My (Much Safer) Skincare Collection

whoorl skincare collection

The makeup drawer is complete, so let’s talk about skincare. Finding skincare that suits you is challenging enough in the first place, never mind trying to find safe, good-for-you skincare that doesn’t harbor nasty ingredients. As you can imagine, this endeavor took me a bit longer than the makeup project. My unwavering adoration of Olay Daily Facial Cloths was intense. I mean, I used them for years and years, and figured someone would have to pry them out of my cold, dead hands. However, I persevered. They are officially goners. (psst – they are not good for you.)

Without further ado, here is my skincare routine. I have used all of these products for several months, so I’m past the newlywed phase and know they work well. The ones with the asterisks are my holy grail products.


Be Natural Organics Rose Hip Seed Facial Cleanser* (EWG Score 0) – This has to be my favorite find of the lot. One of the reasons I loved the Olay Daily Cloths is that they removed all makeup, eyeliner, and mascara easily, and I didn’t have to use another product. Nothing makes me crazier than washing my face, looking up, and seeing traces of eye makeup under my eyes. Grrrrrrrrr. This cleanser is amazing because it takes every trace of my makeup off, but doesn’t have any chemicals in it. For real – the ingredients are purified water, olive oil, rose hip seed oil, sea kelp extract, and acai fruit extract. Yep, that’s it. It smells amazing, and still manages to sud a little bit when I rub it in my hands. I love this stuff. Truly, can’t say enough about it.

Beautycounter Routine Clean Cream Cleanser (EWG Rating 2) – While the above cleanser is my go-to every night, I like to use this cream cleanser with my Clarisonic during morning showers. The creamy consistency stays on the face while you use the Clarisonic, and it’s very soothing.

Beautycounter Nourishing Cleansing Balm* (EWG Rating 2) – Oh, man. Run, don’t walk. You have GOT to try this product. It’s an all-in-one product that I use on nights when I don’t want to use anything else. (Especially good for lazy nights when you just can’t be bothered to get up and wash your face at the sink.) It’s a really lovely balm that you rub all over your face with your fingers, and then wipe off with a washcloth or cleansing cloth. It doubles as a moisturizer, so you don’t need to rinse any of the remaining balm off your face, and (and!) you can use it as a mask, as well. If your face is super dry and flaky, just put this on and let it do its magic overnight. Take that, Old Man Winter. (Which, seriously, I can’t take the dryness, people. I completely forgot what it was like to live in a place with actual winters. A bunch of bull honkey, if you ask me.)


Uma Anti-Aging Face Oil* (EWG Rating 0) – I professed my love for Uma Oils here, but I just have to reiterate how amazing these oils are again. They somehow manage to give my face the moisture it needs without breaking me out or making my uber-sensitive skin freak out. I use the Anti-Aging Face Oil every night after washing my face with the rose hip seed cleanser. Just four drops warmed up in the palm of my hand is all I need – I lightly pat it all over my face and neck. Smells beautiful and I swear my skin is glowier (that is surely not a word) than ever.

Uma Skin Brightening Face Oil* (EWG Rating 0) – Okay, okay, if the the above doesn’t make you want to try the oils, let me tell you about the Brightening Oil. I use this in the morning all over my face (in the same manner as the other oil), and then sparingly use my tinted moisturizer on areas of my face that need some coverage. (Usually around the nose and mouth.) This combo makes my skin look so radiant, if I do say so myself. I can’t tell you how many years I tried to find a foundation, tinted moisturizer, or highlighter that would make my skin look dewy. Turns out all I needed was this oil.

Beautycounter PM Hydrating Cream (EWG Rating 2) – In the rare event that I don’t use one of the Uma oils on my face, the moisturizer is tops. If oils aren’t your cup of tea, and would rather use a lotion/cream, this is fab. It’s moisturizing, but still lightweight. Great for year-round, unless you are super duper dry, then I would go with this.


