During my pregnancy, I started researching cruelty-free products for newborn care. I read various blogs, online reviews, even got a few sample products. It initially came about because I wanted to feel confident about anything I was putting on my baby's body. The first company I discovered during this search was Babo Botanicals, which I wrote a review last summer on. Adeline and I are both regular users of their shampoo/body wash and conditioner. Amidst my in-depth research, I discovered a lot of affordable products that were both cruelty-free and made of quality ingredients I could actually pronounce. Here are some more of the reasons we've made the switch, and you might want to as well. Over the past six months I gradually transitioned to almost 100% organic, cruelty-free products (each time I ran out of a product, I replaced it) and thought you all might enjoy hearing about my day-to-day routine.
Before I jump into it, two quick disclosures. 1) I am NOT a skincare professional, so please do your own research and check with a professional before switching to anything new. Keith treated me to a facial last week (one of my Christmas gifts) and the esthetician said my face was in great condition, so seems like I've found a good process for me, but keep in mind there are different skin types. 2) This is 100% my personal opinion. I was not given any of these products for free or asked to promote.
Daily Facial Care
I started using anti-wrinkle creams both morning and night when I was about sixteen. My grandmother regularly reminded me growing up about caring for your skin through the use of sunscreen, moisturizers, and skin protection (big hats and sunglasses!). I listened well and used the same product for fifteen years, but it not only wasn't cruelty-free, I also had no idea what the majority of the ingredients were. Here's a rundown of what my morning routine looks like now:
- Wash face and neck with Dr. Bronners Tea Tree bar soap and water. Dry skin.
- Apply 3 drops of Teddie Organics Rosehip Oil to face and neck (drop in palm, massage into hands to warm and gently rub into face and neck).
- Squeeze dime-size of Juice Beauty SPF 30 Tinted Mineral Moisturizer into palm and gently massage into face, neck and top of hands.
That's it! I'm pretty low-key on my daily routine, and unless I've got special plans, I really don't even use makeup on top of the tinted moisturizer. I do have some cruelty-free makeup info too though, so stay tuned for that. Below is a makeup-free photo for an idea of how I look daily (sans the ice cream - I don't have that daily!). If I'm exercising outside, I first apply Babo Botanicals Sport Sunstick to any exposed parts before going outside. Once back inside, I shower and then do the above routine.
Here's a quick rundown of what my evening routine looks like:
- Wash face and neck with Amara Organics Vitamin C Facial Cleanser. Dry face.
- Twice a week I add 1/2 a tsp of ISUN Phyto-Enzyme Exfoliant to the cleanser, gently massage into my face and neck, then wash and pat dry.
- Apply 3 drops of Teddie Organics Rosehip Oil to face and neck (repeat step from morning).
- Squeeze one pump of Amara Organics Advanced Age-Defying Moisturizer into palm and gently massage into face, neck and top of hands.
Bonus fun tip: I read recently that honey is great to use on in-progress pimples (not just teen problem sadly). I have now tried it twice in the past few months and it totally worked! Dab honey on the affected area after your nighttime ritual. There was a slight tingling as it went to work and by the next morning, both times, they were significantly less red and gone within two days. As I mentioned at the beginning of my post though, please research any products and remedies before using yourself.
Special Occasion Facial Regime (ie mascara time!)
I know a lot of women may think I'm nuts for not wearing mascara every single day, but firstly I was blessed with very dark lashes and secondly, I'm lazy. :-) I can't possibly remember to wash off mascara every night along with remembering to take out my contacts, so please excuse my tired eyes. Again, because I'm pretty low-key and like a very natural look even when "done up", I haven't tried a ton of cruelty-free makeup products, but I will say of the few products I have tried, I LOVE 100% Pure. I totally assumed when switching to cruelty-free products that they probably wouldn't be as effective. Silly perhaps, but that was just my assumption. Plus $25 for mascara that makes my lashes look insanely amazing, has not been tested on animals, is made of all-natural ingredients I can pronounce, and (strange but true) has a nice smell, sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me! Again, they totally didn't pay me. I just really love their mascara. On that note, here are the makeup go-to products I use from 100% Pure. I apply these after my morning ritual for special outings or events.
- Fruit-Pigmented Ultra Lengthening Mascara in Black Tea
- Brow Kit with Brush and Long Last Brows Gel (I'm currently obsessed with thick, natural brows thanks to The Good Wife that I binged on last year!)
- Creamy Long-Last Liner in Dark Cacao
- Fruit Pigmented Foundation Powder in White Peach
I am clearly no makeup guru and will never post how-to guides on social media, but here's a photo of me (far right) from a family Christmas shoot all "done up" with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, niece and daughter. Pretty intense brows, eh? :-)
I already linked my previous review on Babo Botanicals from last summer, but just for a full-body recap, I shower using their shampoo/body wash in my hair and as my shaving gel (works great for my sensitive legs!), their conditioner, plus their lavender lotion after every shower and each evening. I also have used Tom's of Maine Original Care Deodorant, Fluoride Free Toothpaste and Mouthwash for years and continue to very happily. I haven't found a cruelty-free hair product yet to replace mine, but I'm starting to research Paul Mitchell's products now. If you have any favorites, please share in the comments! Lastly and most importantly, the main part of my daily beauty routine is water. I drink at least 64 oz a day, and on days when I exercise more vigorously, I make sure to drink a little more on top of that.
I tried to figure out a price breakdown for each section, but since some things I have to purchase each month (like the bar soap) and most last me many months in a row, the math was getting way too complicated for me. So instead, I'll just let you know that if you were to purchase all the facial products I use daily that would cost about $90 2-3 times a year (plus $4 every other month or so for the Tea Tree bar soap and $40 once a year for the exfoliant). And if you were to purchase all the makeup I listed, that would cost an additional $135 once or twice a year depending on your usage. I completely understand that the makeup might be double what you currently spend depending on the company, so here's a super thorough list, broken down by type and affordability, of all the high-quality, cruelty-free makeup lines out there.
I'd love to hear your thoughts, feedback, questions, your own favorite brands, etc. Also, please let me know if you'd like to continue to see posts like this from time to time. Next post, I'll be sharing all about the 10 silliest things I did in my first year of parenting.