John and I used to just buy products, including food, because they were on sale, we ate out at chain restaurants just because it was “Tuesday wing night,” and we did late night college-style runs to Sonic for candy filled shakes and cheese smothered tater tots just because we saw a commercial for them on TV. We knew this wasn’t the healthiest (and we did eat a decent amount of healthy food at home), but we had just completed an ultramarathon with very little training and were still feeling young enough that we didn’t really have to pay that much attention to what we were consuming. We were more concerned with saving money and having a good time.
Then I got pregnant. There’s a long list of things you can’t use, and eat, when you’re pregnant. Goodbye sushi, goodbye unpasteurized cheese, and don’t forget to consult your doctor if you need a Tums or want to use your face wash. Having to check every label to see if it was suitable while pregnant or nursing was exhausting. And concerning. It was around this time that John and I went through our Organic Panic. We made a conscious effort–and believe me, it was an effort–to switch our food and our products to be sustainable, transparent and natural. And it wasn’t all about the food. I didn’t want to risk putting anything on my skin that could effect the baby, and I didn’t want to continue putting unknown or potentially harmful chemicals on my body after I had her.
Skincare is the most important part of my “beauty routine,” and the products I spend the most time researching and the most money on. They’re not miracles or botox, but it’s important that they’re effective. In the past two years I’ve settled into a skincare routine with a focus on anti-aging, detoxifying and combating my ‘problem skin,’ of which an official diagnosis in high school disqualified me from health insurance when I was 25 from the provider I had from birth. Seriously.
What I found most interesting is, that even with the hormones during pregnancy, my problem skin became less of a problem, the less and more natural the product I put on my face. These three products have become staples, making me less prone to breakouts despite the stress of being a mom and all the time I spend working out and forgetting to wash my face.
1. Zum Face Sugar Facial Scrub: I once spilled this all over my travel bag, and the whole trip I wondered why my toothbrush tasted funny. I was literally brushing my teeth with sugar. But that’s the great thing about this face wash, it’s an all natural blend of organic sugar and essential oils. The simple ingredients have a fresh, lemongrass smell (and taste!) and it exfoliates without the scratchy sandpaper feeling I found with other products.
USE: The package says good for daily use, but I use it every other day in the morning. I don’t want to over-exfoliate my skin, but I like how fresh my skin feels after scrubbing off a couple days worth of make-up and sweat.
COST: About $18 on Amazon
LASTS: 3-4 Months using every other day
4. Organic Moroccan Argan Oil: The best decision I’ve made for my skin besides sunscreen is starting anti-aging creams in my early 20’s. But not all of those creams were the best for my skin. Pure, organic, argon oil is simple and powerful. I’ve been using it for over a year and I see a huge difference in my complexion. My pores are tighter, my skin is smoother and it’s help reduce discoloration from scarring. It’s also not as greasy as I thought straight oil would be. It soaks in after only a few minutes and doesn’t leave a sticky residu like coconut oil. Aragan oil is multi-purpose and can be used for dry skin and to smooth fly-aways.
USE: 2x daily under make-up and at night
COST: About 18$ on Amazon
LASTS: 4 Months
3. Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Rosewater Mask: This mask is specifically for sensitive skin and I prefer it to the clay masks that dry and tighten your pores. Because I run outside, my face gets a lot of exposure to wind and cold–drying and chapping weather. This clear cream (bonus, or bummer, it won’t startle my husband!) is light and deeply moisturizing. The consistency and fruity undertones reminds me of whipped yogurt and it feels cool and rejuivenating.
USE: 3 times a week
Cost: $14.95 (available at Whole Foods)
Lasts: 6 Months