How to Get Started with Clean Beauty

the best clean skincare products

I vividly remember reading an article around the time I graduated from college about a woman around my age that had gone to the dermatologist for a routine skin check, only to leave with a melanoma diagnosis. I had read so many articles like this over the years but I don’t know what it was about this one that really stuck with me. Maybe it was the fact that I just graduated college and this whole new chapter in front of me. Maybe it was the fact that it was the beginning of summer and I had plans to spend as much time as possible by my parent’s pool or at the beach getting that perfect summer glow. Either way, it was that article that really shifted my view of how I take care of my skin (and body!) and motivated me to not only start wear sunscreen every day but say goodbye to my beloved SPF 4 tanning oil (helllllo SPF 50!).

Fast forward a handful of years and we’re in the middle of a pandemic, almost all of my time is spent inside, I haven’t seen friends or family in what feels like months, and my “getting ready” routine is basically nonexistent. The days of doing my hair and makeup for work were long gone and I was excited for the break that my hair and skin would be getting after years of wearing makeup and using hot tools every day.

During this time, as I was running out of products (on the rare occasion I was doing my hair and makeup) I was replacing them with cleaner, safer options. I started researching the harmful products that are in typical beauty products and slowly started my transition into clean beauty. This was almost three years ago now.

clean skincare and beauty products
How to Get Started with Clean Beauty
the best clean soap

How to Get Started with Clean Beauty

While not all of the products I’m using on a daily basis are clean, I’d say about 80% of them are. It’s been so fun learning about all of the amazing brands out there that are dedicated to developing products that are not only effective but safe. With that being said though, I know how overwhelming it can be to learn about clean beauty, especially figuring out what the heck clean ACTUALLY means.

What is Clean Beauty?

Clean beauty is a phrase that’s thrown around a lot but what exactly does it mean? Clean beauty means that the ingredients in the products are ones that have been studied and haven’t been found to be dangerous, don’t disrupt hormones, aren’t harmful to your overall health, and are not carcinogens.

The Environmental Work Group’s database is such a great resource to find out if a product, ingredient, or brand is safe!

Ingredients to Avoid in Your Beauty Products

While there are a handful of ingredients you should avoid in your beauty products, the big ones include:

  • Parabens
  • Phthalates
  • Fragrances
  • Aluminum Compounds
  • Ethoxylated Agents
  • Formaldehyde
  • Refined Petroleum
  • Hydroquinone
  • Talc
  • Triclosan
  • Silica
  • Oxybenzone
follain brightening serum
where to shop for clean beauty

My Favorite Place to Shop for Clean Beauty

When it comes to education on clean beauty, trying new products, and shopping for current favorites, Follain is my go-to. Not only do they have a wonderful e-commerce site, but they also have a brick-and-mortar store right here in Boston that I frequent more often than I’d like to admit.

Let’s back up a bit…

Follain founder, Tara Foley, started her own clean beauty journey in 2009 and after seeing how much of an impact she was having on other women that were also concerned about the toxic ingredients in their beauty products, she left her corporate job and started Follain. As a first-of-its-kind beauty retailer, Follain is committed to clean ingredients and products.

Follain follows the principles of Green Chemistry, has over 1,500 banned ingredients, and all of the Follain products are Cruelty-Free Certified by Leaping Bunny, are Synthetic fragrance-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and are Dermatologist tested.

I love having the ability to shop in-store at the Boston Follain location but the brand is much more than just the products it sells. The brand is truly committed to educating consumers are safe, effective, and luxurious beauty brands and products. Over the years, the brand has truly expanded and is now a one-stop shop for all of your makeup, skincare, body care, and hair care needs.

My Favorite Clean Makeup Beauty Products from Follain

Herbivore Blue Tansy Mask

I am such a sucker for a good face mask and if you are too, you need to add this one into your skincare routine! Perfect for any skin type, this clarifying and cooling mask helps reduce inflammation, combats redness, and helps clear acne and calm the skin. I love that the changes are noticeable too, even after a few uses! Since incorporating this mask into my routine my skin has been so much smoother and I’ve been experiencing fewer breakouts.

