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. Krist

    January 14, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    I’m new to looking this stuff up on the website. How often is it updated? I’m in love with Ole Henriksen cleansing cloths and face wash, it’s like an orange tree exploded on your face but the website you linked to only has a few products and they seem to be out of date? And I can’t find the cleansing cloths! Any thoughts?


    • whoorl

      January 14, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      So, here’s the deal. About 75% of the products I look up aren’t on the website. So what you need to do is look up the ingredients in your products and enter them into the Skin Deep search bar. I have yet to come across an ingredient that isn’t in their database.

      Sadly, this takes a lot of time, and I guess is why most people just keep on using what they are using. The researching part of a total buzzkill.

  2. KJS

    January 14, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I looked for a long time for a sunscreen that I could use on a daily basis, and while I preferred the first formulation of the Josie Maran sunscreen, I will say the second one is good as well, especially if you are using oils as moisturizers. I have never found a sunscreen that was this lightweight, and non-irritating and actually works all day, even for outdoor days in southern CA. This, in and of itself, is huge. Many of the ingredients score a 0 on EWG, some a 3, and there is one 4 ingredient (which is also in the Beautycounter sunscreen), but good sunscreen is a challenge. I know the sunscreen I often use at the beach, is thick and white in order to score a 0 on EWG. And, my aging skin needs the sunscreen!

    • whoorl

      January 14, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      Have you tried the Olay Complete sunscreen? I really like it.

  3. Caroline

    January 14, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    LOVE IT!!! Thank you, I’ve been right along with you on this simplification journey… my skincare, nutrition, and makeup routine is much cleaner, in large part thanks to your posts!

    Dare I even ask… are there plans to overhaul your haircare and styling products with more natural options? I dared to take a peek at the ingredients in my beloved styling cream and cringed. Thoughts?

    • whoorl

      January 14, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      Okay, believe it or not, I don’t really use hair products that often. I use Beautycounter’s shampoo and conditioner (http://bit.ly/1zdXolU), and occasionally use Oribe Dry Texturizing Spary for some volume and texture in my hair. I will NEVER give that one up. ;)

      Also, I feel like at least you aren’t putting the styling cream on your highly-absorbable skin! At least that’s what I keep on telling myself.

      • Courtney

        January 14, 2015 at 8:08 pm

        What about hair products before using hot tools, etc.? I remember you did a tutorial where you used Caviar Styling Tonic before doing waves with a curling iron. Do you feel like these kind of products aren’t as necessary anymore?

        • whoorl

          January 15, 2015 at 6:54 am

          I very rarely use an Oribe styling cream before using heated tools, but I just don’t do it much. I blame it on laziness – I think products are very helpful for most people, but I just can’t be bothered lately. ;)

  4. Laura

    January 14, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Hey honey…so I’m debating between the 2 Uma oils. Of course, I’d love both now, but think I can only convince the husband of getting one at the moment. Which would you choose if you could only pick one? Thank for the other picks! I’ve been on an ordering tangent today so I thank you…the husband does not thank you;)


    • whoorl

      January 14, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      Go with the Brightening Oil. I can’t get over how glowy it makes me!!

      • Laura

        January 14, 2015 at 4:29 pm

        Perfect! Thank you:) that’s what I was hoping you would say.

        • whoorl

          January 14, 2015 at 4:33 pm

          Woohooo! Let me know how you like it.

  5. LO

    January 14, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Wait, what do the *asterisks mean? Am I seeing things? Am I NOT seeing something? Help please.

    • LO

      January 14, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      sorry — nevermind!

  6. Janine

    January 14, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    What do you mean by “unsafe?” I get the appeal of simplifying and as someone with sensitive skin I try to avoid products with harsh chemicals because I end up with hives…but what is the actual risk of using products with a bad rating on that site?

  7. Heather

    January 14, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    thanks so much for posting this! I have a personal question about the deodorant.

    I stink. Like really. I live on an island off the coast of North Carolina, so it is muggy a lot of the year and I sweat a lot. My husband and I joke about the fact that I am much sweater than he is. So sweaty that in middle school I used Certain-Dri, a product that I’m positive is super bad for me to completely CLOSE MY PORES to help with the sweat. It did help actually. So my question is, do you think the natural deodorants could work for me? I’ve tried some before, not the ones mentioned in the post, and they have failed miserably. I’m also a pretty active person, so I sweat a lot doing outside activities in the muggy weather. It tends to be the worst when the weather is shifting from winter to spring. My body just isn’t used to the hot weather after all that cold. Right now I use Dove and I really like the way my skin feels. Thoughts?

    • whoorl

      January 15, 2015 at 6:46 am

      Well, a deodorant usually only helps with the scent. An anti-perspirant helps stop wetness, so I’m not sure a simple deodorant would stop the wetness for you. Maybe use natural deodorants on days when you are less active, and then keep the harsher stuff for workouts and/or weather shifts?

  8. CC

    January 14, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    I love all the helpful dialogue here Sarah!

    My family goes through a lot of hand soap. Does anyone have a reasonable resource they use? I have been using softsoap moisturizing with aloe but it scores a 4 and I really don’t like the cancer ingredient to show concerns.

    • whoorl

      January 15, 2015 at 6:50 am

      My favorite hand soap that our entire family uses is Method Hand Soap – free of dyes and scent. (It does have a 5 ingredient, though, now that I just looked it up. Damn!) I will look into it.

  9. Ashley

    January 15, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I love that you are changing your skincare and makeup routines. I love my products too much and am sort of scared to check my products on the EWG.

  10. Courtney

    January 16, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    What about LUSH products? Have you done any research on these or are you just not a fan? I use a few of them and really like them, but wanted to hear your take.

    • whoorl

      January 23, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Don’t know much about LUSH.

  11. Lindsay

    January 17, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Do you have a general timeframe for how long one of the bottles of Uma oils lasts? I’m having a hard time justifying that price! Thanks!

  12. Sharon

    January 18, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    This is all so great!! Someone asked about hand soap above . . We love Ava Anderson
    products! Pretty reasonably priced and everything they make is a 0-2 on EWG. They make cleaning products, household products, makeup, cleansers, so much. I love everything I’ve tried. EXCEPT, that brings me to my next question. Their shampoo and conditioner make my hair greasy. Sarah, what do you use? I can’t stand washing every day so I need a product that will last at least 2 days. And thanks, Sarah, it’s your info that inspired me to look into more natural products and now we use them all over our house,not just skin care. And p.s. Ava’s skincare is fantastic, love the way my skin feels and smells! (I don’t sell it, just love it!)

  13. Jennifer

    January 21, 2015 at 12:11 am

    I just ordered the soapwalla deodorant. Been having some crazy underarm issues, and have tried a LOT of different things. Fingers crossed!

  14. juliana

    January 26, 2015 at 10:34 am

    This post is awesome! Just out of curiosity…I am assuming these products are safe to use while pregnant? :)

    • whoorl

      January 28, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      I would think so but you might want to check the products’ websites.

  15. Liz

    January 28, 2015 at 11:16 am

    What about body wash? I just looked up my Dove bodywash and it’s an overall 5 on the EWG’s website with something in it that releases formaldehyde… yikes!! Would appreciate your thoughts!

    I just ordered some face moisturizer from farmtogirl.com (EWG 0). Will let you know…


    • whoorl

      January 28, 2015 at 12:48 pm

      I don’t use body wash, but I take a look at what EWG recommends. Good luck!