Credo Beauty is the BEST. It’s the one clean beauty destination that carries almost every single product I religiously use and they’re always adding interesting new brands to the roster. (Not to mention the Credo for Change Program for BIPOC entrepreneurs as well as their commitment to sustainability.)
Let’s look at my 2021 favorites!
My 2021 Credo Beauty Favorites
One Love Organics Easy Does It Facial Cleanser
One Love Organics Easy Does It Facial Cleanser simply has to be the most-mentioned product in my 15+ years of beauty blogging. (Just look at all the mentions on this blog over the years!)
I have used this cleanser for years and years and it’s never let me down. It’s multi-purpose (you can use it as a body cleanser as well), is soap-free, and completely non-drying. Glycerin helps draw and retain moisture to the skin’s surface and apple seed oil acts as an excellent skin conditioner that helps soothe and soften, dry, stressed or mature skin. Also, the apple seed oil also gives it the most delicious scent. Suitable for all skin types.
Most importantly, this cleanser removes every trace of my makeup with just a light lather and a quick rinse of water. No vigorous rubbing, no washcloths, nothing. Did I mention I’m a contact wearer and can get this directly in my eyes without so much as the slightest sting? How is that even possible? Washing your face is just lovely, leaving your skin fresh and not stripped at all.
Tata Harper Superkind Softening Cleanser
The Tata Harper Superkind Softening Cleanser is what I use when I’m looking for a creamier consistency with less foam (although it does foam a little bit.) It’s super soothing and softens my sensitive skin without stripping it. Formulated with a lipid complex to support a healthy skin barrier and nourish skin for a natural glow.
This face wash is hypoallergenic and totally fragrance-free. Plus, it’s an excellent cleanser if you are using retinoid products. Creamy texture + micro-foam? Best of both worlds.
Nutshell – it’s the PERFECT cleanser for me – quick, gentle, easy, and painless. I adore it.
African Botanics Cell Resurrection Serum
This is the one skincare product I cannot live without. I am obsessed with the African Botanics Cell Resurrection Serum and I’ve used this 0.5% retinol formulation for years and years! It’s fantastic for beginner-to-intermediate retinoid users, has a cooling gel texture and a mildly herbaceous scent.
I wrote a fully in-depth review of the product here.
African Botanics Vita C Corrector
The African Botanics Vita C Corrector is NEXT-LEVEL and my most-loved Vitamin C product. (I previously mixed it with the Nutritive Molecule Serum, but found I really only needed the Vita C Corrector.) 20% Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate! You guys. That’s some legit Vitamin C action going on. I thought for sure that my skin wouldn’t be able to tolerate 20% Vitamin C, but my skin loves it. Once again, African Botanics’ formulations FTW. They just can do no wrong in terms of my skin.
And if you are a Vitamin C nerd like me, you know that Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is incredible. It’s stable, it’s lipophilic, it does everything that Ascorbic Acid does (photoprotective, boosts collagen, evens out pigmentation), but it’s so much more stable. If you are into learning about the different forms of Vitamin C, Dr. Shereene Idriss has a great video.
I apply this product after cleansing and toning. It’s important to wait a few minutes to really let the products sink into your skin before you apply moisturizer and/or sunscreen.
African Botanics Retinal Night Cream
Formulated with anti-wrinkle marine glycobiology, collagen stimulators, oligo-elements, peptides, antioxidants, zinc gluconate, hyaluronic acid, and moisture-replenishing extracts, the African Botanics Retinal Night Cream is the creme de la creme of OTC retinoids. It’s pretty much next-level.
Another formulation powered by retinaldehyde, I consider this ultra-strength (0.1%) and should be used by advanced retinoid users. I love love love this lightweight cream that absorbs rapidly into my skin – it has a pistachio green color and is unscented and EO free.
For the ultimate combo and my little secret, I follow the Retinal Night Cream with African Botanics Fleurs Intensive Recovery Oil for a 1-2 retinal/retinol punch. Oh, it’s damn good and reserved for retinol maestros.
MARA Algae + Moringa Universal Face Oil
Packed with algae, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and essential fatty acids, the MARA Algae + Moringa Face Oil is formulated to help nourish tired, dry skin. My skin feels super nourished, clear, and very bright when using this oil.
