Eco-Chic Skincare 101: New Year, New You

Eco Friendly Skin Care products

So many resolutions, so little time. But we think a plan to make your skincare routine eco-chic is worth a spot at the top of the list. Put your best face forward in 2015 with our picks to help green your skincare routine. Emmy Award-winning makeup artist Art Harding’s advice on-set and off is “to clean the makeup off your face as soon as possible. And because everyone’s face is different, I have always advised my actors to go to a makeup store or a drugstore to sample products. I don’t believe there is a one size fits all when it comes to these things.”

As we wrote in our eco-chic intro to cosmetics, beauty is more than skin deep; what we slather onto our skin is absorbed into our bodies and blood stream. With little to no regulation by the FDA, clean skin is often achieved with the use of unhealthy ingredients like petroleum-based chemicals, endocrine disrupters, and carcinogens. Beauty can be downright ugly once you do a little label reading.

The good news: small changes mean a big difference in the long run. Hold on to the products you can’t bear to part with and consider swapping the worst offenders for these eco-chic options. Bookmark the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep database (or check out their app) to find out how the products you use rate, and get shopping!

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CLEANSERS
Resolve to start and end your day with a fresh face. As Harding knows well, “a clean face is very much like a clean canvas. Makeup on a clean face will be easier to apply and easier to work with when blending.”

Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser ($75) is an organic dream come true, perfect for all skin types including those prone to breakouts. Beauty Counter infuses its 2-in-1 Routine Clean Cream Cleanser ($24) with coconut oil and witch hazel and receives an impressive EWG rating of 2. For instant green gratification, make a quick run to the drugstore and you’ll find Burt’s Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser ($8), a sulfate-free, orange oil-infused formula perfect for morning or night. Let’s face it, some nights we’re just too tired to wash out faces before bed, so keep Blum Daily Cleansing and Makeup Remover Towlettes ($7) on your nightstand. Who said resolutions have to be hard work?

SCRUBS
A fabulous scrub helps you glow during dreary winter days. Choose one free of microbeads that are wreaking havoc on the environment (plans to ban them are in discussion in New York  and Los Angeles). Nude Skincare’s Detox Brightening Fizzy Powder Wash ($42) swaps the plastic beads for rosehip and vanilla seeds, while Eminence’s Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant ($48) uses rice and lactic acid. Arcona’s Cranberry Gommage ($44) keeps acne-prone skin clear with volcanic minerals and jojoba. Ditch the plastic in 2015.

MASKS
Masks are wonderful to help clear a complexion, but treating your skin doesn’t mean needing to absorb parabens, petrochems, or synthetic dyes in the process. Origins Clear Improvement ($25) is made with active charcoal to help draw out toxins and unclog pores. REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask ($34) is clay-based and helps clean and tone all skin types. For acne-prone skin, Yes to Tomatoes Clearing Facial Mask ($15) absorbs oils while fighting inflammation. [Note: The Yes To line is a quick, easy, and healthy drugstore pick.]

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MOISTURIZERS
Whether you wear makeup or plan to let your natural glow shine through, the right moisturizer makes all the difference. “Oxygen is very important to the skin and, as we get older, we lose some of that oxygen which contributes to wrinkles and aging,” says Harding. “The air we live and breathe in is populated with lots of destructive agents. After cleaning the face, one should apply a nice thin layer of moisturizer to act as a shield against the harmful elements; keeping the good in and the bad out.”

Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Lotion ($28) smells amazing and is ideal for normal to dry skin; a great option for winter months. For all skin types, including sensitive, try First Aid Beauty’s Skin Rescue Daily Face Cream ($20) is packed with antioxidants and botanicals to soothe and protect. For oily skin, Dr. Hauschka’s Clarifying Day Oil ($43) helps balance oil production, giving you the moisture you need –– nothing more, nothing less.

Here’s to a happy, healthy new you in the New Year!

Alex Asher Sears spends her days writing scripts, writing in script, and Instagramming in between