Hi there! So after three years of testing, trying, and swapping out for non-toxic beauty products, I decided it was a good time to pull together a GIANT list of favorites for you! This post is going to be A LOT of products. I don’t use all of these every day. But I do love to swap back and forth a lot with my products (it makes my skin happy to switch it up!) and these are all the products that I have rebought, I would rebuy OR I find myself continually recommending to friends!
When I first dove into natural skincare and beauty, I tried so many products that I didn’t love. A lot of them just didn’t perform as well as conventional, had ugly packaging or didn’t smell nice. Everything I am sharing today is a winner in my book and something I am proud to personally recommend. I want people jumping into natural beauty to have a good starting point with products that are exciting to try! I hope you enjoy this.
I am big on oil cleansing. There are two reasons I love oil cleansers. One is that you never need makeup remover again because it gets all the makeup (even eyeliner and mascara) off very well. The second reason is that it moisturizes and balances my skin. I have met so many people with both oily or dry skin who swear by oil cleansing. If you have never tried it, I highly recommend it. But I will add a water-based cleanser here too for any of you (crazy people) who don’t want to open your hearts to oil cleansing.
Leahlani Tropical Enzyme Cleansing Oil
This product is on my “hell yes” list. It’s the best smelling skincare product you will ever buy. It kind of smells like a creamsicle … a creamsicle from Hawaii. My skin always feels super refreshed. I use it to take my makeup off every night.
One Love Botanics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil
My other favorite cleansing oil. This is best if you have dry skin. It smells incredible as well.
Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash
For those of you who refuse to try an oil cleanser, here is an option for you! It’s foamy and a little tingly!
I am SUPER passionate about my masks. I do about three a week, usually at night while I read for 20-30 minutes before bed. I do notice a difference in my skin when I use them. And I use different masks for different skin concerns.
Leahlani Meli Glow
This is my current favorite mask because it is deeply hydrating and glowy skin is my number one goal. It smells like honey and strawberries. Raw honey is one of the best things for your skin—it contains all kinds of wonderful nutrients! This is a great anytime mask!
Herbivore Brighten Mask
I use this mask when my skin is feeling dull. It has a tingle and it’s important to use a mask brush and mix it up (shake it too) before putting it on because some of the ingredients tend to settle at the bottom of the jar. It will gently exfoliate and brighten my skin. I probably use it once a month or so, only when my skin is looking dull.
Tata Harper Clarifying Mask
The ultimate green mask. This one is a little more pricey, but great. It has micro crystals that provide a little more exfoliation. So, just like my brighten mask, I only use this one when my skin is in need of exfoliation.
One Love Organics Love & Charcoal
I had to include a charcoal mask! This is a great clarifying mask for anytime your skin is in need of a “deep clean” like after a trip or a long week of wearing too much makeup.
(and continuing with a few more masks!)
100% Pure Does It All Sheet Mask
I love 100% pure sheet masks. I also use their collagen boost mask quite a bit. Favorite sheet masks!
Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask
This is my number one favorite mask for two purposes: travel and sleep! It’s called jet lag mask because you can totally wear it during a long flight—it goes on like lotion and other than a slight glow doesn’t look like you are wearing a mask. I wear it all the time to sleep in and it’s amazing for waking up with super moisturized skin. The only thing I will say is that you do definitely need to rinse it off fully before applying makeup. I tried to wear makeup over it once and it made my makeup peel off—lol.
Honest Hazel Eye Masks
Great for giving a little boost of collagen to the under eye area. I always refrigerate mine because the cold helps to reduce puffiness as well!
I am pretty minimal with exfoliating because I read a while back that most people exfoliate way too much. But since I don’t make time to go get facials as much as I wish I did, I do think it is useful to do a little bit of chemical exfoliating (I almost never use physical exfoliants, just my personal preference) every once in a while.
Herbivore Prism Natural Fruit Acid Glow Potion
I LOVE this potion. I use 5-7 drops a few times per week in my night routine (after I cleanse, before I apply face oil). It’s my all-time favorite Herbivore product. The ingredients list is inspiring and it really performs!
