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5 Favorite Skincare Swaps I’ve Made This Year

Oct 22, 2018

5 Favorite Skincare Swaps I've Made This Year

Happy Tuesday guys!

How is your week going so far?

I’m not gunna lie, today I really started to get excited for it to be fall and the holidays. (It’s almost November–HOW!? ?) I blame it mostly on the fact that when I got up it was still dark and also because I finally got a wubby fleece. (!!!!!)  It’s literally my new favorite sweatshirt–I have never felt anything softer and I know it’s going to be the #1 thing I wear this winter ?(I can’t stop petting my own sleeves…weird?)

Anyway, we’re not talking about wubby fleeces today, we’re talking about BEAUTY. I get so many questions on my beauty routine and honestly I haven’t shared a lot about the skincare products I’ve been testing out because I’ve been through so much trial and error (mostly fails, because my skin is pscyho) and I’ve been working on narrowing down what I really love.

So, while I’m still experimenting, today I thought I’d share the absolute standouts that I’ve switched to over the past year. As you know, over the past year, I’ve been transitioning to cleaner products–so I’m excited to share some of my favorites today! (I feel like there are so many things I can’t control in terms of the bad stuff I’m exposed to on a daily basis, so, why not control what I CAN control. Minimizing any risk is a great improvement, right?)

But first–an even more important announcement…

I created a brand new clean beauty email list!

I like to call it “clean beauty for average humans” because it can be a VERY complex topic–so if you’re interested in clean beauty but not sure what it is exactly, why you should care, or how to find good products without memorizing 100 different scary non-toxic chemicals…..this is for you ?

Also–if you were, say, on the fence about joining, I will also tell you that I *cough* offer some preetttyyy great product discount codes and giveaways exclusively available to subscribers! ?? (So you should definnittellyy sign up today in particular–wink wink.)


Cool! All signed up!?

Great ?

Let’s jump into today’s post! Here are some great clean skincare product swaps I’ve made over the last year:

Face wash:

Because my skin is breakout prone (I struggle with breakouts on the sides of my face) I used to use the same really harsh face washes I used in high school (Oxy, Clean and Clear, and the like), thinking they would help prevent breakouts, but in reality, they were just way too harsh for my sensitive skin!

The main ingredient in face washes like these is also Benzoyl peroxide, which, I recently learned, is banned substance in the EU due to it’s link to causing skin cancer. (Note–it is still available as a prescription only in some cases–but the EU deemed in harmful enough to heavily regulate it’s daily use.) So it’s probabbbllly something that is just safer to stay away from altogether if you can!

I’ve tried a few face washes over the past several months and these are my favorites:

Beautycounter’s charcoal bar: 

This is what I keep in the shower–it’s ideal for breakout-prone or oily skin and is great for both face and body–the charcoal draws out impurities in your skin without over-drying. (It’s great for guys, too!)

Fresh Soy Cleanser:

This is a really gentle formula–it’s a “cleaner” product, which is great– free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates and silicone–so it’s perfect for all skin types!

Personally, while I love that the Fresh formula is super gentle and perfect for warmer months, I wouldn’t say it’s moisturizing per say, so next on my list is to try this cleansing balm (which so many of you have raved about!) which will be great for winter months because my skin gets so parched. Reader Taylor says, “This cleansing balm melts my makeup off my face without it feeling like I have to scrub my face, lose eyelashes, etc!”

Beautycounter makeup wipes: 

I’ve never been one to regularly use makeup wipes, but these have been the only thing I’ve been using as of late to wash my face–they’re the only wipes I’ve tried that actually remove makeup and clean your face at the same time! They are WONDERFUL.

Body lotion:

I have never really paid that much attention to body lotion–but when you think about it–your body lotion is what your body absorbs the MOST of–so I guess it should probably be one of the first priorities when it comes to using clean products and transitioning your products over. (Why had this never occurred to me until recently? Haha!)

I absolutely LOVE Kopari’s coconut body milk. It smells heavenly (if you like coconut) and it’s such a treat to put on every day! My skin can be on the drier side, especially when seasons change, and this amazing formula makes it feel the softest it’s ever felt! Applying lotion is actually something I look forward to–that’s how much I love it, haha!

If you hate the scent of coconut, you will not like this ?but if you’re into body oil, I love applying any organic Jojoba oil immediately post-shower!

Clean skincare - The Golden Girl Blog

Face lotion:

I have been a CeraVe lover for YEARS–it’s the dermatologist go-to for those with sensitive skin and only recently did I discover it turns out, it contains parabens and other toxins that are banned in the EU due to being linked to hormone disruption and tumor growth. I was so sad (especially because it was a great drugstore buy. I’m still searching for a drugstore equivalent–I then bought Simple’s moisturizer thinking it was a clean and irritant free brand–but turns out it’s actually WORSE ? UGGGHHH).

If you’re curious, I use the Skin Deep database to research products–and when I looked up Simple’s moisturizer, for example, I was surprised at the bad ingredients listed in a “natural, non-toxic” product–most notably, Methylisothiazolinone, which is one of the leading irritants in all personal care products. (If you’re allergic to a lot of laundry detergents, for example, you may have an allergy to this.)

Instead, I found two that I love–instead:

Cauadlie’s Vinoperfect Sorbet moisturizer:

All of Caudalie’s products are top-notch and this one does not disappoint. It’s all derived from grape extract and it has a really light pleasant scent. It’s a very lightweight gel cream and suitable for all skin types!

Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion:

 I love that this lotion really does what it says–it adapts to the level of moisture your skin needs and provides all-day hydration. (I thought it was a total crock when I read this on the website, but now I’m a believer! ?) If you’re one of those people whose skin gets drier throughout the day, especially in the winter, (like you look in the mirror at 3pm and your making up is flaking off–UGH) then you’ll love this lotion.




Exfoliating peel:

This overnight peel is one of my most recent skincare investments–after hearing so many good things about it, I finally bit the bullet and I’m really glad that I did! It’s one of the few products that both provides immediate results and helps with anti-aging. It’s a gentle but super effective exfoliator formulated with botanically derived acids to improve skin texture, minimize the appearance of pores, fine lines, and dark spots without irritation or over-drying.

Apply it a few times per week and it makes your complexion more even, glowing and also helps clear breakouts at the same time!

Reader Abby says, “The resurfacing peel is *magical*!! I love love waking up the next morning after using it. It’s such a great product that refreshes the face and gives a smooth glowing look!” 


Deodorant was probably the hardest thing to find a replacement for–and I know the topic of deodorant being linked to breast cancer is a controversial one. But here’s the thing–if I can find a product I KNOW is going to be less risky for me than the one I’m currently using–that feels like a no-brainer to me. If I can choose between *maybe* putting myself at risk and *definitely not* putting myself at risk, I’m obviously going to choose the latter.

So, about a year ago, I set out to swap my Dove with a more natural version–I went through about five before I found Kopari, and I have never actually LOVED a deodorant until now! I like it even more than Dove! Now, keep in mind, it is not anti-perspirant so you will still sweat, but you’ll smell like a coconut dream! It’s the only natural deodorant that doesn’t make you smell like a dirty hippie ?(Plus, you can use code JESSKEYS25 for 25% off your first deodorant order!)

What clean skincare product swaps have you made recently that you’ve been loving? 

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