With a laundry list of chores, tasks and to-dos, it can be all-too easy to skip out on the self-care. And a solid skin care routine can be one of the first things you ditch when your schedule gets crazy.
But your skin deserves better! It protects you, introduces you to the world and keeps your bod on the move each and every day. No matter how busy you are, creating a natural skin care routine is easier than you think — and it pays off in the long term, big time.
A Fleur & Bee, we’re a natural skin care company that’s dedicated to hand-picking the best botanical ingredients from all over the world to give you radiant, revitalized skin.
In other words, we’ve done our research! (Like, a WHOLE LOT of research.) So we’ve put together the ultimate guide to building a natural skin care routine that you’ll actually stick to.
Let’s talk about how everything you need for natural skin care including how to build a basic skin care routine (in the correct order), tips for different skin types, natural ingredients to look for and their benefits, ingredients to avoid, lifestyle factors — and answers to your frequently asked questions.
IN A NUTSHELL
Main Takeaways: A full natural skincare routine should consist of a cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, and moisturizer (in that order!).
Good to Know: If you have dry skin, consider only washing your face once a day at night, and just rinsing your face with water in the morning followed by a toner. This will help keep your skin from feeling dry throughout the day.
Basic Skin Care Routine Order - The Correct Way to Build One
When it comes to a skin care regimen, order is everything. Putting moisturizer on before washing your face, for instance, would cut back its effectiveness and potentially clog your pores.
The general order for your daily skin care routine is as follows:
- Cleanser (followed by optional exfoliators or masks)
- Eye Cream
Be sure to leave a few minutes between each step to allow the products to absorb.
Now let’s go over your detailed lineup for when you build a skin care routine.
At the heart of any skin care regimen is a natural cleanser. Every day your skin is faced with dirt, toxins, debris, oil, bacteria and other junk in the environment.
Washing your face twice a day insures your skin stays clean and free from impurities. It also removes makeup, which is crucial for keeping your pores from getting clogged. Wearing makeup to bed can actually accelerate signs of aging, dry your skin out, and cause major build-up.
Makeup wipes are also a before-bed option, but they create a lot of waste and are harder on the environment. Best to opt for a natural cleanser packaged in a recyclable or reusable container.
When choosing a cleanser, look for natural ingredients like:
- Coconut oil — Cleanses and hydrates dry skin.
- Olive oil — Antioxidant support; helps to fight premature signs of aging.
- Jojoba oil — Moisturizes and balances skin’s natural oils.
- Grapefruit oil — Provides nutrient boost and helps promote clear, smooth skin. (Most effective when paired with another oil like coconut or jojoba.)
- Lemon oil — Helps to detoxify and cleanse.
- Sage leaf oil — Soothes temporary irritations and eliminates toxins.
- Tea tree oil — Helps calm temporary redness and unclog pores.
- Aloe vera — Provides soothing antioxidant support, moisturizes skin.
- Clay — Helps to detoxify and cleanse.
Facial toner might be one of those skin care products you’re tempted to skip, but it can make a world of difference when it comes to keeping your skin revitalized and refreshed.
There are lots of reasons to use toner, including that it serves as a temporary tightener, minimizing the appearance of pores and freeing skin from dirt, oil, and impurities. It creates an extra clean base for the rest of your products to properly absorb.
Natural toner options include:
- Witch hazel — Helps balance natural oils and promote a smooth, even skin tone.
- Clary sage — Cleanses and energizes skin.
- Green tea — Evens out complexion and refreshes skin.
- Tea tree oil — Minimizes the appearance of large pores and leaves a clean surface.
- Aloe vera — Alleviates temporary redness and provides a soothing effect.
- Rose water — Hydrates, refreshes, removes dirt and impurities and temporarily tightens the appearance of skin.
When shopping for a toner, steer clear of ingredients like alcohol, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, fragrances, and phthalates and parabens.
A twice daily facial serum can give your skin an extra infusion of antioxidant protection, hydration and youth-boosting benefits.
