April 19, 2013 · 9:58 am

The skin is the largest organ we possess. Therefore, just as I take care regarding what I put into my body, I pay attention to how I treat the outside. And just as I always try to choose fresh, cruelty-free, organic foods for inner nourishment, I try to do the same when buying skin products. My skin is, in a word, hypersensitive. I had a really bad bout of psoriasis as a child, tend to get irritation pretty easily, and struggle with both extreme dryness and a slightly oily T-zone. Breakouts are generally stress-related, but certain products definitely make me more prone to them. Luckily, natural and cruelty-free skin products tend to be compatible with skin as sensitive as mine. Still, to each her own, and some have worked better for me than others. These are my current staples:                 Great {Natural} Beauty Products for Skin | The Pursuit of Hippieness {Clockwise from top left}

  1. Demak’Up Face Cleansing Wipes. I’m a lazy bum when it comes to washing my face, but it’s a non-negotiable, so wipes are my go-to. I’ve flirted with different brands in the past, but I picked these up at Monoprix here in Paris. I was very wary of the fact that they contain lotion, since I normally avoid any additives like the plague- these are the kinds of things that cause that odd breakout or make me oily. But I liked the fact that they are paraben-free (and cheap), so I gave them a go. Two months later, I plan on hoarding them before returning to the States! The wipes remove all my makeup and the day’s grime thoroughly and easily, but the extra moisturizer has made my face softer than ever, with no oiliness or greasy residue. I’m calling it a French miracle. $5, available online.
  2. Yes To Carrots Daily Cream Facial Cleanser. I just can’t say enough good things about this brand. Before becoming a Demak’Up convert, Yes To Cucumbers were my absolute favorite face wipes, but I couldn’t find them in Paris. The company is all-natural, totally cruelty-free, and you can just feel the fresh ingredients in all of their products. The issue with many organic brands is that by removing chemicals, they remove efficiency, and I’ve found that Yes To manages to rise above this with flying colors. This facial cleanser smells great, and is totally gentle; I actually like slathering it on a loofah and using it as a body wash in the shower. $8, drugstores.
  3. Smith’s Rosebud Salve. I think my fellow Sephora shoppers can agree: when I see this sitting in the impulse-buy section by the checkout line, I can’t resist but picking up one or two extras to have on hand. It really is an old standby, so much so that I even have an application habit: use my finger to dab it on my lips, and rub the extra all over my cuticles. Double duty, and the size makes it super travel-friendly. $6Sephora.
  4. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. I remember being little and thinking that this lotion looks so gross! It’s definitely no-frills, but it does the job 150%. I smother it on as a mask before bed, my perpetually dry face drinks it all up like soil drinks water, and I wake up with baby-butt skin. $14, Sephora.
  5. The Body Shop Tea Tree Blackhead Exfoliating Wash. This is also a relatively new find (duty-free airport shops are my kryptonite), though I’ve always loved The Body Shop. Even though I’m lucky to avoid acne in general, I get bitty blackheads on my chin and nose. Finding an exfoliant that is still gentle enough is a constant mission. This one is gentle on my skin- it contains crushed apricot stones and I love the scent of tea tree. It’s a stress reliever!
  6. The Body Shop Moringa Body Butter. Smells like heaven. Enough said.

What I look for in my products:

It’s like reading a nutrition label! I like to look at ingredients (the less chemicals, the better, if any), and keywords like “cruelty-free”, “paraben-free”, and “Leaping Bunny approved.” The EU just prohibited all animal testing in March, and I’m hoping the US is next. Lately I’ve also been looking into making a lot of my own products, so I might have to share any successes- or failures- here!

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