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Confession: I didn't start washing my face at night until around a year or so ago. The truth is that I used to be TERRIBLE at taking care of my skin. I let the shower wash off any makeup in the morning and I used moisturizer simply because I didn't want my face to get dry. Now, I'm not a girl that wears a ton of makeup and thankfully I don't get acne a lot, so not washing my face was just something I did and got away with. Perhaps if I had had bad acne breakouts or reactions to makeup I would have paid more attention to our bodies number one organ (the skin!), but the honest truth is that floated through my non-face washing years blissfully ignorant.
I can't put my finger on the exact moment I had my wake up call and knew it was time to start treating my skin with the respect it deserves. It's always been something I've known that I should do, but as the first couple of years in my 30s went by I began to acknowledge that life was going to be much easier if I approached taking care of myself from a preventative standpoint, rather than a reactive "I wish I would have done this earlier" standpoint.
I say 'taking care of MYSELF' because really my journey to become healthy, which I'm most definitely still on, involves many aspects (skincare, makeup, household products, diet), but skincare was something I could start right away. And since I wasn't doing anything at all for my skin, I had a blank canvas to work on.
I knew that I wanted to make sure I bought good, non-toxic, all natural products. Many of the lifestyle bloggers I follow had educated me on the impact that using toxic products has on our bodies. We may not see the results of that on the outside all the time (and some unfortunate folks do), but the impact these products have on our insides can be devastating over time.
First up on my list was to buy a cleanser and charcoal face mask. Truthfully, the charcoal face mask isn't a necessity, but I'd seen a few bloggers use this mask and you can literally see the bad stuff being pulled from your pores. I was obsessed.
From there I incorporated body lotion, eye cream, and healthier moisturizers into my routine, and I was feeling great!
Then I went on vacation. And I'm not a checked bag type of girl. Less is more to me and I don't need 5 pairs of shoes for a two week vacation. And while I had this nice collection of non-toxic skincare products, they weren't carry-on-size friendly, so on my first trip I ditched them. Talk about a bad choice...
I missed washing my face with my products! I missed that clean and soft feeling I would get to let my skin just breath, and I knew that going forward I needed to have a skincare routine that I could adapt for when I travel. So I did the research and it was tremendously helpful to me for getting started, so I want to share my knowledge. Below are 3 of my favorite non-toxic skincare items that are perfect for travel:
ACURE is actually the brand of non-toxic shampoo and conditioner that I use on a regular basis, so although I wasn't familiar with their skincare products, I was already a fan of their brand.
Their travel size pack is available on Amazon (hello free 2-day shipping!) and is affordable, coming in at only $13.99 for shampoo, conditioner, facial scrub and day cream.
When I tried the ACURE travel pack it was no surprise to me that I loved their facial scrub and moisturizer. I use their volumizing shampoo and conditioner and my hair feels amazing after I wash it, so I was expecting my face to have the same results and I wasn't disappointed.
I became aware of Ora's Amazing Herbal from a blog I found that talked about non-toxic skincare brands and was happy to find that they had a travel size pack available on Amazon (again, that 2 day free shipping - I love it!).
Their products are free of parabans, synthetics, gluten, grains and fragrances, and even the box and tissue paper that is comes in is all recycled.
The travel package is $37.99, a little more pricy than the ACURE, however it comes with 6 different items, versus the four that come in ACURE, though not all are for skincare.
With Ora's travel kit you get the following:
- Lightweight Daily Nourish Facial Serum - At first I had a hard time with the concept of putting oil on my face, but after going through the same thought process with a cleansing balm from BeautyCounter (and loving it!) I decided to give it a try. At first it was a tiny bit strange not using traditional creams, but after putting it on the serum soaks into the skin, leaving it feeling soft and clean.
- Power Cleanse Face Mask & Scrub Powder - Yes, I said powder, which is definitely different than a gel or liquid facial scrub is usually common. Ora's powder base is organic plantain, frankincense (an all natural antiseptic and astringent), activated charcoal, and honey used to moisturize. You rub the powder on your face like you would a gel then wash it off. It takes a little getting used to, but did leave my face feeling nice and clean.
- Advanced Nightly Skin Repair Face Oil Serum - My description of this is the same for the daily facial serum.
- Ultra Healing Body Butter - Not a facial skincare product (but a nice bonus considering the price of this package!), this body butter is soft on the skin. I'm personally trying to use more lotions after the shower and before bed to keep my skin better hydrated, so receiving this was a welcome surprise.
- Body Powder - The body powder was a welcome surprise. They suggest using it after a shower, and keeping with the theme of using non-traditional solutions, it was a little strange not using a lotion. To be honest, the powder was a bit messy and I much prefer using a lotion, but the body powder does double as a deodorant which was useful but also effective.
- Minty Cocoa Botanical Lip Balm - I'm a lip balm addict. I have one at my desk, on my coffee table, in my purse and in my car. And I've been a long time fan of Burt's Bees lip balm, so any new lip balms I try have a rather tall mountain to climb when it comes to impressing me. At first I wasn't impressed by Ora's lip balm; I thought it didn't go on smoothly, but after 5 minutes it was almost as if it sort of soaked into my lips and started to moisturize them. Plus, my lips looked nice and full and have a nice matte finish to them. I'm not sure I'm ready to give up my Burt's Bees, but there were elements to Ora's lip balm that I really liked.
The final brand that I tried for non-toxic skincare was Ursa Major, and I have to say that I was a big fan for numerous reasons.
First, their easy to use, read and understand website. One of the few links they have a the top of their site is 'try the line' and it links directly to their travel size kit of products. Easy as that. And trust me, as someone who is actively trying to research non-toxic products to incorporate into her life, sometimes finding travel size samples to try is a pain. As a consumer I'd like to try a sample size of something before I give you $80 for a whole bottle, and I wish more companies understood that.
Second, their true to their word. Ursa Major is non-toxic and they lay it all out in simple to understand terms on their product page.
Third, the price and the products. For $20 you can receive a travel size kit that comes with the following:
- Face Wash - It's as simple as that. You get face wash.
- Face Balm (AKA moisturizer) - The face balm soaks into the skin moisturizing and creating a matte finish. While some moisturizers leave you shiny and oily looking, Ursa Major's face balm does the opposite and still keeps you moisturized the all natural way.
- Face Wipes - The face wipes are a version of their 4-in-1 face tonic. What does 4-in-1 mean? The face wipes are the perfect easy, compact, on the go solution that will have you taking care of your face in one easy piece:
Cleanser: Removes oil and grime without stripping skin of moisture or throwing off its pH balance
Exfoliator: Dissolves dead surface skin and clears clogged pores (3% natural AHA/BHA complex)
Soother: Soothes irritation and inflammation
Hydrator: Hydrates and firms without leaving any residue
- Face Tonic (AKA spray) - We talked about the 4-in-1 face tonic with the wipes, and I found that I used the face tonic spray more as a way to keep my skin hydrated than for a cleaner, though if you kept cotton rounds with you you could spray your face and wipe it down. I think the act of needing to "wash" my face had me mentally making a connection with using the wipes as a cleaner and the spray as more of a refresh/hydrator.
I found the prices on all the Ursa Major products to be reasonable. You can easily order either a travel size of each product or a full size, and even the full size was much more affordable than other non-toxic, healthy skin products.
Have you used any of these non-toxic skincare products? What are your favorite brands that have travel-sized options to try?