A Vegan & Cruelty-Free Skin Guide: Eat This, Apply That!

I always go on about how you should apply this to treat that, but I wanted to learn more about the relationship between food and certain skin conditions. It is great to have an amazing skincare routine, but it would be silly to eat poorly and expect great skin. So after I did some research, I made this little chart to show the link between food and minor skin issues.

As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Below are the references. Please, like always, do your own research in order to make the best decision for yourself!

eat this and apply this (1)

References

Vegan + Cruelty-free Serums Review #1

Another facial skincare review! Serums are like moisturizers, but they are designed to give your skin a boost. For me, I am looking for serums that are designed to mattify the skin, balance my oil-production, and brighten my complexion. Again, I am not a dermatologist but serums are great to add to your skincare routine if you have minor or major skin issues you want to correct. 

  1. Alaffia Melon Seed Harmonizing Facial Serum is a okay serum. It is pretty expensive ($10 or $20 per ounce) so when I didn’t see a huge difference, I was a little upset. It is lightweight which is definitely a plus and the ingredients are simple and clean! I just didn’t see a huge difference in my skin so I would say pass on this serum.  
  2. Andalou Naturals Turmeric + C Enlighten Serum is an amazing serum for those with hyperpigmentation. This serum is vegan-friendly but it is expensive ($24.95 or $22.68 per ounce) but it is worth it! My dark spots were so dark before but once I finished the bottle my skintone was definitely more even. A little goes a long way. Just a helpful hint–use sunscreen with serums like this to help with hyperpigmentation. 
  3. Thesis Organic Facial Serum for Oily Skin is another serum I would pass on. It didn’t do anything on my skin as far as what it claims it would do. If anything, I felt more oily and my makeup application was difficult. But if you want to give it a try, the price is high like most serums ($24.95 for 1 ounce) and is organic which can be a great option to get away from basic facial oils. 
  4. Paula’s Choice Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is my holy grail! This serum is just perfection! I always like Paula’s choice but this serum knocks all their other products out of the park. It is so lightweight, I honestly felt like nothing was on my face. This may be a con to some but for an oily skin person, this is a blessing. It is expensive ($34.00 for 1 ounce) but it is worth all of your money. My skin felt moisturized and balanced. I almost had to get the scissors out so I can get the rest of the serum out of the bottle! Right now, serums are 15% off! 
  5. Twinkle Apothecary Autumn serum is a new to my collection. So far, I like it! It feels heavy when you apply it but once you gently rub into skin, it disappears into the skin. The price is reasonable for a big bottle ($35.00 or $17.50 per ounce), which can last you for months. I will update this post once I am done with this bottle!
  6. Derma E Even Tone Brightening Serum would probably be a great serum, but I didn’t see a difference. It received good reviews too! It is suppose to even out skintone but I didn’t notice a change and also I did not like the feeling of the serum. I prefer more of a oil-like feeling, instead of a gel. Out of my whole collection, it is the cheapest serum ($24.50 or $12.25 per ounce). 

Vegan & Cruelty-free Facial Toners Review #1

Happy Sunday! As promised, I am reviewing about my collection of facial toners from the best to the not-so-good ones. If you are curious about my thoughts about facial cleansersclick here!

Disclaimer: Remember, conduct your own research and listen to your skin! If something does not work for you, please stop using it! If you are interested in toners, look for toners that have gentle ingredients such as lavender or aloe vera with tea tree oil. 

So let’s begin from left to right: 

Earth Science Clarifying Herbal Astringent is my favorite toner so far! It does not make my skin tight and it picks up all the dead skin and makeup off my face when it use it. My pores were smaller after using this product too! The smell is light and the price is reasonable ($10.99 or $1.38/ ounce). The ingredients are a little shady (parfum is one of them) so if you have sensitive skin you might want to pass on this but if this ingredient does not bother you, I would highly recommend this product for oily to combination skin folks.  

