My Clean & Budget-Friendly Skincare Routine

It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally managed to find a clean skincare routine that really works for me. Not only does it leave my skin feeling hydrated (I tend to be on the dry/flaky side), it’s also made up of products that are formulated with clean ingredients. 

Finding clean products and developing an actual skincare routine both became important to me around the same time. I was 24 and, having watched my Dad fall ill, I directed my focus toward a cleaner lifestyle. I became obsessed with “clean” everything: food, lotions, makeup, body wash, tupperware.. anything I could switch to a cleaner option, I was all for. 

Which leads me to my everyday, clean skincare routine:


I begin my day by splashing my face with water. I don’t use a face cleanser here because it dries out my skin more and seems kind of unnecessary.. I haven’t been wearing makeup or going out at night, so water does the trick. I dry off and follow up with these products, in this order:


To tone my skin I use Thayer’s Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Facial Toner. This step helps to balance the PH of the skin and tightens the pores to control oil and breakouts. I love that it’s alcohol-free, so it’s more gentle than regular toners. This brand is also cruelty-free and uses all vegan ingredients. 


This is a part of the routine that’s fun to mix up every now and then because there’s SO many serums out there to meet different needs for your skin. One of my favorite staples is a vitamin c serum, and I’ve been using the Doppeltree Vitamin C Serum for a couple years now. Not only does this serum have vitamin c, it’s also packed with 24k gold (for the antioxidants), hyaluronic acid and vitamin e to even skin tone and help with collagen production. It goes on smooth and absorbs quickly; plus it’s organic, cruelty-free and vegan. 


If you’ve got dry skin, this one is especially important. For day time, I use the DERMA-E Hydrating Day Cream with Hyaluronic Acid. This cream uses hyaluronic acid, vitamin e, green tea and jojoba oil to brighten and moisturize. It’s rich, but not too heavy, and won’t leave you super oily at the end of the day. It also wears super well under makeup and doesn’t pill at all when applying foundation/concealer. Not sure if you’ve ever experienced a moisturizer that does do this, but if not just know it’s REAL annoying and the fact that this one doesn’t is a huge plus. 


This step is essential to your routine and I’d argue you can never start too soon. Preventative care is so important, especially in the eye area. I use the DERMA-E Hydrating Eye Cream which uses hyaluronic acid, vitamin c and green tea to moisturize, protect against environment damage, reduce puffiness and keep signs of aging at bay. It’s made with clean ingredients and is vegan and cruelty-free. 


This step isn’t exactly necessary, but can really make a difference in your skin if it helps you wear makeup less often. I add this step to my routine sometimes every other day, sometimes once a week, just depending on how I’m feeling and what I have going on. I’ve been loving the Lux Unfiltered No. 12 Bronzing Face Drops. Before finding this product I had never used a face tanner before, so I can’t compare to others, but I can say that this one is amazing and that I don’t think I’ll ever stray from it. Not only is it buildable and applies easily, but it’s also made with clean ingredients, is fragrance- free AND cruelty-free and vegan. I can apply this without worrying about all the kinds of shit I might be putting in my body, like I normally would with a self-tanner, and that is the big selling point for me. Can’t say enough good things about this stuff!

So that’s it for daytime, here’s the nighttime skincare routine:


At this point I do actually use a face cleanser because I’ve most likely been wearing makeup, running around, going outside, etc. and my skin needs some help getting all the gunk off. I use the DERMA-E Ultra-Hydrating Alkaline Cloud Cleanser (can you tell I love this brand yet?). This stuff really works when it comes to removing makeup, dirt and oil while being sure not to strip the skin of its natural oils. It uses hyaluronic acid and snow mushroom extract to further moisturize as well, which is huge for anyone with dry skin. My makeup washes off easily and my skin is never left feeling all dry and irritated. And, as I’m sure you can guess, it’s non-toxic, vegan and cruelty-free. 


This step is the same as daytime.


As of right now, this step is the same as daytime, but I am in the market for something else to use at night. Will keep you updated on what I find! 


This step is especially important at night, as it’s an opportunity to really nourish and hydrate the skin. I use the DERMA-E Vitamin C Intense Night Cream. It uses vitamin c and rooibos (for their antioxidants) and probiotics, to restore and refresh your skin from daily harm. It’s incredibly moisturizing but soaks in well, is made with clean ingredients, and is vegan and cruelty-free. 


This step is same as daytime.


So this step is mostly just for those of you reading who also suffer from dry skin. This is a little trick I learned a few years ago that really changed the game for me: I literally smother my skin in a facial oil before bed after my usual skincare routine. It soaks in overnight and leaves my skin feeling SO hydrated and soft in the morning. My favorite is the Trader Joe’s 100% Organic Argan Oil. Not only is this product incredibly moisturizing, it also provides anti-aging effects. AND, on top of that, it’s actually affordable. I know some facial oils are marketed at ridiculous prices, so it was nice to find something reasonably priced that’s so accessible. You can buy it through Amazon, but it’s actually cheaper at Trader Joe’s. 

Weekly extras: 


At least once a week I’ll use a face mask to add a little TLC to my routine. The one I use really depends on how my skin is feeling. Usually I either use the Erno Laszlo Pore Cleansing Clay Mask or the Ordinary AHA/BHA Peeling Solution. Both of these are amazing, but if your skin is in major need of a cleansing exfoliation, I’d recommend going with the Ordinary Peeling Solution. Seriously this stuff is incredible and will leave your skin feeling softer than ever. 


After using the face mask, I’ll take my at home spa treatment a step further and use my Dermaflash Dermapore Pore Extractor. In extract mode, it uses ultrasonic waves and a stainless steel spatula to cleanse your pores. You can read my review/watch my tutorial for more details and instructions for use.

And that’s it! My daily (clean) skincare routine. I’ve been using this exact system (aside from the Dermapore) for almost a couple of years now and have seen noticeable improvement in my skins texture and appearance. And now that I’ve added my Dermpore to the mix, I’ve noticed my pores have shrunk significantly and I’ve had less and less breakouts. 

I’m really proud of how far my skin and my skincare routine have come, and I’m excited to be able to share it with you all! It’s affordable, realistic for daily use and CLEAN (aside from the Erno Laszlo face mask that does contain some dyes and fragrance). AND most importantly, these products are cruelty-free. 

I hope you get a chance to try some of these and that, if you do, you share your results with me. Would love to hear from you guys! Please share any other skincare tips, tricks and products you’re loving! 

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