Indie Lee Purifying Face Wash

Out of all of these products, this is the one I’ve been using the longest! I know a lot of people put more emphasis on the other products in their skincare routine but I’m a big advocate for a good face wash. There are some days that I fall asleep before finishing my routine and at least being able to wash my face and knowing my face is clean makes me feel a little better. And man, this face wash really leaves my skin feeling clean without feeling tight.

ILIA True Skin Serum Concealer

This foundation one has been my go-to lately and is amazing! It’s medium coverage, comes in 20 different shades, and it blends SO well. Some days, I only apply a little concealer and skip my foundation routine altogether, it’s that good! One of the ingredients in it is stabilized vitamin C, so it also acts as a skincare product and helps brighten and even your skin tone.

Taos AER Mineral Sunscreen

I almost didn’t include this sunscreen because I just got it but I’ve been so impressed with it so far. For a mineral sunscreen it’s not super heavy, doesn’t leave the dreaded white cast, and doesn’t smell too sunscreen-y. It also blends in really well so it’s great for wearing under makeup.

RMS Beauty Tinted Daily Lip Balm

I’m a sucker for a good lip color, especially one that’s hydrating and long-lasting. This RMS beauty lip balm is the perfect combo between a lipstick and lip stain and I cannot get enough of it. I have the Twilight Lane color – perfect for date night!

ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation

IT Cosmetics CC+ was my go-to for YEARS but after being so impressed by the Ilia concealer, I wanted to give the foundation a try and I haven’t looked back. I love that the ILIA foundation smooths out my skin tone and gives the appearance that I have makeup on, but it’s not heavy on my skin. Perfect for the warmer months!

Follain Resurfacing Body Scrub

This is Follain’s newest product! The granules in this scrub feel so good and leave my skin feeling silky soft. When it comes to scrubs, I find it hard to find scents that I like, but this one has a delicious citrus scent I can’t get enough of. It’s definitely going to be a go-to product this summer after spending time in the sun!

ILIA Limitless Lash Mascara

I’ve been using this mascara for almost three years now and wowowow. I picked up my first tube of this mascara after hearing so many people rave about it and what they say is true – it is the holy freakin’ grail of mascaras. It’s also the product that started my love affair with ILIA. I love that it doesn’t dry up fast, it goes on smooth, and makes your lashes look amazing. The brush is dual-sided – one gives your lashes volume, while the other builds and separates the lashes so they don’t get clumpy.

Ere Perez Rice Powder Blush & Bronzer

Out of all of my makeup products, the three that took the longest for me to switch out were my blush, highlighter, and bronzer. I just couldn’t find a clean product that I liked as much as my beloved NARS and Charlotte Tilbury products but this blush/bronzer duo changed the game for me. The pigment is wonderful, it lasts all day, and applies so smooth and doesn’t get cakey.

Follain Eye Cream

This eye cream truly does it all! I love that even though it’s not a super thick material (more of a creamy gel) the results are as good as other less-clean options. I love using this product in the morning because not only does it help de-puff, firm, and brighten the eye area, it also layers super well under makeup.

Organic Bath Co. Naked Skin Cream

This thick, moisturizing cream is a new-ish favorite in my rotation! Perfect for the days my skin needs some extra hydration. I usually find that thicker, shea butter-based creams take a while to absorb but this one absorbs so quickly and doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily.

Follain Everything Soap

This is one of my favorite Follain brand products! If you’re looking for a great, clean soap that smells delicious and actually works, look no further. The lavender scent is my personal favorite but the lemongrass also smells divine. I love that it’s refillable, too!

P.S. My Makeup Routine from Start to Finish & My Favorite ILIA Products

Photography By Molly J Photography

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