We love hearing from new moms! This routine comes from a reader in Canada who has this whole clean skincare thing down to an art. She has even managed to get her husband hooked on one of our favorite masks. Impressive!
City: Peterborough, ON, Canada
Weather: It was cool and overcast over the last week, but summer has graced us with a comeback so I’m scrambling to pull back out some mild weather outfits to get me through these last blessed days of warmth. Looks like I get one more swim in the lake before winter.
Hair: Long, brown/blonde (I’ve been growing out my hair for two years, so it’s naturally ombre. Another few months and there will be no semblance of the blonde I used to be).
Skin: Sensitive with a normal consistency (not terribly dry, not terribly oily).
Star: Emma Watson
I’m currently on maternity, which means my morning skin care regiment has the pleasure of being an all-day event if I want it to. I wake up at 6:00 when my husband gets up to go to work, and make myself a green smoothie (lemon, greens, flax seeds and psyllium husk). I’ve done this every day for the last 3 years, so that is one thing that has stayed consistent. I wash my hair 1 or 2 times a week, when my mom can sit in and watch the baby, so I usually take my hair out of it’s high-bun and fluff it with a little Lulu Organics dry shampoo (I’ve tried making my own dry shampoo a few times, and even opted for straight up baby powder, but nothing comes close to Lulu). I use Lanvalin deodorant every other day (it’s supposed to last 72 hours, but I take my dog out for a good run at least 5x a week so 48 seems to be the limit). I sometimes mix it up with Crawford Street Lemon Deodorant cream which works well for me as well.
For my face, I use May Lindstrom’s Honey Mud with warm water, followed by splashing my skin with cool water. The Honey mud is expensive, but seems to keep my skin moisturized all day. If I’ve seen any flare ups coming the night before, I’m usually wiping off May Lindstrom’s Problem Solver Mask which I dab on the spots to heal overnight. The stuff is incredible (I use it as a mask once a week — even my husband is addicted to it.) I follow with a spritz of Graydon Face Food Toner which is fresh and light and locks in the Honey mud moisture in really well (Graydon is a local luxe skincare company that I can’t rave enough about. I also use it as soon as I get in from my runs to keep the sweat at bay.) Then I follow with Morning Glory Serum from One Love Organics mixed with a drop or two of Pai Rosehip Seed Oil. I oil cleanse at night with the oil, so it feels good to keep it going in the morning as well. The Morning Glory Serum plumps up my skin and gives it a nice glow, even through my makeup.
I use Suntegrity’s Tinted Sunscreen and follow with Iilia Beauty’s Finishing Powder and another spritz of Graydon Face Food Toner to lock it in. I’m obsessed with the Kjaer Weis Highlighter for my cheeks and nose, along with Eminence Organics Pressed powder bronzer to highlight my cheek bones. I use an eyelash curler (heated with a lighter) and no mascara is necessary. When it comes to makeup, I like to keep it minimal. A swipe of Studio 78’s “Let’s get married” Liquid Lipstick in “Rose” and I’m ready to go for the day.
I’m an avid dry brush user. During my pregnancy I dry brushed every day, followed by Pai’s Pumpkin Seed Stretch Mark System and can happily vouch that I didn’t get a single stretch mark from my first pregnancy. Now I use Extra Virgin coconut oil daily after brushing.
The rest of my morning is a flurry of feedings, diaper changes and getting my hubby out the door — and to be honest, I rarely leave the house. But this routine is what makes me feel refreshed and alive.
Want to share your morning routine? Send it to us at email@example.com!
Aileen keeps it real in this routine, and we love that. Who doesn’t need to hit the snooze button sometimes? Once she gets going, though, her morning routine is stacked! Need some makeup recommendations? Aileen has you covered! How about meditation motivation? Ditto.
City: Minneapolis, MN
Weather: Autumn, so starting to get cooler and crisper. My favorite season — sweaters, scarves, and Thanksgiving!!
Hair: Chin length, wavy/curly, brown
Skin: VERY acne prone, with hyperpigmentation scars, but normal, not oily
Star: Sandra Bullock. I think she’s just lovely.
