I’ve never been big on skincare, not until I turned 22. Up until then I was big on foundation and powder to conceal my zits and took me a while to realize I was making it so much worse. A lovely aunt – who is a dermatologist – of mine got me into skincare, and after I got so many wonderful results from having a proper routine and treatment I was completely hooked.
When my complexion started to look so much brighter I also looked a look healthier and happier on the outside. For the first time, it was a treat to look myself in the mirror and I loved it. I had used so many different brands and products since then, and only recently I started to worry a lot more about what I put on my skin. So I slowly switched to a more natural approach to skincare (and lifestyle) to give my skin a little break and to stay away potentially harmful from chemicals. But very slowly because suddenly buying a lot of products after you have an epiphany about harmful chemicals can break your wallet big time. I’ve been burned before.
I’ve somewhat got to a better skincare routine and it has been working really well for me lately and I hope it will keep improving in quality. I want to be more minimalistic about how many products I use and how much dough I’m willing to spend on each thing.
AESOP MANDARIN FACIAL CREAM
I use this cream at night, it smells like an orange treat and keeps your skin really soft. This cream is rich yet lightweight, it’s citrus oil-infused and works great for combination skin. I’ve been using this for this whole year and I still have some left. I bought it at Skin Cosmetics here in Amsterdam, you can also order it online.
This is my holy grail. I know you’re probably tired of hearing about coconut oil by now, but it’s all true. I use it for everything, I put it all over my body, my face and my hair. I use it on my face only when my skin is really dry or it needs to heal from something like a cut or a zit. If you use it on your face, make sure to get only a very small drop (very little) and work it on your skin until it’s all absorbed. It might seem like too little of a quantity, but if you use more then your skin might clog or become too oily. I also like to use it under my eyes.
DE TRAAY CAMOMILE DAY CREAM
I absolutely love this cream. I picked up from my local organic groceries shop (buy it online here) because I needed to replace a face cream that was giving me allergies. It’s very lightweight and runny so you don’t need to use a lot and it leaves your skin feeling soft and not oily. It also absorbs very quickly and is very gently on the skin. The key ingredients are a vanilla extract, organic sunflower and jojoba oil, calendula extract and vitamin E. All ingredients are organic and natural.
I use this oil to remove my make-up, it smells so great and it leaves my skin feeling extra soft. Any oil is great for removing make-up but this is the best smelling one in my opinion. It’s also packed with antioxidants, including skin-brightening vitamin C. It balances your skin, it’s great for wrinkle and scar reduction, and prevention of acne.
BENZOYL PEROXIDE HYDROGEL
This stuff is a life savior! If you also suffer from acne, you must know this product, and if you don’t, then I recommend you immediately run to the store to get it. If you have sensitive skin then you should probably do a patch test before running this thing all over your face. This is a rich gel-like cream that you put all over your face during difficult times (pms, stress, you name it) or just on those lonely zits, we get from time to time. It will act in the inflammation and it will resolve within a day or two depending on how bad it is. I use a layer on my face every day to avoid new zits and religiously day and night when I’m having those “difficult times”. Let it dry completely before applying anything else, and remember to use sunblock.
MARIO BADESCU BUFFERING LOTION & MARIO BADESCU DRYING LOTION
Aside from the Benzoyl peroxide, these are my second two life saviors. The Buffering Lotion is for those stubborn zits that won’t come out but won’t go away. They can get painful and it’s hard to get rid of them, and that’s where this little bottle comes to rescue. It’s a very runny liquid, and you can dab it on your zit with a clean finger or cotton swab. I recommend you use it at night before going to bed and not sleep on that side of your face. The Drying Lotion is for those crazy zits that do come out, and you just feel like smashing them – but you know you can’t or they will win. I just dab this product on it with a cotton swab and bye-bye zit. You can get these at the Cosmania store in Amsterdam or online.
DIY EYE CREAM
This eye cream consists of Vitamin E Gel and Coconut Oil. It’s homemade and works wonders under my eyes. It leaves my under eye area feeling very soft and healthy-looking and my make-up always apply very smoothly. You can make your own by following my tutorial here.
FIRST AID BEAUTY DETOX EYE ROLLER
When I bought this product I was a bit skeptical, I was only browsing when the saleswoman came to me with this product and explained what it did and I thought “Why not? I could use a little less puff”. You use this in the morning when you wake up with puffy eyes by rolling it on your under-eye area. Your skin will be a bit tingly at first and it might sting a bit, but it’s only temporary and after that, your puff is resolved! Works most of the time, unless your eyes are swollen shut. In which case you should probably see a doctor anyway.
COWSHED LIPPY COW
This lip balm is great for summer months, it’s not sticky and it glides on your lips very easily without having to squeeze out too much. It has no parabens, no petrochemicals, no sulfates, and no artificial colors. Some of the key ingredients are Linden Blossom Essential Oil, Rose Geranium Essential Oil, and Ylang Ylang Essential Oil. You can also get this lip balm at the Cosmania (love this place) store in Amsterdam or online here (worldwide delivery).
BURT’S BEES REPLENISHING LIP BALM WITH POMEGRANATE OIL
I love this brand and I’ve been using this lip balm as we transition to winter, it looks very pinkish but it won’t stain your lips. I’m not sure it leaves even the slightest color on your lips but I like to think it does a little bit. It’s very buttery-like and creamy, and won’t leave you with sticky lips. It is 100% natural and has Pomegranate fruit extract, which is highly antioxidant, protecting your hair and skin.
LUSH’S MASK OF MAGNAMINTY
I already talked about this face mask here before and how great it is, so it’s not a surprise that it shows up in my skincare routine. I use it about 3 times per week and it made a huge difference in my problem skin. I can’t live without it. Well, I could, but my face wouldn’t like it and I like to keep it friendly. (I’m so funny, I know)