Olay Complete Sunscreen SPF 30 for Sensitive Skin (EWG Rating 4) – So this moisturizer scores a 4, which is high for me, but I really like it in the warmer months when the sun is strong. It protects my face without stinging or making my skin rage.

Beautycounter Protect Face SPF 30 (EWG Rating 1) – Another great, simple sunscreen in my arsenal. I do find that I have trouble with even application at times. It can apply a bit blotchy, but nothing a little elbow grease can’t remedy.


Beautycounter Gentle Exfoliator* (EWG Rating 2) – It’s so important to exfoliate your skin, even if you are sensitive like yours truly. I use this 2-3/week, and it keeps my skin fresh. I can’t tolerate a lot of exfoliating products, but this one is great. It’s gentle, but still gets the job done.

Beautycounter Enlightening Treatment Pads (EWG Rating 1) – Newsflash – I’m forty, and probably need to add a little something extra to keep my fine lines, wrinkles, and pores under control. I use these pads once a week (on a day that I’m not exfoliating) to refine my skin. They have a fruit acid complex that delivers antioxidants, and it also feels a little zing-zang on my skin, which I like. (“zing-zang” = tingly)

Makeup Remover:

S.W. Basics of Brooklyn – Wrote about it here. Great product, and only has three ingredients.

Body Moisturizers:

If you are looking for a new body moisturizer, there are tons of fantastic recs for lotions here and oils here from my Facebook page.

Everyone Body Lotion, Unscented* (EWG Rating 2) – This is my favorite lotion in the world, for three seasons out of the year. Screaming from the rooftops on this one – no scent (I’m not a scent girl), yet doesn’t smell weird. (You know how some unscented things smell, well, weird? Not this one.) I love it…yet it doesn’t hack it in the wintertime. Sad face.

NOW Sweet Almond Oil (EWG Rating 0) – Since I’m experiencing my first winter in 12 years, my skin is like HELL TO THE NO. I’m currently using this oil after showering to keep the moisture in. This oil smoothes over my skin easily, and has a very mild scent scent. (It doesn’t smell like almonds.)

Eucerin Original Healing Soothing Repair Lotion (EWG Rating 4) – This is nice, thick lotion to use during the colder months. I use this one on my kids too. Please pay attention to the name of this one – other Eucerin products are not as safe and score much higher on the EWG database.

Egyptian Magic Skin Cream* (EWG Rating 0) – You guys. Holy grail product. I am so thankful for those of you who recommended this to me. This is a wonder product for really dry skin, rashes, and red patches. It’s not really a cream, though. It’s more of a balm – you need to rub it between your palms to warm it up and make it spreadable, but when you do, it fixes everything. I practically slather my kiddos in it – Wito has had a rough time with his skin this winter, as he scratches and scratches until the skin breaks all over his thighs and mid-section. At night, I rub this all over his body. (It’s actually hilarious…he always asks, “is this really Egyptian MAGIC?” Yes, buddy, I guess it is. I can’t recommend this product enough.


A word of caution about switching from traditional aluminum anti-perspirants to natural deodorants. It’s a process – you will feel wetness occasionally since you are no longer forcing the sweat to stay inside your body, but I promise you will never look back. Especially with the smell issue. When I used traditional scented (or unscented) anti-perspirants, I hated the way I smelled. It was so fake, and almost acrid in a chemical fragrance kind of way. Now? No scent at all. Even when I’m sweating. It’s just neutral and non-offensive and well, natural. Really, I invite you to smell my pits right this very minute.

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream (EWG Rating 0) – I’m happily using this product right now – I love the scent (it’s very simple and fresh), and it absorbs despite the absence of crazy chemicals. It has a cult following, for sure.

Primal Pit Paste, Unscented (EWG Rating 0) – I like this paste as well. Primal makes several different scents, but I am partial to the paste in the pot. The roll-on stick ones don’t seem to spread very well…it’s almost like they are too dry.


DoTerra On Guard Natural Whitening Toothpaste – Great essential oil-based toothpaste with none of the bad stuff.

