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Five Clean Skincare Ingredient Swaps

Five Clean Skincare Ingredient Swaps

Are you up for a challenge? Of course you are. Here it is -- read the ingredient lists of your favorite skincare products. See anything that is hard to pronounce or more than five syllables? Chances are, that cleanser, toner, oil, serum, or moisturizer you’ve been using isn’t as good for you as it says it is.

It’s no secret that some of the ingredients found in conventional skincare products are actually really toxic. Synthetic fragrances, harsh acids, and preservatives have become a mainstay in formulations, and until recently, no one has questioned it. But as someone committed to helping you #FreeYourShe in more ways than one, I think it’s time to raise the bar. Because *newsflash,* what you put on your skin can actually impact your health. And not always in a good way.

But here’s some good news: You have the power to make a change. Let me repeat that: You have the power. Doesn’t that feel good?! As long as you are ready, willing, and able, you can do it. It doesn’t have to be scary, overwhelming, or stressful if you start small. So first, commit to making the change. Then, head to your bathroom with these five ingredient swaps to get started.

Out: Retinol
In: Bakuchiol or Moth Bean Extract 

Retinol is one of skincare’s most commonly used (and hyped up) ingredients. It is a derivative of Vitamin A, and can improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, skin tone, and enhance collagen production. However, if you have sensitive skin, retinol can be especially irritating and has been known to cause some real damage! Enter your two new bffs: Bakuchiol and Moth Bean Extract. Bakuchiol is derived from the psoralea corylifolia plant, beloved in Indian and Chinese medicine for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and collagen-boosting properties. It offers the same benefits of retinol without the side effects. Moth Bean Extract is another swap I love, as it has major antioxidant properties that repair damaged skin, brighten the complexion, and reduce the appearance of fine lines.

Out: Hydroquinone
In: Mulberry Extract

If you’re using a product to ward off dark spots, hyperpigmentation, or melasma, it probably contains hydroquinone. Hydroquinone works by decreasing the formation of melanin. But like retinol, it can be really harsh on the skin, leaving you with dryness, redness, and irritation. Believe it or not, hydroquinone is even banned in certain countries due to its unknown safety profile. That’s why I love Mulberry Extract (so much that you can find it in Bright Side Vitamin C Serum). Mulberry Extract is a natural skin brightener and works to even out skin tone and texture. Say goodbye to rough and dark patches, and hello to balanced, brighter skin.

Out: Salicylic Acid 
In: Willow Bark Extract

A go-to for many who suffer from acne, salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that works by peeling the outer layer of skin through intense exfoliation, resulting in clearer pores and reduced breakouts. Sure, salicylic acid is tough on build up, but it can also wreak havoc on sensitive skin (noticing a trend here?). Enter Willow Bark Extract. Containing salicin -- from which Salicylic Acid is actually derived -- Willow Bark Extract includes tannins, phenolic acids, and flavonoids that soothe the skin while exfoliating and cleaning out pores. 

Out: Synthetic AHAs 
In: Fruit AHAs or Enzymes

General rule of thumb: If something has the word “synthetic” in its name, it’s probably not the best option. Synthetic AHAs, or alpha-hydroxy acids, are man-made compounds used to exfoliate the skin. Many can be harsh on the skin and can disrupt your skin’s moisture barrier (and you know how I feel about the microbiome). Clean, non-irritating fruit AHAs (like bilberry -- a close friend to the blueberry, orange, and lemon), along with natural Enzymes, work to break down dead skin cells while allowing moisture to penetrate deeply -- all of which can be found in Moment of Clarity AHA Complex Toner.

Out: Synthetic Ceramides 
In: Jojoba Oil

Ceramides are naturally found in the skin and make up the lipid bilayer that protects our face from the elements. Natural ceramides deplete with age, so it’s super important to incorporate natural ingredients, not synthetic, into your skincare regimen to build these back up. Jojoba Oil works hard to repair damage to the skin’s barrier. Just a quick Google search of Jojoba Oil reveals all the benefits of incorporating this into your routine, from balancing oily skin to accelerating skin healing and treating fine lines. That’s why it’s formulated in Moonlight Milk Balm to Milk Cleanser and Freedom Fighter Antioxidant Face Oil

Now, go forth with complete confidence! 

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