Minimalist Nighttime Skincare Routine with Differin

Last week, I talked about my minimalist morning skincare routine so, this week, we’re getting into what I use at night. Again, we’re dealing mostly with plastic packaging (except for one metal tube + facial oil in a glass bottle) BUT, overall, a lot fewer products that I have to deal with recycling in general. Also, 4 of the 6 products below are used in my morning routine as well.

1. Origins Cleansing Oil 2. La Roche Posay Gentle Cleanser 3. Drunk Elephant Lala Whipped Cream

Oil Cleanse: I bought this with a Macy’s gift card when I had no idea what else to buy. And, you know what? I love it. It smells delightful and is both gentle and moisturizing. Great at helping take off my sunscreen.
Eco Pros: No parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, mineral oil, DEA, petrolatum, paraffin, polyethylene beads, formaldehyde & animal ingredients. Origins also supports reforestation projects around the world and are working to have net zero carbon emissions by 2020.
Eco Cons: Plastic bottle (recyclable).

Second Cleanse: This is a super gentle cleanser that is suitable for both me and my husband. This is the one product that we share so the big bottle works out well.
Eco Pros: Huge bottle that takes a long, long time to go through. Paraben and fragrance free.
Eco Cons: Plastic bottle (recyclable).


*An effective double cleanse allows me to keep a makeup remover and toner out of my product rotation.*

Moisturize: This is new to the mix but so far, so good! Definitely meant for dry skin like mine. It’s hella expensive which is why I’ll only continue to repurchase with Sephora gift cards.
Eco Pros: Vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free. Fragrance free.
Eco Cons: Plastic container.

4. Differin 5. Embryolisse 6. Herbivore Phoenix Oil

Treat: Ah. My magical Differin. Differin is a prescription strength retinoid that is now OTC. While it’s primarily used to treat acne, derms also say that it can help with anti aging and skin texture/pigmentation issues. I use it for all three… the occasional acne on my cheeks, sunspots on my nose (it’s been GREAT for this), and a preventative for wrinkles. This itty bitty $12 tube lasts over a month (ideally it should be used daily with a pea size amount over the entire face) and allows me to pare down the rest of my routine to the bare essentials. While it gives your skin the “glow from within” look, it also causes dryness (especially if your skin is already dry like mine)… hence the sandwiching between moisturizers.
Eco Pros: Allows me to have less products overall.
Eco Cons: Have to TerraCycle the tube.


Moisturize More: I picked this up in France last year and didn’t quite know what to do with it. After starting Differin, this became a wonderful spot moisturizer for Differin dryness AND a great moisturizing mask. This could also work as a moisturizer during the winter. Multitasking for the win.
Eco Pros: In a metal tube (but I still TerraCycle this).
Eco Cons: Not exactly “natural”.

Seal It In: I tried the mini pack of all three Herbivore facial oils and I this one is my favorite. The scent is a bit more subtle than Lapis and Orchid and I find that it sinks in quickly. Overall, it gives a lovely, glowy look to the skin and seals all the moisture in.
Eco Pros: Glass bottle. No synthetic ingredients, parabens, sodium laurel sulfate, phthalates, chemicals, fillers, animal testing, mineral oils, petroleum. Herbivore frequently donates a portion of certain products to causes like the ACLU.
Eco Cons: Must TerraCycle dropper.

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Minimalist Morning Skincare Routine

A mindful morning routine doesn’t just have to apply to what you do. Minimalism and mindfulness can also take place in your skincare routine. I’ve mentioned before that skincare is one of my “luxury items” — however, lately, that’s been changing. While most of my skincare isn’t plastic free — there are overall a lot fewer products that need to be recycled or TerraCycled. In addition, I stay mindful of the ingredients in each product. Ultimately my goal is for my products to be simple, effective, and with a hint of luxe — because, why not?

1. Origins Cleansing Oil 2. La Roche Posay Gentle Cleanser 3. Versed Vitamin C Powder

Oil Cleanse: I bought this with a Macy’s gift card when I had no idea what else to buy. And, you know what? I love it. It smells delightful and is both gentle and moisturizing. Great at helping take off my sunscreen.
Eco Pros: No parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, mineral oil, DEA, petrolatum, paraffin, polyethylene beads, formaldehyde & animal ingredients. Origins also supports reforestation projects around the world and are working to have net zero carbon emissions by 2020.
Eco Cons: Plastic bottle (recyclable).

Second Cleanse: This is a super gentle cleanser that is suitable for both me and my husband. This is the one product that we share so the big bottle works out well. The only reason I double cleanse in the morning is because I put SPF on as soon as I wake up to walk the dogs and then get a bit of a sweat on with a workout.
Eco Pros: Huge bottle that takes a long, long time to go through. One less thing in the bathroom since my husband and I share. Paraben and fragrance free.
Eco Cons: Plastic bottle (recyclable).


