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How to Build a Clean Skincare Routine

Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of the body? We all carry roughly eight pounds of skin that protects us from external elements and regulates internal temperature to help our body function optimally. Improving skin health is crucial for staying healthy.

From the products we use, to our skincare routines, everything we do has the potential to impact skin health for better or worse. Therefore, it’s important to understand the proper way to care for our skin to keep it healthy and youthful-looking for as long as possible.

Adopting a clean skincare routine is the best way to care for your skin. In this post, we’ll discuss what clean skincare is and offer a step-by-step guide so you can build a clean skincare regimen that promotes a healthy, glowing complexion.

What Is Clean Skincare?

According to the Environmental Working Group, most people use six to twelve personal care products daily. This can expose you to 85-168 unique chemicals, some of which are known to be harmful. Many ingredients in beauty products are toxic and can cause health problems ranging from fertility issues to hormonal imbalances and cancer.

The growing concern with toxic chemicals in personal care products is encouraging a clean beauty movement. Clean skincare is an approach to skincare that focuses on using products with natural, non-toxic ingredients. A clean skincare routine not only helps you maintain healthy skin but also protects your body from harmful chemicals.

Those who adopt a clean skincare ritual avoid synthetic ingredients and harmful chemicals like parabens, oxybenzone, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances. Instead, they opt for clean, vegan skincare products to minimize exposure to unhealthy substances.

Benefits of Adopting a Clean Skincare Routine

A genderqueer person holding NOTO Agender Oil

There are many reasons why natural, plant-based skincare products are better for you. Not only do they minimize exposure to harmful chemicals, but they can also help you improve the quality and appearance of your skin. Plant extracts are a rich source of vitamins and antioxidants, which help nourish the skin and slow aging.

Clean skincare products are also better for the environment because they don’t use harsh chemicals that can make their way into runoff water. More reasons why you should adopt a clean skincare routine:

Improve Skin Health

Chemicals in conventional skincare products weaken the skin’s protective barrier. A compromised barrier makes it easier for moisture to evaporate from your skin. Clean, vegan skincare products are formulated with gentle ingredients that don’t disturb the skin barrier. This helps your skin preserve the water it needs to perform its normal functions and remain healthy.

Reduce Acne and Breakouts

A clean skincare routine can help you maintain a clearer complexion. Many chemicals in beauty products, such as sulfates and artificial fragrances, irritate the skin, triggering breakouts or exacerbating acne. Clean beauty products are often formulated with plant-based ingredients and natural preservatives, which help keep your skin calm.

Prevent Premature Aging

The irritating chemicals in conventional skincare products can inflame your skin. Inflammation is the driving force behind skin aging. Inflammation weakens your skin's defenses and disrupts its repair mechanisms, leading to damage and premature aging. Clean, vegan skincare products can help slow skin aging as they contain fewer irritating ingredients.

Seven Steps for a Clean Skincare Routine

Now that you know why it’s beneficial to use clean skincare products, you’re probably wondering how to start a clean skincare regimen. Follow these seven steps for healthier skin.

1. Start with a Gentle Cleanser

Every skincare routine should start with a cleanser. Cleansers remove impurities like dirt, dead skin cells, excess oils, bacteria, and environmental irritants that can clog your pores and cause inflammation. Having clean skin also allows your products to penetrate into your skin more effectively.

For a clean skincare routine, pick a gentle cleanser with non-irritating ingredients. Choose a facial cleanser with as many natural ingredients as possible. When shopping for a face wash, check the product’s label to make sure it is free of these ingredients:

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Sodium laureth sulfate
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • SD alcohol 40
  • Propylene glycol

2. Use a Toner

After cleansing, we recommend you use a natural toner. This step in your clean skincare routine will remove any impurities left behind on your skin after you wash your face. It also helps balance the pH of your skin and restore hydration after cleansing. Make sure to use a clean and vegan skincare toner, as they don’t strip your skin or cause tightness.

3. Exfoliate Your Skin

Next, apply a gentle exfoliator on your skin. This will help remove dead skin cells, unclog your pores, and help your products absorb better into your skin. Regular exfoliation also keeps the skin young and plump by stimulating collagen production and cellular renewal. It is recommended not to exfoliate more than twice a week, as excessive exfoliation can erode the skin barrier.

4. Apply a Serum

A woman holding NOTO Deep Serum

The next step in our clean skincare routine is to apply a facial serum. Serums are skincare products packed with concentrated amounts of active ingredients that can provide deep nourishment to the skin. To maximize the benefits of using this potent product, look for clean and vegan skincare serums without parabens, polyethylene glycol, and artificial fragrances.

Once you find a serum you love, you should learn how to use it correctly. First, apply a few drops of the face serum onto your fingers. Then gently massage it into your skin in an upward and outward motion. Allow the serum to absorb fully into your skin before you apply any other product.

5. Pile on the Moisturizer

Serums are formulated with active ingredients that are intended to nourish, repair, and rejuvenate the skin. Most serums are not designed to provide sufficient hydration. This is why you often need to use a moisturizer after applying a serum. Moisturizers add water and lock hydration into your skin to help it become soft and supple.

For your clean skincare routine, find an organic moisturizer with hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a gel-like compound naturally found in your skin that helps retain moisture. It can hold 1,000 times its own weight in water! Make sure your clean, vegan skincare moisturizer also has natural occlusives like coconut, marula, and grapeseed oil to trap this moisture in your skin.

6. Don’t Forget the Eye Area

Many people overlook their eye area when caring for their skin. The skin around your eyes is ultra-thin and very fragile, making it the first place to show signs of aging. This is why you should not ignore the skin around your eyes in your clean skincare routine. Doing so can result in crepiness, crow’s feet, and dark circles, making you appear older than you are.

You don’t actually need an eye cream to care for your eye area. A clean, nontoxic moisturizer can keep the area hydrated without irritating your eyes. Make sure the moisturizer you use for your eye area is labeled hypoallergenic and/or ophthalmologist-tested. Using your ring finger, gently tap the moisturizer under your eyes until it is fully absorbed.

7. Layer on the Sunscreen

The last step of your clean skincare routine is to wear sunscreen. Wearing sunscreen is essential in any skincare routine. SPF blocks the sun’s ultraviolet rays from penetrating your skin, preventing skin damage and cancer. To enjoy the benefits of sunscreen, avoid products with chemical UV filters like oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate, and octinoxate.

These ingredients absorb into the skin and enter your bloodstream, causing health problems ranging from sperm toxicity to breast cancer. Fortunately, you can find clean and vegan sunscreen products for your skincare routine. Look for sunscreens formulated with mineral UV filters like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect your skin without harming your health.

Clean Skincare Routine with Noto Botanics

The ingredients in your skincare products get absorbed into your body, affecting your health and appearance. Therefore, using skincare products with nontoxic ingredients is crucial for staying healthy and looking your best. Fortunately, you can build a clean skincare routine in a few simple steps to enhance your self-care and beauty regimen.

If you need clean and vegan products to start a new skincare routine, we’ve got you. Our clean beauty products are formulated with plant-based yet high-performing ingredients that change your skin with regular use while supporting your overall wellness. Check out our clean skincare products and cosmetics that are good for you and the environment.


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