I am beginning to believe the phrase “simplicity is key” applies to everything.
I’ve always liked being aware of what I put in my body, and only recently have I started to care about what I’m putting on it. For a long time, I felt skincare was synonymous with fighting zits. Since I never experienced acne or oily skin, skincare was always an afterthought for me. This is unfortunate, because I’ve had really dry skin since I can remember.
After moving to the east coast, accepting it was no longer an option. My skin went from dry and flaky, to actually cracking and feeling physically uncomfortable. As I began to show my skin a little TLC, it transformed and my mind was blown.
Prior to writing this post, I decided to try some of the most raved-about hydrating skincare products. That didn’t work out so well for my skin, so this list mostly consists of simple things I’ve been using for a long time. Ingredients can get tricky, but when it comes to choosing products, I feel more comfortable keeping unknown ingredients to a minimum.
For me, the most important part of a skincare routine is actually having a skincare routine – something I never had before. Here are four staple products in mine.
1. Toner, S.W. Basics
I didn’t even know what a toner was until I stumbled upon a free sample from S.W. Basics, a skincare company creating organic all-natural products that contain five ingredients or less. This toner consists of water, apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, clary sage essential oil and sandalwood essential oil. After finishing my free sample years ago, I continue to purchase this product, because I love the way it makes my face look and feel. I apply it with a cotton ball right after washing and exfoliating. It shrinks my pores, while evening out my skin’s color and texture. What more could you ask for in a product that only has five ingredients?
2. Aloe Vera Gel, Seven Minerals
When I tell you this is the best product I’ve ever used on my face, I’m not exaggerating. I stole this from my boyfriend’s skincare regimen and have not looked back. This is my all-time favorite hydrating skincare product for my face. It also contains minimal ingredients including: organic aloe vera, seaweed extract and vitamin C. I rub this into my skin right after applying toner, and when I use it, it feels like my skin is literally drinking. With no fragrance added, it’s light, breathable and leaves no residue.
3. Virgin Coconut Oil, Prasada
Coconut oil grew its hype years ago, and this is why it’s the product I’ve used for the longest. For me, coconut oil is like the kitchen asset you always have on hand – like bread, butter and water. This is because it has so many uses. It has become my ultimate makeup remover and all-around, multi-purpose product. I apply it before washing my face to remove makeup, and I apply a very thin layer of it after using aloe vera gel. When it comes to purchasing virgin coconut oils, be mindful of the quality, as there are many refined versions that have been stripped of their beneficial nutrients.
4. Body Butter, For Your Self Care
This product has changed the way I feel about my skin. After a week of using it, my entire body was glowing. This all-natural, handmade body butter includes favorites like mango butter, shea butter and grapeseed oil. I apply a small amount to my entire body after applying lotion. It works all day, bringing out the best colors and textures of my skin. This stuff keeps my skin ultra smooth for several hours – I’m talking 12-24 hours. I remember applying it after my morning shower, coming home from work and changing my clothes to notice that my legs looked different. Hours after application my legs were so moisturized, that every inch of melanin in my skin was GLOWING.