Beware Skin Karma: My top gentle products to heal my skin back.

Mirror, mirror, which is the most gentle of them all? 😉

Several months ago, my skin started reacting to products in a very unusual way: it became overly sensitive and I started having breakouts on my chin and my right cheek that wouldn’t leave the surface. Skin karma is no joke, the testing sessions had worn my skin out and I was getting payback. Since nothing seemed to work, I decided to abruptly stop using any beauty products. For a few days, besides splashing water, I adopted the caveman regime (quite controversial, but it really helped regulate oil excess and reduce the redness).
I then proceeded to stick to a specific routine, using the most gentle products I could find in my beauty cabinet. These items helped me tremendously soothe the irritation and restore some balance.

Cleanser

This was the travel size I ordered when the Little Alchemist offered worldwide free shipping for a limited time. I never seemed to enjoy gel cleansers (despite the fact that gel cleansers are usually recommended for oily skin) but this was the exception. It’s a stellar product!
Apple, Zeolite, Pineapple & Wheatgrass, Plantain are among the ingredients. It’s definitely one of the most unique and most exotic combination I’ve ever seen in a cleanser. And it works like a charm. It’s
a clear, mild gel with a slight fruity smell. It’s non-drying which is
exactly what I was looking for, because certain gel cleansers tend to strip
off the natural oils and leave my face feel tight. Anti-microbial, hydrating, soothing, and restorative, it’s an all-in-one cleanser. I’ll repurchase it at some point because it’s really amazing, I know I can use it safely, even if my skin starts behaving erratically again. Contrary to what its small size might suggest, I was able to use it 2-3 weeks straight because you only need a small amount to cleanse your face.
Ingredients: Aqua, (Pineapple) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Extract*,Alchemilla Vulgaris (Lady’s Mantel) Extract, Leuconostoc/Aloe barbadensis Leaf/ Sorbus Aucuparia Fruit Ferment Filtrate, Pascopyron Smithii (Wheatgrass) Extract*, plantago major (plantain) leaf extract*, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) Extract*, Vegetable Glycerine, Decyl Glucoside, Xanthan Gum, Zeolite, salix nigra (Blackwillow Bark) Extract, Glycrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract*, Carica Papaya Extract*, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, fragrance (Vanilla & Almond Extracts), Curcuma Longa (Tumeric) CO2 Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Blood Orange) Peel Oil, Mentha piperita (Peppermint) Oil.

Toners/Mists

I reviewed Dabba’s extraordinary toner range (here) and Birch leaf is recommended to balance skin’s pH level and oiliness, and since I was longing to recover some skin balance, I reached out for this bottle. Usually I need something stronger as a toner after cleansing, but this did the trick. My skin did not react to it.
Ingredients:  Betula Pendula (Birch) leaf water*, Leuconostoc/Radish root ferment filtrate. *Ecocert and organic

Reviewed (here). This was my second bottle and I can’t get enough of it. Pure, rose water and nothing else. Just like Dabba’s hydrosol, Khadi’s contains two ingredients. Whenever I felt my skin dry or tight, I sprayed some rose water, without troubles occuring. No redness in sight when I use it.
Ingredients: Water, Rosa Damascena

Moisturizer/Facial Oil

One of my top products of 2013 (here) and I’m still under the spell of this product. Who knew one ingredient could be miraculous? Squalane oil is derived from olives, and it happens to be the lightest, yet most concentrated and hydrating oils I’ve tried. Quite paradoxical, since olive oil never really worked for me  (in my younger days of exploring natural skincare, which were filled with trials and – lots of – errors, I shall never forget that explosive combo of olive oil and Alepp soap – read: disaster lol). It has no smell, no color, doesn’t clog and is quickly absorbed. The only oil that didn’t turn my face more red. Therefore Indie Lee’s squalane oil remains one of my holy-grail products, because it always delivers, performance-wise.
Ingredients: 100% Squalane oil