Doctor Rogers Restore Face Cream
Doctor Rogers Restore Face Cream is so nourishing without being the slightest bit greasy. It contains hypoallergenic plant-derived ingredients that work to calm and soften the skin and it’s super great for dry, sensitive, and/or healing skin.
Tata Harper Superkind Fortifying Moisturizer
Another Tata Harper winner, the Tata Harper Superkind Fortifying Moisturizer is excellent for sensitive skin. (No fragrance!) Formulated with hyaluronic acid to improve suppleness, a lipid complex to support a healthy skin barrier, and antioxidants to help fortify and nurture stressed skin. A compromised skin barrier’s dream.
I’ve been using this as my last-step moisturizer both morning and night and it leaves my skin so plump and happy.
Tata Harper Water Lock Moisturizer
Huge fan of the Tata Harper Water Lock Moisturizer. Incredible consistency, beautiful finish, doesn’t clog or irritate my skin, lovely mild citrus scent…chock full of peptides and macro hyaluronic acid. Also, It is engineered with a sustainable refill system to reduce overall waste. A recyclable refill pod locks into the refillable Water-Lock jar.
Kinship Self Reflect Broad Spectrum SPF 32 Sunscreen
The Kinship Self Reflect Broad Spectrum SPF 32 Sunscreen is one of my favorites! I wrote about it here.
Tata Harper Superkind Radiance Mask
Is it becoming apparent that I’m quite a fan of Tata Harper’s Superkind line? This line has been a gamechanger for me in 2021 and the Superkind Radiance Mask is another huge winner. If you are looking for an exfoliating mask but have sensitive and/or reactive skin, look no further.
African Botanics Mineral Cleansing Mask
If you are looking for more of a clay-based mask, the African Botanics Mineral Cleansing Mask is the best one I’ve found because it doesn’t dry out my skin at all. Most clay masks make me feel like my face is going to fall off, but this one manages to clarify and revitalize my skin without zapping my moisture levels.
African Botanics Eye Contour Gel Serum
The African Botanics Eye Contour Gel Serum is my treatment serum for tightening, brightening and boosting my eye area. I actually feel the firming happening after application and it does it without irritating my eye area, which is a difficult thing to do. (Why so reactive, eye area? Huh?) This serum does not instigate my perioral dermatitis, which I get around my eyes from time to time.
Kjaer Weis The Beautiful Eye Balm
I use the Kjaer Weis The Beautiful Eye Balm for prepping my eye area before makeup or when I need a boost of hydration and smoothing. My concealer applies beautifully over this balm.
Tower 28 SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray
Tower 28 SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray is a godsend for eczema, skin reactions, maskne, you name it. You can use this as a toner/essence on clean skin or throughout the day over makeup as a refresher. Love!
Ceremonia Hair Products
Ceremonia Hair Products are my favorite hair pick of 2021! I love them all – the shampoo, conditioner, rescue spray, and leave-in conditioner. The entire line is super nourishing yet doesn’t weigh my hair down and hello, smells like guava. #obsessed
Abhati Suisse Shampoo and Conditioner
I am fully obsessed with Yamuna Nourishing Shampoo and the Mahakali Nourishing Conditioner by Abhati Suisse and their shampoo bars are fantastic. The scent is like heaven.
Ranavat Mighty Majesty Hair Oil
I use the Ranavat Mighty Majesty Hair Oil on my damp and/or dried hair to help smooth any frizz and add shine. The scent is incredible – people ask me about it all the time!
Innersense Whipped Cream Texturizer
Innersense Whipped Cream Texturizer is a godsend for humidity and frizz! I apply this to dry hair as my last step in styling to add separation and texture. It also smells flipping amazing – light and citrusy.
Rituel de Fille The Ethereal Veil Concealer
Rituel de Fille Ethereal Veil Concealer is the absolute best. Honestly, I’ve received more messages over the years from people who have converted to this concealer than any other brand and/or product. The finish of this concealer is a satin matte on the face and it’s super silky and blendable. No heaviness and it and doesn’t sit in my pores at all. I love it as a spot treatment, undereye concealer, and foundation. Key ingredients are Jojoba oil, Frankincense, Castor oil, and Lanolin.
