Natural Skincare – What Works for Me

I have struggled with acne since puberty. Part of it is my own fault – I pop pimples and touch my face all the time. And the best way to stave off this bad habit is to keep my skin as clear as possible. I have tried nearly every drugstore brand of face wash, maybe more than once, and for many years was constantly switching up my skincare routine when it wasn’t successful. This probably made my skin worse.

In the last year I’ve made more of an effort to get away from drug store brands, partly for the chemical/environmental impacts, but also to see if I could really simplify and figure out something that worked. I bought some TreeActiv products off amazon for several months, which were OK for a little while. I got an IUD last summer and in the first few months that my hormones were ~*settling*~, my skin went crazy, which drove me crazy.

In December I tried Dr. Hauschka’s line for oily skin and I was delighted/dismayed that it actually worked. The routine is gentle and simple and it works for me! Plus, I never thought that adding oil to my skin made sense at all but it does. Somehow. However, Dr. Hauschka is pretty expensive. Since I’m not buying a new $7-10 face wash every 3 weeks anymore, it’s probably not all that different, but Dr. Hauschka products are not cheap.

Once I ran out of the sample/travel sized products I’d bought to try it out, I invested in the regular sizes of the cleansing cream, toner, day oil, and lotion, which consequently get used up at very different rates, but do last long enough that they feel worth it. Since the Dr. Hauschka routine recommends that you wash your face in the morning (and do the whole routine) and wash and use the toner at night, I use Duross and Langel Naked face wash, which is made locally and has 1% salicylic acid. (It also smells amazing.) This way I can stretch out the more expensive Dr. Hauschka face wash and use it just in the morning.  I still get breakouts, mostly hormonal–during my period–but this routine has really minimized my breakouts and made my skin so much clearer.

Other products I love:

Duross and Langel green tea mud mask – Nothing like a weekend mask to really relax, right? This is green tea and avocado and it’s nice and light and is cooling on your skin.

Duross and Langel tea tree toning mist and rose water toning mist. I really just like spritzing my face with nice smelling toner. The tea tree toner is definitely more firming, and the rose water toner I find pretty calming. I even have a travel sized rose water toner that I keep in my desk at work so I can have a little spritz when I’m feeling stressed.

Running Around in Wool Runners

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So, what’s so special about them? 

Allbirds, a new, very instagram-friendly company produces shoes made of merino wool. Merino wool comes from a specific type of sheep raised in mostly Australia and New Zealand, it’s naturally super-fine (so not scratchy like old wool sweaters) and naturally odor-resistant. Merino wool as the base of a shoe means that it uses 60% less energy than the typical process to make a shoe of synthetic materials. Allbirds is a certified B-corp and the wool is ZQ-certified, so they’re paying attention and following strict guidelines for sustainability, animal welfare, and company transparency and accountability. On top of that, they’ve designed their packaging to use 40% fewer materials than typical shoe packaging. Allbirds just launched a second style, their wool loungers, in addition to the wool runners, and color options are limited to a few standards and short-term seasonal colors.

What are they for? 

So, these aren’t shoes for hard workouts (the packaging even notes that these are for everyday wear, not marathons), which is fine with my lifestyle. The loungers look similarly cute and comfortable, so depending on your style and what you plan to wear them for, I recommend checking them out.

Are they worth it? 

In my opinion – yes. I’m a big fan of the look of the shoe- clean lines, minimal distractions, and neutral colors. I purchased my pair off an ebay seller who got the wrong size and missed the return window, so their loss was my gain, and I ended up shaving off a little from Allbirds $95 price tag. These are incredibly lightweight and unbelievably soft– I’d been eyeing them for a long time but still wasn’t sure if all the hype about their comfort was true and it 100% is. It is like walking on little clouds all day. So far, I’ve been wearing them without socks in some pretty up and down spring temperatures, and the temperature regulation has been great so far.

In sum, I love these shoes and I’m so interested to see how Allbirds (or maybe other companies) incorporates natural materials into everyday items for more sustainable shopping!