to wrinkles and fine lines, as it limits elasticity. As we hydrate, our internal organs will absorb water before our skin, so we need to ensure we are drinking enough to go around! Most sources say 6-8 8oz glasses are the ideal amount for a healthy adult, but you should always consult your medical professional as they are well acquainted with your health history. Water can also we ingested through our food: cucumbers, watermelons, celery and iceberg lettuce are among the most naturally water-saturated foods that you can easily implement into your diet.
Since my skin type is considered normal, that means I have to work extra hard to find products that won’t throw things off balance, and I need to use them regularly and consistently. Having a routine is important for me, because it helps my skin stay relaxed. Any time I’ve used a plethora of beauty products without considering my skin’s happiness… it has shown its displeasure with a pimple here, a pimple there-- even increased oil in irregular areas. That’s why it’s important to 1) know your skin type 2) know what it likes and 3) know what it doesn’t like.
It’s also important to remember that not every skin care product is meant to work for you; some contain ingredients which are formulated to treat issues you don’t have, and others might contain stronger active ingredients that your skin doesn’t need. Keep an eye out for irregular responses in your skin and if you use something new, be sure to pay extra attention to reactions or unwanted effects. It’s a lot of trial and error, and if you’re like me, your skin will evolve with age. Below is my current personal skincare routine, one that I abide by each and every day.
I have a lot of rules about cleansing. First and foremost: I will never, ever go to sleep without removing my makeup and washing my face. Our bodies tend to heat up at night, and if you’re wearing makeup as your body temperature is rising, beware of clogged pores. Plus, you know it ain’t fun to wash a ghoulish makeup-face-print out of your pillowcases! Since I use our fruit pigmented makeup, I use our Flax Seed Cleansing Oil to remove makeup. I love the nutty, citrus scent and super luscious texture of the pure flax seed oil.
After removing makeup, I use a mild cleanser to remove anything left behind, and prime my face for my nighttime moisturizers. I love the Organic Matcha Anti-Aging Cleansing Foam because it’s mild yet effective, and since I’ve turned 30 I’ve been more conscious of feeding my skin antioxidants. I love anything containing black or green tea, because it’s always mild on my skin. My husband can attest to the fact that unless I was my face, I just can’t settle in for the night!
Another big rule for me is to cleanse after a workout, or basically any time I sweat a lot. If it’s a light sweat, a rinse-off will do; I don’t want to wash multiple times a day and strip my skin of its natural oils. But if I’m going to exercise, especially if I wear any tight-fitting clothing that can trap sweat and create friction on my skin, I make sure to do a total body cleanse. I start with my face, then for body I prefer a mild, moisturizing body wash. Our Eucalyptus Shower Gel is my go-to, because I love the feel of tingly, invigorating essential oils against the hot steam of the shower.
Once a week, or after an especially heavy makeup application, I love a good exfoliating session. It’s important not to exfoliate too often, because it can create dryness and even irritation if you have sensitive skin. Too little exfoliation, and your pores will slowly gather buildup of dirt and other environmental debris. Exfoliating helps to buff away dead skin and reveal supple new layers, as well as to loosen anything stuck in your pores (especially helpful for blackheads or pesky, chemically pigmented makeup). I use our Organic Matcha Smoothing Scrub, to keep compatible with the ingredients in my facial cleanser.
For body, I stay in the Eucalyptus family and use our Eucalyptus Body Scrub, because not only does it buff and smooth, but it feels like a million tiny massages all over my skin! The nourishing pomegranate, acai and apricot fruit oils leave me feeling buttery smooth while perking up my skin with rejuvenating, herbal essential oils.
Moisturizing is my favorite part of the skin care regimen-- though definitely the most precarious. For me, picking the right moisturizer is so important for maintaining a normal skin type because it has to be mild enough to keep things in balance, yet effective enough to yield the desired results. Through much trial and error, I have found just the right team of products to keep things looking ‘normal’!
The cycle really begins at night, after I’ve removed my makeup and cleansed my face. It would be an understatement to say that I’m *obsessed* with our Multi-Vitamin cream. I put a modest dollop on two fingers, then rub together and apply over my face, starting around the forehead and eye area. I slowly work my way down, making sure to evenly distribute a thin layer. Because my historically breakout-prone area is my chin (probably since it’s the spot that gets touched the most), that’s where I apply the thinnest layer. My skin feels like matte, buttery velvet and the smell of light chocolate orange is the perfect thing to lull me to sleep.