I didn’t want to send in my routine for a while because I felt like it was still such a work in progress and changed frequently. I finally feel like I’ve reached a point where I’m really happy with the products and their performance; my skin is finally calming down and I feel more confident about it. So, here goes!
In the morning I wake up to my alarm and hit snooze a couple of times. I am trying to break myself of that habit, but it just feels like the right decision in the morning, even though I’m pretty sure it makes me more groggy. Once I get out of bed, I shower. I wet or wash my hair, depending on how greasy it is. I try to wash it every third day, but sometimes my scalp gets too oily, flaky, and/or itchy. I’m trying out some Chagrin Valley shampoo bars and the One Love Organics Dry Shampoo to hopefully find a solution (any suggestions?). I’m really liking the dry shampoo for the third day hair, but I haven’t found the shampoo bar yet that washes away enough oil to deal with my scalp, but doesn’t dry out my curls. After shampooing or wetting my hair, I massage an ACV solution (1-2 tbsp ACV in ~1/2c of warm water) into my scalp. The ACV also helps a lot with frizz and manageability of my hair. I then use Jessicurl Gelebration Spray, Confident Coils, and Spiralicious as styling products in the shower when my hair is wet, then put my hair up in an old t-shirt to help it dry for about ten minutes while I get ready. The styling products and t-shirt help to enhance my curls and keep frizz down. I don’t heat style or dry my hair because it’s just too much work.
In the shower, I wash my face with Wedderspoon Manuka Honey. Out of the shower, I use a body oil all over on damp skin, my current favorites are Osmia’s Forest Body Oil and Kahina’s Fez Body Oil. Then, I look at my face and thank goodness for Marie Veronique. I use the whole acne line at night, and it has literally transformed my skin from having breakouts almost constantly to only a few occasional spots from hormonal fluctuations. It evens makes a difference overnight — if I see some spots that have started to form during the day, they are reduced or eliminated overnight. To me, this is nothing short of amazing. I’ve had acne since I was about 13, went through 2 rounds of Accutane, and still had cystic acne until a few months ago. Definitely my HG line.
Then, my skin gets some SW Basics toner, Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel, Dr. Alkaitis Eye Cream, and I mix Blissoma A+ Perfecting Lotion and Dr. Alkaitis Treatment Oil and press the mixture into my skin. It goes so well under makeup and keeps my skin happy all day. I top it off with Marie Veronique Everyday Sheer Coverage. I’ve tried lots of tinted face sunscreens, and I always come back to this one. I just love it. I use Soapwalla deodorant and have for a few years — it works really great for me.
While the oils soak into my skin, I take 10-20 minutes and meditate. This is a new thing for me, but I love how calming it is and how it trains my mind to quiet from its constant chatter.
Then, it’s time for makeup! I loooove makeup. I think I’m so attached to it because I’ve had bad skin for so long. I feel pretty when I wear it. I use the Alima Pure Color Balancing Powder in Pistachio to help tone down the redness in my skin, then I use the Haut Cosmetics pink brightener on my under eye circles, then the Haut beige brightener on any spots. I line my eyes with Alima Pure eyeliner pencil and powder eyeliner in Espresso. Lately I’ve been using Alima Pure’s Horizon Collection eye shadows and I love how subtle but brightening they are. I also like using just RMS Eye Cream in Magnetic or Lunar (separately). I also line my lower waterline with the Benecos white eye pencil.
My current foundation love is Haut HDD Cream and Haut Bio-mineral Foundation. I’ve noticed less breakouts since using these two products. They last all day and make my skin look smooth and even-toned, but not overdone, and feel weightless. I also like Kjaer Weis foundation if I want more coverage, but the better my skin behaves, the less I need full coverage. On lower maintenance days, I use Alima Pure foundation, applied in a couple of layers so I get the coverage I want, but my skin still feels like I don’t have any makeup on, or Sappho foundation, which also offers good coverage and feels great.