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads
These are great as well and an easier format to travel with. These are useful to getting rid of dull skin and I would also use this just before the face oil or serum step at night. Both these products are good for sensitive skin.
Toners and Mists.
I tend to go a little crazy in this category because mists are my absolute favorite. I only started using them a few years ago, but now they are an important part of my beauty routine. I use them for my face, my body, when my skin looks dry, after applying an oil or serum and simply to help me wake up in the morning.
I will admit I have too many, but I do use them all and they’re typically on the less expensive end of beauty products, so maybe it’s not so bad to have a little collection?
True Botanicals Renew Nutrient Mist
The biggest thing I enjoy about True Botanicals is that their products smell very herbal (not too floral since many mists are rose water-based). I love this mist and it does last a long time.
Sailor Sea Mist Refreshing Toner
This is available at Target and such a great option for a great price. It smells like cucumbers and basil and I use it to mist my whole body (I know it sounds crazy, but try misting your legs next time you are wearing a dress. It actually makes a nice difference—I have pretty dry legs).
Leahlani Bohemian Ruby Balancing Toner
Specifically great for dry and sensitive skin. Each bottle has a purified rose quartz inside. I feel like there are two types of people—those who want a purified rose quartz piece in their beauty products, and those who are reading this sentence scratching their heads. LOL I have to say, I am a fangirl for this brand and love every single thing they put out, so I’ll take all the aloha magic there is!
Ere Perez Herbal Face Tonic
This one is really unique and lately I have found myself reaching for it over and over. It’s ideal for tired skin so maybe that is why— haha! I’m always game for a pick-me-up! You can also find this mist on Amazon here.
Oxalis Apocathary Mineral Mist
I fell in love with this New Orleans-based brand a few years ago and have been repurchasing it ever since. It’s one of my favorites!
OK, strap on your seat belts. Just like with all the other categories, you only need ONE … but I want to give you all my favorite options since they have different benefits, packaging, and pricing. Plus, I truly could not choose just one favorite face oil. I switch around all the time.
Asarai Vitamin Oil
Lately, I have been using this a lot and loving it! The line was developed by a Naturopath (I think the stories behind companies are so important and cool to learn about) and I love the bright yellow packaging. My skin drinks this oil up.
Leahlani Happy Hour Serum
Definitely a classic go-to! I love this oil. It doesn’t take much to cover my whole face before bedtime and it smells subtle and nice. It’s a good calming oil if you have inflamed skin or suffer from redness.
Elsie’s Face Oil
Here is the recipe. I wanted to show this DIY option because once you have a few basic supplies you can make your own face oils for very budget-friendly price and they are fun to mix!
RMS Beauty Oil
I love this oil because it smells so nice and contains marigold and turmeric (hence the pretty color). It’s a little more on the pricey end, but I have to recommend it because it’s so soothing and nice.
Meow Meow Tweet Juniper Carrot Seed Face Oil
If you are on a budget and looking for a quality face oil, look no further (well, honestly there are quite a few options in this post under $40). I love that this oil contains carrot seed oil, hemp oil and geranium. It’s a good one!
True Botanicals Renew Pure Radiance Oil
Love this oil. It has the longest ingredients list ever (in a good way) and is full of amazing oils meant to deliver benefits to the skin. I have used this one for a long time and can’t say enough good things about it. The only bad thing—the price tag, of course. True Botanicals is a bit more pricey in general than most of the other brands I love, but their ingredients lists are always excellent!
Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil
I am definitely obsessed with this oil and this brand. It’s great quality and I love that you can buy it at Sephora since it’s convenient (Sephora has some clean brands, but far from an extensive lineup). I love that this oil doesn’t have much fragrance—sometimes you don’t want that. It’s a great morning oil. I usually put on my face oil in the morning and then go let the dogs out or get a coffee to let it soak in about 10 minutes before I put on any makeup.