I finish my P.M. routine by moving down to my neck with our Retinol Neck Cream since, well, I just turned 30. And since time only seems to be moving faster with every year, I like to take preventative measures! The ever-so-soft botanical scent is the first thing that drew me to the product, aside from the seductive red jar. I scoop the same amount I use for the Multi-Vitamin onto my fingertips and work upwards from my collarbone to just under my chin, then give it a super gentle massage to work it in, careful not to tug or pull the skin.
For good measure, my last step is adding a rice grain size amount of Vitamin A & Coq10 Wrinkle Smoothing Night Cream to each ring fingertip, then I slide them gently back and forth beneath my eyes. Again, I am extra careful not to tug the delicate skin. I top off my nighttime moisturizing routine with a light application of all natural chapstick, and then it’s lights out.
When I wake up, I take a cool, wet cloth and give my face a thorough once-over. I want to remove any excess product sitting on my skin from the night before, and to prime my face for my morning routine. If I take a shower I will cleanse as usual, but if I’m skipping the shower it’s important to take this step to avoid any buildup of product in my pores, especially if I sweat at all during the night in the summer months.
I start with a toning mist to refresh my sleepy, sometimes puffy face; the puffiness is dependent on how well I slept the night before. Toner helps to moisten my skin, and I use the amazing Purity Hydrating Tonique to cleanse (echinacea is a great bacteria fighter!) and prime. This product is great for acne care, and though I don’t suffer from breakouts I do like to take preventative measures. And since this formula is totally natural and mild on my skin, it doesn’t hurt for me to use it every day. I let that dry for a minute or two, then move on to my main moisturizer.
Now, be advised that oils aren’t for every skin type, particularly on the face. I found out a few years ago that for me, the right type of oil was exactly what my face needed. I proudly stand by a light application of pure, Organic Argan Oil as my one and only daily facial moisturizer. Though Argan oil is great for dryer skin types, my skin can handle a light daily application in the morning. Because it’s classified as a dry oil, it absorbs quickly and leaves no grease behind; only ultra supple, dewy skin.
My final moisturizer is a product that I apply once in the morning and once at midday: our beloved Coffee Bean Eye Cream. The whipped texture and de-puffing caffeine in the formula is the best thing to top off my morning routine. Because it blends wonderfully, I can even apply over makeup later in the day. Aloe juice cools my undereye area, and leaves my skin looking bright and dewy.
The body moisturizer that I ceremoniously apply each morning is the Eucalyptus Nourishing Body Cream. As you may have surmised by now, I’m a sucker for the cooling, invigorating effects of Peppermint and Eucalyptus. They give me a boost of energy by softly electrifying my skin with cooling, therapeutic sensations. Cocoa and Avocado butters are ultra emollient, so this body cream is far from greasy and absorbs right away-- making it easy to get dressed after I apply. I apply this in the a.m. and p.m. to support skin elasticity and keep things looking and feeling perfectly supple.
For hands, I moisturize with the absolutely delectable Honey Almond Hand Buttercream: it’s thick enough to be substantial and decadent, while still absorbing quickly and keeping hands soft all day. I still apply it a few times a day, since my job requires me to play with and swatch cosmetics.
Keeping a ‘normal’ skin type is no walk in the park. As I age, it becomes more and more difficult to keep things in check, and to pay close attention to any changes occurring. But by keeping a well-organized and consistent skin care regimen, I am able to pay close attention to each and every inch of my skin and be mindful of any changes or reactions. It took quite a bit of time for me to find the right products, and I had to begrudgingly break up with some great products because they weren’t right for my skin. My advice would be to stay vigilant, stay consistent, and keep it simple.
Coming from a long run in the natural grocery industry, I have an extensive background in natural and organic products. There, I was able to really learn the wants and needs of eco-conscious shoppers.
On my first day, after meeting Susie and Ric, I realized this company was the real deal. Susie lives and breathes the products she visualizes and passionately formulates. She continues to mentor me in Product Development, where I work day-in and day-out ensuring our products are lovingly produced from conception to fruition.
I live a clean, natural lifestyle because I believe in it; I believe in simple, effective and sustainable ingredients that my body understands. I believe in getting back to basics-- understanding where ingredients in my skin care, cosmetics and food come from and how they represent nature. I believe in artistic expression, self-betterment through constant challenge, self-knowledge, and voraciously learning perspectives that help me to better see the world.
Lindsey lives in the Bay Area with her husband John. She is a passionate writer, painter, and movie buff.