Don’t be dissuaded by the fact that this concealer is in a pan. I didn’t buy it for the same reason because I thought it wouldn’t be creamy and blendable enough, but it’s truly so lovely. I won’t ever be without this bad boy!
I wear the shade Metis in the warmer months when I have some color and Ceres works for my paler months.
Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick
The Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick is so silky and illuminating, it feels like skincare on the face. The shade Lit leaves this gorgeous iridescent undertone on the skin that is so flattering. Nectar is a glassy golden peach, and Brulee is a lovely bronze highlight. I adore all three shades and use them all the time.
Westman Atelier Beauty Butter Powder Bronzer
The Westman Atelier Beauty Butter Powder Bronzer is the best powder bronzer I’ve found. It’s the perfect shade – not too warm, not too cool, and certainly not orange in any way. It livens up my face with just a few strokes and is my go-to when I need to get out the door quickly. If you want to look put together in a flash, I highly recommend it.
Tower 28 Bronzino Bronzers
If you are looking for a cream bronzer, I adore the Tower 28 Bronzino Bronzer in West Coast! Blendable, buildable, and leaves a dewy glow that I love.
Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick
A true cool-toned contour stick. The Westman Atelier Face Trace Contour Stick is fantastic for making those cheekbones POP.
Kjaer Weis Cream Blush
I love cream blush. In fact, I think it’s the #1 way to look more youthful. I use many different brands, but Kjaer Weis Cream Blush stands out to me because the colors are so unique. They blend like an absolute dream and leave such a natural finish. The shades will surprise you! My favorite color is Inner Glow, which looks totally ho-hum in the pan, but is just ethereal on the face…it truly is the sleeper of the bunch. Other colors I love are Abundance, Reverence, Blossoming, and Blushing.
Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick
As much as I adore the Kjaer Weis cream blushes, if I had to choose ONE blush for the rest of my life, it would be the Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in the shade Petal. I just adore how youthful and fresh that color makes my face look. (Petal is followed closely by Chouchette and Dou Dou.)
((Why would you ever name a blush “Dou Dou?”))
Kosas Color + Light Pressed Blush
If pressed powder blushes are your jam, Kosas Color + Light Pressed Blush in Longitude Zero is an incredible dupe for NARS Orgasm. It really lifts and brightens the face!
Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara
The second a new mascara hits the market, I’m on it. I HAVE TRIED THEM ALL. Still, nothing beats Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara for length, separation, and volume. Absolutely no smudging or flaking on me.
Vapour Intention Eyeshadow Quad
The Vapour Intention Eyeshadow Quad has three subtle and wearable shades that really make all eye colors pop and the deep navy shadow is just a bonus for lining the eyes.
Kjaer Weis Brow Gel
Kjaer Weis Brow Gel goes on my brows almost every day. I have bangs…so that’s saying something if I am using a product that most people won’t even see. ;)
Kjaer Weis Pressed Powder
I have powders sent to me from tons of different brands and nothing has yet to pull me away from my beloved Kjaer Weis Pressed Powder. It leaves a lovely finish in my t-zone and helps to set my undereye concealer. Love!
Kinship Lip Jelly Mask
I have a Kinship Lip Jelly Mask in almost every room in the house. This two-in-one treatment gently exfoliates and hydrates for softer lips with a plumper look. This unique formula warms up with your natural body heat and allows it to melt into lips, transforming from a balm to an ultra-moisturizing oil. The delicious scent of vanilla creamsicle is the cherry on top.
Tower 28 ShineOn Milky Lip Jelly
Tower 28 ShineOn Milky Lip Jellies are such an incredible deal. They are cushiony, moisturizing, and don’t have an ounce of stickiness. These hold their own against Fitglow Lip Serums and are one-third of the price tag. Cashew and Coconut are my favorite shades.
A Few of My Favorite Lipsticks
Listen, I could write about lipsticks all day long, but today’s focus is on my favorite nude, mid-tone, and vibrant lip color from Credo.
Nude: Ilia Colorblock Lipstick in Amberlight (wearing here)
Mid-tone: Kosas Stardust (wearing here)
Vibrant: Kjaer Weis Matte Naturally Liquid Lipstick in KW Red (wearing here)
Ellis Brooklyn Fragrances
I am so happy I found Ellis Brooklyn Fragrances a few years ago. It took me awhile to find my personal favorite scents from this line, but the recent addition of the Iso Gamma Super and Super Amber fragrances changed everything for me. They are two of my all-time favorites.
