Coming Clean is a monthly series where we interview people about their relationship with clean beauty - the good, bad and ugly. We hope these interviews will serve as a platform for raw and vulnerable discussion, but if you only take away one thing, it should be this: there is no right or wrong way - there is only your way.
Lisa is a Green Beauty + Wellness blogger. Check out our interview with her as part of CLOVE + HALLOW's monthly Coming Clean series.
What prompted you to make the switch to using cleaner beauty products?
It all started when my 4-week-old baby had a mild case of eczema. The docs prescribed a steroid cream that started bleaching his skin and I just knew in my gut there had to be a better way. Turns out, there was! Also turns out, there was a better way to a lot of what I was doing. Like better food, sheets, pajamas, mattresses, cookware, drinking water...and of course, beauty products. At the very beginning, I started making my own beauty products. I ordered organic beet root powder and made my own blush and tinted lip balms. But that didn't last for long. Once I discovered the world of clean beauty, I found my calling and the rest is history!
Which beauty product did you swap first?
Good question. Hmm. I really just went cold turkey when I realized my products were potentially compromising my health. Then I took my time discovering, trying, and finding new faves. I love wearing makeup but I also love not wearing makeup- so I had fun researching, learning, and enjoying the journey. I remember one of the first green beauty products I tried was W3LL PEOPLE'S Bio Brightener - my sister actually gave it to me as a gift and I still love it to this day!
"Being responsible for two little lives put a fire in my belly and a purpose in my soul."
Was beauty the first thing you switched when moving to a cleaner lifestyle?
I really did everything at once. Once you know there are toxins in everything from the paint on your wall to the toothpaste you use, it's really hard to ignore. And by nature, I'm super "extra" like that - sometimes to my benefit and sometimes not. So I was all in. I also think being a new mom was a huge catalyst for me. Being responsible for two little lives put a fire in my belly and a purpose in my soul.
What are some of your clean beauty staples?
I use these every day without fail:
1. A good hyaluronic acid. This is imperative to help retain moisture. I like LIVE Botanicals.
2. LOVE a good cleansing balm. These are so good for taking off makeup, mascara, dirt, and grime. My fave is Moss' Beurre Celeste.
3. A fantastic brow product. I just recently fell in love with Sappho's Brow Pomade in Taupe Gray. It has no red undertones - a flattering shade for gray hair.
4. Now that my hair is gray I NEED a fantastic lip to add some color. I'm head over heels for Clove + Hallow's Lip Velvets
. Beautiful shades and they stay all day.
5. And my fave mascara right now is by Honesty Beauty which is cray because it's only $11 on Amazon!
What does your skincare routine look like?
I'm constantly testing new products so the brands rotate but the routine stays the same - pretty much.
Mornings: A light oil massage to help de-puff and wake up the skin followed by a warm washcloth, then a toner, hyaluronic acid, sunscreen, and moisturizer.
Evenings: Balm cleanser to take off makeup followed by an oil cleanser to make sure my face is truly clean. Then I layer hyaluronic acid, a gel serum, an oil serum, and a night balm. I really load up at night and I try to wash my face earlier (around 6 or 7pm) so the products sit for a few hours and have a chance to penetrate into my skin before I put my head on the pillow.
And of course, I love exfoliating which I do 1-2x a week. And I could mask every day, but I usually do it 2-3x a week as well.
Lastly, I'll add, I am totally in love with face massage. I can see a difference in my skin immediately. More plump, more color, and I swear I have fewer wrinkles.
What are you most excited to see in the future from clean beauty?
We are seeing a lot of brands mixing cutting-edge science and technology with naturals and getting results. I'm excited to see what comes next. I mean, we have come a long way from mixing beetroot powder with cacao butter and calling it a lipstick. Just this year, I've witnessed a plant-based retinol change my skin overnight. Or what about Hairprint that colors gray hair with just 8 food-grade ingredients? Or True Botanicals Clear line - a MADE SAFE certified skincare line that outperformed Proactiv in third-party clinical trials? I'm just excited in general to see what science will do next. It's truly exciting!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to transition to cleaner beauty products?
Baby steps. It's impossible to expect a full transition to cleaner products in a week, a month, or even longer. Honestly, I am years into this process and even to this day, I am still constantly looking for better swaps. For example, it took me forever to find a clean shampoo that worked for me. I would suggest starting with swapping out the products that stay on your skin all day like lotion, moisturizer, deodorant, foundation, sunscreen, lipstick, and lip balm. These have the potential to make the biggest health impact.
"It's impossible to expect a full transition to cleaner products in a week, a month, or even longer."
Photos by Monkey & Squirrel Photography, 2018