by Alexa Sandidge
Alexa is a structural engineer who enjoys design of all types. She spends her free time taking pictures of interesting geometric shapes she finds around her as well as researching skincare. She believes skincare should be natural, effective, and transparent. You can follow her Instagram.
I have always struggled with acne off and on growing up. I remember that during my early high school years I had really bad acne for about a year. This was before I did much in the way of skincare, but eventually by some miracle it went away. Fast forward ten years and my acne was back with a vengeance. I was distraught, and I had no idea what to do. About the time I got out of college I could afford to take better care of my skin and started investing into skincare. I got deep into the Asian beauty scene, and this helped my skin immensely. But, at the end of the day I still felt like I was having issues. It was around this time I decided to seek professional help.
I went to my doctor and we did a blood allergy test. It turned out that I had over 10 different allergies to foods, many of which are often found in skincare products! To name a few of them: dairy, gluten, vanilla, pineapple, soy, bananas, apples, and almonds. And in that moment I realized how so many of my skincare woes were due to my allergies. I think it is really important to get to know your body, and what it does and does not like.
Originally, I was not into really natural products because it seemed like there was not as much research or science to support it. But I had issues looking at ingredient lists and being able to tell if these unpronounceable names were potentially something to which I'd be sensitive. I noticed myself turning more and more to natural products that contained ingredients I knew and could trust. History has proved many of these natural ingredients to be effective, and I don’t have to Google half the ingredients to figure out what they are.
Currently, I am progressing more and more into the world of natural skincare. Hopefully it shows in my routine below:
First cleanse: I personally think a double cleanse in the morning is overkill for my skin, so I just start will an all-around great cleanser in the morning. I apply the Mun Akwi Purifying Cleanser to dry skin and massage it around to wake myself up and then rinse. In the evening I like to be more thorough and start with the Whamisa Organic Flowers Cleansing Oil. This is a great cleanser in my opinion because it contains a lot of healthy oils as rinses off easily.
Second cleanse: My two favorite foaming cleansers are the Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser, and the Verso Foaming Cleanser. I really like my cleanser to pack and extra punch by having powerful ingredients and added benefits. These are both gentle, but have skin loving ingredients!
Toner: This is my step where I really combat my acne if I am having issues. Exfoliating toners are my favorite and I am currently enjoying the Cosrx One Step Pimple Clear Pads to do some deep cleaning. These are borderline, as they are kind of outside my natural ingredient requirements. But they are so effective, and do not contain alcohol. If I need a just quick and easy tone, I spray Huxley Extract It Toner and pat it in. I decanted this into a spray bottle, and it is my #1 tip to help make your routine quick and easy.
Masks: I love clay masks, they help clean out unwanted nasties. Whenever I am feeling extra dirty I mix the MV Organics Purifying & Balancing Mineral Mask with a toner or essence and smear it all over. I can’t stand using tap water, and feel like using toner or essence gives me that extra boost for my mask.
Moisturizer: Oils are fantastic, but can only use them in the winter. Since it is summer I am using a lightweight moisturizer, Huxley Fresh and More Cream. It is made up of 56% Sahara Cactus Seed oil, which is naturally full of amino acids, ceramides, and antioxidants. All while being lightweight and non-comedogenic!
Serum: Vitamin C serums were probably the best thing I ever did for my skin. They help with so many different skin issues, from aging to hyperpigmentation. Currently I am using My Signature C Source by TIAM and Lumixilir Mabel + Meg Vitamin C Hyaluronic Acid Serum, which is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. It leaves no irritation, boosts moisture, and helps even skin tone. Need I say more?
Sunscreen: I have a love/hate relationship with sunscreen. Most of the natural sunscreens I have tried have been less than ideal. And when I do not love a product, I will not use it. I started ignoring sunscreen because I just hated wearing it. Finally I woke myself back up the the realization that this was awful and I went straight back into the search for sunscreen. I have not yet found a mineral sunscreen that I love, but in the meantime I have found the most un-sunscreen there is. The Make P:Rem Blue Ray Sun Gel feels like a super lightweight and clear moisturizer. And because the texture and lack of color don’t bother me, I actually use it everyday.
In addition to being super careful about reading product ingredients, I have also started incorporating a more healthy diet and supplements. By cutting out dairy, wheat, and coffee I have especially noticed a difference. Once a day I drink matcha, take my bucket of supplements, and drink tons of water. Whoever said you are what you eat, they weren’t kidding. And I think this is the same for what you put on your body.