I have come a long way in my skincare journey. I finally had a proper skincare routine in 2015. Unfortunately, my routine was not cruelty-free. After learning about animal testing in the beauty industry, I found out that every product that I used was from a brand that tested on animals.
I was disappointed since the products worked so well, but I did not want to achieve my external beauty at the cost of the environment and animals. I used up all of the products until they were finished and then sought out to start my cruelty-free skincare routine.
The first cruelty-free brand I went to was The Body Shop. The Body Shop has a vast range of cruelty-free makeup and skincare products. After doing research on their products and going for a brief consultation at one of their stores, I got the best skincare products for my skin type (sensitive). The Aloe Vera skincare range is for people with sensitive skin.
My skin is tricky because so many ingredients might cause it to react. My skin will either breakout, get itchy or get red patches. The Aloe Vera Cleansing Gel has cooling components, so the gel cleanses the pores without aggravating my skin. I first rinse my face with warm water to open my pores. I use a cherry sized amount of cleanser and I apply it in small circular motions.
The Body Shop Aloe Vera skincare range does not have an exfoliator because it is not ideal for people with sensitive skin to use exfoliators. However, I still tried a few samples from other ranges from The Body Shop because I like to exfoliate my skin. It gives my skin a deep pore cleansing which is important, especially if I’ve worn makeup. The best exfoliator for my skin is the Seaweed Exfoliator from the Seaweed range. It is gentle, it smells great and is completely free of plastic microbeads. You can find out more about plastic free exfoliators here. I exfoliate every Wednesday and Sunday. I have found that my skin doesn’t react as long as I don’t over exfoliate.
The second product that I use from The Body Shop Aloe Vera skincare range is the Aloe Vera toner. Toner helps even my skin complexion and lighten dark marks. I only use it once a day at night. I use it once a day because toner does tend to dry out my skin. I use it at night because of the excess oils that my skin produces overnight. I don’t apply toner with a cotton pad because they are too rough for my skin. Instead, I lightly dab it on my face with my fingers. I learnt this method from watching numerous videos of Korean skincare routines. Most of them suggested that toner can be applied like an essence. The results are just as good as applying it with cotton pads! Plus, it reduces the amount of waste that comes from cotton pads.
I have tried and tested countless facemasks and only two have worked on my skin. I use two masks because each one plays a different role. The first mask that I use is the Lush Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask. It is a clay mask consisting of natural ingredients such as blueberries and chamomile. It is so gentle and smells amazing (scent is important to me). I like clay masks because of the texture and because they don’t burn like others do. I apply this mask every Sunday.
The second mask I use is the 7th Heaven Black Seaweed Peel-Off Mask. It is the only peel off mask that doesn’t dry out my skin. My skin actually feels more refreshed and moisturised after I use it. I use this mask at the end of the month or every second month. The reason why I do this is because, as good as the Lush mask is, the peel off mask removes more dirt and it completely detoxes my pores. After days of wearing makeup and absorbing things like air pollution (which does affect our skin), it’s good to do a pore detox.
I use both the day and night creams from The Body Shop Aloe Vera skincare range. Both creams are so smooth and gentle. The last step to my skincare routine is vitiligo treatment cream. I apply this on my vitiligo spot every night. It won’t remove my vitiligo, but it will prevent it from spreading.
- Wash with warm water to open pores and rinse with cold water to close pores (before applying moisturiser)
- Wear less makeup. I’ve stopped layering my face with makeup. I also try to avoid wearing makeup every day.
- Don’t touch your face! I had a friend on campus who shouted at me every time I touched my face. There are so many germs on your hands that you don’t want on your face!
- Clean your pillowcase once a week.
- Diet and exercise is important. I have noticed some changes ever since I started exercising again and became vegetarian. I found that dairy and meat make my skin break out. Now that I’m a vegetarian I barely get any breakouts. Pay attention to what might cause breakouts.
- Drink water. Water is magic.
- If I do breakout then I avoid touching the spot. Touching it would make it worse. I apply either honey, cleanser or some of the Lush facemask on the spot. If it leaves a mark then I apply some Bio Oil on it every night.
- Sleep is important. Now this is where I fail because, I don’t get enough sleep. I have to be honest; with my workload, I would be lucky to sleep for 8 hours. My skin isn’t a train wreck because I don’t sleep enough.
- Try not to stress. I know that’s almost impossible to do but try to find ways to relieve yourself of stress.
Just because I have flaws doesn’t mean that this skincare routine doesn’t work! My skin is not perfect and I accept that. Accept your flaws and flaunt them.
– Kayla Shivana