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I’ve had a long-held belief that natural products equate to ineffective results. I’ve tried dozens and often revert to the medical grade, chemical-laden stuff my aesthetician recommended. Unfortunately, this can have detrimental ramifications to your reproductive health. According to the Environmental Working Group, on any given day, women step out of the house with an average of 168 different chemicals slathered on their skin (our largest organ).
As a conscious consumer, I began investigating which of my countertop products were potentially inhibiting proper hormone function. “Robust scientific evidence demonstrates that preconception and prenatal exposure to toxic environmental agents can have a profound and lasting effect on reproductive health”, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee.
It was important to me that the products I was investigating weren’t made out of dreams of fairies and granola crumbs. These products needed to work on my problem areas like those of the medical grade variety. Additionally, I wanted them to adhere to sustainable practices by protecting our Mother Earth. And much to my surprise, there are a host of brands that are hearing the loud calls of women demanding a change. Below, I’ve hand selected my favorite products from each of these fertility-friendly, clean, skincare lines. You’re welcome.
Versed is a brand born from the creative genius of Who What Wear. They tapped into the psyches of 16 million women formulating a 19-item line targeting a variety of skin care needs. These clean, vegan and cruelty free products fight ageing, acne, hyperpigmentation, and dryness. All for under $20! If you’re aesthetically oriented like me, packaging matters. Versed’s minimal design utilizes recycled packaging, and also dresses up your countertop with eye catching millennial pinks, mint greens, and soft blue bottles.
Touted as a “clean brand with drugstore prices”, Versed lives up to the hype. After three weeks of using their “clear and super youthful” regimen, I saw a noticeable difference! Unsure of what your skin is thirsty for? Take their 30 second quiz that will target your specific needs. This educational quiz factors in your age, your proximity to polluted cities, and even your sleep habits.
Stroke of Brilliance - Brightening Serum
This is a cocktail of brightening and age busting vitamin C mixed with pigmentation-fighting plant extracts and antioxidants. This featherweight formulation has been the biggest game changer in decreasing my melasma (discoloration caused by a hormone imbalance). I noticed a difference in two weeks. It’s fast absorbing, and layers beautifully with other serums, moisturizers, and makeup.
Skin Soak - Rich Moisture Cream
This rich and creamy hydrator is wonderful if you live in dry climates, or you’re battling winter wind burn. This moisturizer gives thirsty skin a boost with ingredients like algae extract, vitamin E, and squalane. This has been my go-to PM hydration. While on the heavy side, this non-greasy formula hasn’t produced a single pimple on my sensitive skin.
The Ordinary has a scientific approach to skincare by creating formulations that are active and concentrated, and deliver high end results at a fraction of the cost. This 29-item product line is designed to target dryness, combat hyperpigmentation and wrinkle repair for under $20. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free, as well as being free of parabens, sulphates and mineral oil.
They’ve also created rich facial oils to moisturize in the winter, and light hyaluronic acids for the summer. While the words ‘oils’ and ‘acids’ may be scary to some, I promise they deliver without the side effects of pimples or peeling skin. These power-packed formulations don’t overdo it, but show promise after a few weeks! My pores are also noticeably smaller, and my skin is plumper, and I’ve had zero breakouts.
This is the ultimate sports drink / thirst quencher for your face. According to The Ordinary, Hyaluronic Acid (HA) can attract up to 1,000 times its weight in water. This formulation is viscus in feel but absorbs without any trace stickiness or tackiness. You can layer makeup on top without it ruining your foundation. I notice an immediate difference in my skin's texture, especially on the day’s where I’ve failed to consume my daily minimum of eight glasses of H2O.
AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
Upon discovering this brilliant formulation, I immediately ordered everyone I know a bottle. It’s a mildly spicy peel that leaves you looking as though you just spent $200 on a facial. Packed in this $7 bottle are 12 applications for a seriously glowy complexion. Sloughing away old skin cells makes their products more absorbent and effective.
Squalane Cleanser - A Gentle, Moisturizing Facial Cleanser
Have you ever used a cleanser that doesn’t require wetting your skin with water first? This gentle, makeup removing, and moisturizing cleanser starts off as a balmy cream and emulsifies to an oil. This metamorphosis traps facial debris and residual make up, which gets erased with water at the end of a 30 second massage. While this formulation is gentle and doesn’t dry your out, I prefer to use this at the end of the day, when heavier grime has set in.
OSEA (Ocean Sea Earth Atmosphere)
I was introduced to this line as a gift, and immediately fell in love. This is a gentler line, like a hug for your skin. An all female, family owned and operated company, OSEA (pronounced Ohh-See-Uh) launched a seaweed-based line of clean, vegan, cruelty free products in 1996. According to OSEA, “seaweed is a nutrient-dense superfood [and] our star ingredient. It contains powerful bioavailable minerals and nutrients that are readily absorbed and utilized to transform, nourish and rejuvenate skin cells.”
