Hi everyone! I’m Shenae and my journey with cleaner beauty products started a couple of years ago when I fell pregnant with my daughter, Bowie. One of the fun facts most women don’t realize until they’re “with child” is that you have to be mindful of what you put on your skin. Certain products and ingredients can increase toxicity in your body and be harmful to your baby. Don’t ask me how I missed the memo but up until this point, it’d never really occurred to me that what we put on top of our skin is absorbed into our bodies.
I was thrilled to finally go back to my old products and combat my pregnancy skin issues postpartum but once my baby was born, I realized I wasn’t in the clear. I spent my days and nights up close and personal with this brand new, ultra-delicate human, so surely whatever skincare products I used on my face and body would likely end up skin to skin or even skin to mouth with her.
Now, it’s easy to say “I prefer the all-natural route” when you’re skin is naturally in a good place, but I’ve struggled with relatively bad skin my whole life and postpartum?! Forget about it. My complexion and skin texture reached whole new levels of problematic. Pregnancy for me was like puberty on steroids, to say the least. I suddenly had skin issues like acne on my face and body, dermatitis, rosacea, and melasma—to name a few. Oof. I always associated clean beauty with ineffective beauty. I thought of it as some hippy-dippy trend that involved ingredients likely found in my kitchen cabinets that surely wouldn’t help a sister out. Fortunately for my face and confidence, I was wrong!
Clean beauty can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. So, to start, I’d recommend exploring the more commonly used ingredients and formulation practices, plus their potential effects on humans and the environment. From there, you can rule out what you do and don’t qualify as “clean” to you. Read the labels on the products you already own and love and see what no longer meets the criteria. When first seeking new products to fill the voids in my skincare routine, I started by scouring Sephora’s “clean at Sephora” tagged products and went from there! Products that receive this certification by Sephora get a green leaf beside their photo and are verified as being formulated without over 50 ingredients potentially harmful/toxic ingredients that are commonly found in beauty products. You can find the full list here.
I always recommend testing new products to anyone, especially if you have sensitive skin like me. Just because a product is “clean” doesn’t mean it’s inactive or that it’ll even work well with your skin.
I’m going to be straight up with you, some of these clean skincare products can run up a heftier bill than normal due to ingredients and packaging being sustainably sourced. However, if the effects of cleaner beauty on yourself, the environment, and as in my case, your little one are a priority for you, you can feel good about spending the extra dollars. I’ve actually found some great clean alternatives for my skincare steps that are more affordable than the ones I used previously, so I’d look into several options if you’re on a tighter budget. New clean beauty brands are emerging every day so affordable options are out there!
My favorites for my daytime & evening routines:
- Saturday Skin Pore Clarifying Toner
- Origins Super Spot Remover
- Herbivore Emerald Oil (my desert island product!)
- Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm
- Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Micellar Water
- Youth To The People Exfoliating Enzyme Mask
- Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask
- Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops
- Ole Henricksen Banana Bright Eye Creme
- Youth To The People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream
- The Inkey List Snow Mushroom Hydrating Gel Moisturizer
- Supergoop! CC Cream Daily Correct Broad Spectrum SPF 35
- Goop G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo
- Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Shampoo
- Briogeo Farewell Frizz Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioner
All of the products listed above have served me and my scalp, skin, and hair well for years. They are both clean and effective and I feel great knowing that I’m keeping potentially toxic ingredients out of my body and off of my little one’s skin. We snuggle a lot and if I can help it, that isn’t changing any time soon! I think it’s safe to say my clean beauty criteria won’t be either.
Watch my skincare routine below!
THE FRENSHE FIVE
What’s something toxic you’re trying to get rid of in your life? Self-doubt. Exploring self-discovery, practicing positive affirmations, and surrounding myself with people who support me professionally and personally has made incredible progress in ridding myself of the self-doubt that’s paralyzed me with anxiety over the years. It’s still a work in progress!
How do you keep yourself balanced? Mental health practices like journaling, reading, therapy, working out. A little me time goes a long way!
One health or beauty trend you’ll never do again? Tanning beds. I used to use them religiously. Like an embarrassing amount. Horrified by the sun damage I caused myself in my younger years. Paying for it now!
Top 3 favorite skin products? Herbivore emerald oil, Briogeo charcoal shampoo, IT Cosmetics bye bye redness color correcting cream.
Quote you live by? “Where is your will to be weird?”- Jim Morrison & “You will be too much for some people. Those aren’t your people.”-Unknown origin