*An effective double cleanse allows me to keep a makeup remover and toner out of my product rotation.*

Vitamin C Powder: I love that this Vitamin C is in powder format since Vitamin C is very sensitive to light and air. I also love that I can mix this in with my existing moisturizer instead of having a separate serum with Vitamin C.
Eco Pros: No fragrance added, dye-free, paraben-free, Petroleum-free, Talcum-free, silicone-free, Sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, vegan, formaldehyde-free, nonylphenol ethoxylate free.
Eco Cons: Plastic container (recyclable).

4. Drunk Elephant Lala Whipped Cream 5. Herbivore Phoenix Oil 6. Avene SPF Moisturizer

Moisturize: This is new to the mix but, so far, so good! Definitely meant for dry skin like mine — the texture reminds me of buttercream frosting. It’s hella expensive which is why I’ll only continue to repurchase with Sephora gift cards.
Eco Pros: Vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free. Fragrance free.
Eco Cons: Plastic container.
I don’t think the company is as philanthropic as people think (based on the whole elephant thing).

Seal It In: I tried the mini pack of all three Herbivore facial oils and I this one is my favorite. The scent is a bit more subtle than Lapis and Orchid and I find that it sinks in quickly. Overall, it gives a lovely, glowy look to the skin and seals all the moisture in.
Eco Pros: Glass bottle. No synthetic ingredients, parabens, sodium laurel sulfate, phthalates, chemicals, fillers, animal testing, mineral oils, petroleum. Herbivore frequently donates a portion of certain products to causes like the ACLU.
Eco Cons: Must TerraCycle dropper.


SPF: Since I work from home, this doesn’t always happen. But if I’m going out and about for the day, I’ll slather on this bad boy that I picked up in both Paris and London last year. (I stock up whenever I get a chance.)
Eco Pros: Paraben free. No Oxybenzone.
Eco Cons: Plastic tube must be TerraCycled.

There you have it! Next week, I’ll get into my pared down evening routine (mostly thanks to the magic of Differin).

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My “Do Not Buy” List

An effective way I’ve found to curb shopping impulses is by creating a “Do Not Buy” list. This is a list of things that I’ve bought that have gone to waste or went unenjoyed for various reasons. Reminding myself of what these items are and, more importantly, why they didn’t work out (whether it be a certain type of clothing or food) keeps me from accumulating unwanted items. Truly the first step to reducing waste is by purchasing fewer items to begin with.

Food/Drink

Dark chocolate: I have a sweet tooth and as much as I try — I find dark chocolate far too bitter… these usually end up accumulating in the pantry until my husband eats them all.
Excessively flavored tea: I love tea but am mostly drawn to black, builder tea — the stronger, the better. I’ll occasionally do a light herbal blend or an Earl Grey. But outside of that, I don’t need to get too fancy with it.
Flavored balsamic vinaigrettes: While I love flavored balsamics, they usually come in a massive bottle that I struggle to use up.
Non vanilla-based ice cream: I’m a vanilla girl. Sure, I’ll get crazy flavors when out and about, but, at home, there’s no way I’ll finish a pint of something purely chocolate.
Most cookies: Give me all the cakes and pies — cookies I can pass on.

Personal Care

Hairspray: I’ve had the same bottle for years — I have incredibly thick, mostly hard to control hair. No amount of hairspray can change that.
Conditioner: For every conditioner bottle I use up, I’ve probably gone through 4-5 shampoo bars. I don’t use enough of it to justify the purchase. I think coconut oil pre-shampooing should be enough.
Nail polish: I love having my nails done. I suck at doing them myself. And, no matter how much I practice, it never looks as good as when I get it done at the salon. I’ll leave it to the professionals.

Clothing

Boat neck shirts: Doesn’t look good on me.
Empire waisted dresses: Doesn’t work on my petite frame.
Shirts/dresses with halter straps: Makes me self conscious about my shoulders.
Jeans without stretch: Not comfortable.
Trench coats: Looks cool. Completely impractical in the Texas weather.
Tight shorts: Too old to feel comfortable in these.
Fancy compression workout leggings: I love my Nike Leg-a-see Leggings and gravitate towards them. Everything else feels too tight.
Black loungewear: Three cream/golden dogs who love to shed. Don’t wear black in my home.
Expensive shoes: I have flat feet and do a number on my shoes — doesn’t matter how expensive they were. There are plenty of affordable options out there.
Non black/grey/nude undergarments: I see all these cute colors and prints but they just aren’t practical!
Dress socks: I work from home. I have no need for these… no matter how adorable they are.
Bracelets/watches: I hate anything on my wrist.

