Well, you’ve come to the right place. While I’m by no means a dermatologist, I have watched way too many Vogue “Get Ready for Bed with Me” and Skincare by Hyram Youtube videos. The skincare industry’s popularity has heightened dramatically over the past few years. The new fad is clean and vegan skincare, but remember, you don’t want to overdo your skincare.

Incorporating vegan products into your skincare routine has so many benefits. Not only is it less likely to irritate your skin due to the lessened possibility of chemical irritants, but it also is a great way to restore and strengthen your cells by combating free radicals. By treating your skin with antioxidants, you’re decreasing signs of aging. Yay you!! 

In my opinion, the ideal routine would go as follows:

The AM:

#1 Cleanse:

Sephora

You’re going to want to find a gentle everyday cleanser. I usually cleanse after I take a hot shower so my pores are already open and steamed. Always cleanse for a minute (don’t over-cleanse), and gently without tugging on your skin—rotate your hands in circular motions. If you want to go above and beyond, go vegan. My all-time favorite, holy grail cleanser that I use morning and night is the Youth to the People Super Foods Cleanser. It’s vegan, gel to foam, and FULL of antioxidants including kale, spinach, and green tea extracts. Not to mention the packaging is environmentally friendly and minimalistic. 

#2 Vitamin C will be your new best friend: 

The Strategist

Whether you have old acne scars that just won’t go away or just want your face to look brighter, Vitamin C will do the job. I can’t emphasize this enough—just use it. I prefer to use it in a serum form rather than added to a moisturizer because it’s usually more potent that way. Vitamin C comes in a variety of concentrations, so I would base what percentage you use on how sensitive your skin is. I’ve been using the same Vitamin C serum for the past two years. Although it’s not vegan, it is cruelty-free and clean! While the C-Firma Day Serum by Drunk Elephant seems a bit pricey, it’s worth it since it lasts you FOREVER (they also have it in a miniature size that comes with the B-Hydra Serum). It has 15% L-Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) and has Pumpkin Ferment Extract to help firm and brighten your skin. You’ll hear about Drunk Elephant repeatedly in this article. Seriously, Drunk Elephant if you for some reason end up reading this, sponsor me!

#3 Hydrating Serum:

Drunk Elephant

Hydrating serums are great. Why wouldn’t you use them? Don’t you want glowy skin? Hyaluronic acid is usually what people think of when they hear hydrating serums. While The Ordinary is infamous for its Hyaluronic acid + B5 serum, I’m here to rave about Drunk Elephant’s B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum. The two pumps you need to quench and illuminate your skin are loaded with Pineapple Ceramide, Hyaluronic Acid, and Pro-Vitamin B5. Pineapple Ceramide is a pineapple extract full of ceramides and phytol meant to brighten and moisturize your skin. In case you have no idea what ceramides or phytol are, ceramides are lipids—something your skin naturally produces—and phytol is a type of alcohol that is extracted from the chlorophyll in plants. Pro-Vitamin B5 is essential in keeping your skin hydrated, soft, and smooth. It hydrates by attracting and binding to water and moisture from the air and it seals cracks in your skin. 

#4 Moisturizer:

Drunk Elephant

Moisturize every day, twice a day. No excuses. What a great segue to talk more about what you’re probably done hearing about… Drunk Elephant! One of their most popular products, the Protini Polypeptide Cream has been a staple of mine since the beginning of high school. It’s a lightweight gel moisturizer that strengthens and moisturizes your skin without leaving it sticky or feeling heavy. It is also great for darker skin tones because it doesn’t leave a white cast. The cream has nine different signal peptides, amino acids, and pygmy waterlily. Signal peptides in skincare are used to make the skin appear firmer by stimulating cells to produce collagen, elastin, and proteins. Pygmy waterlily is a Godsend due to its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Now that you get what’s in it and why it’s amazing, let’s talk packaging. Once again, Drunk Elephant wins. Their packaging for this product is genius. Instead of having to dig your dirty, contaminated fingers in the product, they have a pushdown platform pump. It’s hard to explain so just look at the picture and you’ll understand the hype. 

#5 Eye Cream:

Cosmopolitan

You’re never too young to start using eye cream. You should tailor which eye cream you use based on your needs and concerns. I used to have major dark circles, but the Olehenriksen’s Banana Bright Eye Cream completely transformed my undereye bags. Its collagen boosted and has Vitamin C to plump and brighten your under bags. 

#6 Sunscreen: 

Supergoop

I cannot emphasize this enough. Please, please, please use sunscreen every day. Don’t want skin cancer? Use sunscreen. Don’t want wrinkles? Use sunscreen. Don’t want your acne to turn into dark spots? Use sunscreen. And use it religiously. I know that finding a good sunscreen can be hard, especially if you have darker skin like me. There’s always that super annoying white cast with most sunscreens I try. So, if you’re having the same problem as me, or if you just want a good vegan and coral reef-friendly sunscreen, I’ll let you in on my little secret. Gwyneth Paltrow is my little secret. Her skincare brand, goop, has formulated the ultimate sunscreen, the Unseen Sunscreen. It’s translucent, scent-free, and has a very pleasing velvety application and finish that acts as the perfect makeup primer. 

The PM:

#1 Cleanse:

You know what to do. But if you need a reminder, go back to #1 on the AM. 

#2 Acne Treatment:

Allure

I added this step because acne was something I used to struggle with a lot in high school and now it’s, unfortunately, popping back up thanks to my lovely masks. I’m sure some of you can relate. There are a bunch of different skincare ingredients that can help with acne- AHA/BHA, salicylic acid, retinol, and glycolic acid. I could list a bunch of different products in each of those categories but the filter icon on the Sephora app would probably do a better job than me. Instead, I’ll just give you what I’ve been using since the beginning of quarantine. Differin Gel. Differin Gel is an adapalene gel with a 0.1% concentration. Adapalene is a retinoid and vitamin A derivative. Finding a good acne treatment can be intimidating due to the infamous purging period. It must get much worse before it gets much better. That’s just the process.

#3 Facial Oil:

Urban Outfitters

You should try to incorporate facial oils in your skincare routine to achieve a healthy glow. I recently began to use facial oils at night and it’s a game-changer. At first, I was using the Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, but I found that although it left my skin feeling soft and hydrated, it was a bit heavy on my skin. Then, I switched to the Yellow Beauty Stay Gold Facial Elixir. It contains frankincense, lavender, jojoba, vitamin E, and pomegranate oil as well as turmeric. Your face loves turmeric. It’s anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial (helps fight acne), and has antioxidants. I absolutely love this product, it’s lightweight and soaks into my pores easily, leaving me with a velvety glow. 

#4 Night Cream:

Alpyn Beauty

I highly recommend using a different face at night than the one you use in the morning— more specifically, a night cream. Unlike daytime moisturizers which protect against air pollution and dryness, night creams usually center around the rejuvenation process. I highly recommend Alpyn Beauty’s Calming Midnight Mask. Although it’s an overnight mask it can also be used as a moisturizer. It’s clean, vegan, cruelty-free, and has environmentally friendly packaging. Not only is it hydrating, but it also combats aging, dryness, and loss of firmness. Its main ingredients, wild dandelion extract, melatonin, vitamin C, bakuchiol, hyaluronic acid, and squalene, will help brighten, smooth, firm, and calm your skin. 

Cover Photo: YouTube

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