Humphreys Lilac Witch Hazel Facial Toner is amazing for combination skin types. The reason why I recommend this product for combination skin is because our skin does have dry spots, which can become drier if we using harsh toners. Humphreys Lilac Facial toner is perfect because it cleanses and softens the skin. I have dry patches on my chin and I noticed the spots were less dry than usual when using this product. As far as my pores being “clear and refined”, I didn’t see a difference but then I got the toner as a way to help my dry spots. You can buy it from iherb for $5 for a 8 ounce bottle. 

Burt’s Bees Brightening Refining Tonic is an okay toner. It is not bad but it didn’t do anything independently. You have to use this toner with a system they have created to lighten dark spots within 4 weeks but I wanted to see if the toner would be enough. Sadly it wasn’t. So who knows! Maybe this toner would be great as part as a routine but if you have other amazing products and you are just missing a toner, this toner would be a pass. But hey! If you still want to give it a try, the toner is $12.00 or $2.00/ounce. 

Thayers Alcohol-Free Lavender Witch Hazel Toner is also a great toner. I always loved the smell of lavender so if you are lavender person this toner is for you! The price is amazing too ($11 or $1/ounce). According to the Thayers’ blog, “lavender is full of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help manage acne and calm sensitive skin”. This toner does exactly what it is created for. My skin was less angry, especially when I got flareups. I did not see any red marks and my dry spots were moisturized. 

Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions clarifying toner is a better option, in my opinion than the Burt’s Bees Brightening Refining Toner. For one, it does cleanse the skin and second, it does help with acne because it has Salicylic Acid, which is a agent to reduce inflammatory and dry out pimples. This toner is expensive ($10 or $2/ounce) but it is worth it when you see your blemishes disappear. 

Yes to Tomatoes Acne Clearing Toner is last but not least. This toner is one of my least favorite toners. I don’t know how this toner has many good reviews but to me it has a strange smell. The fragrance is heavy and smells artificial. I didn’t see any changes in my skin. 😦 The only thing I did like about this toner is the pump. I felt like I didn’t waste a lot of product compared to toners where you have to pour the product into the cotton pads. Other than that, I would say that Yes To Tomatoes toner is not a good choice for those looking for a oily skin-friendly toner. Keep looking!

10 Vegan + Cruelty-free Sunscreens you can wear under your makeup!

Happy Summer Solstice to everyone! After a long break, I have finally found some time to sit down and write. 

Since summer is officially here, I decided to discuss (once again!) the importance of finding the right sunscreen. There are sunscreens for everything, but these sunscreens are special, for these protectors are designed to not only shield the skin from UVA & UVB rays but also, prep the skin for makeup application. This means filling in those fine lines and wrinkles, diminishing pores, and moisturizing dry areas–without the white film. 

Happy shopping for I found sunscreens for all budgets~

Sunscreens To wear under Makeup

  1. Kiss My Face Sunscreen – Face Factor SPF 30 $12.95. Vegan-Friendly. Best For: Dry Skin. 
  2. Goddess Garden FACE THE DAY – Sunscreen & Firming Primer $17.99. Vegan-Friendly. Best For: Mature Skin. 
  3. Andalou Naturals ARGAN STEM CELL BB BENEFIT BALM UN-TINTED SPF 30 $19.95. Vegan-Friendly. Best For: Oily/ Blemish-prone skin. 
  4. Badger Damascus Rose SPF 25 Face Sunscreen Lotion with Lavender & Chamomile $19.99. Best For: Delicate/Sensitive skin. 
  5. Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Facial Sunscreen SPF 40 – Fragrance Free $20.95. Best For: Delicate/ Sensitive Skin. 
  6. DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+ $25.95. Vegan-Friendly. Best For: Blemish-Prone Skin. 
  7. Mámbino Organics SPF 30 Face Mineral Sunscreen $28.95.  Best For: Oily Skin. 
  8. Coola Daydream™ SPF 30 Mineral Primer $42.00. Vegan-Friendly. Best For: All Skin types. 
  9. Suntegrity NATURAL MOISTURIZING FACE SUNSCREEN & PRIMER, BROAD SPECTRUM SPF 30 $45.00. Vegan-Friendly. Best For: All Skin types. 
  10. Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield $65.00. Best For: Mature Skin. 

