Looking to up your skincare routine? And to do it with sustainable products? Well, you’re in the right place! As I’m wearing makeup a whole lot less at the moment, I’ve been upping my skincare routine and let’s just say, my face has never been happier.
How To Find More Sustainable Skincare
When it comes to sustainable skincare, or beauty in general, there’s a few things I tend to look for:
1. Cruelty-free certification. I’m going to be honest, I just don’t believe animal testing is necessary for cosmetics, full stop. Before shopping with any new brand, I’ll ensure they are cruelty-free by looking for certification (there’s a few types, but the Leaping Bunny is often a better one to look for than PETA’s mark). If there’s no certification, I’ll contact the brand directly, and ask them these five questions. I’ve been fooled before, even in person, so these help me to suss out if they’re really good or not. P.S. Cruelty-Free Kitty is a wonderful blog and resource if you’re interested in this side of things.
2. Low-impact production methods. After attending a BYBI Beauty’s ‘Susty Summit’ event last year, I learned that the majority of beauty brands manufacture their products using third-party factories, and often ignore their resource usage when reporting their impact overall. Over 90% of these factories use brown-energy (fossil fuels) so brands who can guarantee renewable energy usage, or even carbon neutrality like Sukin* are really outshining the industry right now.
3. Reduced packaging waste. I’m all for trying out new ways to apply, wear, and use skincare if it’s in the interest of reducing my impact, so I’ll often go for products that promise a lower impact when it’s in my bathroom cabinet too. That means reusables > disposables, recycled and recyclable packaging, zero waste items, and even refillable beauty products.
4. Avoidance of the term ‘natural’. The term ‘natural’ can literally mean anything, so when you see it on beauty packaging, adverts, and anywhere else, do not trust it. If you’re looking for terms you can trust, go for organic, which has to be certified to be used, most often by Soil Association (UK), Ecocert (Europe) or USDA (USA). Find out more in my guide to natural vs. organic.
My Favourite Sustainable Skincare Products
So, here’s what I’ve been using in my somewhat maximalist skincare routine! Before I get ahead of myself, if you’d like to look through a whole list of sustainable skincare and makeup brands, check out my guide to finding sustainable beauty products which covers everything from toothpaste to mascara.
I built this skincare routine out of just a few base products (gentle cleansers and moisturisers, mostly) and have now tailored it for my skin. I tend to get dry skin around my cheeks, dark spots under my cheekbones, and the occasional blemish, so I’ve also addressed these too…
Morning Skincare Routine
REN Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser* – This cleanser is perfect for bare skin in the mornings, as it’s so gentle and can even be applied across the delicate skin around my eyes. I start by applying it to my dry skin, then adding a little water for an oil-to-milk moment, and then wash away complete. I went for a facial with the REN team earlier this year, who kindly gifted me this alongside a number of other REN items listed here.
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant* – I was introduced to this little heaven-sent exfoliator after meeting with FeelUnique, who gifted it to me to try, and I am in love. This exfoliator is waterless, so it stores really well and can be used in tiny teaspoonful amounts mixed with a small amount of water before gently circling around my face. I use it 1-2 times per week, but it’s gentle enough to use daily.
REN Evercalm Serum* – This little guy is the first thing to go on my skin after cleansing/exfoliating. Its main purpose is to reduce redness, and my skin is definitely less red, although I can’t chalk it up to just this one product.
Trilogy Balancing Face Lotion* – Then it’s on to moisturiser! I like a super-hydrating face lotion, and Trilogy is my go-to for anything hydrating. This cream smells beautiful, and sinks into my skin beautifully. That said, if I’m in need of something lighter and less intensive, I go for BYBI Beauty’s C Caf Cream*!
REN Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30* – Finally, let’s talk SPF! With all this sunshine, I’m back to applying a daily sunscreen, and REN’s Clean Screen is my all-time favourite. If you’d like more info, read my clean sunscreen reviews…
Bjork & Berries Handcream – During the day I like to apply hand cream, and especially if I’m popping out/washing my hands rigorously/applying hand gel all day. This tube has been looking after my hands since my trip to Sweden, where I picked it up on a whim!
Graces London Lip Balm with CBD – The same goes for my lips, I like a lick of lip balm ever hour, round the clock! This is a favourite of mine, infused with CBD for a chill out moment.
Nighttime Skincare Routine
BYBI Beauty Swipe Clean* – I tend to use Swipe Clean (gifted) when I wear makeup, alongside my reusable cotton rounds, and while I’m hardly wearing it any more, I wanted to include it here. Swipe Clean comes in a sunshine yellow glass bottle, and it feels great to apply it to soft, washable pads and swipe over my eyes!
Trilogy Cream Cleanser* – Next up is Trilogy’s cream cleanser – again, this is often used in the evening over my Clean Jelly cleanser because it’s a bit tougher on makeup. That said, sometimes I just like to mix things up, as both are so lovely to use.
REN Evercalm Overnight Balm* – Once I’ve washed my face, and patted dry on a towel, I’ll reach for my Evercalm Balm. This is so good for keeping my dry skin hydrated, so I take a little on my pinky finger and apply to both cheeks and forehead, as well as my lips if they require a hydration top-up.
REN Vita Mineral Eye Gel* – Hands up, who’s only just started using eye gel? Yeah, me too. I wondered if I should earlier this year and the REN team really recommended it. I like to apply it just before bed, using my fingertips to daub it, rather than smooth it across my skin.
REN Dark Spot Cream* – And finally, dark spot cream! I am genuinely convinced this cream has lightened the darker areas of skin under my cheek bones, and I’ve only used a small percentage of it so far! This is a heavy, deeply hydrating cream, so another one reserved for those thirsty-skin-girls out there.
P.S. Looking to be more sustainable with your skincare and beauty products? My top tip: swap out old items with new, more sustainable ones over time. Don’t just throw things away because they’re not sustainable/cruelty-free/whatever!
And if you really don’t like some thing anymore, try giving it to a friend or family member, or if they’re unopened, donate them to @thebeautybanks