Thursday, October 1, 2015

Greening Your Beauty Routine? KimberlyLoc Has You Covered

Ready to make the switch to natural beauty products, but feeling a little overwhelmed? You’re not alone.

I’m Kim, and I write the natural beauty blog Since starting this blog in 2010, I’ve been fascinated by how quickly exceptional green beauty products have made their way onto the market today.

While it’s amazing to have options, it can also make switching to cleaner beauty even more daunting. 

  • Where do I start?
  • How much is all this going to cost?
  • Does this stuff really work?
In my daily interactions with readers, friends, family and coworkers, my first piece of advice is always the same: Start small, and think about the products you use on a regular basis.

Most likely, those products are your daily skincare needs. This is an area where green beauty shines. Plant-based skincare that’s nourishing, gentle and targeted to whatever your skin needs exists, and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Daily Cleansing

Let’s look at everything you use to wash up on a regular basis. This probably includes a makeup remover and face cleanser.

The easiest switch you can make is from using those drying, stinging skincare wipes (these should really just be reserved for the gym!) to using a straight plant oil to dissolve your makeup. I am never without jojoba oil, my favorite carrier oil of all. It’s the most similar to our skin’s sebum, and does a great job of removing makeup while keeping your skin feeling soft.

Simply apply a quarter-sized amount of oil into your hands, rub them together and massage your face for a few minutes, removing all traces of makeup and prepping your skin for a proper wash.

Once you’ve gotten a great mess of makeup dissolved onto your face (if you were wearing a lot of mascara and eye liner, prepare for a very raccoon-ish look!), use a hot wash cloth (wring it out first) to gently wipe away the excess oil. Now, your skin is ready for a wash.

Depending on your skin type, you may opt for a foaming, gel or cream cleanser. There’s a natural alternative for all of these options. My favorite affordable and accessible options are made by brands like Acure Organics, Yes To, Derma E, which are available at mass retailers like Target and Walgreens as well as at health food stores like Whole Foods or Natural Grocers.

For more options, including niche and boutique brands, check my “Ultimate Guide to Natural Face Cleansers.”

Moisturizing Your Pretty Face

Once your face is perfectly clean, you’re probably used to slapping on a bit of lotion and calling it a day. While green beauty offers several fantastic face lotions and creams, I’m partial to facial oils, which offer potent antioxidants and nutrients in a more easy-to-blend form.

The market is exploding with facial oil options, but the biggest things to remember is to read the full ingredients list. Many giant conventional companies are latching on to the facial oil craze only to load their so-called oils with synthetic fillers and silicones that don’t offer the same nutrients and skin benefits as pure plant oils.

For example, pure argan oil, like the ones from Kahina Giving Beauty, Shea Terra Organics and Acure Organics, contain just one single ingredient: Argan oil! You can choose to buy one that’s certified organic if you please, but the point is that you’re looking at the ingredients listing on the back to see everything that’s in it. And for a simple argan oil, it should just have one ingredient!

Besides the popular argan oil, many green beauty companies are offering eclectic blends of oils that target several different skincare conditions. A few of my favorites are made by Mun Beauty, KYPRIS, Odacite and Skin Owl. Some of these oils may be on the more expensive, luxury end, so consider getting samples from trusted retailers (I recommend Integrity Botanicals and The Detox Market) or continuing focusing on ingredients first. For example, look for oils high in vitamin A, like rosehip seed oil, for overnight treatment and prevention of discoloration from acne scars and the sun.

If cream is still your thing, consider searching for products made of a combination of shea butter and plant oils. This will give you the benefit of using plant oils but in a texture you’re more familiar with. Shea butter is deeply hydrating and wildly popular. Brands like S.W. Basics of Brooklyn, Alaffia and Evan Healy make excellent shea butter-based face creams.

Total-Body Hydration

At the risk of sounding like a robot, I’m going to echo the recommendation above of choosing oils over lotions when it comes to total-body hydration. Stay with me here. 

Oils leave your skin softer longer when used on wet skin right out of the shower. They lock in the moisture and give your skin that sheen, or glow, that everyone talks about. Plus, body oils can double as bath oil treatments (just add some to the bath, soak and enjoy!) and a replacement for shaving cream.
Here's my very scientific case study: I shower every morning and slather body oil all over my wet skin. I then wrap my body into a towel-dress, get ready and gently dry off after I'm 90 percent finished with my hair and makeup. By the end of the day, when most people are putting lotion onto their dry, scaly skin, my skin feels hydrated and just as soft as it did hours ago. I never need to use body lotion before bed!

When it comes to choosing your own miracle body oil, can you just use a straight one (like jojoba, coconut or argan) all over your body? Absolutely! Multi-use products are the easiest way to make the switch to green and figure out what your skin responds well to.

But, you should know that the body oil market is exciting, with various scents, packaging and ingredient blends that will make it feel like a visit to the perfume counter. Some of my favorite body oils are made by Osmia Organics, Meow Meow Tweet, Tammy Fender and Rachel’s Plan Bee, to name just a few.

You can find my full list of favorites on my blog (and also, if you’re into the smell of jasmine and vanilla, know that I recently collaborated on a limited edition body oil with Rachel’s Plan Bee in this scent combination!)

Your Journey to Greener Skincare

One thing I encourage you to remember during your journey to cleaner, greener skincare is that it’s just that: A journey. You’re going to have to experiment with lots of different products to find what’s right for you. Along the way, I hope you find the time to educate yourself via the amazing selection of blogs, books and documentaries that are helping people adopt a greener personal care collection.

I’m always on the Internet to answer questions and offer suggestions. Feel free to email me or interact on social media (I’m @kimberlyloc basically everywhere, but most responsive via Twitter and Instagram)

Thanks to Kim for taking the time to put together a thoughtful post for our readers! You can find KimberlyLoc on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

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