Cruelty-free 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine (Vegan-Friendly too!)

During my time in South Korea, I saw skincare ads everywhere! Having dewy, clear, and bright skin was the standard I noticed when I would walk around Downtown Daegu. Now, what I didn’t realize was, the Korean skincare routine was all the rage here in the United States. It wasn’t until I was back home for good, I noticed that Sephora had a promotion pushing the 10-step Korean beauty routine; outing the “American” (United States) and French way of cleansing and moisturizing. Image result for Sephora korean skincare

Amazed that this skincare look is still in, I wanted to mix the K-Beauty aspect using brands that you can find here so the everyday woman and man can experience this technique. Just remember, like any skincare routine, make sure you are choosing products for your skintype and listen to your skin. 

*= Vegan-Friendly

eye-makeup-remover

Before you begin the “formal” cleansing step, it is essential to get rid of the stubborn eye makeup that can stick to your lashes and lids. With a clean cotton pad, gently rub the eye area to remove any mascara, liner, or shadows away.  

  1.  R.L. Linden & Co Your Eyes Only Gentle Makeup Remover ($20) *
  2. The Body Shop Camomille Gentle Eye Makeup Remover ($18) *
  3. Real Purity Eye Makeup Remover ($8.99)

cleansing-oil

Now this step is where you will remove all that facial makeup. Massage it over your dry face and neck to break up makeup, add a splash of lukewarm water to emulsify, and massage again, rinsing everything away. And don’t be fooled; oily skintypes can use oil-based cleansers too! 

  1. Aster & Bay Cleansing Oil ($30)
  2. Mullein & Sparrow Cleansing Oil ($32) *
  3. Burt’s Bee Facial Cleansing Oil ($16)

exfoliator

Exfoliating is crucial for a polished complexion. Buffing away dead skin cells and debris makes it easier for the rest of your skin care products to penetrated your pores. Using this product up to twice a week, gently massage or tap in an exfoliant into skin for smooth and soft skin.

  1. S.W. Basics Organic Exfoliant ($24) *
  2. Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser ($32.95)
  3. OZNaturals Natural Enzyme Exfoliator ($18.99)

skin-refresher

Time for toner. You can either mist your face with a toner or use a cotton pad to swirl the product into your skin. Toners helps balance your skin’s pH levels and preps your skin with a bit of hydration to better absorb your following skin care treatments.

  1. Herbivore  Rose Hibiscus Face Mist ($32)
  2. Earth Science Aloe Vera Complexion Toner & Freshener ($10.95) *
  3. Andalou Naturals Blossom+Leaf Toning Refresher ($12.95)

essences-1

Ok, so essences, in my option, are center of the Korean skincare routine. They are hard to find in the United States since most people use serums, but essences are like a toner and serum combined. Essences essentially repair skin and help with cell turnover. All you have to do is gently pat it into the skin. 

  1. May Coop Raw Sauce ($14-$43)
  2. Vapour Beauty Essence Restorative Night Treatment ($90)
  3. Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalizing Essence Lotion ($24) *

serums%2fapoules

Time for treatment products! Boosters, serums and ampoules the concentrated essence. Just make sure you tap these products into the skin. These products can address any issue including brightening, pore-refining, pigmentation, wrinkles, or acne. 