Then I use an Alima Pure blush or bronzer or an RMS lip2cheek – the color depends on my mood and the time of year, but lately it’s Alima Pure blush in Carnation or bronzer in Maracaibo, or RMS Buruti bronzer or lip2cheek in Smile. I use Alima Pure Sombra contouring powder under my cheekbones and at the top of my forehead. Then, I fill my brows with Alima Pure eyeshadow in Java. I set everything with RMS Unpowder (it’s the best!!) and use RMS Living Luminizer or Alima Pure Lumina as a highlighter on the inner corners of my eyes and on top of my cheekbones. Lastly, I spray my face with Heritage Store rosewater — it smells so good and is very refreshing!
I eat oatmeal for breakfast because it’s delicious and fills me up. I gave up coffee for a while because I didn’t like how I got a headache when I drank it too late in the morning, so I’m drinking tea now. I’ll probably go back to coffee in a few weeks, though, honestly… I love coffee.
I know I have kind of a long morning routine, but it’s one of my favorite parts of my day. I find the process of getting ready for the day and getting ready for bed at night to be very relaxing. My husband thinks makeup and such is silly, but he likes things like tools, so I get something, too. Thank you for having this series! I really like to read how other people start their days.
We love how this mom-to-be is caring for herself with a mix of gorgeous clean products and lovely ingredients you can pull straight out of the kitchen cupboard. Anna’s routine is an inspiration for its simplicity, and her thoughtful preparations have us feeling vicarious anticipation for her little one to arrive. So sweet!
City: Lynchburg, VA
Current Weather: Late summer humidity still hanging in the air.
Skin: Fair and dry.
Hair: Growing out chemically dyed blonde
Favorite Star From the Past: Not from the past but I love Drew Barrymore’s spirit.
I am well into my third trimester expecting a little girl! Although my routine has been relatively clean prior to the pregnancy this transitional time has challenged my internal and external beauty routines even further. My hope is that my daughter will love herself for who she is inside and out and that starts with my example!
During this pregnancy I’ve tried to simplify my beauty routine and view it from the inside out. I kick start my day with oil pulling and dry brushing. While I’m still oil pulling I pour myself a huge glass of warm lemon water and start fixing breakfast. Our diet is focused on seasonal whole foods that are organically and locally grown. We subscribe to a CSA share that delivers right to our apartment door on a weekly basis and on Saturdays my husband and I walk to the farmers market together to fill in the gaps from our CSA share. I feel beautiful and energized when I am eating right and staying hydrated. My biggest beauty splurge has been a water filter for our city water. (We went with a Berkey.) I try to drink at least a gallon a day starting with warm lemon water. If I start my day this way my whole day feels more organized and purposed. It already seems like a lot but all of this takes 10-15 min tops!
I moisturize my face and growing belly in the morning with whatever oil strikes my fancy (macadamia nut oil is my favorite!) If I am feeling really indulgent I will use Lotus Wei Infinite Love Serum on my face and body. What ever oil I have left over on my hands is then distributed to the ends of my hair. My perfume is also Infinite Love by Lotus Wei. I don’t normally use a deodorant but if I am going to be in an extra sweaty situation Soapwalla does the trick! My makeup routine is my favorite clean beauty switch because it is so simple and I still feel like myself after! Three products and two min. and I am done! I use RMS un-coverup in 11 under my eyes and around my nose for redness (I am still in the same pot after about a year and still have more to use! My color is closer to 00 but RMS didn’t carry that shade when I purchased. Even though 11 is a little dark for me it blends really well and it is not a noticeable difference when it is all blended. Can’t wait to repurchase though!) I follow with RMS living luminizer down the center of my face and RMS lipshine in Bloom on my lips and cheeks. I don’t normally use mascara but when I do I like the RMS lengthening mascara.
During the day I carry around Bach’s Rescue Remedy Pastilles and have some stocked away in the diaper bag already! If I had some extra dough I would repurchase Lotus Wei’s Joy Juice Elixir — it is an AWESOME pick me up!
My night routine is much simpler — I only wash my hair once a week with either clay/ACV or egg whites so in the evening I will just hop in the shower or bath with a shower cap and use Dr. Bronners to wash off the day. (My husband likes the Peppermint and I like the Rose and we have the unscented for baby.) I brush in the evening with Toms of Maine Fluoride Free toothpaste but I am not fully satisfied with their ingredient list. Any suggestions for a cleaner toothpaste? I moisturize with a heavy organic shea butter for my face and body (remember I said I have dry skin!) and head towards bed where I mist with Lotus Wei Quiet Mind (which is my husbands favorite scent!).