Major love for this cream! A more detailled post about Leahlani Skincare is in the works.
A few months ago, I started having tiny red bumps under my eyes (not sure it was millia, but it looked like some sort of inflammation). I tried applying a tiny amount of Leah’s aloe-rich cream to see if it could help. After several days, the bumps were completely gone! Whenever a redness appears, I apply the Aloe day cream, because it quickly soothes and balances my skin. I’m fond of the floral smell as well,  but I think pretty much everything from Leahlani is beautifully scented. Shoutout to darling Nic from OrgaNic Obsessions, because she kindly sent me the jar to try, and introduced me to this goodness. Since good things are meant to be shared, I also gave some to my teenage sister who experienced cracked skin and redness around her nose. After a few days, her skin was back to normal. I’m not surprised I love it so much though, because Blue Tansy, Geranium and Chamomille are some of my skin’s bffs. I never experienced any issues with these ingredients. I’ll definitely purchase this amazing multipurpose cream.
Ingredients. Pure aloe juice, shea butter, leahlani hawaiian floral fusion water (hawaiian spring water, lavender, rose) grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E, emulsifying wax (naturally derived), vegetable glycerin, Leahlani balancing essential oil blend, capryly glycol, rose ether, glycine derivative preservative.

Mask/Scrub

Reviewed (here). You may know that it’s one of my favorite scrubs. With sweat pea flour and pineapple enzymes, Brand New Day is a mild polish. During this time, I couldn’t use my beloved Problem Solver or any potent mask I had in store. Usually my main woe is hormonal cysts on the chin. Dealing with reactive skin and redness was really new to me, so I decided to stick with Brand New Day since it’s actually doubles as a scrub/mask and I’m glad I did. Gentle as can be, it got rid of dead skin cells (after several days of the cavemen beauty regime), without making my face turn tomato red. I didn’t go overboard with the scrubbing, one scrub a week was more than enough.
Ingredients: Organic Zea Mays (Corn) Starch,Organic Pisum Sativum (Sweet Pea) Flour, Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, Organic Ananas Comosus (pineapple) fruit extract, Sodium Myristoyl Glutamate, proprietary natural and organic fragrance compounds.

Foundation

While I stayed makeup free whenever I could, I had to add some coverage during the days I was headed to work/or seeing a lot of people. During those time, I washed my foundation brush after each use and turned to Lily Lolo’s mineral foundation. It’s easy to use, the coverage was good enough to even out skin. Easy to remove as well, and most importantly did not cause me more skin reactions. The simpler, the better. Shoutout to the gorgeous Jana from Small bits of Loveliness , because I probably wouldn’t have tried Lily Lolo’s foundation if I hadn’t read her glowing reviews about it 🙂
Ingredients:  MICA, ZINC OXIDE [+/- CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE), CI 77492 (IRON OXIDE), CI 77491 (IRON OXIDE), CI 77499 (IRON OXIDE)]. 

As you can see most of these produts contain fewer ingredients, which I think contributed in giving my skin a break while providing a gentle healing. After several weeks, my skin turned back to normal, but since then I stopped trying new products all at once. I stick to a routine and I only incorporate one new product to my routine. Since sticking to it, I’ve found myself with a much more calm and balanced skin. Stay tuned for a post on my current cleansing routine.

What are your go-to gentle products?

Take care,
Liz

Liz

Green hunter, wellness junkie and pun maker on the website, I'm on a journey towards a kinder and healthier life. @lizthegreenspirit on Instagram.

17 Comments
  1. I'd love to try Leahlani Skincare, their products sound amazing. The OLO Brand New Day has also caught my eye. When my skin is reactive, I reach for my raw manuka honey for cleansing and as a mask, concoct a DIY aloe vera gel + rose water + herbs toner or rely on my Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel, and apply a trusty facial oil. Though, lately I have been eyeing my sample from de Mamiel.

    1. Thank you for sharing Megan! Oh the soothing gel is definitely high on my to-try list, and suprisingly I wonder why it took me so long to use Aloe Vera, it's been one of the most effective ingredients for me since I tried it. You won't be disappointed with DeMamiel, her products are exceptional 🙂 xx

  2. Hey Liz, I still have the Dabba (is it Dabba?) toner you sent me! :p Too many products to use so I don't know when I can break out that new toner… I really wish I can stay loyal to a product for a long time – I love Leah's Aloe day cream, it makes my skin soft and smooth and honestly my skin looked and felt better when I was using it! x

    1. Yes, it's Dabba 🙂 I can't remember which one I sent you, but when you get to use it, let me know. It's really something you can spritz several times during a day. I'd be lying if I said that my routine never changes, but now I wait several weeks (minimum.) before introducing a new product. Hence why I'm sometimes a little behind on product reviews 😉 xx

