I won't preface this post by saying that I'm not a beauty blogger (if you knew my makeup routine, you'd know how far that is from the truth), but I will say that my approach to skincare, makeup, self-care, and my own appearance overall has changed drastically in the past few years.
Motherhood, for one, and simply "growing up" have both altered my view of how and why I take care of my body. In my journey towards a slower, simpler, cleaner lifestyle, skincare/beauty out of necessity, has to follow suit. However, much like transitioning from fast fashion to slow fashion, making the trek from conventional beauty products to cleaner ones is no small feat.
This post has been years in the making, because, much like developing my personal style, it has taken a while to get to know my skin type, self-care style, and the way my body responds to what I put in and on it (thank you, Woman Code). Although it's not a comprehensive list of ethical skincare brands out there (not even close), it will hopefully provide a more in depth look at how and why I've chosen the products I use and an honest review of the brands behind them.
Questions to ask before buying:
1. What is my skin type and what issue am I trying to address?
2. Can this product be used in more than one way?
3. How transparent is the brand about their ingredients/sourcing?
4. Is this product worth the investment?
If a product answers yes to all four of these requirements, then it's an easy choice.
The story: Curie aims to create perfumes and body care products with zero chemicals and as few ingredients as possible. You might remember my obsessive review of their Bella Flor fragrance (a perfume with only 9 ingredients, as opposed to the industry standard of 70. It's a woman owned company creating artisans passionate about the trade.
The products: Perfumes, hand soaps, & lotions.
Why Curie: Curie's fragrances are unparalleled and you can feel 100% safe and confident about putting their products on your skin, knowing they're not created with harmful chemicals or synthetic fragrances.
2. Dulce de Donke
The story: After learning that their daughter had a rare autoimmune disease that attacked her brain (called PANDAS), Saundra and her husband, the owners of Dulce de Donke, were told that their six year old would have to be on antibiotics for the majority of her life. Unable to accept that as the final answer, they turned to history, and ultimately to donkey milk, a substance known for its health benefits in many other cultures, but one that is rare in Western culture. The family has since created a brand aimed at helping other families in similar situations and spreading the word about the benefits of donkey milk.
Why Dulce de Donkee: Aside from their incredible story, Dulce de Donke crafts products that are gentle on the skin and truly work wonders. I use their moisturizer on my razor burn prone legs after shaving and it's so soothing. Furthermore, their deodorant is the first all natural deodorant I've tried that ACTUALLY works.
3. Primally Pure
The story: Born out of a love for organic, pastured raised farming, Primally Pure evolved into a skincare brand that uses only recognizable, natural, effective ingredients. They use expert recommended ingredients in their carefully formulated products that yield noticeable results.
The products: Primally Pure makes everything from cleansing oils, to bath soaks, to dry shampoo. I've been using their Cleansing Oil, Everything Spray, and Jasmine Body Oil and can't recommend all three more highly. Will DEFINITELY be repurchasing.
Why Primally Pure: If you're looking for high quality, all natural skin care products, Primally Pure is the perfect starting place.
4. Axiology Beauty
The story: Axiology was founded on the principle that women shouldn't have to choose feeling beautiful over feeling ethical. Their products are made with 100% organic and ethically sourced ingredients, are 100% vegan and cruelty free, and (get this) the packaging is even made from paper waste gathered around the island of Bali and then hand decorated, filled with a lipstick, and shipped to your door.
Why Axiology: Although $26-$30 may seem expensive for a lipstick, when you consider the high levels of transparency, the longevity of the product, and it's effectiveness, it's well worth the cost.
5. Berlin Skin
The story: Speaking to my minimalism-obsessed mind, Berlin Skin encourages simplicity, contentment, and a deeply ingrained sense of self-care with their multi-use products. Each product is made with sustainably sourced ingredients, made in small-batches in Portland.
Why Berlin Skin: Perfect for the aspiring minimalist or anyone trying to pare down and simplify their skincare routine, Berlin Skin's products are nourishing and adapt well to all skin types.
6. Pouring Out Facial Oil
The story: After spending time overseas in war torn Bosnia-Herzegovina, Pouring Out's founder wanted to craft a brand that combined their love for serving the marginalized with their passion for simple living and essential oils. Profits from Pouring Out are reinvested into supporting non-profits that restore and heal, much like their facial oils do for the skin.
The products: A simple selection of a face mask and a face oil, Pouring Out uses all organic oils to hydrate, restore, and heal all skin types.
Why Pouring Out: If you're looking for a safe, organic facial oil, Pouring Out is your new go-to, regardless of skin type. *Use code "simplyliv20%off" for, you guessed it, 20% off your entire order!*
*This post was a collaboration between multiple brands and myself, combining purchased goods and gifted product. All opinions and photographs are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make SL&Co. possible!*