How to Build a ‘Clean’ Beauty Routine
Cleanse with micellar water. Try Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Water, formulated to be exceptionally gentle on skin. Simple’s micellar water leaves out artificial fragrance, color, dye, alcohol, parabens, and phthalates.
Use a mineral-based SPF moisturizer and sunscreen. Minerals like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide reflect rays and are not absorbed in the skin. They are considered the “cleaner” choice, says Farber. Coola Mineral Face Matte Tint SPF 30 has both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for broad-spectrum protection.
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Protect with an antioxidant serum. Farber recommends a vitamin C serum, which will offer antioxidants to counteract the harmful effects of free radicals — chemicals that cause skin aging, as research shows. Drunk Elephant is a beloved brand in the clean beauty space, and their C-Firma Vitamin C Day Serum contains pure L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and is suitable for oily, normal, and dry skin.
Even tone with glycolic acid. You can find glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid made from sugarcane, in creams and serums, an ingredient that encourages the dead skin layer on top to slough off to reduce the look of discoloration, says Farber.
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Treat acne with salicylic acid. Salicylic acid, which comes from the bark of the willow tree, is a gold standard ingredient for addressing acne issues, and it’s considered okay for clean beauty. It too works by exfoliating dead skin cells that plug up pores and can lead to blemishes, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Smooth lines with bakuchiol. This is the newest natural retinol alternative. Retinol is a vitamin A derivative, and this ingredient exfoliates and stimulates collagen production to keep skin smooth and wrinkle-free, as Harvard University notes. Bakuchiol has been found to lessen wrinkles and diminish discolorations similarly to retinol, and causes less irritation, according to a study published in February 2019 in the British Journal of Dermatology.
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Hydrate with a moisturizer. The main goal is to look for a simple moisturizer that contains as few ingredients as possible and is fragrance-free, says Farber. Common ingredients found in “clean” moisturizers include hyaluronic acid, glycerin, panthenol, and ceramides.