Aside from food, skincare products are a very popular question on NTK and this post has been a long time coming. I am so excited to have finally written it! It is lengthy, but I hope it is also thorough! I ask that you please take the time to read the intro to better understand how we landed on the items we did.
You likely don’t know this, but I have battled really troublesome skin my whole life. So much so that in high school I seriously debated going on Accutane and bemoaned my decision not to for years afterward. One of my biggest concerns on my wedding day was if my skin would have breakouts, or even if it wasn’t broken out, would there be scars and red spots from breakouts the weeks before.
When Nate and I first got married, my skin started to break out in hives constantly. I went to multiple doctors, had blood drawn, the classic allergy back test, went to an alternative medicine doctor, a doctor at Duke…the works. Honestly, we never really figured anything out. But during that time I started to switch everything to help it get better. Free and Clear detergent, natural body washes, etc. Thankfully, I now rarely have skin rashes and hives. Since then, I have continued to use natural products and have found that I am very sensitive to fragrance. I have even had to switch from my beloved dry shampoo (Batiste for Brunettes) because the fragrance was starting to give me such bad headaches. Even after getting my haircut last month I got a headache afterward from the dry shampoo and texturizer used. (Good news: I have now found a dry shampoo I love! Acure Dry Shampoo for Brunettes.) Air fresheners, cheap candles, strong scented shampoos and lotions, you name it…a headache comes a knocking within a half hour.
It should also be known that while I know how you treat your skin matters, so does what you eat. You know what matters more than both of those things? YOUR HORMONES. And you know what is really hard to control? HORMONES. Genetics matter too, which I have heard are fairly hard to change. And you know what else matters? SLEEP. And if you are reading this as a parent with young kids, you know sleep is about as easy to control as your hormones.
When it comes to skincare, I try not to rock the boat too much. I have a few brands I love that work super well for me, so I tend to stick to them. I try and keep the price very reasonable for most everything, and have a few items I think are worth the larger price tag. I also aim to get products made with solid, nontoxic ingredients but also don’t allow this to stress me out. I tend to see skincare like most other areas: do what you can with what you can.
It is not the end all be all and it shouldn’t be.
*I buy these products with my own money, which is a large reason I care so much about the price tag. It’s also part of the reason I decided to sell Beautycounter. I love the products, so why not get them 25% off?! The below links are affiliate links, meaning if you buy through me I get a small percentage. Same goes for the BeautyCounter: if you choose me as your consultant at checkout I get a percentage. That money helps keep NTK running, so thank you!
*I am linking more than one in a few categories so you can have some options at different price points. I have tried MANY products over the years and am only linking ones I really love and repurchase.
wet my face with warm water
Morning face oil; I am giving you two at different price points. I love them both! Both are brightening.
Lower price point: Acure Brightening Glowing Serum
(You could also try this mini oil trio if you wanted to try a few different oils out: Glow and Go Mini Oils)
At this time, I am not using face lotion. I switched to oils a year ago and seriously never looked back! I LOVE them. If you have never tried face oils, I would give them a shot. All that to say, Charleston is balmy and humid 10 months of the year so I rarely need the extra barrier a face lotion provides. Cold, dry climates: you likely need one and I will link a few below!
If you wanted a face lotion for the day, I suggest the Beautycounter Adaptive Moisture Face Lotion. I have tried it and it’s super lightweight and great for putting makeup over. Not greasy at all.
When it is super gross or I have just done a workout, I use Thayer’s Toner followed by one of the morning face oils. I also LOVE the Burt’s Bees foaming face wash. It is light and refreshing and I keep it in the shower. And sooo inexpensive.
I love liquid foundation and go between two different regiments. The Wellpeople is definitely the thickest. I don’t mind that but many people do. It has the highest SPF (20% zinc). I will say, I have been using the Beautycounter Dew skin (it has 14% zinc) and I like the feel of it better. However, it is less coverage so oftentimes I feel like I need to use the Beautycounter Tint Skin on top of it to get more coverage. All that to say, those two combined still don’t feel as thick as the Well People. I will be interested to see what I reach for this summer. I know I will want a fast routine and will NEED the SPF (and a good sun hat!)
Beautycounter Dew Skin (I wear shade 2)
Beautycounter Tint Skin (I wear linen or sand, depending on the season)
For concealer, I have used the Bare Minerals Powder Concealer for years and cannot get past it! I wear the color Summer Bisque and love that it has the SPF since places you are trying to cover really do need the most protection from the sun. I should note: I am not using anything under my eyes. I use the concealer for pimples. I think that’s why I like the powder. I hate putting extra liquid on what already feels like a very oily pimple. After my foundation, I dab on the powder concealer on pimples. I know this is backward and sounds weird but it blends perfectly and the powder sticks so well to the foundation. If I were going to use a concealer under my eyes, I would use the Beautycounter Touchup Skin Concealer Pen because I have used it before and I love how quick and easy the application is.
Beautycounter Bronzer (I wear Dune)
Beautycounter Blush (I wear melon)
Brow Gel: currently using this Glossier Boy Brow brow gel and love it! Will likely switch to Beautycounter version next because it will be less expensive for me (hello, discount!)
My skin gets dry super easily from harsh cleansers, so I really need a moisturizing cleanser.
I use one of the following. The cream cleanser is super gentle and is one I have used for over a year! The cleansing balm doubles as a makeup remover and smells like actual heaven. It is pricier but damn if I don’t love it. Luckily, it lasts a solid 6 months to a year depending on how often you use it.
