It's time to bear it all. Go natural and save the environment, maybe.

You may save some time and money along the way, too.

Can you believe that we are about to start the 2nd quarter of 2021? I cannot either, girl. 2020 snailed by and brought nothing much except gloom. Yet, this year is already flying by! Although borne out of necessity, at-home, organic, all-natural everything was the name of the game last year. Many women learned to do the very least while capturing optimal results. I think we call that skinimalism now. With most of the country reopening and loosening COVID-19 mandates, many people are not keen on jumping back into the swing of things. Some of us accept the new normal and will continue to move as we did in 2020. Besides the fact that 2020 saved people a lot of money, staying safe amidst uncertainty isn’t the worst idea. 

One of the things that went from being a fad adored by vegans, tree huggers, and eco-conscious individuals alike are all-natural products. In the same breath that we encourage people to save the environment, we divert our monies to companies that boast organic ingredients and speak little about their manufacturing processes. I think that they call it green-washing. But that may be a topic for another platform. You’re here for beauty trends and tips that you can follow right? 

Without further ado, and before Q2 2021 starts, keep reading to learn more about:

8 natural skincare products that you need to try this year

Here are a few redeeming qualities about natural skincare products:

  • Clean ingredients: these skincare products use little to no chemicals that may cause damage to your skin, body, or environment over time.
  • Cruelty-free: natural skincare brands test their products on people instead of animals. 
  • Vegan: not all-natural skincare products are vegan, but many of them do not contain ingredients that come from animals, their by-products, or derivatives.
  • Sustainability: most natural skincare brands produce their products or packaging with recycled materials and other renewables. 

Some natural skincare brands support initiatives that make an impact on different types of communities. Some of these initiatives may include support for victims of domestic violence, impoverished children, and more. There are many brands out there that align with causes that you support. It is all a matter of researching them. 

First up on the list is:

1. Acure’s Brightening Cleansing Gel

acure brightening cleansing gel

This affordable natural skincare brand carries products everywhere that you shop. Amazon, Target, Ulta - you name it! Last year, during one of my many outings to the club - Target - I purchased this cleanser to combat a dark patch that sat in the middle of my forehead. That patch came about after I used undiluted 100% tea tree oil on my forehead to fade dark spots. Although tea tree oil is an excellent natural remedy for fading dark spots over time, it can burn the crap out of your skin! 0/10. Will never do it again. Because my skin was irritated, I wanted a mild cleanser that would brighten the burn mildly. This brightening cleanser contains pomegranate, calendula, lemon, and chlorella. These ingredients combined protect, calm, soothe, brighten and rejuvenate your skin. Did it work? I didn’t use it long enough to find out. But I used the cleanser whenever I felt like following a more skinimalist skincare routine on any given day.

2. Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

drunk elephant tlc sukari babyfacial

Okay, this one may be a bit controversial for natural skincare Nazis, but I am putting it here anyway. Four years ago, I learned about Drunk Elephant during a routine trip to Sephora. I wanted a skincare product that contained ingredients potent enough to feel like I went to the spa without the ongoing expense. This resurfacing facial in a bottle is just that! It has many natural skincare ingredients that include: 

  • A 25% blend of alpha-hydroxy acids: glycolic, tartaric, lactic, and citric acids. These are acids that the body produces on its own. 
  • 2% salicylic acid: a beta-hydroxy acid that eliminates acne-causing bacteria. 
  • Chickpea flour: it brightens the skin. Imagine that.
  • Matcha green tea leaf, milk thistle, and apple extracts: antioxidants that protect and soothe the skin 

And a whole bunch of other natural ingredients that I will not list lest you think this is an ad for Drunk Elephant. Again, this may not be natural for the average natural skincare enthusiast, but it is damn close enough!