When you’re trying to conceive it’s important to avoid endocrine disrupting fragrances like tea tree and lavender essential oils. OSEA offers fragrance-free versions as well as travel size options if you’re looking to sample a variety. If you live in Los Angeles, you can participate in their recycle program and return all of your empty jars at their skincare salon in Venice. You can also build your personal skincare routine with their online skin quiz.
This fragrance-free cleanser melts make up and toxic environmental elements away. It reduces redness, and adds bountiful hydration to the skin. This gentle cleanser is my shower and travel kit staple. It comes in a beautiful, heavy glass bottle which isn’t exactly shower-floor friendly. I suggest using the travel size option instead.
Oils can be scary to apply. There is a counterintuitive notion that oil clogs pores and causes break-out’s. This gem of a product does neither. It’s rich in healthy fatty acids (Moroccan Oil and Vitamin E). I love this soothing oil after a day at the beach, or after a light skin peel for an extra boost of moisture.
OSEA categorizes this cream as an anti-aging, plumping moisturizer that’s formulated to hydrate, blur fine lines and erase dark spots. Seriously, can it also do my taxes? A little goes a long way making the price tag blurry and the scent alone makes you forget you can’t go to the spa during a pandemic.
Drunk Elephant, a 20-item line, approaches skincare with a “smart” philosophy: eliminate the “suspicious 6”, which are harmful ingredients like alcohol, chemical screens, essential oils, fragrance/dyes, silicones, and SLS. Their products are biocompatible, meaning the molecules are small enough for easy absorption, and their products work interchangeably. Each ingredient easily builds upon the last to achieve the desired results. They are committed to sustainable practices by using formulations that combine both natural and synthetic ingredients.They are cruelty-free and also they refuse to sell to markets that require animal testing.
C-Tango - Multivitamin Eye Cream
This ultra hydrating under eye cream has an extremely high rating from Drunk Elephants consumer testing reports. I easily give this under eye booster a five out of five stars, as I noticed a difference fairly quickly. My skin was tighter, brighter, and I looked more rested.
Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
This powerful antioxidant is jam backed with nourishing fatty acid hydrators like omegas 6 and 9. It purports to have a stronger concentration of polyphenols, which is the ingredient responsible for fighting environmental free radicals. This rich antioxidant has a higher efficacy than dark chocolate or green and black teas. I love this nourishing oil as a stand alone PM product after a gentle wash.
OneKind has quickly earned star status in my skincare routine. From OneKind’s founder’s Madison, Matt, and Darren, “We’ve been at this for a decade, listening to you, thoughtfully crafting and rigorously testing our solutions to ensure they’re truly one-of-a-kind.”
Launched in the Fall of ‘19, OneKind’s ethos is not only to deliver clean, transparent, and efficacious products, they’re dead set on slashing the pink tax women incur when buying beauty products. It’s a known fact in the beauty world that men won’t pay as much as women when it comes to their skincare. OneKind’s mission is to make quality skin care accessible to all for a reasonable price.
Pore-Fectionist - Refining Facial Mask
This award-winning mask was the tall drink of water my parched Fall skin needed. One application was all it took to see and feel a difference in my skin’s texture. Its earthy and calming scent transported me back to a sea-side spa in Bali. The surface cracked slightly upon drying, as do most clay masks, but not enough to pull out any remaining moisture or make it itchy.
Dream Cream Nighttime Moisturizer
This PM cream was a perfect sealant to the mask. I woke up with even skin tone, tight pores, and ample hydration. The next morning my sweetheart commented on how pretty I looked - despite the sleep still in my eyes. Holy beauty grail anyone? Seriously, this one has been a game changer.
Hugh & Grace
Hugh & Grace, a hormone safe brand that aims to “reduce chemical body load linked to infertility, autism, asthma and more." Founder, Sara Jensen, battled 14 years of unexplained infertility before welcoming her beautiful children, Hugh and Grace to the world. Her quest to build a family took her on a deep dive to uncover the toxins that may have been preventing her pregnancy. This direct-to-consumer brand backed by Rachel Zoe emphasizes clean beauty by eliminating any variables that may disrupt your endocrine system. Hugh & Grace is 100% natural, vegan, plant based, cruelty free, and family friendly. Their oils feel luxurious, and make you feel like you’ve channelled your favorite goddess. I’m not kidding, I pictured Cleopatra using oils of this caliber.
This Swiss Army knife of facial serums does everything from strengthening your hair to calming your PMS. With just a few drops, you might consider replacing your therapist. Antioxidants protect your skin barrier from harmful air pollutants, and leave you with a radiant glow.
Surprisingly, this bar of soap is made for your face and body. It’s designed with a mix of adaptogens, which eliminate bacteria and detoxes your body. My only wish would be for Hugh & Grace to make a liquid version of this yummy cleanser for my countertop.