Finding low-waste, vegan skin care isn’t exactly commonplace, so I've done the work for you.

Katie Dupere
June 24, 2020 2:17 pm
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Katie Dupere

Cleanse, moisturize, sleep, repeat—or not. From the 18-product maximalists to the one-and-done movers and shakers, everybody’s skincare routine differs. In A.M. to P.M., we explore the morning and evening routines of people with different skin care concerns, from targeting acne to embracing vegan beauty.

Age: 28 

Skin Type: Combination

Skin Concerns: Blemishes 

Though I live in New York City, I always fantasize about moving to a tiny cabin in the woods. There, I would boil down my life to natural, sustainable essentials that truly bring me joy, cutting out all the filler. I would simplify and just focus on the basics.

I started having this cabin-in-the-woods dream while working at my old job, where I'd receive thousands of free products for review. As someone who couldn’t even afford to look at a Sephora growing up, I was overwhelmed to suddenly have access to expensive products. However, the luxurious lifestyle didn’t make me feel as though I was doing anything good for myself or for the environment.

Sustainable living and low-waste sensibility started to appeal to me more and more, so I started the process to simplify and streamline my life. At first, I was scared to switch my beloved skincare products for more sustainable options, but I quickly found products that rivaled—and even outperformed—my favorites. 

Now, all my skincare is low-waste, vegan, and cruelty-free. All of the products are packaged in glass, paper, or aluminum, though pumps are at times plastic out of necessity (there is currently no eco-friendly pump on the market). Every bit of packaging can be recycled, reused, or composted—and many sustainable companies even help you out with that recycling through TerraCycle or similar programs.

Finding low-waste, vegan skincare isn’t exactly commonplace, so a lot of the products in my routine come from the same brands. Thankfully, though, these are brands I adore and fully trust with my skin, my money, the earth, and the animals on it. Here's what I use every day:

A.M.

I start my mornings with OSEA’s Ocean Cleanser, which is a hydrating gel cleanser. It contains vegan lactic acid and seaweed extracts that are great for blemish-prone skin, and the fresh scent is both soothing and energizing. It's just a generally great way to start my day. Finding Osea made going low-waste so easy, which is why my routine has a lot of the brand’s products. Osea items are gorgeous and effective, and they feel like those luxury brands I once cherished.

OSEA

Shop it! $48, Follain.com.

After cleansing, I spray my face with OSEA’s Sea Minerals Mist since it acts as a refreshing toner. This one has hydrating aloe vera and plumping algae extracts, and since it's alcohol-free, it won't dry out or irritate my skin. 

Then, I use the brand’s Hyaluronic Sea Serum, which brightens, firms, and hydrates my skin. It has a gel-like texture that’s lovely and doesn’t leave my skin feeling sticky. To massage it in and de-puff my face, I use the celebrity-favorite Nurse Jamie’s Uplift Facial Massager. Despite being the ultimate skeptic when it comes to skincare tools, I can say that this one is well worth the hype. 

Nurse Jamie

Shop it! $69, Sephora.com.

Afterward, I use OSEA’s Advanced Protection Cream as a moisturizer. This stuff is thick and moisturizing but doesn’t weigh too heavily on the skin. It’s pricey, but a pea-sized amount takes care of your whole face and neck. For sun protection, I put on some of Meow Meow Tweet’s Everyday Sunscreen, which has SPF 25 and smells like roses. It isn’t oily, sticky, or gross like most sunscreens, and you can layer makeup on top of it without it clumping together.

Meow Meow Tweet

Shop it! $22, Meowmeowtweet.com.

Finally, I finish my morning routine by applying the L:A Bruket Cottonseed Eye Balm under my eyes. It's incredible. It's thick, brightening, and hydrating, as any eye cream should be. It is seriously the best eye cream I’ve ever used, vegan or not.

Finally, I finish off with Meow Meow Tweet’s Rosemary Eucalyptus Vegan Lip Balm. A great lip balm counts as skin care, and this one has a gorgeous scent and comes packaged in a cardboard tube that makes recycling it easy. Plus, it’s made of natural ingredients that won’t lead to drier lips in the long run, unlike some non-vegan lip balm brands.

P.M.

My nighttime skincare routine is the last thing I do before crawling into bed. Even if I had a tough day, this five-minute routine truly washes the day away and gives me a sense of calm before sleeping. If I’m wearing makeup, I always cleanse with an oil-based cleanser to melt it off. My go-to is Meow Meow Tweet’s Lemon Rose Cleansing Oil, which smells divine and works even better. It contains jojoba oil, coconut oil, and hazelnut oil, which leaves your skin better than it was before.

Twice a week I use OSEA’s Vitamin C Probiotic Polish, an exfoliant that helps brighten and treat hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and uneven skin tone. I can honestly say that it's helped treat my blemishes and even out my skin texture; it's a game-changer.

Shop it! $108, Thedetoxmarket.com.

Then I go in with my cleanser to get rid of any lingering ickiness. If it’s a no-makeup day, I usually just use my cleanser and cut myself some slack, but I also use a mask once or twice a week. Lately, I’ve been loving L:A Bruket’s Hydrating Face Mask—it’s calming, moisturizing, and smells divine. 

L:A Bruket

Shop it! $55, L:A Bruket.

After spraying some of OSEA’s Sea Minerals Mist after cleansing, I’m ready for my facial serum. I apply a few drops of Dr. Jackson’s Baobab & Rose Oil all over my face to give my skin an extra boost of hydration. I bought this as a replacement for a tried-and-true face product—a face oil that was discontinued—and, truthfully, I may just like this one better.

Dr. Jackson's

Shop it! $69.30 (orig. $99), Net-a-porter.com.

I finish off my routine with OSEA’s Advanced Protection Cream and the L:A Bruket Cottonseed Eye Balm, just like my morning routine. If I have any bumps or blemishes, I roll on Meow Meow Tweet’s Spot Serum. This product mimics your skin’s natural oils and healing process, treating those pesky dots and spots with ease. It’s the beauty community's best-kept secret. After some more lip balm, it’s time to sleep. And as we all know, rest is truly the best beauty secret of all.