  3. Stik on a routine is very important! C'est super difficile en tant que blogueuse, on reçoit des produits et on veut les tester. Bon, je l'ai fait il y a quelques mois, m'en tenir a quelques produits et toujours les mêmes et j'ai eu de beau résultat avec ma peau. J'ai recommencé, il y a une semaine et je compte m'y tenir 🙂

    La crème de Leah est genial pour les peaux réactives.. Je crois que les produits OLO sont très safe pour les peaux sensibles, j'utilise le serum Youth preservation ces temps ci et je l'aime beaucoup xx Merci pour tes commentaires sur Dabba c'est une marque qui m'attire, ça doit être le design 🙂

    1. Oui! C'est tellement tentant de tout utiliser en même temps, mais j'ai fait cette erreur et m'a peau me l'a fait payé lol. Je n'ai jamais eu une peau sensible, mais maintenant je fais super attention. Franchement la crème de Leah elle m'a épaté, parce que je ne mets pratiquement plus de crème (au profit des huiles) et non seulement elle calme la peau, mais elle ne laisse pas une sensation gluante sur la peau comme d'autre crèmes haha! Dabba, c'est la simplicité au top, seulement je préfère prévenir que certains peuvent ne pas trop apprécier l'odeur (c'est très herbal). Moi, j'aime bien, c'est très nature 😉 xx
      ps. Merci!! Mon ancien layout buggait sans cesse et je n'arrivais plus à faire de modifications

  4. My skin becomes reactive if I test too many products at once too! My go-to's, if that happens, are Weleda's Almond Cleanser and rosehip and jojoba oils, but I love the sound of Brand New Day and the Dabba Birch Water 🙂

  5. Trying so many products, even though natural, has its downside too. It took me a while to find the products which suit my skin and I find it so difficult when I have to replace one or more of them to try something new. Sometimes I find a new must-have for my beauty cabinet and sometimes I can't wait to go back to my beloved bottles 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your experience, Liz!

  6. I have been also experimenting some dryness (extra actually) abd redness because i tried 2 different mask too soon each other (dr alkaitis and la bella figura) so it took me like 3 weeks to restore the balance and in the meantime i've got sun scars (shame on me i was reading outside with no protection but the sun is so RARE here and i was too excited hahah) and freckles here and there.

    I just received a couple of weeks ago some lovely Indiee Lee from Cosnatural. And one of these is the squalene face oil. Like said before on IG will keep it separated and use it during summer time…looks awesome and promises a lot!

    Leahlani is my BEST FRIEND when its about natural stuff haha, she is simply the best my skin found until now. That cream worked wonderfully last year during hot days. I kept it in the fridge for extra cooling effect.
    I'm expecting a new parcel from her and i cant wait to have it in my hands.

    About khadi i hated that rose water after the second bottle, i found it too odd and "aunty" smell but this is my personal opinion hahaha maybe was not the best period…i love or hate products according my currently mood 🙁

  7. Been trying to comment here numerous times but something always happens when I press publish 🙁 Fingers crossed it will work this time! I'm so so glad you enjoy the Aloe Day cream! It's hard not to like Leah's creations when they're so beautiful, natural and gentle. I've got my sister hooked now as well 🙂 Would love to try something from TLA and that cleanser sounds yummy! It can be a jungle to find the right products for your skin when it starts reacting so posts like these are appreciated to see what has worked for others. Oh and I love the new look of your blog!! Sending you a big hug from Sweden xxx

  8. Ooo thanks for the mention, sweet Liz!<3 I'm so happy you've tried it and like it :)) All of these products sounds awesome, but one that stood out to me is the Aloe Day Cream from Leahlani. I love her products and I'll have to keep in mind to try this cream when I'll be needing a new one! 🙂 xx

  9. I absolutely agree with you, re: Indie Lee's Squalane Oil and OLO's scrub! They're definite staples in my skin care routine, whether or not it's feeling sensitive!

  10. Hemorrhoid cream as the miracle wrinkle reducer has no basis in fact. A quick Internet search will bring up a wide spread of opinions. It has been shown to get rid of redness and puffiness which momentarily decreases the appearance of wrinkles, but the long-term and preventative effects are unproven. anti-wrinkle beauty products

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