3. Dr. Bronner’s All-One Hemp Citrus Pure-Castile Bar Soap

dr. bronner's all one hemp citrus pure castile bar soap

Call me old-fashioned, but sometimes I like to scale back my skincare routine with a bar soap that solves all skin issues. If you are like me, then Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile soaps are what the doctor ordered! Unlike Drunk Elephant, Dr. Bronner’s is a self-proclaimed, all-natural brand. They boast cruelty-free, eco-friendly, vegan, non-GMO products that are great enough to land space at your local Whole Foods, so that has to mean something. The best part about this soap is that it does not contain silicones or plastic that can impede the penetration of other skincare products that you may use. If you need a natural skin exfoliant and brightener, I recommend their citrus soap. It comprises organic orange, lemon, and lime oils!

4. Bio-Oil Natural Skincare Oil

bio oil natural skincare oil

If you have not heard about Bio-Oil by now, I need you to get into this magical skincare oil that fades stretch marks, scars, dark spots, and more! I started using Bio-Oil two years ago after a friend boasted that it was the secret to his even-toned, glowing skin. Although the original Bio-Oil contains plant extracts and vitamins suspended in an oil base, Bio-Oil created a natural version of the product that boasts 100% natural ingredients. It’s rare to find oil moisturizers that are heavy enough to deliver long-lasting moisture yet light enough to use on your face. Bio-Oil delivers on both fronts!

5. Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores

origins clear improvement active charcoal face mask for clear pores

Here’s another controversial recommendation! Origins is not Honest Beauty. Yet, they consider themselves to be nature’s complexion clean-up crew - or at least that’s what Sephora said. If you want a supplemental face mask to Masktini’s Twilight Zone Tahitian Detox Mask, this one is worth a shot. It is vegan and has a surprisingly short list of ingredients that include bentonite and myrtle leaf. Read the ingredients list in full if you are a stickler about your natural skincare ingredients, though. There may be some alcohol-based ingredients that could be irritating for your skin.

6. Peach & Lilly Glass Skin Refining Serum

peach & lilly glass skin refining serum

Although I haven’t tried any Peach & Lilly skincare products, that doesn’t mean I haven’t heard of them! Their Glass Skin Refining Serum comes with the highest praise, and in reading what’s inside, I can see why. It includes all the natural skincare ingredients that your skin needs to go a day or several without makeup. Some of these ingredients include:

  • Niacinamide: an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and brightens your skin 
  • Hyaluronic acid: the moisturizing agent that keeps your skin hydrated, plump, and supple 
  • Asian Mountain Yam Extract: this reduces flakiness, so it should be great for dry skin! 

The company’s founder, Alicia Yoon, is Korean, so we can consider Peach & Lilly to be a coveted K-beauty skincare brand. And if you know anything about K-beauty or the 12-step Korean skincare routine, they work chile!

7. CosRX Refresh ABC Daily Toner

cosrx aha bha vitamin c daily toner

Speaking of K-beauty brands, CosRX is one that I began to explore a month ago. I started with this toner to replace my Dickinson’s Witch Hazel toner that was no longer working for me. This mild toner contains only 16 essential skincare ingredients. These ingredients are a mix of AHAs and BHAs, plus vitamin C. Together, they cleanse, exfoliate, and refine your skin. For some, this may not be natural enough, but if you look closely at many natural skincare products, is anything produced en masse that natural? I digress.

8. Honest Beauty Honestly Pure Retinol Serum

honest beauty honestly pure retinol serum

Can I be honest with you? I never used any Honest Beauty products before. I may have gotten an eyeshadow compact in an award show gift bag two years ago, but I gifted it to this little girl I knew. The company’s name says it all - honest beauty. Jessica Alba’s brainchild has taken over the eco-friendly, vegan, organic skincare circuit, and I am not mad about that! This particular product contains squalane, a moisturizing agent derived from squalene which occurs in the body naturally. According to Honest, their retinol is tapioca encapsulated time release. In my eyes, it means that it won’t work fast enough. But to each her own!

So, there you have it, eight (sort of) natural skincare products that you need to try in the new quarter. I cannot stress enough that less is always more for your skincare routine, anyway. So whether you go the 100% natural skincare ingredient route, or you fancy yourself a mini-haul from Sephora, Ulta, or Masktini, make sure you do it all in moderation. Your skin and the environment will thank you for it! Until next time.