A good serum can brighten skin, even out your skin tone, reduce the appearance of dark spots, improve your skin’s texture, remove impurities and plump and smooth skin.
The three most common serum varieties are Vitamin C, retinol and hyaluronic acid. Retinol is a stronger form of Vitamin E that smooths and protects, while hyaluronic acid is a substance naturally produced by the body that helps retain moisture. All are available over the counter, but stronger forms of retinol and hyaluronic acid are only by prescription.
The pure form of Vitamin C is L-Ascorbic Acid (LAA), and it’s the most common kind found in facial serums.
But because it’s so potent it can be too intense for some people’s skin, and also oxidizes quickly. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to look for a different form of Vitamin C.
Other forms of Vitamin C include:
- Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP) — A more stable form of LAA that offers all the benefits of Vitamin C but is, unlikely to cause issues with any skin type. This is what we use in Fleur & Bee’s Vitamin C serum.
- Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP) — A water-soluble form of Vitamin C that can soothe skin and balance oils.
- Ascorbyl Palmitate — A fat-soluble version of vitamin C that mixes ascorbic acid and palmitic acid. Used in many oil-based skin care products and is known for absorbing easily and promoting a youthful look.
The skin around the eye area is thinner, so it tends to need extra care in order to avoid premature signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. And no one likes bags, puffiness, or dark circles that hint at a sleepless night!
Opting for an eye cream can help to protect and nourish the tender eye area. Regular serums and moisturizers aren’t formulated to treat this delicate skin, so it’s better to opt for an eye cream than to try and use your other products in that area.
When shopping for an eye cream, remember to skip the harsh chemicals and toxins, and opt into natural ingredients. Look for the following options when checking labels:
- Vitamin C — Provides anti-aging benefits and minimizes the appearance of fine lines.
- Vitamin E — Minimizes signs of aging and smooths skin.
- Gotu Kola — Removes impurities and brightens eye area.
- Grape Seed Extract — Helps to fade the look of dark circles and spots.
- Goji Berry — Calms the area and helps reduce puffiness.
- Aloe Vera — Smooths, softens and soothes skin.
- Caffeine — Perks eye area up.
Keeping your skin properly moisturized is the foundation for an effective, natural skin care routine that gives you a radiant, youthful look.
Moisturizer works by mimicking the body’s own sebum, or oil; that’s why using products that contain natural ingredients is your best bet — your skin doesn’t know the difference.
It can actually help prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by trapping moisture in the skin and keeping it looking plump and firm.
There are two different kinds of moisturizer: day creams and night creams. Day creams are designed to wear well under makeup and sometimes contain sunscreen. Those without sunscreen can do double duty and be used in the morning and at night.
Night creams tend to be heavier and sometimes contain ingredients like retinol, glycolic acid, or alpha hydroxy acids that can make your skin more sensitive to sun. (If you have mature skin or specific skin care needs, you may want to consider adding a night cream to your regimen.)
Natural ingredients to look for in a moisturizer include:
- Coconut oil — Absorbs easily and helps to even out skin tone.
- Jojoba oil — Similar to the skin’s own oil, the benefits of jojoba oil include an antioxidant boost and reduced signs of aging.
- Squalane — The processed version of squalene, an oil produced by the skin, squalane can balance natural oils and works for every skin type.
- Glycerin — Attracts water and keeps skin hydrated.
- Aloe vera — Soothes, protects, and can alleviate temporary redness.
- Olive oil — Provides antioxidant protection against environmental stressors.
- Shea butter — Offers vitamin-rich moisture and diminishes the appearance of imperfections.
- Sunflower oil — Creates a smoother looking appearance and improved texture.
You’ve heard it before, you’ll hear it again: wear sunscreen EVERY SINGLE DAY. A natural sunscreen is your best protection against sun damage and UV rays. It will help keep you looking younger, longer, and avoid much of the unfortunate side effects of long term exposure.
Sunscreen should be the last step in your daily skin care routine, following your moisturizer. There are two options for sunscreen: chemical and mineral (physical). Chemical sunscreens use chemicals to create a barrier against the sun’s rays — all of which can be absorbed into your skin. Mineral sunscreens actually sit on top of the skin and reflect the light. Mineral is your best bet if you want to stay natural.