Tinted Moisturizers and Concealers:

I wrote about these in the makeup post, but thought I would include them since they are the next step, and I found a new concealer that I simply must tell you about. (It’s from the drugstore! Yippee!)

Beautycounter Tint Skin (EWG Rating 2) – Amazing, awesome, still love it. Read about it here.

Tarte BB Tinted Moisturizer (EWG Rating 3) – Still awesome. This one has a slight edge over the Tint Skin due to the sunscreen component.

Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer (EWG Rating 3) – $8.99. What the what? I LOVE THIS STUFF. It’s the only undereye concealer I use anymore. I love it. Did I mention it was $8.99? EIGHT NINETY NINE, folks.

There you go! Everything I’m currently using on my face is right here. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments, and I have a quick question for you. Do any of you use disposable washcloths to wash your face? Ones that don’t have cleanser already in them…just plain, disposable washcloths that I could use with my cleanser when I travel. Standard, terry washcloths don’t seem to work for me.

  1. Danielle

    January 14, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Ok, I am a fellow sensitive girl and have a question…..what are you doing about deodorant???? I’ve tried numerous natural products and have discovered that I am sensitive to all of them, specifically to the baking soda in many of them. I’ve resorted to using the chemical-filled anti-perspirants/deodorants sparingly, and am trying a make-at home recipe this week. Thoughts????

    • whoorl

      January 14, 2015 at 8:27 am

      Oh my, I totally forgot to add that section. Hold on – I’ll add it in right now. I used to use Primal Paste, but now I am really enjoying Soapwalla’s deodorant cream. Have you tried it?

      • Danielle

        January 14, 2015 at 8:30 am

        I have tried two versions of Primal Pit Paste, the regular and the sensitive skin, both with poor results: angry, red, scaly, painful rash. Ouch! I think they now make a baking soda-free version but I’ve been hesitant to test it out. I’ll look into the Soapwalla….thanks!!!!

        • whoorl

          January 14, 2015 at 8:35 am

          Oh, you poor thing. Check out the ingredients on the Soapwalla one – hopefully that will be good fit. Good luck!

          • Allison

            January 14, 2015 at 11:34 am

            I haven’t tried a ton of natural deodorants, but I’m chiming in to say that I unfortunately did have a reaction to the Soapwalla one. I picked it up after my local natural beauty store highly recommended it (they tried something like 14 others before deciding to carry Soapwalla), so I was super disappointed that it didn’t work, and I’ve been wary about trying others. Definitely not an easy process, simplifying our products! Thanks for all of the recommendations.

          • Allison

            January 14, 2015 at 11:35 am

            Sorry, I should clarify–it wasn’t that it didn’t WORK, but I was too rashy to endure it!

          • Danielle

            January 14, 2015 at 11:40 am

            Sad to hear that the Soapwalla one caused a reaction. Think I’m going to make some of this recipe soon (the baking soda-free recipe, with arrowroot powder, diatomaceous earth and coconut oil) and see how it goes: http://www.mommypotamus.com/natural-deodorant-recipe-sensitive-skin/
            Hope it works!

  2. CC

    January 14, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Thanks so much for this information. A couple things. If we can’t quite afford the UMA oils for anti-aging would you recommend Beauty Counter anti aging or another product?

    If we don’t have a beauty counter rep in our area, can we just order online?

    • whoorl

      January 14, 2015 at 8:32 am

      Hi, CC! Yes, just order Beautycounter online through this link: https://sarahjames.beautycounter.com/Home

      If you are looking for anti-aging as a treatment, I would recommend this: http://bit.ly/1u6jTSJ

      Also, if you are interested in oils (but not the price), I really like Tarte’s Maracuja Oil: http://bit.ly/1DFCe1E It’s a great starter oil, and is more affordable. Good luck!

      • CC

        January 14, 2015 at 12:19 pm

        Have you tried the Lustro Face Oils before?

