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How-to Start Using Clean Beauty

Allow our resident beauty guru take you through her journey and give you some helpful tips on how to start yours


Illustration: Darcy Mae Modica

A few months ago, I barreled into this journey throwing caution to the wind and forever altering my mindset when it comes to clean beauty products. This is still an ongoing adventure I’m having, I don’t think I’ll ever stop trying new organic and natural skincare.

Let’s backtrack, so I’m not sure how much you’re going to know about organic skincare going into this so let me just breakdown what I mean by that. To me, organic means it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or toxins that can have lasting effects on your skin/hair/nails.

There are SO many alternatives that are better for you and work just as well as products that are weighed down by bad chemicals. It’s not by any means an easy switch and I’m talking from experience. When I first started it was really because I was upset at ingredient labels I couldn’t understand. I decided the best course of action was to rid my vanity of every bad product I owned… ALL AT ONCE.

I was just so swept up in this “omg organic skincare is gonna change my life blah blah blah” thing that I had going on in my head. I realize now I probably should’ve slowed down. That’s actually my first word of advice: Try one product at a time! Work your way through the stuff you own and replace them one at a time.

Going into this I wanted to basically revamp my whole skin care routine, but instead of trying little by little I switched immediately thinking my skin will bounce back like it’s nothing. HA! I have combo skin to begin with, my T-zone is relatively oily, some dry patches around my nose and on my chin, and mild acne. I don’t have a real problem with breakouts except for the occasional hormone burst because of my period.

I had a particularly bad breakout after my period recently and I didn’t understand why my go-to Aveeno cleanser wasn’t working? Was it the hormones? Was it what I was eating? So I did some research like the huge nerd I am. I came across this article from Allure magazine and it changed my perspective on using salicylic acid. This was of course a key ingredient in my Aveeno cleanser and what I believed to be helping my breakouts. The article just pointed out that my acne could also be caused by a yeast bacteria and that those types of exfoliants (salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide) can “hide the problem but it won’t treat it.”

This is where I started purchasing things (thank God for credit cards). Which is another piece of advice: Do your research! It’s clarifying and it helps you save money by not falling into the trap of buying the most expensive shit. Going organic doesn’t need to break the bank.

I started using the Acure Brilliantly Brightening Gel Cleanser at first but thought it wasn’t enough so I immediately switched again to the Nourish Organic Moisturizing Face Cleanser which made my skin more dry around my chin and nose and created a breakout. Then, I switched back to the Acure cleanser and have been using it ever since. I learned that it actually takes anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks for a product to start working on the skin.

I’m an impatient person at heart so I wanted immediate results but I had to learn the hard way that getting clear skin takes time and energy. It’s a process that can’t be rushed. Now, I take things day by day. As a small step before cleansing, I use a automatic cleansing brush much like the Clarisonic but a cheaper version. It helps a lot with softening my skin up before I do anything else and can act as a good exfoliator.

To “tone” my face (fancy way to phrase keeping the moisture in my face balanced) I switched from Mario Badescu Rose Water to Thayer’s Witch Hazel in Rose and it’s definitely the better choice. It’s helped keep the areas of my face that are super dry looking refreshed and as a plus it cleans off any makeup I might’ve missed when cleansing.

I like to keep my skincare routine simple. For moisturizer I’m using Weleda Skin Food. It’s thick, creamy, gives me a glowy finish and has helped clear up my dry patches pretty quickly. I’m probably gonna order a lifetime supply if I can get my hands on one!

Organic and clean beauty products are a big step as it is hard for a lot of us with potentially cystic acne or dermatitis. I always say if you can, ask a doctor. They can recommend whether you should be on something professional grade or not. As for the rest of us, I recommend organic beauty to everyone who can actively make the switch. It’s good for you, the earth, and the future.

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