ALO Mega-C Body Wash
Bright, citrusy body washes are my addiction. They just wake you up in the morning, you know what I mean? The ALO Mega-C Body Wash has the most incredible, energizing scent! I use it with my net bath sponge and my skin is so happy.
ALO Super Fruit Body Lotion
The ALO Super Fruit Body Lotion is the perfect follow-up after using the body wash in the shower. Love the ingredients in this one – Amla, which is a powerful antioxidant superberry often found in Ayurvedic healing, as well as Arnica (which works to hydrate skin and de-stress muscles), Argan oil to nourish, aloe vera to soften, and coconut oil to restore moisture.
One Love Organics Botanical E Neck & Decollete Firming Cream
Dude. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY NECK. I’m telling you…I’m pretty dang happy with the way my facial skin looks at 46 years old, but my neck and chest totally give my age away. I started using the One Love Organics Botanical E Neck & Decollete Firming Cream a few months ago and it’s really helped to plump and revitalize this area. Bravo!
Kosas Good Body Skin AHA + Enzyme Exfoliating Body Wash
My kids both have KP on their arms and the Kosas Good Body Skin AHA + Enzyme Exfoliating Body Wash is so helpful. This is always in their shower.
Herbivore Coconut Bath Soak
The Herbivore Coconut Bath Soak is a great way to de-stress in the bath. Love its simplicity and how it soothes.
Goldfaden MD Hands to Heart Brightening Hand Treatment
My hands have very thin, delicate skin, which sadly doesn’t look particularly great as I age. The Goldfaden MD Hands to Heart Brightening Hand Treatment is a total multi-tasker. Not only does it moisturize my hands, but has helped to lighten sun spots. Bonus!
Kjaer Weis The Holiday Collective
MARA Sea The Glow Radiance Duo
Kinship Nice 2 Treat You Set (great for preteens and teens!)
Maison Louis Marie Perfume Oil Discovery Set
Well, WOW. That was a little more than 10-15 products but I couldn’t help myself! I hope you found this helpful and please feel free to ask me about products/brands in the comments section. I am happy to help if I can!
AlexandraOctober 19, 2021 at 6:33 pm
Hi! I have super dry skin, in the winter (I live in CO). Any recommendations on products? Really looking for moisture help. I have some hyperpigmentation but that I can address after I am done breast feeding. Thanks!
whoorlOctober 19, 2021 at 6:41 pm
Hi! The Doctors Rogers Restore Cream that I linked above is incredibly hydrating. A rich cream, but it doesn’t feel like it’s suffocating your face. I also really like this one: https://shrsl.com/37lkh
ChristenOctober 20, 2021 at 11:03 am
I have the WA blushes in Petal and Chouchette – LOVE!, am in my 40s, and pretty pale (think “photo of your relative who died during the potato famine”) – which KW blush would you recommend if I could only get one? Or two?
Thank you for all these recs!!
whoorlOctober 20, 2021 at 4:34 pm
Inner Glow and Reverence!
ShelleyOctober 20, 2021 at 4:30 pm
Thank you for all the recommendations, Sarah! Have you tried the new lip products or mascara from ATHR Beauty? Curious to know if they’re worth trying.
whoorlOctober 20, 2021 at 4:33 pm
I haven’t yet!
Denise McKayOctober 20, 2021 at 11:16 pm
Can I use the AFRICAN BOTANICS CELL RESURRECTION SERUM and then follow it up with the AFRICAN BOTANICS RETINAL NIGHT CREAM? Or is that redundant, or too much? I’ve been using the serum upon your recommendation for a few months and I don’t experience any redness or peeling whatsoever, so I think I’m ready to level up. I am specifically in the market for a night creme (just ran out of Tatcha’s Luminous Dewy Skin Night Concentrate.
whoorlOctober 21, 2021 at 8:09 pm
They are both retinol products so it’s an either/or situation. I would go for the Retinal Cream when you run out of the Cell Resurrection. The Retinal Night Cream will act as your serum – you will still need a moisturizer to apply afterwards because it soaks right in.