Today we’re talking about cruelty-free, vegan skin care! Settle in, grab a snack and a glass of water, because I love skin care and this post got real long, real quick.
My skin usually needs a lot of outside help. For a long time I had my routine setup for acne-prone, oily but dehydrated skin. Recently my skin type has changed to very dry and dehydrated. Today I’ll be telling you about my new routine for dry, dehydrated skin with pigmentation.
PS: This post is not sponsored and contains no affiliate links. I just really like these products!
My Skin Type
Dry + dehydrated with sun damage (hyperpigmentation)
What I Want From My Skin Care Routine
- Cruelty-free and vegan
- Hydration and moisture
- No acne causing ingredients (I use CosDNA to check out the safety of skin care products)
- Lightening of hyperpigmentation from sun damage
First up, cleansers. For everyday cleansing I use this
Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin ($15.71 CAD/237ml). I was looking for a vegan alternative to my old non-vegan favourites like Cerave, Cetaphil, and SpectroJel and Vanicream fits the bill! It’s gentle and cleanses thoroughly (even removing makeup swiftly.) Looking up the product on CosDNA, it’s ingredients totally check out. It won’t cause acne or irritate your skin. UPDATE: Vanicream is not tested on animals and does not contain animal-derived ingredients, however its ingredients may have been tested on animals where required by law.
For makeup removal I use the Kirkland brand makeup wipes from Costco ($19.00 CAD/150 wipes). It’s more affordable than using extra Vanicream cleanser to remove makeup + cleanse on full face makeup days. UPDATE: I no longer use makeup wipes regularly.
Moisturizing + Hydration:
Next, moisturizers. My skin is super dry so hydration is huge. I use The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA ($7.70 CAD/100ml) in the morning and under makeup. On days when I want more moisture I add a drop of The Ordinary’s 100% Plant-Derived Squalane ($7.90 CAD/100ml). In the evening I use a blend of The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80 CAD/30ml) and their 100% Plant Derived Squalane.
Sun care! Currently I’m using Alba Botanica’s Facial Sunscreen (Fragrance Free with SPF 30). It’s not greasy and wears well under makeup. I apply sunscreen after moisturizer in the morning. I need to work on my commitment to sun care. Last winter I was using a Retin-A product without sunscreen and end up with some obvious sun damage to my under eye and upper lip areas. I wasn’t even outside much, this was just from general winter driving (no sunglasses) and because I was using a chemical exfoliant. Please use sunscreen! Especially if you’re using a skin care regime that includes topical chemical exfoliants (or oral isotretinoin aka Accutane.) I’ve tried Sun Bum’s facial SPF cream and their spray sunscreen but I found them both oily feeling and quite pricey. The Ordinary has a line of sun care on its way so I’ll be trying that ASAP!
A few times a week I use The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% peeling solution ($6.70 CAD/30ml) in the evening, after cleansing. I let that dry before applying Natural Moisturizing factors + HA or Hyaluronic Acid + B5 and 100% Plant Derived Squalane. This is one of those product you want to use alongside diligent sun care.
I use a mixture of sugar + coconut oil to exfoliate my lips as needed.
I’ve used a lot of inexpensive primers from Wet n’ Wild and ELF, as well as the super popular Smashbox primer (I used this one before going vegan) but I’m currently a big fan of The Ordinary’s 2 primers: High-Adherence Silicone Primer ($4.90 CAD/30ml - helps makeup last longer and helps to blur imperfections) and the High-Spreadability Fluid Primer ($7.90 CAD/30ml - helps even spreading of makeup pigments around dry areas and under eyes.) I’m not sure which I prefer, I like them both!
I’m a makeup junkie so when The Ordinary came out with foundations (their whole line is vegan by the way!) I knew I needed to try them ASAP. I tried both their Serum Foundation ($6.70 CAD/30ml) and the Coverage Foundation ($6.90 CAD/30ml). I didn’t really expect to like the Serum Foundation. I figured it would be like a BB cream with sheer coverage. I was so wrong! It looks so good on skin and it has really great coverage. It actually makes my skin look better without looking like I’m wearing a lot of makeup. I typically prefer foundations that offer full coverage and The Ordinary’s Serum foundation is somewhere between medium and full coverage. The coverage foundation is nice too but it looks much more like makeup on the skin. I prefer to wear it as concealer over the Serum foundation.
I use the shade 1.1P for both foundations which is a good match but possibly a touch pale for me so I’d purchase 1.2P in the future. My one gripe is with The Ordinary’s shade range (which I believe they plan on expanding in the future), out of 21 shades, 12 shades are suited for light-medium skin tones, 4 for medium-dark skin tones, 3 for deep-very deep skin tones. You can view their shade range here.
Other Products I Use:
- The Ordinary’s Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG ($6.70 CAD/30ml)
When mornings are feeling extra hard or I just haven’t gotten enough sleep I use this around my eye area. I can’t say this stuff is life changing but it feels soo nice on bad mornings. I’ve use chilled caffeinated tea bags for the same purpose but The Ordinary’s product is less messy and easy to use quickly (which is so necessary on sleepless mornings) and it just makes your eyes feel sooo goood.
- The Honest Company’s Shampoo + Body Wash
I sometimes use this as face wash if I’m wearing makeup (it removes makeup quickly) or I’m out of Vanicream. I purchase this from Costco in a 2 pack.
- The Honest Company’s Face + Body Lotion
I use this to moisturize my body and occasionally for moisturizing my face if I’m out of The Ordinary’s Moisturizing factors + HA. It's best by itself, I find it can react with other ingredients in my usual skin care routine and cause a little burning/itching, but it's totally fine by itself. I buy this from Costco in a 2 pack.
My Daily Routine
AM - Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin, dry, and apply The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturizing factors + HA. On makeup days I’d add one of The Ordinary’s primers + foundations + whatever makeup I'm wearing that day. If I'm leaving the house I'll add in Alba Botanica’s Facial Sunscreen after TO's Natural Moisturizing factors + HA or in place of it.
PM - Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin, dry, and apply and mixture of The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid + B5 and their 100% Plant Derived Squalane.
2-3x Per Week Routine
AM - Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin, dry, and apply The Ordinary’s Caffeine + ECGC massaging my eyelids and under eyes gently. Then I moisturize with Natural Moisturizing factors + HA. On makeup days I’d add one of The Ordinary’s primers + foundations + whatever makeup I'm wearing that day. If I'm leaving the house I'll add in Alba Botanica’s Facial Sunscreen after TO's Natural Moisturizing factors + HA or in place of it.
PM - Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin, dry, and apply The Ordinary’s 10% Lactic Acid + 2% HA peeling solution, let dry. Apply a mixture of The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid + B5 and their 100% Plant Derived Squalane.
What’s missing from my routine?
- Lip balm - I’m on the lookout for an affordable (like, cheap because I always lose them!!) moisturizing vegan lip balm. My lips get extremely dry and chapped during the winter so I’m looking for something heavy-duty that isn’t crazy expensive!
- Water! - I haven’t been drinking enough water and my skin and lips are feeling it. Stay hydrated (especially if you find that your skin is dry or oily but dehydrated.