When shopping for a natural sunscreen, avoid the following ingredients:
- Oxybenzone — A form of synthetic estrogen that damages coral reefs.
- Octinoxate — Can cause skin allergies and also damages corals.
- Avobenzone — Causes high rates of skin irritation.
- Retinyl Palmitate — A form of Vitamin A that can create damaging free radicals when exposed to the sun.
Instead, look for zinc oxide as the primary ingredient in sun protection (like Bare Republic’s Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion). Derived from the mineral zincite, zinc reflects light and cannot be absorbed. It protects against UVA and UVB rays, and is the most highly recommended sunscreen choice.
You probably remember the old school white, chalky version of zinc modeled by your local lifeguard! Some modern versions are still translucent white but it’s a small price to pay for sun protection.
(Titanium dioxide is another mineral sunscreen option, but there’s some concern that it could cause free radicals when exposed to the sun and potentially be absorbed by the skin.)
If you’re outdoors, remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours to ensure you stay protected and healthy.
And if you want to go the extra mile, there are even some foods you can eat that can protect skin from sun damage from within.
Now that you understand the basics of how to build a natural skin care routine, you can find a regimen that’s right for you.
Everyone’s skin is different, and you can tailor your daily routine to your unique needs. Find some products you LOVE and run with it! Skin care is self-care!
Just stick to natural ingredients, adopt some healthy lifestyle habits, commit to a skin care regimen and you’ll be loving the look of your skin in no time!
Whole Routine in a Box
To cover all the bases, we’ve created a natural skin care routine that’s easy to implement and includes everything you need. Just use these products twice daily (plus sunscreen in the a.m.) and you’ll be setting the stage for gorgeous, glowing skin.
So Clean! is a specially formulated cleanser designed to gently cleanse your skin while infusing it with key nutrients. It unclogs pores and purifies the surface of your skin, leading to a brighter, smoother complexion. It includes organic coconut oil, rosemary extract, organic aloe, glycerin, gotu kola and sunflower oil.
Rose Water Toner
Rose & Shine is a pure, natural toner that balances the skin’s natural oils and cleans dirt and other icky stuff from the surface of skin. It also helps to hydrate and refresh. Plus it smells amazing!
Vitamin C Serum
Nectar of the C is a natural Vitamin C serum that helps to minimize the appearance of signs of aging and give your skin a luminous look. It plumps and hydrates, plus reduces the look of dark spots and other imperfections. It includes Vitamin C, Vitamin E, ferulic acid, organic aloe vera, organic jojoba and clary sage.
Eyes Eyes Baby is an anti-aging eye cream that’s formulated to work on the delicate, thinner skin around your eyes. It can help to brighten the appearance of under eye circles and reduce puffiness, plus it offers a hydrating boost. It also minimizes the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Eyes Eyes Baby contains Vitamin B3, caffeine, matrixyl 3000, Vitamin E and squalane.
H2 Oh Yeah provides the deep, long-lasting hydration your skin craves. Rich in antioxidants and active naturals to keep your skin smooth, it will help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. H2 Oh Yeah contains super hydrating and moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, sea buckthorn oil, evening primrose oil and shea butter.
Skin Care Routine: Extra Credit
For extra credit (good for school and for skin!), there are a few elements you can add to your routine. They’re not for everyday, but they can help you boost your cleansing game and add some extra nutrients via your skin care regimen.
Exfoliants are different ingredients that help to remove dead cells from your epidermis, or the surface of your skin. There are physical exfoliants (sugar, oatmeal, etc.) and chemical exfoliants (alpha hydroxy acids, retinoids, etc.) Your skin sheds dead cells around every 30 days, but sometimes they stick around — so you want to make sure you’re taking the time to get rid of them.
If you have a solid natural skin care routine in place, you may not need an extra exfoliant. But if you feel like your skin could use a little refresh, you can opt for some natural options once or twice a week. Just don’t overdo it! Over-exfoliating can cause irritation and strip your skin of its natural oils.
