My Clean Beauty Regimen

How insanely frustrating is it when you spend a fortune on new products… just to find that they don’t work? Aren’t your skin color? Leave your hair greasy? I’ve focused my efforts on finding “clean”, vegan beauty products for a few years now, and I’d love to share some of my favorite, effective products! Let me do the work for you… keep reading!

my clean beauty regimen

I have skin that isn’t excessively oily, dry, or sensitive, so I’ve never been too sure about which products I should buy. My skin is, however, acne-prone.

I struggled with bad acne from sixth grade through eighth grade. It wasn’t small breakouts, it was almost a rash across my forehead, with the breakouts happening on my nose and around my mouth. I tried doctor-prescribed pills, creams, and spot treatments. I changed up my diet. I worked out. Nothing seemed to work for me.

When I got my period at age 13, my doctor prescribed birth control to try to curb the acne. My mom and I were hesitant to have me start taking it so early in life, but once I began taking it, my acne cleared up in a matter of weeks. I’ve been on it ever since, and my acne has never been as bad as it was then. I still get breakouts and I have some acne scars, but it’s nothing like it used to be, and for that I am grateful.

So, when I search for products, I try to find products geared for use on acne-prone faces. A few other guidelines I use are as follows:

-cruelty-free (look for the bunny symbol!!!)

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-vegan (the difference between cruelty-free and vegan is that cruelty-free means the product was not tested on animals, and vegan means it contains no animal products.)

-no sulfates, other unnecessary chemicals, etc.

-a low score on the app “Think Dirty”. I first discovered this app when a girl I follow on Instagram posted about it, and I was intrigued. This app rates beauty products on a scale of 0-10 on their toxicity, carcinogenicity, and allergens. It doesn’t have every product in the world, but I now screen all my products on this app before buying.

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I’ve used Pacifica, Burt’s Bees, Say Yes to ___ (Tomatoes, Cucumbers, etc.), and plenty of other drugstore “clean” beauty brands, and they’ve all worked relatively well. I’ve never seen *incredible* results, but I’ve recently begun using some new products and I am really impressed! Most of these products can be found at drugstores or ordered online for very cheap.

Face wash:

I use Shea Moisture African Black Soap. I bought mine on Amazon, but it can also be purchased at retailers such as Target and Walmart. I use this bad boy twice a day, morning and night, and I use it before I use any other products. I also use it as body wash! I first learned about this product via a friend on Twitter. It smells amazing and is very inexpensive!

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The app rates each individual product based on the criteria the entire product is screened with.

Acne Spot Treatment:

I used to use a regular spot treatment from Target brand, but it’s full of nasty chemicals that harm our skin, so I did some research. I wanted something inexpensive and natural, and I discovered the miracle that is apple cider vinegar! I use organic apple cider vinegar from Aldi. This website recommends mixing 1 part apple cider vinegar with 3 parts water, but because my skin isn’t very sensitive, I just eyeball about 1:1. I just use my finger to dab it on my problem spots, wait about 30 seconds, and wash it off. I also do this regimen twice a day, and I’ve seen a difference in as little as four days.

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Toner:

After washing my face and using a spot treatment, I tone my face with Thayer’s witch hazel with rose petal. I also discovered this treatment via a Twitter friend. I ordered this on Amazon but I believe it is also in Target stores! I squeeze a few drops on a cotton ball or a sheet of toilet paper and dab it on my face. It smells so lovely.

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Moisturizer:

At night, I use Shea Moisture’s coconut oil moisturizer. I use just one pump for my entire face, focusing on my cheeks, mouth area, and nose area. It smells of coconuts and is so light!

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This product has not been rated yet on Think Dirty.

BB cream:

I did a lot of research before purchasing a BB cream. I wanted it to be travel size, provide good coverage, moisturize, and be cruelty-free and vegan. The ONLY product I could find with high reviews was The Body Shop Tea Tree BB Cream–and I LOVE it. It was a little bit expensive but it’s totally worth the price. It finishes with a powdery, solid look, and most days, this is the only face makeup I use. It smells like lemons, too!

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Shampoo & Conditioner:

I have used John Frieda’s shampoo and conditioner for redheads forever. However, while I find that it holds the red in my hair excellently, it doesn’t provide any volume and my hair is greasy after only a day or two, even with dry shampoo! They also both rate an ugly 9 on the Dirty Meter. I asked a couple coworkers for advice, and they recommended trying Lush bar shampoos and conditioners. That idea seemed genius to me, because it also minimizes the liquids I bring while traveling! In addition, I already know Lush to be a fantastic company and a friend to animals.

I went to the Lush store at the Mall of America and the saleslady recommended the Seanik bar for my thin, color-treated hair. I shit you not, I had people complimenting my hair left and right and I hadn’t even told anyone that I switched shampoos. I will never purchase another shampoo. It functions like a bar of soap, but you lather it into your hair. They are also kept in these handy little tins! (Also, they last for 60 washes!)

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For conditioner, I use the Big conditioner. I don’t have many opinions about this product, except that it smells great! I love that all of Lush’s products are cruelty-free and most are vegan. I lather this in my hands (takes a bit longer for this product to lather, however) and wring it into my ends, avoiding my roots like crazy because I know how heavy and greasy my hair gets with conditioner on the roots.

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These products have not been rated on Think Dirty.

Body Lotion:

I have been using Shea Moisture’s Coconut and Hibiscus Lotion for a couple years now, and I will never use another lotion. It keeps my skin SO soft and luscious. It can be purchased online or at typical drugstores.

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Deodorant:

For years, I used Secret’s prescription-strength deodorant. I don’t sweat a lot, but I noticed that when I did, prior to using the prescription-strength, I smelled like the drugstore deodorant I was using. I didn’t want to smell like deodorant! Using the prescription strength, I never sweat and I never smelled, but my armpits frequently stung, and I experienced a lot more razor burn. Basically, my body was rejecting the foreign, heavy chemicals I was lathering on my skin every day.

I wanted to find a more natural solution, but I was stuck. Did I want to be that vegan, with the rock deodorant that everyone knows doesn’t work except her?

I did some research. And what I eventually decided to do was stop wearing deodorant altogether for a few weeks, to detox my body from those harsh chemicals. I sweat. I smelled. I wore really thick clothes and heavy perfume to mask the scent. But after a while, I noticed something peculiar: I wasn’t sweating as much. I didn’t really smell. I’m not sure if this is a *thing* or not, but it happened to me.

I still wanted to have a deodorant as a fall-back, so I purchased Schmidt’s Rose and Vanilla Deodorant. I don’t wear it every day, and sometimes I’ll go a few days without deodorant at all. Sometimes on a day with heavy physical activity, I’ll put it on once or twice–with no stinging! I bought it at the Mississippi Market Co-op on West 7th in St. Paul, but it can also be found online here.

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And last but not least, toothpaste:

I was using Tom’s natural toothpaste, which I was happy with, but as it ran low and I looked for travel-friendly options, I came across Lush’s toothy tabs. These babies are weird, I’m not gonna lie. Basically, you pop a tab into your mouth, chew it, wet your toothbrush, and brush like usual. While you don’t get that minty-fresh feeling, I swear my teeth have never felt so extraordinarily clean. Fr. The saleslady explained that the Boom! Toothy Tabs were the most popular, because they contain whitening charcoal.

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This product has not yet been rated on Think Dirty.

What are your favorite natural, vegan, cruelty-free products? I’d love to continue to add to my routines! It takes a while to find a product I love, but it’s so exciting to find and adore new products. THANK YOU to all the companies out there who are transparent with their practices and ingredients. It makes a world of difference, and we are noticing!!

tess (1)

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