The Best Green, Vegan, + Cruelty Free Winter Skincare Products – 2018
Odacite, May Lindstrom, Josh Rosebrook, Okoko Cosmetiques, and More Essentials for Winter Skincare!
All of these beauty brands are cruelty-free and use high-quality botanicals. Plus, every skincare item listed is vegan.
It’s the start of a new year and I could not be more excited! But it’s also the dead of winter in Canada. Which means that my skin is all kinds of dry and dehydrated. As I write this, it is actually -29C outside with wind chill. Having said that, the air indoors is also wreaking havoc on my skin. Heating systems pump out dry air that leeches moisture from both skin and hair. Not to mention, water hydration isn’t top of mind when I only want to consume warm tea or coffee to keep the chills at bay. But not drinking enough water can actually make your skin dry out even more!
Skincare is one of my obsessions. I could talk about it all day! But there’s something about winter skincare that is really exciting to me. I think it’s because it took me a long time to figure out what adjustments I need to make to my environment and beauty routine to deal with dry skin effectively. Below are my absolute favourite green beauty skincare items for winter! They are also all vegan and, of course, cruelty-free. These skincare items can be used in the morning or in the evening and are gentle enough for everyday use. I’ll try to keep these in a logical order and provide cost-effective alternatives for items that I think are pricey.
Lastly, I have combination, sensitive, acne-prone skin. None of these items make me breakout or leave my skin feeling greasy.
Dr. Roebuck’s is a new brand for me. But I’m happy that I tried this botanical-focused Australian brand. The Natural Nourishing Creme Cleanser lathers into a milky foam that leaves your face clean and supple. I like that this formula is nourishing. When dry winter air is making your skin tight, the last thing you want to do is strip its natural oils.
Living in Canada? You can find Dr. Roebuck’s in the Shopper’s Drugmart Beauty Boutique!
I use this cleanser with my Foreo Luna face brush to create a decadent lather and work it across my jawline, cheeks, throat, under eye area, nose and forehead. I splash some water on my face and then remove any residue with a warm washcloth.
Makeup Remover & Runner-Up Cleanser
My go-to makeup remover has been Peaches & Clean Deep Cleansing Milk by Soap & Glory. I must point out, this is not necessarily “green” beauty, but this is by far the BEST cruelty-free and vegan makeup remover I’ve ever used.
Also, keep an eye out for Skin Essence Organics – Pure Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin. It’s another very natural cleanser that never strips your skin. It was my preferred cleanser throughout 2016.
Botanical-Based Hydrating Mists
My favourite mists of 2017 were May Lindstrom’s Jasmine Garden and the Hydrating Accelerator by Josh Rosebrook. While both of these mists are fantastic and do benefit the skin, there are a few differences to note.
The Jasmine Garden has an intoxicating sweet floral scent, like a flower garden during a summer rainstorm. I adore this Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, and Vanilla scent. I could bathe in it and wear it all day. Before I tried this mist from May Lindstrom, I actually thought that skin mists were a gimmick. The Jasmine Garden truly changed my perspective on these type of products, as I could see my skin looking better and better the more I used it. Interesting, this mist contains Colloidal Silver and witch hazel, which some people may be adverse to. Personally, I have no issues with either. There is one downside to this mist and that is the price. Even though I would like to use it several times a day, I like to save this mist as a treat since it’s in the luxury price range.
At about half of the price of the Jasmine Garden is the Hydrating Accelerator. The “HA” is talked about in the green beauty community as a “holy grail” product for those with dry skin. I was not disappointed! Josh Rosebrook is very methodical with his green beauty products, and the HA is no exception. It has a great list of skin-benefiting organic ingredients, like Aloe Leaf Juice, Jojoba, Sea Buckthorn, Calendula, and St. John’s Wort. And the scent is very natural. It smells like essential oils and herbs. This could be a good thing or bad thing, depending on if you enjoy natural, earthy scents.
For those who are especially sensitive to scent, or are budget conscious, you may prefer something like pure rose water. This is a cost-effective, natural skin hydrator that I always keep my vanity.
Eye Treatment Serum
I have off-and-on bags under my eyes. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized the mila, or build-up bumps, on my under-eyes were related to the eye creams I was using! Since then, I have switched to eye serums. I now get far less build-up. Plus, there is something especially relaxing about gently massaging an oil around your eyes.
Odacite makes some of the best serums on the market, in my humble opinion. (Hint: you will be seeing more items from Odacite on this list!) Their Baobab-Sarsaparilla Eye Contour serum is one of my favourites. And, evidently, a lot of other people’s! This potent but gentle concentrate works wonders on tired or puffy eyes. Apply one drop under each eye and use your ringer fingers to tap and blend the oil in. My favourite technique is to work in gentle, sweeping circles around the hollows of my eyes. This helps drain excess lymph fluid (ie: what causes puffiness) and stimulates blood flow.
The Baobab-Sarsaparilla formula is so hydrating that it keeps skin flakes at bay. And it wears well under concealer! (PS: you can use this serum anywhere on your face and body. So it’s a great multi-tasker if you’re in a pinch.)
If you need to address dark circles, may I suggest the Bright Eyes Masks from 100% Pure?
Nourishing Skin Balms
Oh, there is nothing quite like May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon! It’s like a warm, sensual hug for your face. Seriously, this magic potion should be on everyone’s green beauty list! I could go on and on about this skin treatment, but I know most of you are already familiar with it. (But if you’d like a full review, be sure to check out my YouTube review of the Blue Cocoon by May Lindstrom. It’s one of my oldest videos, but I still agree with all the points I make in the video.)