Growing out my chemically blonde hair has been a bummer but I have been tinting the length of my hair with black walnut powder from Mountain Rose Herbs to help darken the light blonde with success! I really wanted to avoid any red tones as I have a very light ash brown naturally and the Black Walnut tint has been wonderful. This is a once a month treatment as the tint fades over time.
I am also planning on incorporating many of the items from my everyday routine into my (prayerfully) natural hospital birth. These items include: coconut oil (for massage, stretching, and for baby), camomile tea with Bach’s Rescue Remedy drops, and Lotus Wei Quiet mind spray.
Thanks for reading and for the great community here at NMDL! I am always learning and inspired by each one of you.
Thank you for sharing Anna! Wishing you and your new bundle health and happiness!
Today is Pratima’s 75th birthday! This woman is a true pioneer of Ayurvedic beauty. Her eponymous natural skincare line, NYC spa, and book Absolute Beauty are not to be missed. Anyone who appreciates the healing powers of herbs, wholesome botanical ingredients, and soothing self care practices could benefit from a dose of Pratima. In honor of her 75th birthday, we’re celebrating Pratima with this special Morning Routine feature. Enjoy!
Name: Pratima Raichur
Current Weather: We’re at the end of Pitta season heading into Vata, low 70’s a bit cooler and hazy.
Skin: Oily & smooth but now that I am a bit older its more combination
Hair: black and wavy
Favorite Star From the Past: Sophia Loren, she’s timeless. (Note: We love Sophia, too, but featured a photo of the beautiful Pratima instead!)
First thing in the morning upon waking…
I look at my hands, say thanks, and ask that whatever will be done through my hands on this day will only go towards helping and serving whomever comes into my life. I learned this from my mother and I’ve been doing it for 60 years. I finish my morning prayers by sending love to my children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, my entire staff, everyone I have known and have yet to meet. I send my unconditional love. loka samasta sukhino bhavantu
Next step in my morning is to clean all the 5 senses.
Mouth: Rinsing and washing mouth, I use Tates Organic Toothpaste and Healthy Gums powder.
Eyes: Splashing cold water at least 21 times with eyes open, this stimulates the optic nerve.
Nose: Neti pot (with warm water and a pinch of salt) I was recently introduced to this beautiful line from Pursoma, which has a great solution for this, sea spray nasal rinse.
Skin: Cleanse with fresh herbs & massage with oil. I use my Vata herbal cleanser and Vata Essential Oil, Age Delay Serum and Amla Collagen Cream.
Sound: I already cleansed by saying the mantras when I woke up.
Then I have black tea with a pinch of cinnamon and cardamom to awaken me.
Next, I perform breathing exercises. I start with kapalbhati for about 10 minutes. I have additional kriyas that I do. Then I always finish with alternate nostril breathing for about 10 minutes. I do about 5 sun salutations, then walk around my house gently singing my mantras. I walk and chant until I am ready to move on. If I have a really busy day and with not as much morning time, I sit on my favorite chair and do the alternate nostril breathing for 5 minutes, this helps to ground me so my mind remains strong and balanced throughout the day. I never am hard on myself if the proper time doesn’t allow, I give myself the time I need. A lot of these things can also be performed throughout the day with just a few moments of alone time. Even closing the bathroom door in your office and breathing deeply for a few minutes can make a positive difference.
Then I take a shower and use my Organic Herbal Body Cleanser. After I step out of the shower I massage by entire body with Vata Rejuvenating Body Oil and add additional oils on my neck and décolletage for strength and nourishment. I love Shiva Rose’s Rose Face Oil for this, the smell of rose is so delicious on my pulse points in combination with my stress oil. Its a lovely natural fragrance.