Natural exfoliants include:
- Sugar — Mix some sugar with a natural oil like grapeseed, jojoba or squalane to make a scrub.
- Oatmeal — Ground up some dry oats in a food processor and mix with a little bit of water.
- Baking soda — This household staple makes a great exfoliant when mixed with water.
- Sea salt — The larger size of sea salt means it won’t dissolve easily. Mix with a bit of natural oil and use as a scrub.
- Coffee — The caffeine in coffee can actually serve as a skin pick-me-up. Mix some used coffee grounds (reduce reuse!) with a bit of natural oil and scrub away.
For all of the above, rub your face gently in a circular motion before rinsing clean.
(If you’re going with store bought, be sure to check the ingredients on common commercial exfoliants; many contain microbeads, a tiny plastic which is rough on the skin and extremely detrimental for the environment.)
Adding a mask to your routine every couple of days can help add extra oomph to your skin care regimen and help your face stay revitalized and glowing.
There are face masks for an array of different skin care needs, from anti-aging to hydrating to detoxifying and more. They can help to add an extra level of cleansing, de-clog pores, add moisture, even out skin tone and more.
When choosing a face mask, be sure to look for natural ingredients and avoid the toxins we discuss below.
Fleur & Bee’s detox face mask includes kaolin clay (soft and gentle, balances oils), bentonite clay (mineral-rich, adds a protective boost) and coconut charcoal powder (natural cleanser that absorbs) — plus organic aloe leaf juice (soothing, calming) and organic green tea leaf extract (plumps skin, revitalizes).
Tips for Different Skin Types
Every skin type is different, and while the above routine highlights the key steps that work for skin of all types, you might want to add some elements depending on your unique skin care needs.
Natural Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin
When you’re dealing with dry skin, it’s important to keep moisture intact as much as possible. Here are some tips for creating a natural skin care routine for dry skin:
- If your skin feels dry after washing, consider cleansing just once a day, in the evening, and just rinsing your face with water in the morning — then moving on to the rest of your skin care regimen.
- Avoid hot showers and baths. Too-hot temps can rob the skin of its natural oils and hurt the protective layer that keeps you hydrated. Opt for cooler temperatures.
- If your skin is extra dry, you can consider using a natural skin balancing oil like jojoba oil or squalane in addition to your moisturizer. Also look for products that contain hyaluronic acid, which helps retain over 1,000 times its weight in water.
Natural Skin Care Routine for Oily Skin
When your skin is extra oily, here are some key ways to balance your natural oils and keep your skin healthy and clean:
- Wash your face at least twice a day with a natural cleanser. And don’t skip the toner! It will help keep your skin balanced and clean.
- Try a detox face mask or mask designed for oily skin, two to three times per week. This can help to keep your natural oils in check throughout the week.
- Invest in natural oil blotting papers. Black bamboo charcoal is a great oil-absorbing ingredient to look for.
- Avoid touching your face. Bacteria and oil from your fingers can potentially cause breakouts.
Natural Skin Care Routine for Combination Skin
If you have combination skin, you may feel like your face is unpredictable! Dry, oily, both? Here are some tips for successfully dealing with combination skin:
- Stick to your natural skin care routine. Utilizing all the proper products will help keep moisture where it needs to be and balance your natural oils.
- Make sure you’re using a natural, alcohol-free toner. A natural option will keep your skin from drying out while staying toned.
- Consider using one of the natural exfoliants described above to remove dead skin and keep your skin refreshed and smooth.
Natural Skin Care Routine for Sensitive Skin
When you have sensitive skin, it needs extra TLC. Here are some tricks for creating a natural skin care routine that nourishes your skin:
- Avoid anything with “fragrance.” This catch-all term for artificial scents can include harsh chemicals and other scents that may irritate your skin.
- Protect yourself when you’re outdoors. This means always wearing sunscreen and opting for hats and protective outerwear that keeps you covered.