  1. Acure Organic Seriously Glowing Serum ($19.99) *
  2. 100% Pure Organic High Potency Reversal: Restore Serum ($55)
  3. Balm & Co. Sky Serum- Balancing ($45) *

sheet-masks

UGH! I love sheet masks. I was addicted to these. Not only were they cheap to buy, but the selection was overwhelming. I would pop one on once a week and quietly sit on my bed for 15-20 minutes, letting the sheet mask do its magic. Great time to mediate, which can help your skin in the long run. 

  1. Andalou Naturals Instant Hydration Hydro Serum Facial Mask ($5.99) *
  2. Yes To Tomatoes Acne Fighting Paper Mask ($2.99)

eye-creams-1

The skin around your eyes is the most delicate skin on your face and should be treated with more love. Use your ring finger to very gently tap—never rub—eye cream around the entire orbital bone, avoiding the water line, to treat and protect. 

  1. Juara Miracle Tea Complete Eye Cream ($48)
  2. Athara Moroccan Coffee Eye Cream ($24.95) *
  3. Derma E Age-Defying Eye Cream ($24.75) *

moisturizers-2

Almost there! Hydration is your express lane to dewy glowing skin. Finding a moisturizer that works for your skin type is a crucial step to protecting your skin. They come in many different forms so it shouldn’t be too hard—like an emulsion, a lotion, gel or cream. Morning and evening, pat a moisturizer all over face and neck to keep skin protected and hydrated, sealing in all the work from your other steps. 

  1. Beauty Brew Rose & Vitamin C Restorative Face Balm ($40)
  2. OSEA Blemish Balm ($44) *
  3. Lotus Moon Corrective Skin Brightening Moisturizer ($50) *

facial-sunscreen

I know I say this every time I write about sunscreens, but I want to make sure this “I’m Black/Brown so I don’t need sunscreen” myth dies. It doesn’t matter your skin color, sunscreens are the best thing you can do to prevent premature aging. Apply every morning, reapplying throughout the day as needed. It’s important as the last step so it can shield your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays.

  1. Mychelle Sun Shield SPF28 Unscented Sunscreen ($20) *
  2. Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer SPF 30 ($45) *
  3. Beauty by Earth Facial Sunscreen SPF 20 ($16.99)

Continue reading “Cruelty-free 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine (Vegan-Friendly too!)”

Top 8 Cruelty-free (& VEGAN) Makeup Removers

I hope everyone had an amazing Day of Giving Thanks! I also hope for all the makeup beauties, after partying, washed those lovely faces before hitting the sheets. 

It is essential to use makeup removers FIRST before proceeding to use your daily cleanser. This ensures that first layer of dirt and other nasties is removed before cleansing for the second time. 

Now go shopping this Black Friday! 

*= VEGAN-FRIENDLY

makeup-remover-2

  1. S.W. Basics Makeup Remover $14.00 *
  2. Mineral Fusion Makeup Removing Oil Cleanser $18.99 *
  3. Thesis Rosemary Citrus Makeup Remover $19.95 *
  4. Verita Organic Argan Oil Makeup Remover $20.00 *
  5. Pacifica Kale Water Micellar Cleansing Tonic $12.00 *
  6. Captain Blankenship Blue Chamomile & Lemon Oil-based Cleanser & Makeup Remover $32.00
  7. Vapour Clarity Organic Makeup Remover $32.00
  8. FoxBrim 100% Natural Makeup Remover & Facial Oil $14.95

Skincare for EVERY Age: A Vegan and Cruelty-free Guide to your changing Routine

Some people are born lucky. These people can use the same skincare products from their teenage years all the way until their 70’s and beyond. My mom is one of these lucky people. She has been using the same Clinique products as long as I can remember and still looks amazing.

However, while this works for her, the products I use my teenage years don’t and can’t match my skin now in my 20s. I once had oily, acne-prone skin, now I am leaning more towards combination with occasional breakouts. My once favorite skincare products are just too harsh. But thankfully, with the rise of women and men creating and purchasing skincare products, there are items out there to address all kinds of skin concerns.

Below are just some of the various skincare products available for all ages!   