We’re so lucky now, when I was growing up and at the age to start wearing makeup, there were hardly any natural makeup companies. I actually have DIY makeup recipes that have been passed down to me from my grandmother that create natural pigment from herbs and roots. It has been wonderful to see such beautiful and innovative lines come into the market to give women small tools to help them look their best. I support all of them and am excited how the natural beauty industry has come alive especially in the past few years. My staff brings me different ones to try a lot from ABC Home, one of my favorite stores. Some of the brands I am using now and wear most days are, RMS Un-Coverup, in 44 to conceal. W3ll People Creamy Crimson Universalist and Bronzed Rose, such pretty colors! I love playing up the lips, so I use Ilia Lip Conditioner in Lust for Life and Vapour Bold, their Siren Lipsticks have such great pigment. For the eyes I use RMS mascara and just discovered W3ll People Hypnotist Eye Liner, which is beautiful.
I drink warm water and tea throughout the day to help with digestion, detoxify the body, and keep everything in a state of flow. I have fruits and nuts in afternoon for an energy boost.
For me, the most important beauty ritual is talking to people, listening to them, and trying to make a change in their life. Just knowing that I am still able to help people, the joy I get from that is the most important thing for beauty. A lot of people become very sad and stressed because they are unhappy at work; I am lucky that this is not my situation. I am very fulfilled at work, it gives me energy, which comes from joy. That’s what I am able to offer, I receive the grateful energy from other people and I give it right back. It rejuvenates me. It’s the purpose of my life. Before I know it, the day flies by.
In the evening…
I revisit the 5 senses ritual. First thing, I wash my face, cleanse with herbs, and massage my face with Rejuvenating Essential Oil, then apply my Rejuvenating Pearl Cream. I use organic castor oil almost nightly. It is an amazing eye treatment and really hydrates the eye area. I also apply it to my lashes, it helps them grow and become stronger. I then take my Vata Rejuvenating Body Oil and massage my feet, ears and hands. I also massage my scalp with Brahmi Oil to nourish my hair and calm my mind. Before I go to sleep, I boil some organic milk (about ¼ cup) and strain out the fat which is hard to digest and add ½ tsp of organic ghee (you can also substitute almond milk), and a pinch of cardamom powder. This beauty tonic is great for overall digestion, nourishment of the tissues and cells, helps calm the mind to promote deeper and reparative sleep.
When I get into bed, I take some time massaging the bottom of my feet with herbal oil which I keep next to the side of my bed, which nurtures all the nerves in the body, gets rid of toxins, improves circulation, and is good for brain cells. This also helps me feel peaceful and sleep much better. I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember. You can do this with any natural body oil you have at home.
Looking at my hands again, I say thank you and give gratitude. I try and let go of any worries in my mind as it is best not to carry burden with you at nightime. Sleeping is a sacred time for whole body rejuvenation — the more peaceful and calm you are, the better your body can repair itself. This is the most important step in true rejuvenation, take advantage of this precious time and give yourself the gift of self care.
These are all simple rituals that everyone can follow, in the beginning start with what resonates with you most and what your time allows. As you start to implement and see positive changes both inside and out, you will actually end up having more time as other pieces in your life start to shift and open.
Happy birthday Pratima, and thank you for your contributions to natural beauty and wellness!
Say hello to Lydia and her lovely routine. Yesterday we talked about self-care rituals, and we see some great examples of that here. Magic herbal elixirs? Yes please!
City: Brooklyn, NY
Current Weather: Summer. Weirdly mild and pleasant!
Skin: Fair, sensitive. Way less temperamental since going clean!
Hair: Dark, thick, wavy, growing out a short pixie cut.
Favorite Star From the Past: Isabella Rosselini
I am a dance artist and writer with a wonderful day job supporting artists in New York. Some days I feel like I’ve cracked the artist-survival code and some days I want to hide under the bed. All days I am thankful for having found a non-toxic, gentle, pleasurable self-care routine, thanks in large part to the wonderful ladies of (and contributors to) NMDL!
In The Shower…
I am a dedicated lifelong night shower-er. I like going to bed clean and waking up still clean! I oil-cleanse nightly with No Evil, which is pure olive squalene, aka magic oil. It really sinks in and nourishes without ever feeling greasy. I rub it onto a dry, dirty face, leave it on while in the shower to let it sink in / protect my face from shampoo residue, then wipe it off with a warm washcloth. Getting used to cleansing without surfectants was an adjustment, but I’ve finally learned to trust that oil-cleansed skin is as clean as my skin needs to be! I shampoo about twice a week with Avalon Organics Tea Tree Shampoo and just rinse on the in-between days; this keeps my dry scalp happy and un-flaky. As body wash I use exclusively Dr. Bronners Shikakai soap in lavender. It is just the greatest daily non-drying cleanser I have found and can also be used as hand soap and shampoo in a pinch or while traveling! I love a good multitasker.