        I agree about not using Retinol, but I really need something to work for anti-aging. I’m 38 and want to prevent and help diminish what I already have :) Wishful thinking?

        • CC

          January 14, 2015 at 12:19 pm

          PS- thanks for your help!

        • whoorl

          January 14, 2015 at 4:22 pm

          It’s funny – I haven’t tried the Lustro Oils because I already have the Uma ones, but people adore the Lustro ones. I think they are best sellers.

      • KJS

        January 14, 2015 at 1:09 pm

        Any chance UMA would offer that generous discount code again to Whoorl readers? I missed it the first time…

      • Amy

        January 23, 2015 at 1:28 pm

        I’m been looking at Tarte’s Maracuja oil (need to replenish my daily moisturizer) – do you think it would work as a daily moisturizer under Tarte’s BB cream? This will be my first dive into oils!

        Thanks so much! I’ve loved (and learned so much from) these makeup and skincare posts!

        • whoorl

          January 23, 2015 at 1:48 pm

          I think those would work very well together in terms of moisturizing. Good luck and report back!

  3. Kaitie Tee

    January 14, 2015 at 8:03 am

    I’m so relieved to see the Olay moisturizer made the cut! I started using it a few years ago when you talked about it and I’m totally hooked. My skin is so dry during our winters in Colorado that I layer the Olay over a twice daily application of oil. Any tips on a safe remedy for chapped lips? I just can’t seem to get mine out of a terrible cycle of peeling and hurting.

    • whoorl

      January 14, 2015 at 8:34 am

      Oh oh OH! I love this lip stuff from Bite Beauty. It is SO GOOD. http://bit.ly/14ztgn8

      Seriously, I adore it. It’s super thick – put it on before bed and wake up with totally moisturized lips.

      • KateP

        January 14, 2015 at 11:54 am

        This stuff is amazing! My favorite.

  4. Keira

    January 14, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Simone France sells awesome disposable cleansing cloths! http://www.simonefrance.com/Signature_Cleansing_Cloths_p/304scc.htm

    • whoorl

      January 14, 2015 at 8:34 am

      Thank you!!!

  5. Pam

    January 14, 2015 at 8:21 am

    If you need another sunscreen recommendation, the Philosophy Hope in a Jar (oil-free) SPF 30 only rates a 3 on EWG and is great. Lightweight, applies easily.

  6. Lynn

    January 14, 2015 at 8:29 am

    This is so helpful. Something related that I feel confused about and would love your thoughts on: retinol. I’ve read that it is the single best anti aging thing you can do, ( see, for example: http://www.vogue.com/869151/the-return-to-retinol/), and have noticed big changes when I’ve used it, yet I stopped because I also found it irritating at times. Thoughts? Do you think you’ll use it at any point?

    • whoorl

      January 14, 2015 at 9:35 am

      Oh yes, retinol. I used to use it, but have held off recently due to how it can interfere with cellular signaling, cause mutations, lead to cell death and may be implicated in cardiovascular disease. Yikes! (But it sure makes my face look better!)

      • Lynn

        January 14, 2015 at 11:07 am

        Yikes! Thanks for the response and info. Will have to do some more research on this!

  7. Carrie

    January 14, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Thank you for sharing! Amazon carries Medline disposable wash cloths (the kind they use in hospitals). 500 for $20.

    • whoorl

      January 14, 2015 at 9:32 am

      Cool! Have you tried these? Do they hold up well when washing the face?

      • Carrie

        January 14, 2015 at 10:58 am

        I’ve only used them as baby wipes but they are pretty thick/sturdy. Larger than a facial cloth for sure, but I’m sure they would hold up.

  8. Julie

    January 14, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Thank you so much for putting these together. So inspiring! I’m addicted to facial cleansing cloths too for make-up removal. Have you found any out there that are safer?