*= VEGAN-FRIENDLY

Skincare Routine 20s (1)

While in your 20s, your hormones should be calming down from your awkward puberty days. However, now what is left are dark spots and an oily, persist T-zone. To help combat these problems look for products that are meant to ease the occasional breakouts and fade those dark spots. 

Skincare Routine 30s (1)

They say, “30s is the new 20s.” But with that said, your skin maybe telling a different story. Dryness will start creeping up on you. Stop dryness by finding hydrating moisturizers and soothing scrubs to buff away dead, dull skin. 

Skincar Routine 40s (2)

Aging is a blessing. But there is no shame in keeping wrinkles and age spots away. In your 40s, your skin is losing collagen, a protein that keeps your skin’s elasticity tight. While this is just part of nature, a healthy diet and a strong skincare routine may slow the process.

Skincare 50s+ (1)

When it comes to aging, it is but a number. Starting a good routine in your 20s, 30s, and 40s, will greatly help your skin when you are in your 50s and beyond. The main concern now is just keeping your skin smooth and fading away wrinkles. Look for products designed for mature skintypes or have BHA/AHA ingredients to regenerate your skin.  

4 Best Vegan + Cruelty-Free Cleansing Facial Oils

There seems to be a little debate whether washing your face with oils are the best thing for you, especially if you have oily skin. Obviously, rubbing ‘bad oils’ such as pure mineral oil wouldn’t do the trick however ‘good oils’ such as Jojoba, Flaxseed, or Coconut oil can help your skin stay soft and healthy. I use oil cleansers to wash away stubborn makeup at night and I enjoy the feeling of super soft and bright skin. 

Cleansing Oils

  1. Desert Essence Creamy Oil Cleanser $14.99 *
    • This luxurious, pure oil-based cleanser helps keep skin clean and perfectly balanced. Perfect for all skin types, it’s infused with Organic Coconut, Evening Primrose, Argan and Jojoba Oils to cleanse makeup and impurities without stripping skin of moisture. Antioxidants and Omega-6 Fatty Acids provide deep nourishment, helping to preserve skin’s natural moisture barrier.
  2. W.S Badger Argan Face Cleansing Oil $19.99
    • If you were the queen of an ancient civilization, you would have used this amazing blend to cleanse your beautiful skin.  Inspired by thousands of years of skin care tradition, our Argan Face Cleansing Oil deeply cleanses all skin types. Castor oil lifts impurities while Argan, Sunflower, and Jojoba replenish essential vitamins, fatty acids, and lipids. Clears away makeup and impurities—leaving your skin feeling clean, balanced, and glowing! Clinically tested non-comedogenic.
  3. Shea Moisture Sensitive Skin Facial Cleansing Oil $9.99
    • This natural cleansing oil gently yet thoroughly melts away make-up, dirt and impurities without leaving an oily residue. Enriched with skin-nourishing certified organic Shea Butter and our proprietary complex of Alpine, Damask and Musk Rose Oils, it transforms into a creamy, soft emulsion when blended with water. Sensitive skin is left softer, smoother and refreshed.
  4. 100% Pure Organic Flaxseed Cleansing Oil $35.00 *
    • This moisturizing cleanser restores, softens and soothes while gently removing makeup and other impurities. Flax Seed Oil is rich with Omega 3, 6 and 9 essential fatty acids, B vitamins and zinc which are highly beneficial for all skin types, even gentle enough for skin that is sensitive or affected with eczema or psoriasis. Detoxing herbs and essential oil further purify.

5 Cruelty-free + Vegan Toners for YOUR SKIN TYPE.

Toners! Toners! Toners! Toners are meant to be used right after cleansing. The purpose of toners are simple: to restore the balance of your skin. Whether you are oily, normal, or dry, washing your face does strip some of the natural oils that keep your skin feeling healthy. Toners also can remove makeup, dirt, and excess oil if you suffer from those issues. 

