Disclosures: This post contains affiliate links for Plaine Products. And I received product from Natural Vegan Club and In the Beginning Organics to try for free.
It’s about that time of year: we’re totally over the cold weather, seriously lacking vitamin D, and our skin is in need of tender loving care.
The thing about body care is that everyone has a different skin type and varying preferences regarding consistency and scent of personal care products. There isn’t a hard science to tell us what works on an individual level.
That being said, there are certain things to look for in personal care products if you’re minding the health of the environment, your bod and the well-being of animals.
First, always make sure products are not tested on animals. If you don’t see this clearly stated on the product label, research the product to ensure it’s cruelty-free before purchasing. In other words, if a product doesn’t say it’s not tested on animals, chances are, it probably is. Would you subject your dog or cat to tortuous experiments and a slow, agonizing death? No, so don’t pay companies to do it to other animals. Unfortunately, many cosmetic products sold in the U.S. are still tested on animals (even though Israel and the E.U. have banned this barbaric and antiquated practice).
Second, look for a vegan label or, if you don’t see one, scan the ingredients list for animal-derived ingredients such as lanolin (oil from sheep’s wool), beeswax and keratin (protein from ground-up animal parts). In addition to animal-derived ingredients, steering clear of harsh chemicals and fragrance will be nicer to your bod and the planet. Opt for plant-derived ingredients and essential oils instead.
Before we get into the products, let’s talk winter skin. I get super itchy skin during the winter and I’ve found the following helps minimize it:
- Staying well-hydrated (lots of water and tea)
- Taking lukewarm (not hot), brief showers
- Using a super rich moisturizer a few times a week
- Resist scratching, no matter how itchy!
Now, to the good stuff. Here is a snapshot of my routine and a few of my favorite goodies to help get me through the winter. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments below!
Step 1: Dry-brush.
Stimulating circulation and eliminating dry skin before showering helps cleansers and moisturizers do their job. I find gloves are a good gentle option and there are a variety of exfoliating loofahs, buffers and brushes as well. Be sure you’re using natural material of non-animal origin.
Step 2: Exfoliate.
Yes, coffee and sugar scrubs are super easy to make at home and I do make them from time to time but I’m obsessed with the Cup O’ Coffee scrub from LUSH! It doubles as a mask and you can use it all over your bod. It smells incredible and you can reuse the containers or collect five and return them to the store for a free goodie!
Step 3: Cleanse.
When it comes to washing the bod, find a cleanser that works for you. Do you prefer liquid body wash? Try Plaine Products body wash. It’s biodegradable, baby-safe and hypoallergenic. And there are loads of bar soaps out there!
In an effort to ditch plastic, I’ve given up my recycled plastic loofah and instead use an organic cotton washcloth or natural loofah to wash my bod. If you’re dry brushing and exfoliating, you shouldn’t need anything too rough to wash your body.
Step 4: Moisturize.
So many options here! My favorite everyday all-over lotion is from Plaine Products. It’s the perfect consistency and has a wonderful, fresh, light scent from essential oils.
I also like to use a homemade body butter a few times a week when my skin is super dry and itchy. I’ve tried a few different recipes (and also just made up my own, which I don’t recommend as it’s important to get the right consistency). I like this recipe the best and I store it in a reused LUSH container.
I keep hand moisturizers all over my house and office in the winter. I’m currently obsessed with In the Beginning Organics hand cream for all-day use.
For my face, I love LUSH’s Celestial moisturizer as my morning moisturizer in the winter. It’s pretty thick and creamy and it helps protect my skin from the harsh winter winds as I commute to work. At night I use the vitamin C serum and cell regenerating facial oil from Wild Botanicals.
Step 5: Don’t forget the lips!
I’ve tried so many vegan lip balms over the years and I’m so happy to see there are plastic-free options popping up now! Meow Meow Tweet and Natural Vegan Club have lovely lip balms in cardboard tubes and Twinkle Apothecary has a lip balm in a glass pot.