*Cleaning* Up My Skincare Routine

I have been actively trying to “clean” up my beauty routine by phasing out the toxins and harmful ingredients contained in my regime. I am very new to green beauty and skincare and have only recently become aware of a) how toxic so many ingredients are and b) how many companies greenwash their branding to make it appear like it is really good for you.

If you are trying to switch to a cleaner skincare routine, I would highly recommend downloading the app called “Think Dirty.” It has really been a helpful tool. You can scan or search products from your bathroom cabinet and it tells you on a scale of 1-10 how “dirty” your products are. The Canadian app helps users to identify and learn about potential risks such as links to breast cancer, hormone disruption, reproductive health, allergens and more.  There are a few Lush items in my current routine. After I had already purchased them, I scanned them on Think Dirty. Both of the products came up as a 9/10 on the dirty scale because they contain harmful ingredients like fragrance, a hormone disruptor and allergen.

I have acne-prone, combination skin that is currently getting quite dry as the weather gets colder. I know that my regime is not yet perfect, but I am hoping to move towards a completely non-toxic and environmentally-friendly routine in the future. I am going to try to use up all of the “bad” products that I have before replacing them because they are not causing any irritation to my skin at the moment, and it is wasteful to just throw it all out.

*Products that contain potentially harmful ingredients

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetBurt’s Bees Eye Makeup Remover Pads ($10)

99.5% Natural, Cruelty-Free 

I wear a lot of mascara and eyeliner, so it can be difficult to get it all off with just cleanser. These mini eye makeup remover pads are awesome because they are so gentle, but actually get everything off.

The best part: It doesn’t burn your eyes


Lush Herbalism ($17)

Vegan & Cruelty Free *

This face wash by Lush has a Play-Doh-like formula that you mix with a little bit of water until it turns into a paste.  This product has a strong smell that isn’t necessarily good or bad; however, the scent is created with artificial fragrances. This product will be replaced in my skincare routine when I run out.  

The best part: It feels like you are doing a mini mask


Dr. Roebuck’s Polish ($42)

BPA and Paraben Free, 100% Recyclable Packaging, CF

This product is unique because it is a mask and an exfoliator all in one. You only leave it on for a few minutes and then have to rinse it off, so I love to use it before getting in the shower. It contains oils like peppermint, grapefruit and macadamia, which leave your skin feeling soft and refreshed. I use this two or three times a week.

The best part: It smells incredible

 Lush Tea Tree Water ($11)

Vegan & Cruelty Free*

I was really drawn to this product because I love tea tree oil for my acne-prone skin. I just mist it over my skin and wait a few seconds for it to dry before continuing on in my skincare routine. Similarly to Herbalism, it contains high levels of fragrance. This product will be replaced in my skincare routine when I run out.  

The best part: It comes in a convenient spray bottle


The Ordinary Advanced Retinol 2% ($10) and “Buffet”($15)

Vegan & Cruelty-Free*

I love these serums, but they are both made of synthetic ingredients. I like using retinol in my skincare routine because it helps to unclog your pores and get rid of dead skin cells, which can be the of cause breakouts. I used it every other day as a part of my night routine. The “Buffet” serum is so hydrating, but doesn’t make your skin feel oily. I use it daily, both morning and night. I like to massage these products into my face and allow them to really soak in before applying cream. Serums by The Ordinary can be used in groups of three. I am currently on the fence about whether I want to exclude these from my skincare routine, as they make a huge difference for my acne and dry skin.

The best part: They target my specific issues: acne and dryness


Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Moisturizing Lotion ($25)

Cruelty-Free, Biodegradable packaging, 99% natural 

This cream comes in a glass pump bottle that is biodegradable. It is not the most hydrating cream in the world, but it helps to keep my oily skin matte throughout the day. Paring it with the “Buffet” serum helps to find the perfect balance of hydration that my skin needs. This product is made with  lemongrass, witch hazel and naturally-source salicyclic acid, which is great for my acne.

The best part: Creates a great base for makeup


Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetKat Burki Complete B Eye Crème Complex ($195)

Cruelty-Free, GMO Free, Made without parabens, fragrance, or sulfates

Okay, let’s just start out by addressing that I got this product for free and that is the only reason why I use an eye cream that is so ridiculously expensive. I wish that I could turn my nose up at it and say that it is overrated, but it is actually amazing (I mean…it should be considering the price tag). It is made without fillers like water, alcohol or dimethicone, meaning it is much more nutrient-dense than other products. It helps to hydrate and soothe the dry skin I get around my eyes in colder weather. A little bit goes a long way, which I am thankful for because there is a 0% chance I will be able to           repurchase it when I run out of it.

The best part: Soothes painful dryness around eyes


Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetDr. Roebuck’s Bondi Hydrating Mist ($29)

Naturally Scented, BPA & Paraben Free, CF

This hydrating spray has become my new go-to for prepping my skin and setting it after makeup. It is natural scented with coconut fragrance and feels really refreshing. It also transforms matte foundation and powder into a more life-like finish.

The best part: It makes your skin look like a dewy dream


Do you have a non-toxic beauty routine? Let me know your favourite products in the comment section! 

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  1. Great post!
    While i think that it is important to eliminate toxic chemicals from your skincare routine (ie. parabens, pthalates, synthetic fragrances, etc etc), I also think that your routine can be effectively maximized with specific chemicals such as retinol. There is AMPLE research that demonstrate the anti-aging properties that come from using prescription retinoids, to big brother to retinol (I have specifically read up on tretinoin). It increases the production of collagen and elastin and actively reduces hyper pigmentation, wrinkles and rough spots. It can irritate the skin, increase redness and sensitivity. So you should religiously apply sunscreen every day.
    Verdict: Don’t shy away from chemicals simply because they are not ‘natural’. Although there are toxic chemicals, keep in mind that there are power anti-aging chemicals too. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! Thank you for this ☺️ especially with the serums I don’t think I will be cutting them out. Things like fragrance however, which aren’t going to improve the way the product works, are not needed in my routine. There’s so much to learn, but it’s really exciting to start to test out healthier alternatives


  2. Similar to the comment above I wanted to chip in and say take anyone telling you about ‘toxic’ chemicals with a pinch of salt.
    I’m a chemist by trade and I get so cross about people equating chemical with ‘bad’ and natural with ‘good’. Even naturally derived products are chemicals and some natural things are really bad for us!
    However as you pointed out in your reply, things like fragrances aren’t contributing to the effectiveness of a product and they can be very irritating – especially if you have sensitive skin so it sounds like you’re making sensible moves.
    Interesting read.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much! It is certainly difficult to weed out what is B.S. and what to listen to – especially when coming from a background with limited knowledge about chemicals and the impact that they have on our health. There certainly is a lot of debate, but I think it’s about finding a happy medium


  3. This was a very great post with lots of useful information and product suggestions! I am currently in the process of cleaning up my beauty and skincare routine as well; Farmacy is one of my favorite brands 😊


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