I use a toner every morning and night to keep my skin feeling fresh. With that said, please find the RIGHT toner! 

If you need help understanding your skin type, read more HERE.

Toner (1)

  1. Suki Concentrated Clarifying Toner for Combination Skin $32.95Combination & Oily Skin types should find toners without alcohol, methanol, or witch hazel since these ingredients can result in a burning sensation. Instead, look for toners with healing & calming materials.
  2. MURAD Hydrating Toner for Dry Skin $28.00Dry Skin types definitely stay away from ALCOHOL! You want hydration! Water-based toners will do wonders on your skin and ease those dry, patchy areas.
  3. Burt’s Bee Rosewater Toner for Normal Skin $11.00Lucky you! Normal skin types can use most toners. Nonetheless, alcohol should be avoid.
  4. Shea Moisture Africa Black Soap Problem Skin Toner for Oily Skin $9.99Similar to combination skin types, oily skin should stay clear of toners with witch hazel, alcohol, and methanol as the first few ingredients on the bottle.
  5. Delizioso Skincare Cucumber & Aloe Facial Toner for Sensitive Skin $26.95While some sensitive skin types may skip the toner, I personally believe if the ingredients are organic and healthy,skin will heal. Cucumber and Aloe Vera are two of the best parts of this toner to calm even the worst sensitive skin.

Continue reading “5 Cruelty-free + Vegan Toners for YOUR SKIN TYPE.”

Vegan and Cruelty-free Tattoo Aftercare Guide

**Disclaimer: I am not a certified tattoo artist**

This article is totally different than what I normally would write about, but after starting my sleeve I decided tattoo-lovers and skincare should come together to make the perfect ethical aftercare issue.

With that said, discuss your options with your artist because no one likes an infected tattoo!

Ethical Tattoo Aftercare

  1. Vermont Vegan Tattoo SoapVEGAN-FRIENDLY. Only Sold as Wholesale

Vermont Vegan Tattoo Soap™ is made with the same method first used in ancient Babylon. The only difference is that we use organic plant oils proven to prevent infection and accelerate healing.

2. Soap Revolt Tattoo Balm $7.00VEGETARIAN-FRIENDLY. 

A simple and natural tattoo aftercare product that promotes quick healing, helps prevent scabs / infection / itching / loss of color and temporarily relieves pain. A little goes a long way.

3. Brooklyn Grooming Tattoo Balm $22.00ORGANIC & VEGETARIAN.

Most ointments made for tattoo aftercare are loaded with suffocating petroleum jelly which can cause irritation, clog pores and seal off the skin from the oxygen necessary to the healing process. We believe that when your skin is in a fragile state you need a product to help you heal naturally. 

Our Tattoo Balm contains nourishing, regenerating anti-fungal oils and butters known to help ease swelling, calm irritation and in turn aid in the healing process. Use this perfect formula as a soothing salve for freshly inked skin or anywhere your skin might need a little extra boost.

4. LUSH Ultrabalm Body Balm $14.95VEGETARIAN.

Our moisturizing, all-purpose balm is made with plant waxes and nothing else. No petroleum jelly, no mineral oils – just natural goodness. Ultrabalm is versatile because we keep it simple, with only three naturally effective ingredients. We also believe in using the best quality organic, fair trade and vegan (whenever possible) ingredients in our products. Our mix of candelilla wax and organic jojoba oil is a vegan alternative to beeswax; it creates a protective barrier on the skin and locks in moisture, while rose wax soothes irritations. Apply to scrapes to relieve discomfort, to tame flyaway hair, or even as a lip balm.

5. Hustle Butter DeluxeVEGAN. Find with Distributors

The original Hustle Butter Deluxe is luxurious and rich. Used as a tattooing glide, Tattoo Aftercare or just as a daily moisturizer its loved by tattoo artists worldwide, and especially by their clients. Today. Tomorrow. Forever.