The quest for clean beauty can be a little disheartening at times. Take it from me, someone who has been gradually cleaning up and paring down her product collection, again and again, for years. Ideally, my goal is to become a skincare minimalist—someone who only uses a handful of products that are proven to work, despite their lack of harsh or harmful ingredients. I haven't quite mastered the whole situation yet, and that's due to the fact (okay, opinion) that clean beauty products aren't always fun.
What I mean by that is the packaging is often underwhelming, the selection is often meager, and the products themselves often have limited lifespans or uses. ("Often" is the key word here.)
I know what you're thinking: That's a small price to pay for safety and purity. I concede. I also concede that the clean beauty industry has grown massively from what it was even a few years ago. More brands and more products mean more options and advancements. Whereas the "clean" end of my vanity was quite barren before, it's now covered in products from my favorite natural beauty brands like Fig+Yarrow, Rituel de Fille, Ilia, Herbivore, and RMS. Oh, and Loli Beauty, which is the newest to join my clean-beauty selection.
It's a skincare brand that specializes in organic, ethical, and sustainable products that are also fun.
You see, each product from the Loli line is made with sustainably sourced ingredients that are fair-trade, organic, and food-grade, meaning they pass the quality standards needed for actual consumption. In other words, I felt totally and completely carefree as I slathered my face with Loli product each morning and night. I wasn't worried about irritation, redness, or breakouts (which is something I experience with products that contain a lot of synthetic compounds—namely silicone-based skincare).
My routine went like this: After hitting snooze four to five times each morning (as one does), I rolled out of bed and patted a few drops of the brand's micellar water—the Blue Cornflower Water ($38)—all over my face. It's light, refreshing, and gently cleansing, which makes it perfect for the morning. After that, I would scoop out a tiny dollop of Aloe Blueberry Jelly ($38) and press it into my skin. This one was my absolute favorite. It's literally pure aloe juice, along with organic grape alcohol, glycerin, blueberry extract, and xanthan gum.
That's it. It's cooling and hydrating and perfect for my sensitive, combination skin. It even saved me from a whole host of irritation and sensitivity issues, like those that result from a rogue April sunburn. Summer is coming up, and I refuse to go without the lightweight hydration and soothing properties of this product. (Pro tip: Put it in the fridge before you apply it for the most relaxing and cooling texture you'll ever experience.)
Finally, I moved onto facial oil. Depending on the day, I'd either use the Tea Seed Elixir ($68) or the Plum Elixir ($78), both of which are antioxidant-rich and deeply moisturizing oils that you can DIY by adding what the brand calls "mix-ins." These mix-ins are tiny vials of potent ingredients you can swap in and out each day to target specific skin concerns. The mix-ins I used were the Turmeric Root ($24) and the White Willow Bark ($18). The former is a potent anti-inflammatory that prevents free radicals and blemishes from taking hold of your complexion, while the latter works to detoxify and de-stress the skin.
They're kind of heavenly the way they made my skin look extra glowy every day. Just be cautious when you use them. Since they're potent essential extracts, they shouldn't come in contact with the skin on their own. They need to be carried in a "base," like the aforementioned aloe jelly, for example. One more thing: They smell. They smell strong, and in my opinion, it isn't exactly a pleasant smell. It makes sense considering they're pure and concentrated root and bark extract. But still, be warned that the smell lingers on the skin for 10 minutes or so before dissipating.
Personally, I'm fine with it because I know there aren't any synthetic fragrances or chemicals added to mask it. Plus, I'm convinced both of these mix-ins have lent a hand in keeping my skin clear and radiant over the last few weeks. A temporary, unpleasant smell is a small price to pay for that.
At night, I followed the exact same routine, with the addition of the Date Nut Brulée, which is a mixture of date nut oil, olive oil, tamanu oil, and sunflower wax. I used this as a sort of cleansing balm, heating it up between my hands before gently removing makeup. This is a three-in-one balm that can also be used as a body moisturizer, lip balm, or conditioning paste for the ends of the hair. It is insanely moisturizing, and I always keep it handy, but only for the purpose of lip balm and body moisturizer.
I found that it's too heavy—even a little too waxy—to apply to my combination skin, which is prone to breakouts in the T-zone. If I put it in my hair, it tangles up and becomes stiff since I have ultra-fine texture. That's just me, though. If you have super-dry skin or thick, dry hair, this might be your all-star do-it-all product.
What's so unique about this brand is the DIY element (or, as the brand calls it, BIY, which stands for blend it yourself). It gave me the chance to cocktail my own skincare treatment based on what issue I felt I needed to address that day. It let me play chemist by blending good-for-skin ingredients into my own treatments. That's so different from my normal routine, which consists of using a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer every single day until it's empty and I move on to the next one.
If the idea of blending together your own skincare intimidates you, know that the website offers free "recipes," showing which products should be blended together to target specific concerns. So it's not a confusing free-for-all by any means. In fact, most of the products can be used on their own. The option is there, however, if you want to customize. I like that. It doesn't tell me what my skin needs. It gives me the power to decide—and mix and blend and treat my own skin.