Osea Essential Hydrating Oil
This oil is amazing. I love that it comes in this smaller size because it can go in my purse and is great for travel. They also sell a one-ounce bottle as well if you don’t like the roller application (I personally love rollers!). This oil smells amazing to me, but I heard some of our customers say they didn’t love it. It’s funny how smells can be that way. I love it—it has chamomile, cedarwood, geranium and cardamom … so a lot going on, but that also means it’s crazy healthy for your skin because it’s filled with a diverse lineup of ingredients. I am a fan!
I get asked ALL the time what kind of natural fragrances I use. This is a complicated category because synthetic fragrances can be VERY toxic so it’s an important category to swap out (especially for people who spray fragrance directly on their skin!). But it’s nearly impossible to find truly natural fragrances that mimic synthetic. So, if you set out to replace a perfume you bought at the mall, the natural ones will smell very different to you at first.
That said, after you get used to natural scents instead of synthetic fragrance, your preferences may change. For example, I used to LOVE perfume and wear it almost every day. But now I can’t stand any kind of conventional perfume, candles, room sprays, or shampoos with fragrance. It all smells horrible to me.
Anyway! Here are a few of my favorites!
Moon Milk by Kani
Kani has a bunch of amazing products, but this moon milk body oil is my favorite scent EVER. The glitter is not obnoxious looking. I usually use just a little on my neck and arms and everyone asks me what I am wearing. It’s amazing!
Skylar Meadow Perfume
The closest thing to conventional perfume I have found. This fragrance is a safe, responsibly made lab-created formula. While it doesn’t fit into the “natural” fragrance category, it’s a great non-toxic option, especially for those with allergies who can’t use products made with essential oils.
Leahlani Bless Aromatherapy Essence
I love this scent and I love this packaging. It definitely does NOT smell like conventional perfume—it is in a completely different category but it is so nice. It smells like blue tansy and citrus.
Leahlani Perfume Oils
My favorite is Pua Lei and my second favorite is Mahana. Pua Lei is my everyday scent and I love that it comes as an oil that I feel safe putting on my skin. They smell like Hawaii.
Boosters + Eye Creams.
I go through phases where I go super simple and don’t use any of this stuff. And other phases where I want a lot of bells and whistles and add more and more. These are definitely add ons, not necessarily essentials, but they are still awesome and worth mentioning!
Ere Perez Quandong Green Booster Serum
Like a green smoothie for your face! I like to rub in a few drops after my face oil before bed.
Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel
Eye cream is big for me. Growing up, my eye circles were the first thing I was insecure about and tried to OVER correct with makeup. I was also terrified of acne, so I used a ton of really harsh products and I noticed fine lines around my eyes in my EARLY 20s. What’s crazy is that now that I am in my mid-30s and using completely different products, I am much less insecure about my eyes. I still have fine lines and eye circles, but using face oil and better makeup helped them to be much less noticeable. Now that I know what I am doing, the biggest advice I would give to someone in their 20s is to focus on the actual ingredients IN your products—not the claims the products make. You don’t need to spend a ton of money on “anti-aging” products—quality clean skincare is as “anti-aging” as it is going to get! And also drink more water!
Anyway, sorry for the tangent. This is another favorite I first learned about from our beauty box. It’s very light and I spread it all around my undereye and above my eye as well.
(I just realized I have three different eye creams here. You’ll have to forgive me for that, I am passionate about it!)
Frankincense Essential Oil
The holy grail essential oil. Frankincense is an amazing skincare oil. I often add just one drop to my face oil at night as a booster. I have seen a lot of benefits in my skin since switching to this more simplistic approach. If I had to give up all my skincare I could honestly be happy with just a quality face oil and a bottle of Frankincense.
100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream and 100% Pure Superfruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream
Love these both. They make a good AM and PM duo. The coffee bean cream is my longtime fave. It smells incredible and is helpful for puffy eyes and dark circles. The superfruit cream is more for lessening the appearance of wrinkles, so I like it as a night cream.