I tend to use the Blue Cocoon at night when I need to quickly incorporate a skin-nourishing step into my skincare routine. But I also looooove to use this under my eyes during the day!
In 2017, I had a chance to try several of the items from Okoko Cosmetiques, which is a Vancouver-based up-and-coming green beauty brand. The Tomato Lycopene Sublime Balm is one of the stand-out products from this line! (It was a little difficult to choose. Plus I’ve had my eye on the Dragon’s Blood serum, which treats many skin conditions.) What I really enjoy about this balm is how nourishing it is during the winter months. I use this balm on my most stubborn dry patches, and like magic, they are instantly gone! I actually keep this little sample jar with my makeup because I frequently have pesky dry patches that pop up after I apply my makeup. A little dab of this blends beautifully into both foundation and concealer. And unlike other moisturizers I’ve tried, this formula prevents flakes from reoccurring for 24 hours.
Serums for Dry Skin
This category, in particular, was difficult for me to narrow down. There are so many great options for nourishing skin serums. I chose both of these products because they blend well with moisturizers and are at a reasonable price point.
The Neroli facial serum by Skin Essence Organics is heavily hydrating and packed with skin loving organic oils like Jojoba, Macadamia Nut, and Evening Primrose. I find this serum works best with blended into a cream moisturizer, otherwise, it has a tendency to not sink completely into the skin. But for the price point, you can’t beat it! I also appreciate the easy pump applicator. This serum is perfect when you’ll be outside battling winter winds and extreme cold.
You may already know that I have a weakness for gold anything, so naturally, I had to try the Rose Gold Elixir by Farsali. This beautiful, lightweight formula also contains real flakes of gold! I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I have to say I fell in love. This serum absorbs into skin fast. It’s my go-to serum when my skin is drying out from acne treatments.
My third pick is the most expensive, but it also provides visible healing and moisture that’s ideal for all skin types. Kypris is one of my favourite green beauty lines. And the Beauty Elixir I, 1,000 Roses is a staple in my skincare routine that I’d recommend to anyone.
Deeply Hydrating Masks
I love both of these masks soooo much! These two are my coveted skincare secrets for achieving plush, dewy skin during winter. Both are reliably hydrating and are versatile. For example, you can apply a thick layer and wash away 20 minutes later. Or apply a thin layer at bedtime and wake up will glowy skin. Or, and this is my favourite tip, add a small amount to your morning moisturizer! This is especially helpful if you use the same moisturizer year round, but want to boost the hydration level when your skin is looking dull.
Moving into 2018, I know I will be trying more and more from Odacite. I’m just so impressed with everything I’ve tried! Their Deep Hydration Masque has my skin looking all kinds of fresh and healthy. It sinks into my skin fast and has immediate visible results. The smell is very delicate. In addition to lots of healthy oils, this formula also contains Hyaluronic Acid to plump the outer layer of your skin. I store this little jar in the fridge to protect its potent formula. And I smooth the creamy mask on with a beauty wand to ensure the jar doesn’t get contaminated. You could say I’m a little obsessive about the Deep Hydration Masque. But with the price tag of this beauty, I’m not taking any chances!
I’ve been a fan of 100% Pure for several years, both their makeup and skincare line. The Aqua Boost Hydrating mask impressed me from the very first use. So much so that I made a YouTube video review about it! Sadly, this mask has been discontinued… (why?!?) but I do recommend checking out the brand 100% Pure for treating dehydrated skin. Their ingredients are top-notch and cruelty-free, while most products are vegan. I also think their prices are very reasonable for the quality that you get.
This may be the last item on the list, but Odacite’s Invigorating Jasmine-Mimosa Body Scrub is one of my favourite products to indulge in. Just writing about it makes me all happy and giggly. (If you’ve tried this, perhaps you can relate; or maybe you’re thinking I’m some freaky skincare weirdo. I won’t take offense either way.)
I originally received a small sample of this body scrub from the Detox Market with one of my purchases. The smell intrigued me, as it’s a little floral, a little citrusy, and a little earthy. Once I tried a bit on my damp skin I fell completely in love. This scrub is so different from any other I’ve tried! It’s has a very fine grain texture and is moisturizing. But it also becomes a little creamy and lathers when water is added to it. (!) This works fabulously to buff away rough or dry areas. I love to work it up and down my legs, feet and all over my torso (and butt, don’t skip, trust me). My skin feels so soft and looks radiant, even hours later.
Exfoliation is a regular part of my skincare routine. What makes the Jasmine-Mimosa Body Scrub different is that it leaves my skin feeling hydrated, not stripped. This is essential during winter months when your skin is battling dry air constantly.
What a List!
Wow, we are finally at the end. My fingers are cramping, but it was worth it, right?
I hope you enjoyed reading through my favourite green skincare items for winter! All of these products hold a special place in my self-care ritual and really help treat the symptoms of dry skin. Have you tried any of these yourself?
PS: If you are dealing with long periods of dry skin, you may be dehydrated internally. In 2016, I was suffering from extensive dry skin and painful eye dryness that was causing my eyelashes to fall out. (Yes, really.) If you find yourself dealing with any of these issues, but sure to assess your environment and what you’re ingesting.