- Check for hard water. If your water is “hard,” meaning mineral-rich, it can dry out your skin and potentially clog pores. Buy a test online and if it reads positive, think about installing a water softener.
Natural Skin Care Routine for Mature Skin
As skin ages, it can have different needs. Here are some tips for managing mature skin and keeping it healthy and supple:
- Consider using retinoids. These stronger versions of Vitamin A offer an array of benefits for skin and boost collagen production. Weaker versions are available over the counter but prescription strength needs to be obtained from a doctor.
- Opt for a skin care supplement. Eating key nutrients through food is your best bet, but a skin care supplement like biotin or collagen can potentially help give your skin a boost. You can also add some probiotics into your routine because better gut health = better skin health.
- Use anti-aging masks. Choose a natural face mask that offers anti-aging benefits and helps reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Use it two to three times per week as part of your skin care regimen.
Natural Ingredients to Look for and Their Benefits
When looking for products to build a skin care routine, checking labels is everything! You want to know what you’re putting on your face. Flower essences, herbs, antioxidants and other botanicals tend to be best. You’ll never look at a bouquet the same way again!
Here are some of the key natural ingredients to look for and how they can help your skin get gorgeous:
- Vitamin C — Antioxidant that provides powerful protection and nourishment; hydrates, diminishes the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and gives a fresh, rejuvenated look. (It comes in different forms, but your best option is Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate. It’s more stable than L-Ascorbic Acid, which is found in many skin care products and can cause irritation.)
- Vitamin E — Youth-boosting antioxidant that softens, protects, and can help reduce the appearance of signs of aging.
- Vitamin B3 — Helps to even out skin tone and diminish the look of fine lines, wrinkles, and other skin issues.
- Acai — Superfood that fights toxins and helps keep skin tight and protected.
- Aloe Vera — Nourishes, hydrates and protects the skin.
- Jojoba — Balances skin’s natural oils and hydrates, protects, and helps to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Clary Sage — Serves as a natural toner, balancing skin’s oils and helping to hydrate, eliminating overly dry skin.
- Coenzyme Q10 — Antioxidant that helps protect skin against the elements and offer nourishment.
- Hyaluronic Acid — Naturally occurring substance in the body that helps to plump and moisturize skin, adding to a smooth, youthful look.
- Squalane — Natural component of skin’s sebum, or oil; provides hydration and balances skin’s natural oils.
- Safflower — Softens, moisturizes and leaves skin feeling supple and hydrated.
- Gotu Kola — Known for preserving the look of skin and maintaining a youthful, refreshed and supple appearance.
- Caffeine — Gives skin a pick-me-up and offers a fresh, awake appearance.
- Glycerin — Attracts water and helps your skin to retain moisture.
- Lavender Oil — Has a soothing, toning effect.
- Honeysuckle Flower Extract — Calms and evens out skin tone.
- Green Tea Leaf Extract — Provides a plump, refreshed look to skin.
- Rose Flower Oil — Balances oil and helps to hydrate.
- Sunflower — Helps to promote an even skin tone and smoother-looking skin.
- Wild Geranium — Has a natural toning effect and helps to temporarily tighten skin.
Ingredients to Avoid
Up to 60% of what we slather onto our skin gets absorbed into our pores — so you definitely don’t want nasty toxins making their way in.
Here are the key ingredients to avoid when checking labels for your natural skin care routine:
- Parabens (methylparabens, propylparabens, butylparabens, and ethylparabens) — These preservatives can potentially disrupt the balance of hormones in your body and cause health issues.
- Phthalates — These industrial chemicals (known as “plasticizers”) can potentially cause damage to different organs and also disrupt hormones.
- Sodium or ammonium lauryl or laureth sulfate (SLS or SLES) — These ingredients are known for causing skin irritation.
- Polyethylene/PEGs — Derived from petroleum, PEGs may be carcinogenic and could reduce the moisture in your skin.
- BHT — Steer clear of these synthetic antioxidants that may be carcinogenic.
- Fragrance — This catch-all term can include a whole host of different chemicals. Opt for fragrance-free.
