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  • Writer's pictureAbby Leigh Curtis

Clean Beauty: Skincare

Brittany with her Beautycounter bag that reads "Beauty should be good for you"

Now that your hair care routine is clean and green, it’s time to talk about skincare. Don’t worry — we’ll get to makeup soon enough...but we believe that the best foundation is healthy, happy skin.

How can you achieve healthier skin? Start with clean, non-toxic, plant-derived skincare products — and ingredients that fight environmental pollution and impurities. Exposure to air pollutants has been associated with skin aging and inflammatory or allergic skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, or acne, while skin cancer is among the most serious effects.

So what are you waiting for? Clean up your skin routine! To help you get started, we’ve compiled our tried-and-true favorites right here for you.

Our favorite clean skincare products: face

Counter+ Charcoal Cleansing Bar

A Beautcounter Charcoal Cleansing bar, matte black in color with rounded corners

The highlights: Counter+ Charcoal Cleansing Bar is a daily-use cleanser formulated with Binchotan charcoal powder. It absorbs impurities without drying out your skin.

Pros: This bar is made with a palm-free soap base. Charcoal helps to reduce excess oil, sucks out impurities, tightens pores, and works for every skin type!

Cons: Bar soaps harbor more bacteria than cleansers in bottles. Make sure to keep your charcoal cleansing bar in a dish that allows the water to drain.

Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum

A glass bottle of Mad Hippie Vitamin A serum sitting on a dish with rolled oats

The highlights: Mad Hippie Vitamin A Serum is the ticket to fade discoloration and even out the texture of your skin.

Pros: Mad Hippie products are made without parabens, synthetic fragrance, dyes, petrochemicals, PEGs, SLS. Instead, they use ingredients skin loves—like HPR, a revolutionary new form of vitamin A that is bioavailable in its current state without the need of any inefficient metabolic steps (Retinol requires 2). It can dramatically reduce the appearance of wrinkles and discoloration.

Cons: Honestly, none that we could find...except that it eventually runs out.

Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil

A glass bottle of Indie Lee Squalane facial oil

The highlights: Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil is an intensive moisturizing oil made up of 100% Olive-derived Squalane. All plants and animals (humans, too!) produce squalene as a biochemical intermediate, but the amount made and retained decreases as you get older.

Pros: Squalane Oil boosts moisture retention and helps diminish the appearance of fine lines. To boot, Indie Lee always formulates their skincare products without 1,300+ banned ingredients, including parabens, mineral oil, sulfate-based detergents, synthetic fragrance, petroleum-based ingredients, phthalates, phenoxyethanol, formaldehyde, and GMO ingredients. It’s also cruelty-free!

Cons: Some people don’t enjoy the texture of facial oils, but Squalane is the one that just might change your mind.

Beautycounter Counter+ Overnight Resurfacing Peel

A small black bottle of Beautycounter resurfacing peel with a chrome colored pump

The highlights: Counter+ Overnight Resurfacing Peel is like a facelift in a bottle! This leave-on AHA/BHA peel improves skin texture and boosts clarity without irritating or drying effects.

Pros: The INGREDIENTS! The peel’s featured active ingredients are:

  • Glycolic Acid: improves skin texture, resurfaces, exfoliates

  • Lactic Acid: stimulates cell renewal promoting a smoother, radiant-looking complexion

  • Citric Acid: helps refine and renew skin

  • Arginine & Fatty Acids: aid in conditioning and moisturizing skin

Cons: Some reviewers have mentioned an unpleasant scent, but we figure it’s par for the course when it comes to peels — besides, we don’t want to slather our skin with fragrance!

Our favorite clean skincare products: aging skin

Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil

A powdery pink bottle of Beautycounter Lipid defense cleansing oil with a gold-tone pump

The highlights: Countertime Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil is inspired by Asian beauty rituals and features a Retinatural Complex with two plant-derived ingredients with proven benefits:

  • Bakuchiol delivers results comparable to retinol without harmful side effects like irritation and increased UV sensitivity.

  • Swiss Alpine rose protects against free radicals and UV damage and helps to restore your skin’s health, even in damaged areas.

Pros: Cleansing oils are super gentle, and not just for aging skin! This cleaning oil is a perfect first step for double cleansing. It takes care of washing away your makeup, perspiration, and any built-up impurities so that your second cleanser can do its job more effectively — whether you use an acne wash, soothing cleanser, or exfoliant.

Cons: Though reviewers (including us) agree this oil leaves no residue, some people don’t enjoy the feeling of an oil-based wash.

Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum

A powdery pink container of Beautycounter radiance serum with a gold-tone pump

The highlights: Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum is a rejuvenating treatment that visibly increases skin firmness and elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Pros: We love how smooth and bright our skin is after using this product. It also includes the Retinatural Complex, like the cleansing oil!

Cons: Some reviewers reported irritation; so if you have sensitive skin, be sure to do a patch test first!

Countertime Antioxidant Soft Cream

A powdery pink container of Beautycounter antioxidant cream with a gold-tone pump

The highlights: Countertime Antioxidant Soft Cream improves your skin’s barrier function and boosts hydration, which helps protect it from daily environmental stressors.

Pros: This cream is clinically proven to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, increase skin plumpness, increase skin’s luminosity and radiance, and improve your skin’s barrier function. Jackpot!

Cons: Some reviewers have complained about greasiness. This cream may not be the best option for oily skin types.

Our favorite clean skincare products: body

Truly Beauty Buns Of Glowry Butt Serum

A glass bottle of Truly Beauty Butt Serum, which is vibrant fuschia pink

The highlights: Truly Beauty Buns Of Glowry Butt Serum was created by physicians, microbiologists, and world-renowned chemists with a combination of organic, vegan ingredients. Its benefits include smoothing and tightening, but our favorite part is the gloooow. Everyone likes a glowing bum!

Pros: The ingredients have some impressive benefits:

  • Wheat protein helps fill in dips and hollowness

  • Watermelon extract helps fade discoloration

  • Apricot is rich in minerals, acids, phenolic compounds, and carbohydrates that offer tightening, nourishing, and moisturizing benefits

To boot, all Truly products come with a 30-day money-back guarantee!

Cons: The fragrance may be too much for some, but it makes us feel like a pitcher of watermelon margs. Yum!

Nécessaire's The Body Lotion

A white tube of Necessaire The Body Lotion

The highlights: The Body Lotion is a fragrance-free moisturizer that features a proprietary formula with both immediate and long-term skin benefits. It has three softening oils: Marula, Cacay, and Meadowfoam. It also has Niacinamide, which helps to restore and strengthen your skin’s surface.

Pros: Perfect for sensitive skin. With continued use, you can bank on the improvement of your skin’s texture and firmness.

Cons: If you like a stronger fragrance to your body lotion, this one might not be for you.

Schmidt’s Deodorant for Sensitive Skin

A stick of Schmidt's Sensitive Skin Deoderant, which is white with pink and black text and graphics

The highlights: Traditional antiperspirants are loaded with aluminum (yep, the metal!). Aluminum compounds are added to antiperspirants to stop your body from sweating by essentially blocking your sweat glands. Other common antiperspirant ingredients include propylene glycol, TEA, DEA, talc, and sneaky fragrances. There are thousands of ingredients that can be classified under the word “fragrance”: petroleum, phthalates, solvents, stabilizers, dyes, and so on — all ingredients that have evidence linking them to cancer, allergies, reproductive toxicity, and skin sensitivities. Even seemingly harmless ingredients like baking soda can be too rough on sensitive skin. Schmidt’s Deodorant for Sensitive Skin has no aluminum or baking soda!

Pros: The active ingredients in this line include Jasmine Tea, Earl Grey, and Coconut Milk (yum!). If you’re into more masculine scents, Here + Now, a new Schmidt's line in partnership with Justin Beiber, has a mellow, woodsy scent. Though he might not look like he smells very pleasant, we can vouch for this deodes!

Cons: Natural deodorant is not an effective antiperspirant for some. If you haaaate the feeling of underarm wetness, this may not be for you — but we strongly recommend giving it a try!

Beautycounter Clean Deo

A hot pink container of Beautycounter Clean Deo, which is cylindrical and textured

The highlights: Beautycounter Clean Deo neutralizes odor and absorbs sweat to keep you feeling fresh without aluminum. It goes on smooth — without leaving residue — and smells like a bouquet of freshly cut roses! Non-GMO cornstarch and baking soda work together to help absorb wetness and help neutralize body odor.

Pros: We love the clean ingredients, like non-GMO cornstarch and baking soda, coconut oil, and shea butter. But the best part of Clean Deo? It comes in a refillable case! We love a waste-free package.

Cons: At $28 bucks a pop and $18 for a refill, it’s not cheap...but we think it’s worth it!

This is just the beginning...

Need more clean beauty product ideas? We love EWG's Skin Deep® database. Environmental Working Group launched Skin Deep® in 2004 to create online profiles for cosmetics and personal care products and their potential hazards and health concerns. Check them out!

Any other questions? email Brittany directly and ask away! And don’t forget, we have Beautycounter products available for purchase — shop online now!

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