    • whoorl

      January 14, 2015 at 9:36 am

      Nope. AND I HAVE LOOKED. So, what I’m trying to do now is find a good disposable washcloth to use with my cleanser. Looks like a few options have already popped up in the comments. Can’t wait to try out. I’ll keep you posted.

  9. whoorl

    January 14, 2015 at 8:52 am

    You guys, I totally forgot body moisturizers too. Ugh. Will update this morning!

  10. Alyssa

    January 14, 2015 at 9:45 am

    Have you tried any products from The Body Shop? I really love them.

  11. Janie

    January 14, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Thank you for this post! I want this entire haul! ;) Have you heard of using coconut oil for make up removal? Has anyone tried it?

    • whoorl

      January 14, 2015 at 10:24 am

      I’ve tried it, but I much prefer the SW Basics one I mentioned in the post! It’s definitely a safe option though…I’d give it a try.

      • Lana

        January 17, 2015 at 12:35 am

        I was just going to comment – I randomly started using coconut oil as a pre-cleanser step to take off my makeup. I love it! I find it removes my eye makeup even better than eye make up remover. I just warm a bit between my fingers, smooth all over my face then gently wipe off with a warm wash cloth. Also, after i cleanse, I put a bit of coconut oil back on my face before bed. My skin is a lot smoother at a fraction of the cost of all my moisturizers/make-up removers i was using. Try it!

  12. Mina

    January 14, 2015 at 11:16 am

    I always have trouble picking shades of drugstore products but would love to try the Maybelline concealer. Any suggestions?


    • whoorl

      January 14, 2015 at 11:38 am

      “Light” seems to always work for me – so I went with that. Wish I had more info for you!

  13. Mary

    January 14, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Sarah, have you ever considered using essential oils to cleanse your face? Your earlier post citing the EWG ratings and your makeup inspired me to make some changes. I was delighted to find out many of the products I use (the Balm) had very low ratings, but my skincare did not. I purchased the S.W. Basics products you mentioned, but wanted a little diversity. I have done a bunch of research, and it looks like many of the oils I have in my inventory – Jojoba, Tea Tree, Almond, Avocado – can be combined and used as a cleanser. Look into it. It’s cheaper and easy to make and SO good for your skin with the added health benefits of using the oils. If you want a link citing the comedogenic ratings of the oils, I can send that to you. There are also some great “recipes” out there, tailored to your skin type and its needs.

    • whoorl

      January 15, 2015 at 6:39 am

      Hi Mary, I love essential oils and use them all the time for so many reasons, but I personally just enjoy the way using a cleanser with water feels. But more power to you!! Sounds like you are on the right track!

  14. KateP

    January 14, 2015 at 11:41 am

    What type of toothpaste are you using? I love a fresh minty mouth, but my favorite Aquafresh is an EWG 3 and I wondered if there is a better one with a lower score (not crazy about Tom’s…)

    • whoorl

      January 14, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Dang! I need to do another update…I use DoTerra Natural Whitening Toothpaste and love it. Thanks for reminding me!


      • KateP

        January 14, 2015 at 12:19 pm


        • whoorl

          January 14, 2015 at 4:06 pm

          I will say – it’s a cinnamon-type toothpaste, not minty. Some people aren’t down with the cinnamon! ;)

          • KateP

            January 14, 2015 at 5:55 pm

            I totally down with the cinnamon (it’s my preference, actually.) :)

  15. Laura S

    January 14, 2015 at 11:59 am

    this is truly eye-opening. thank you!

    question: have you done a post on what skincare products (shampoo, body wash, etc.) you use for your kiddos? if so, I cannot seem to find it on your blog. and if not, I’d love to see that as well, if you’re up for sharing.


    • whoorl

      January 14, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      You are more than welcome! I use the Beautycounter kids line for my kiddos: http://bit.ly/153OHgQ – they love it, and I’m obsessed with the smell. Kind of like a dreamsicle.

      • Chelsea

        January 14, 2015 at 5:48 pm

        How about what products you use on your hair Shampoo/Conditioner, styling etc?