Nontoxic Skincare & Makeup

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We live in a world that has unfortunately become polluted with so many toxins from so many different sources. Here at Mountain Road, we want to minimize our exposure to those toxins as much as possible. In this blog post and video, I'm sharing my nontoxic skincare and makeup routine. As I've mentioned before, a bad case of eczema on my hands back in 2014 motivated me to make big changes to my diet and lifestyle. Among other things, this included figuring out a nontoxic haircare routine, which I discussed here, and a complete overhaul to my skincare routine.

I have very sensitive skin. My face has always leaned toward the oily side, while my hands are often dry and sometimes cracked and painful, especially in the winter. While I only had minor breakouts as a teenager, I developed rosacea, a condition in which the face has patches of redness, sometimes paired with swelling and bumps. I went to a conventional dermatologist who prescribed creams, none of which helped in any way. While this was a source of insecurity, I accepted my fate of forever having red cheeks, and made sure to apply foundation every time I left the house.

However, to my amazement, when I removed inflammatory foods like sugar, gluten and nightshade vegetables, I noticed a significant improvement in my face! So the first point that I'd like to bring up is the huge impact that our diets have on our skin. Acne and other skin irritations, like rosacea and eczema, are usually a sign of inflammation in the gut. When inflammatory foods are removed from the diet, the body has the opportunity to heal. Our skin is actually the largest organ in our body and it has a significant role to play regarding detoxification. The less inflammation we have in the body, the less strain there is on the body's detox systems, and thus a greater opportunity for healthier skin. I have provided additional information on the subject of anti-inflammatory foods here.

What we put on our bodies is just as important as what we take in through food. The skin is incredibly absorbent, and therefore, if we put chemical-laden lotions and makeup on our skin, the body will soak up those chemicals, directly into the bloodstream, without the opportunity to be filtered through the digestive system. A great rule of thumb, therefore, is to only put products on your skin with ingredients that are edible. It may sound funny in our day and age when so many products are made synthetically in a lab, but natural, holistic ingredients are so much better for our health, as well as the health of the planet. Through trial and error, I have developed a skincare and makeup routine that applies that rule of thumb and works really well for my skin - as well as for my budget! And while this might work well for me, I would encourage everyone to find the products that will work well for their individual needs.

Keep in mind as well that in addition to diet and skincare product selection, other lifestyle habits, such as movement and exercise, time spent outdoors, exposure to fresh air and sunshine, stress management and quality of sleep, play a significant role in overall skin health. The term "beauty sleep" is a real thing! During sleep, our bodies go through a time of healing and detox, working to recover from stressors of the days prior. The earlier the bedtime, the higher the quality of sleep.

In terms of sun exposure, though we've been told over and over again to apply that sunscreen, it's actually really healthy to get at least 15-minutes of sun exposure to the skin daily. I have incredibly fair skin, so depending where I am in the world and the season and time of day, 20 or 30-minutes is usually the point at which I begin to burn. I've stopped using sunscreen and instead, I allow my skin to be exposed to the sun in moderation, and then I cover up for the remainder of time that I'm outside. There are rare times however, when I will use sunscreen, in the event that I have to be outside and there isn't the option to wear a big hat or long sleeves. In that case, I've often used Badger Sport sunscreen, which although affective at preventing sunburn, is very greasy and doesn’t rub in well, giving an unflattering appearance. For further information on the subject, check out the Wise Traditions podcast titled "Is Sunscreen Okay to Use?" The Paleo View podcast also has a great episode on the subject, titled "Sunscreen, Sun Exposure & Sunburns,” in which they recommend non-aerosol, as well as non-nano sunscreens. Perhaps the non-nano Badger Kids cream might be a better option than the Sport cream that I’ve been using, which contains clear zinc. If interested in diving deeper into the subject, Badger has provided information on the differences here.


Here is my skincare and makeup routine:

Morning Routine

Once a week, I wash my face with Morrocco Method’s exfoliating face wash, called Feng Shea. It’s gentle enough for my sensitive skin. And it’s also great for chapped lips. Occasionally, when I want to feel like I'm at the spa, I take an Epsom Salt bath, and use a Ginseng Collagen Boost Mask.

Evening Routine

  • Wash face with Dr. Bronner soap.

  • Remove makeup from around eyes with coconut oil.

  • Apply tallow in some form. I often use Pure Primal Face Moisturizer. Occasionally, I just apply straight tallow from Epic. I also apply tallow to my hands just before bedtime. As someone who gets very dry, cracked and painful hands during the winter, I’ve found that tallow works best for this. Pure Primal is a South African product and unfortunately not yet available in the US. I wrote more about it here. Stay tuned for a post about how to make tallow yourself. Or you could try products by Vintage Traditions. I haven’t yet tried their products, but they are advertised often on the Wise Traditions podcast, a well-trusted source!

- Christin

Tell us! Have you made the switch to nontoxic skincare? If so, what product do you love?