It would be so nice to have the kind of skin that flourishes no matter what you use on it. Bar soap, makeup wipes, whatever is on sale at the drugstore.
But that’s not me.
My skin hates everything.
New products either make me break out or feel like they’re burning on my skin. Another bottle to toss in the garbage. More money down the drain.
Here’s what I expect from any skincare product worth its place on my bathroom shelf:
- Makes my skin glow.
- Never causes breakouts.
- Seriously affordable.
- No artificial stuff—Fragrance, that means you.
Finding skincare products that meet that criteria has been a 30-year battle … and I’ve finally won.
I’m going to share with you the cleanser, toner and moisturizer that are never leaving my bathroom shelf. You can’t have them. But at the end of this article I’ll tell you how to get your own.
These aren’t brands you’ll see written up in the latest beauty magazine. They’re too low-key for that. But they deliver.
Even for the trickiest skin.
Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash
What do tea tree oil, goldenseal, awapuhi, chamomile, and bladderwrack have in common?
They’re all ingredients in this extraordinary face wash for combination and oily skin.
Most oily-skin face washes make the skin even more sensitive, by stripping away the skin’s natural oils and stimulating even more oil production.
Desert Essence’s face wash uses coconut oil and other essential oils (bitter orange, lavender, calendula, blue cypress) to cleanse gently, leaving the skin feeling tight, clean, and strangely soothed.
Plus, it comes in a gigantic 32 oz. jug, giving it bang for the buck. I decant mine into travel-sized shampoo bottles, making it easy to squirt just the right amount into my palm.
This face wash is free from artificial fragrances, parabens, phthalates, petroleum, and other nasties, but it does have a unique scent, due to the tea tree oil.
Fans of tea tree oil won’t mind it, but if you don’t know what tea tree oil smells like, make sure to have a sniff before giving this product a whirl.
Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel
Until living overseas, I’d never heard of witch hazel.
But one day I went to an English chemists, looking for rubbing alcohol. I couldn’t find it—but I did find bottles of witch hazel. I was assured it did the same thing.
Wow. Witch hazel is pungent. I discovered that it came from a plant, and it was a more natural, gentle way to disinfect.
I couldn’t tolerate the smell, though, so I didn’t buy it again … until I came back to America and discovered Thayers.
The Thayers brand dates back to 1847. At the time of the Civil War, it was the largest manufacturer of pharmaceuticals in America. Today, Thayers witch hazel is exclusively sourced in America. It isn’t laced with alcohol like some brands, but rather aloe juice and rosewater. And it smells like heaven.
Squirt some onto a cotton pad, swipe it across your face, and you’ll feel instantly fresher. In addition to using it as my daily toner, I also use it for a quick refresher when I don’t have time to wash my face.
Any brand will do. Just get rosehip oil. Use it. Your skin will love you.
It took me some time before I was comfortable with the idea of swiping oil onto my face. I’d grown up thinking oil was evil, responsible for breakouts and shine.
Look at me now. I’m glowing—and it’s all thanks to facial oils. Rosehip oil is one of the most basic, and cheap to boot.
Because it’s completely odorless, you can add in a drop of your favorite essential oil. I squirt a pump of rosehip oil into my palm, add a drop of rose or jasmine, mix with my finger, then apply with a happy sigh. It’s like putting perfume on your face.
Rosehip oil is best used before bed, since it makes your face look temporarily shiny.
So where do you find these products?
In my experience, you’re more likely to find them in your local health food store or vitamin shop, rather than a popular drugstore. You can find them online at Amazon or natural food outlets like Thrive Market.
They’re worth the search. Happy skin can use all the help it can get.