What Happened When I Switched To A Natural Beauty Routine For A Week

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So, there’s something you should know about me. I am deeply committed to my daily beauty routine. After many years of (sometimes tragic) experimentation, I feel like I’ve finally landed on a pretty solid lineup that works well for me, from my face cleanser to my go-to eyeliner. When I decided to bench my daily regimen in favor of transitioning to an all natural beauty beauty routine for a week, I was feeling more than a little bit of separation anxiety.

In partnership with Australian Gold, I overhauled my whole routine, from body wash to lipstick. They sent over some key items from their botanical line, including Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Lotion and Botanical SPF 30 Mineral Lotion, while I swapped out a few of my usual products for their au naturel counterparts.

I hoped this weeklong experiment would reveal a couple of things. First, I wanted to see how my skin would react to all organic products, as opposed to my dermatologist-prescribed lotions and potions. Secondly, and just as important, I was curious about the staying power of makeup without chemical additives.

Day 1

I kicked off my week of all natural everything by going completely bare. My only "cheat"? Australian Gold's Botanical SPF 50 Tinted Face Lotion. Of course, on day one of this grand experiment, the blemish to end all other blemishes (hello, Internet!) erupted right on the side of my nose. I was desperate for all of the salicylic acid I could safely and reasonably apply to my skin (seriously, it was bad), but instead, I simply dabbed some tea tree oil on it and hoped for the best.

I’m used to medium-to-full foundation coverage, so I was a little worried a tinted sunscreen wouldn’t do  much in the way of covering up redness or blemishes, but I was pleasantly surprised. The application was super smooth (no streaking) and I just had to apply an extra amount to the area around my blemish to make sure I was covered. It was unusually hot and sunny in New York City when I started out this experiment, so I could actually gauge how efficient the SPF factor would be. I walked to my office and wasn't even a little red from my 45-minute walk. I deemed the day a success.

Day 2

When I say I swapped out everything, I do mean everything. I had heard a lot of good things about Ursa Major’s No B.S. Deodorant, so I gave it a try. About midday, I was wondering if I should have applied more than one layer. After a little research (see also: polling my friend group), I discovered that more is definitely better when you opt for a natural deodorant: more layers, more re-applying, and also exfoliating your underarms. I put on three coats for the rest of the week and everything came up smelling like roses (not really, because this deodorant is fragrance free, but you know what I mean).

Day 3

Instead of my normal face cleanser, I switched to this cleansing nectar by Fig + Yarrow. I’ve noticed it does make my face feel less tight and appear less red, but I suspect this might have something to do with the fact that I’m no longer washing my face in the shower (aka not subjecting my skin to too-hot temps and aggressive water pressure). To get rid of of any excess eye makeup, I’ve resorted to using coconut oil, both for its efficiency and its heavenly smell.

Day 4

Speaking of shower accessories, I’ve been lathering up with Juara Candlenut hydrating shower gel. This has been one of my favorite tradeoffs so far. It’s super light on my skin, and is so hydrating that I don’t need to moisturize after using it. Bonus? The scent is subtle, but it lasts all day.

Day 5

I’m experimenting with a new makeup look this week: just my botanical tinted sunscreen, RMS Living Luminizer, a classic red lipstick from Vapour, and a shimmery eye shadow from W3LL People. I’m taking a break from mascara and eyeliner, and I gotta say, I’m pretty pleased with the end result. I have less makeup to remove at the end of the day, and I’ve been asked on two separate occasions if I recently went on vacation because I look “so relaxed”. Noted.

Day 6

The tea tree oil seems to be working a slow but steady magic on this blemish that just doesn’t want to disappear. I’ve been using Tata Harper's Moisturizing Mask for some deep hydration while I sleep. I love how it absorbs right into my skin (and honestly, I think the herbal smell is making it easier for me to fall asleep at night).

Day 7

So, how do I feel at the end of a full week? Overall, I think my skin feels more nourished and hydrated day-to-day. My fears about my skin going haywire without my topical creams have been put to rest — aside from this fading blemish, I’ve maintained an even complexion with minimal product. I plan to incorporate the tinted botanical sunscreen, as well as the cleansing water and moisturizing mask into my daily routine. Long-term, I think I want to start taking a more layered approach to my beauty routine. At the end of the day, I felt like I was putting my best face forward when I was being kinder to my skin.

This post is sponsored by Australian Gold.