Beautycounter Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm (One of my top all time favorite products!)
Lower price point: Acure Seriously Soothing Cleaning Cream
Thayers Toner on a cotton round
Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel (another of my top products!)
I use this every other night and it is the product that sold me on becoming a BC consultant. It has helped so much with my melasma. All in all, just love this stuff.
Beautycounter Countertime Serum (age-reversal)
another great one for anti-aging/skin elasticity:
Evening face oil; I have tried many and love a few. They are different price points so I will link my top favorites:
Beautycounter Balancing Facial Oil (this one helps to even skin tone)
Beautycounter Plumping Facial Oil (this one helps hydrate and firm the skin; in my opinion is smells the best out of the three; they all smell good but this one has jasmine and is dreamy!)
Lower price point: Burt’s Bees Complete Nourishment Facial Oil
As said above, I don’t use a lotion at this time. If I did, I would use one of these:
Beautycounter Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream (for age prevention)
Beautycounter Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream (to help with fine lines and wrinkles)
I do, however, swear by this Burts bees multi-purpose ointment for my lips and inside my nose year-round!
HOT TIP: the tub of this ointment is massive! I buy one and split it into tiny jars (like an old baby food jar) and keep one by my bed, one in my toiletry bag, and one in the kid’s room
SHAMPOO: I am very picky when it comes to shampoo. I have tried so many and when I don’t like one Nate gets to use if for the next 3 months (ha!). I am not picky about conditioner (I just use it on the bottom inch of my hair). I like my hair to feel squeaky clean and can’t stand it when I feel like I just can’t wash the shampoo out of my hair. Gives me the heeby jeebies! While most Shea Moisture shampoos are not ideal for my hair, I swear by their Clarifying Shampoo. Leaves me so squeaky clean! I also love the Beautycounter Daily Shampoo. I alternate between these two. I am currently using a Shea Moisture conditioner that is great, but again, I don’t stress a ton over conditioners.
DEODORANT can be a hard one! I want so badly to use natural stuff but have yet to find the holy grail. Trust me, I have tried a TON of them. I am going to try Primally Pure next, and have heard great things about it. Here’s to hoping!
Schmidt’s Naturals deodorant for sensitive skin: this is what I have been using for quite some time now and I thoroughly enjoy the smell! And since it is sensitive it really doesn’t bother my armpits at all (no excruciating post-shave burn!). My biggest negative for this one is that it can really damage my clothing. The deodorant tends to rub off into the armpits of my clothes and discolor them. That is a large reason why, in times when I really need a good “no smell, no sweat” option, or am wearing something nice I don’t want to dare risk ruining, I go for Dove men’s antiperspirant in clean comfort scent. I love the very subtle smell and it works really, really well.
TOOTHPASTE: we opt for natural, fluoride-free options. usually, we pick what is on sale. My two favorites are Tom’s toothpaste and Jason powersmile in peppermint (it is very strong!) I also swear by flossing! Turns out the dentist was right; it really does matter. Not all are created equal and I love how gentle Oral-B Glide Floss is on my gums.
BODY WASH: I don’t give a lot of time or stress to body washes, and actually prefer a bar soap. My favorite is Schmidt’s ylang-ylang and calendula. I just love the smell! I try and get it when it’s on sale. We also alternate between a ton of different ones by Shea Moisture. I will say, if you have never tried a loofa that holds your soap bar, you are missing out!
BLEMISHES: my favorite options to roll on a blemish are Burt’s Bees Blemish Stick and Countercontrol SOS Acne Spot treatment. I actually prefer the Burt’s Bees because I can immediately feel the tingle of it working. Instant gratification!
MASKS: I love a good face mask! There really is nothing like taking a hot shower then putting on your coziest robe and a face mask to unwind after a long day. Below are two of my favorites. In the summer especially, I use the Aztec clay mask once a week. Oh my goodness I have tried so many masks and truly NONE compare! It the BEST. And so inexpensive and lasts a lifetime. I am talking a solid year. The magic is in using apple cider vinegar as the liquid. Trust me. Don’t use water. And apply with a brush. If this all sounds a bit too complicated then spend the extra $10 and buy the kit that has everything you need included. It’s so worth it and even buying the kit it’s still 1/3 of what most masks cost!
Shutthekaleup x Cocokind sea kale clay mask (if not using the aztec clay mask): this is the other mask I have been using and really enjoy it in the winter when I want a much milder mask. It is hydrating and smells like Earl Grey tea! There is no burning or tingling with this mask. It is actually very enjoyable!
*I am linking the below to target because the prices on Amazon were outrageous (no clue why) and also you can likely find them at your local Target!
Shea Moisture baby wash (Love the smell. So gentle and hydrating! Amazing price point.)
For spray detangler, I swear by this one by Shea Moisture. Smells so good and works like a dream.
Shea Moisture baby lotion (I love the coconut one the best)
Shea Moisture baby eczema bar soap (another wonderful option!)
Burt’s Bees multi-purpose ointment (we love this for chapped lips and noses)
Boudreaux Butt Paste (the absolute best in my opinion)
Beautycounter Baby Daily Protective Balm: I love to rub this on rough patches of skin or any areas that just need a little extra love
I think that’s everything! I will be sure to update this if anything changes. Thank you so much for reading!