General rule: Whether you use a targeted eye cream or not, be sure to moisturize your eye area daily. It’s so delicate and can use all the love it can get!
Body Lotions and Oils.
Here are some great quality options for your body. My arms, legs, elbows and feet all get super dry, but for some reason it is more difficult for me to remember to moisturize daily. Keeping one of these beside my bed helps a lot!
Oy-l Body Butter (I like lavender)
This has a whipped texture that is so luxurious (I pretty much never use the word luxurious—lol— this is very serious!). It’s unbeatable and for sure my favorite lotion of all time!
So I was really drawn to the quirky packaging and low price tag. This drugstore beauty buy has a perfect ingredient list! It is rated a zero on the Think Dirty app. I originally got it for Nova because when we first got home from China she had very dry skin. It’s a great one to carry around in a diaper bag or travel with because it’s all-purpose, you can use it for pretty much anything!
The Seaweed Bath Co Detox Cream
I love how affordable this is and that you can pick it up at Target. I use this one quite a bit!
Because Nova has Albinism, her skin has no pigment, which also means she has no protection from the sun and needs to wear sunscreen on every part of her body that is exposed to the sun. So we go through A LOT of sunscreen in our home (we average about one bottle per week lately!). Of course, most people don’t need to wear sunscreen on this level, but most of us need to be more careful, especially when spending extended periods of time in the sun. Sunburns cause damage to your skin over time and none of us want that. So here are our go-to sunscreens and why we use each of them!
Without going on a huge rant, a lot of sunscreens (especially for kids) are very toxic. It is an important category to put effort into replacing with clean products.
Goddess Garden Sunscreen
Since we use so much sunscreen we decided to try the most affordable brand we could that still performs well (for us this means goes on smooth without an insane amount of white film and, obviously, that it works) and still meets our standards for clean ingredients.
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen
This is by far the best face sunscreen to apply. Because it is a clear gel it is really smooth to put on and doesn’t leave any white film. It’s just an all around really great face sunscreen.
Coola Scalp & Hair Mist
This is important because most people don’t put any sunscreen on the top of their heads, but most people’s scalps are still somewhat exposed, so it’s an easy place to miss (just like the tops of the ears). I like this product because it goes on quick and easy and isn’t aerosol (I try not to buy any aerosol suncreen).
Supergoop Setting Powder (SPF 45)
This is awesome! I use it as my setting powder and I got the lightest color to use as a touch up sunscreen for Nova when we are out.
Coola is pretty much my go-to. I stock up often and they have a lot of travel sizes, which are so helpful for us (for both actual airplane travel and always having sunscreen in my purse or diaper bag when we are out).
I am still searching for a shampoo and conditioner. For Nova, I use Honest. For me, I have tried probably 10 different brands and it has been by FAR the most difficult category for me to find a go-to. If you have suggestions, I would love to hear them!
That said, I do still have some clean hair products that I use regularly.
Shea Moisture Hold & Shine Moisture Mist
My go-to foreverrrrrr. I’ve been using this for more than five years now. My hair routine is pretty minimal, but my ends get dry from heat styling, so I like to use this shine spray on them.
Honest Beauty Sea Salt Spray
For the summer months, I have been letting my hair air dry almost every time, and I love this spray. It smells so good!
Shea Moisture Leave-In Treatment
I use this before I heat style and after every time I wash.
And one more RANDOM thing.
Self tanner. I recently tried this self tanner and it is the cleanest scoring self tanner I have EVER seen (almost everything has fragrance in it) and it works VERY well. I think I can finally give up my expensive spray tan habit (or at least minimize it). I am so excited!!! If you have never self tanned at home, use the mitt … it makes a HUGE difference and spend extra time rubbing it in.
OK … I think that is all! This post took me almost a whole day to write—haha—so I hope it helps some of you on your journeys to cleaner skincare! I will have a makeup companion post coming for you soon! xx – Elsie