Outside the shower…
Night, continued: Every few days I follow up the oil cleansing with Sow Your Wild Oats, a powdered oats/milk cleanser, which dissolves as it gently removes dead skin. Sometimes I mix the powdered cleanser with honey and leave it on for awhile for extra antibacterial/humectant power. About once a week (on a different day) I’ll moisten a powdered charcoal/clay mixture, add one drop of essential oil (lavender or geranium) and rub it onto areas prone to inflammation as a mask (keeping it away from more delicate cheek, nose, temple areas). I moisturize with Nourish & Replenish oil (a blend of olive squalene, grapeseed, rosehips, jojoba, sesame, neem, carrot seed oils) mixed with spritzes of Holy Cow Mineral Mist which is holy basil-infused and full of dissolved minerals which can be absorbed through the skin, so it’s skincare+supplement!
I started working with herbalist Emma Graves (of Brooklyn Herborium) in the winter after experiencing some weird patchy rashy-ness, and all of my face stuff comes from her line Between You and the Moon. The things she makes are simple, carefully sourced, and lovingly handmade, but even more than beautiful products she has passed on invaluable knowledge of body systems, ancient and traditional healing methods, and herbal wisdom; she taught me to use few products (daily cleansing oil, moisturizing oil, and mist + occasional exfoliator and mask) and to be patient and consistent. She also gently broke the news to me that my strict and years-long veganism was not right for my constitution, and after reluctantly adding (ethically sourced) eggs, butter, and full-fat yogurt to my diet and committing to regular acupuncture appointments my health (and rashy-ness) experienced a serious transformation. My mindset about food and lifestyle became much more holistic and my understanding of body / energy systems deepened considerably. I cannot speak highly enough of herbalism and acupuncture for healing!
Back to the fun stuff:
I brush my teeth with Tom’s Botanically Bright toothpaste which is SLS and fluoride free (with all of the conflicting information I’m not sure how to feel about fluoride; does anyone have any knowledge to share?). If I’ve shampooed I’ll run a few drops of the same squalene through my hair and onto my scalp (in lieu of in-shower conditioning), and if I haven’t shampooed I’ll do absolutely nothing to my hair before crawling into bed. My nighttime routine takes about 7-10 minutes, tops.
In the morning, I simply splash my face and hair with water, moisturize again with the oil blend+mist, slick on some Tom’s Long Lasting Wild Lavender Deodorant (the only kind I’ve found that works and doesn’t irritate!), stick some combo of bobby pins into my growing-out hair to de-cockatoo it, and make breakfast. I am very attached to my sliced green apple + oatmeal routine, and make a hot lemon + tumeric + ginger concoction and a cup of green tea to go with it. I eat and sip while reading and listing to NPR.
Nightly, I’ll drink a glass of Red Clover infusion and a glass of Red Raspberry / Nettle infusion, which my boyfriend calls “magic elixirs” — I tend to agree. Delicious and easy-to-absorb minerals!
I am not really a makeup lady… I have very prominent eyes and lips and dark brows and lashes, and have never felt like my face takes makeup particularly well, so I stick with what works for me. Alima Pure Satin Matte Mineral Foundation in Beige 2 applied just on uneven spots with an Ecotools Airbrush Concealer Brush, combed-up brows, and a sheer layer of Fresh Sugar Balm in Cherry on lips and cheeks is my daily go-to. Occasionally I’ll go with Josie Maran Color Stick in Spice instead, or Alima Pure Mascara in Black, but these days are rare. I’ve never been particularly drawn to “statement” makeup versus makeup used just to feel more polished, but as I’ve moved from early to mid-twenties have started to understand the appeal of blush for looking awake.
Love it, Lydia! Hey NMDL readers, follow Lydia’s lead and send us your Morning Skin and Hair Routine. We want to know how you go about your business. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org