- Lead — This neurotoxin is no longer an ingredient in paint, but it can still be found in some cosmetic and skin care products.
- Formaldehyde — Yes, the ingredient known for preserving dead bodies is found in some products you put on your skin. Avoid at all costs!
- DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), and TEA (triethanolamine) — Used to help products foam, these ingredients may disrupt hormones and increase cancer risk.
When it comes to creating a natural skin care routine that gives you radiant skin, products are key — but lifestyle factors have a huge impact, too.
Skipping out on sleep or not drinking enough water can wreak havoc on your face, but taking the time to adopt some positive habits can help you look luminous!
Here are some lifestyle factors to consider when committing to your skin care regimen:
It’s no secret that a lack of sleep can impact the way your skin looks — hello swollen eyes, dark undereye circles, pale skin and more fine lines.
While you sleep your body repairs itself, making more of key chemicals like growth hormone and less of detrimental ones like cortisol (the stress hormone) — plus blood flow to the skin increases, collagen production increases, and the body repairs any damage done during the day.
Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Also, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can improve your sleep quality. (Pro-tips to getting better sleep.)
Everyone knows exercise is good for you, but it turns out it has specific benefits for your skin care regimen. Exercise increases blood flow to all areas of the body, including your skin, which means more nutrients.
In addition, regular exercise can slow aging. Over time, the epidermis, or top layer of the skin, gets drier and thicker. Beneath that, the dermis thins out and loses some of its texture. But exercise can actually combat these changes and keep that ageless glow going!
Try to exercise for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week — or a combo of the two.
Everything we eat ends up showing itself in our bodies — and faces. Food is fuel (and medicine!), and certain ingredients play a key role in a healthy, natural skin care regimen.
Eating whole, plant-based foods is one of the best ways to improve the look of your skin! Fruits, veggies, grains, nuts and seeds are rich in nutrients and garden-grown goodness that will give your skin everything it needs.
The most important nutrients for the sake of your skin are beta carotene, vitamins C and E, zinc, selenium, and omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, so try to eat foods rich in these ingredients.
Almost nothing is as important as water when it comes to making sure your skin glows from the inside out.
Drinking water flushes out your system, hydrates cells and helps with digestion, eliminating toxins so your skin looks clear and radiant. Healthcare experts recommend drinking eight eight ounce glasses of water per day, or at least 64 ounces.
Now the bad news. Alcohol and caffeine can be detrimental to your skin’s health and appearance. Bummer, we know! Water is your skin’s drink of choice.
Reap the Rewards of a Daily Skin Care Routine
Hopefully by now we have you convinced that a daily skin care routine is worth your time and money. The next time you’re tempted to head to bed with makeup on, remember that a skin care regimen is an investment in a lifetime of gorgeous (and healthy!) skin. You’re worth it!
Frequently Asked Questions About Building a Skin Care Routine:
Is a skin care routine necessary?
Yes, if you want to keep your skin healthy long-term. Over time the skin produces less of its natural collagen and oil (sebum), so a skin care routine is your best bet for fighting signs of aging and protecting against damage. Plus, using sunscreen is crucial for protecting against skin cancer.
What is a simple skin care routine?
At minimum, a simple skin care routine includes a cleanser, a moisturizer, and sunscreen (during the daytime). The routine should be done twice a day — after waking up, and before going to bed.
How to take care of your skin.
The best way to take care of your skin is to implement a simple skin care routine and adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Start with a natural cleanser, toner, a Vitamin C serum, an eye cream, a moisturizer, and sunscreen (during the daytime). Drink lots of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol; exercise regularly; eat foods rich in beta carotene, vitamins C and E, zinc, selenium, and omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids; and get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.
Best skin care routine for 30s?
In your 30s it’s important to focus on a skin care routine that helps you to prevent future issues like signs of aging and environmental damage. By implementing a daily skin care regimen you can keep your skin looking youthful and glowing even as you age. The best skin care routine for 30s includes cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, moisturizer (twice a day) and sunscreen (in the morning) with an optional mask (two to three times per week).
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