Home Items

Beachy or linen scented items: I prefer warmer, sweeter scents. I don’t like to feel like I’m inside a washing machine.
Blankets or pillows with poms on them: Three dogs and poms do not mix.
Non-cotton blankets: My cotton blankets have outlasted every other material and are so much more comfortable (and compostable!).
Pure white bedding: These end up looking grimey and yellow pretty quickly in our home. Only gray bedding moving forward.

What would be your “do not buy” list?

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Things To Do Instead of Online Shopping

Mindless online shopping can definitely be the enemy of anyone trying to live a more mindful, minimal lifestyle. It’s just SO EASY to purchase anything your heart desires. And let’s not even get into the dopamine surge that comes from shopping. I’ve definitely been guilty of this as well. I’ve found that the best way to curb this unnecessary spending is finding other things to do at home that doesn’t cost any money but leaves me feeling happy, fulfilled, or productive. Here are the 25 things I do instead of online shopping. What about you?

  1. Take a bath (and use up all my bath bombs!)
  2. Paint nails
  3. Do workouts or yoga found on YouTube
  4. Bake something with whatever is in the kitchen
  5. Prune, fertilize, de-weed garden beds
  6. Do a puzzle
  7. Read a book from the library
  8. Listen to a podcast
  9. Find old clothes to sell on Poshmark
  10. Learn how to make a new cocktail
  11. Practice new hairstyles using YouTube tutorials
  12. Surf Pinterest for life inspiration
  13. Do paint touch ups around the house
  14. Binge watch Korean dramas (I loved Descendents of the Sun!)
  15. Work on adult coloring books
  16. Vacuum up all the crumbs and dust in drawers
  17. Stretch!
  18. Send an email to a friend
  19. Look up events going on nearby (I use GuideLive here in Dallas)
  20. Change/wash bedsheets (because nothing beats clean sheets and I guarantee you aren’t washing them as often as you need to)
  21. Run around with the dogs or teach them a new trick
  22. Dance party
  23. Watch music videos
  24. Spend time deleting files/organizing computer (and minimizing digital life)
  25. Schedule necessary appointments
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The Joy of Using Things Up

In January 2018, I decided that I was going to go at least 3 months without buying any new clothes (the exceptions: underwear, shoes, leggings, and anything needed for bridesmaid duties). I ended up going until October and found it shockingly easy. I fell in love with thrifting, Poshmark, and shopping my own closet. This January, I decided to re-start my “no new clothes” challenge. We’re in the middle of April and, so far, so good. The challenge got me thinking — what else could I stand to stop buying this year? Like clothes, other personal and household items can accumulate. Think… candles, skincare, makeup, even food items … generally smaller, consumable items that are OH SO EASY to impulse purchase (especially when traveling!).

Anyone else feel a sense of joy (or even accomplishment) when you get through an entire skincare product or hit pan in a makeup palette or burn through a candle in it’s entirety? I want to feel more of that. So here are some items I am adding to my “do not buy” list until there are no “backups” left.

  • Candles. Yeah, I’m one of those people. I make candles in old candle jars. I also buy candles because I’m a total sucker. I am given candles because everyone knows how much I love candles. A candle is lit daily so they do get used up… but, right now, I have an overwhelming amount to go through.
  • Bath Bombs. I was given a lot of bath bombs over Christmas which piled up on top of my impulse bath bomb purchases at Lush. I am making a habit of taking more baths and making sure to use a bath bomb each time.
  • Bar Soaps. I blame my husband. He’s a soap fiend. At Whole Foods? Buy soap. Traveling and see a small business owner selling soap? Buy it. Obviously, these get used up. But, right now, I have a small shoe box full of soap.
  • Body Moisturizers. Don’t know how this happened but between gifts and half empty lotion bottles — I probably have 2 years worth of the stuff.
  • Face Masks. Not the sheet ones but jars and tubes of them. They come as part of skincare kits, as gifts, etc. I also find that I take forever to get through them as I’m not super consistent about masking. Goal: Mask twice a week and get through all these jars! In the future, maybe DIY masks to save self from collecting (somewhat unused) masks.
  • Lipstick and lip balms. I have too many, plain and simple. I also have every color and forumation I could possibly need so I just need to stop picking these up.
  • OTC Medications. Somehow we end up with multiple bottles of Ibuprofen, allergy medications, and Pepto. Usually while traveling or out and about, someone ends up with a headache or sniffles and we end up buying meds that come home with us. Goal: Make sure to pack medications in travel bag to prevent purchases. Thoroughly check medicine cabinet before buying any medications.
  • Tea. Another impulse travel purchase. Wherever I am in the world, I end up buying local tea. Yeah, the loose leaf stuff is great and compostable but how much tea do I really need?! So. No more until I’m through the majority of my stash.

What items could you stand to stop buying for the next few months?

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