Up until a year or so ago, I used to think that unless blessed with great genetics, you must have to spend a small fortune to have great skin, 100% naturally (without turning to prescription medication to band-aid the issue!). Thankfully I have never suffered from terrible acne or breakouts, but until recently, my skin looked pretty dull most of the time, a bit congested, and I had frequent blemishes. 

I have a good diet, drink plenty of water, exercise, never sleep without removing my make-up, my hormones aren't the issue...I do everything you're "supposed" to do for clear skin. Yet, my skin still wasn't stellar. It wasn't a big deal, however because I view issues holistically (that is, not just viewing poor skin as an isolated issue) it bothered me. 

Now, nobody has "perfect" skin. Perfect is an unattainable illusion, one that can only exist inside your mind, and not exactly something worth (or a good idea to) obsessing over. Aside from cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising with nothing more than pure rosehip oil, I didn't have much of a skincare routine for many years. With everything I was doing to nourish my body (and therefore my skin) internally cleared of any guilt, I started to look into developing a more in-depth skincare routine. Everybody's skin is different, so it took an awful lot of trial and error (and a few happy coincidences) to find products that worked for my skin. Some people do better with the bare minimum, others need several steps and products. It is all about finding your own unique rhythm. 

I'd tried several different cleansers, a few different oils, without much difference. I began to look at higher-end (luxury) brands, and from all the rave reviews, I was beginning to believe that spending $200 on a cleanser or face cream was the only way to have good skin. Which brings me to my next point. 

A $200 cleanser or face cream, while lovely, and luxurious, isn't necessary. They often don't contain anything more miraculous than a $40 cleanser, because miracles in a jar are only marketing. Of course luxury brands or products often contain a myriad of more exotic ingredients, and yes it doesn't mean they aren't effective. And it doesn't mean that if you have the budget for it, that you shouldn't go ahead and spend whatever you like on your skincare. 

I will repeat again, a $200 cleanser isn't the only way to achieve good skin.

And this brings me to my next point. 

Skincare that contains high-quality, high grade, raw, unrefined oils, plant extracts, essences and absolutes often do come with a higher price tag, because that is simply what real ingredients cost. Cheap products (whether it be skincare, make-up, clothing or food) only exist, because the majority of it isn't real. A $5 mascara is mostly plastic and petroleum by-products, and cheap synthetic copies of natural ingredients. And that goes for natural products, too. Certified Organic ensures safety, not quality, which I talked about recently here and linked to an article Ava of Earthwise Beauty wrote on the topic. If you've ever found yourself reacting to or with skin issues after using a natural product, I strongly recommend you read both of the above.

There are a great number of ethical brands, with integrity, committed to creating only the highest quality, and effective skincare and beauty products. However, with the social shift and consumer push for natural, organic products, the market has become flooded with poorly formulated products, and new brands taking the less costly shortcuts in order to turn a profit. I'll also point out that price does not always equal quality, either. 

So, where does that leave us, and what does all this mean? 

I always seem to be saying this, but if you truly want to know what you are purchasing, do your research. I will always support brands that are transparent, ethical and honest about their products, practises and formulations. Creators like Ava of Earthwise Beauty and Rose-Marie Swift of RMS Beauty, who are committed to not only creating products that are truly effective and feed the skin, but also in educating the public. 

Always double-check what you are purchasing not only meets your standards for certification, but has been well-formulated. And if you don't know, ask! Ethical brands will always be willing to educate their customers and will welcome questions. 

And now to my final point - there are incredibly effective products out there, that aren't in the luxury price bracket. 

As I mentioned above, everyone's skin is different, so what works for me, won't necessarily work for the next person, but I want to share some brands and products that I've discovered. These are what has transformed my skin, and it is now clear 90% of the time, radiant, smooth and soft.  

There are of course so many other products that I love (and use), but I've tried to keep this short, and in order of what I have found to make the most difference. The bare minimum for me is products 1-3.

Number one for me is a draw, so I've nicknamed them my Skin Power Couple :p I hate to run out of either of these, and I saw a huuuuge difference in my skin almost overnight. 

  1. Blissoma Fresh Mild Rice Cleanser (review) and the Earthwise Beauty Green Leaves & Co Facial Oil (review) Code LIBERTYGREEN saves 15% off Earthwise Beauty. Free Shipping Friday is coming later this week for Eve Organics! Together these keep my skin so clear, and breakout-free.
  2. I think a weekly mask is just as essential as daily cleansing, as it really draws out impurities, and deeply cleanses the skin, giving it that glow. My current favourite is the Little Alchemist Cacao & Banana Glow Face Mask (review). I also really love the Romeo & Madden Detox Mask, which is also budget friendly!
  3. This one has the highest price tag out of everything, but one bottle has lasted me 5mths, and I'm still going. So, it works out pretty nicely! It's the Kypris Moonlight Catalyst Serum (review). I was looking at getting the Clearing Serum later down the track when I purchased this, but I no longer require it. The Moonlight Catalyst has made my skin SO smooth, and has contributed to keeping my skin clear, decongested and blemish-free. This serum is also a herbal alternative to retinol treatments. Code LIBERTYGREEN save 10% off your 1st order at Beautiful Because.
  4. For exfoliants, I love the Edible Beauty & Desert Lime Flawless Micro Exfoliant, it leaves my skin unbelievably smooth with just the tiniest amount. This is also rich enough to remove all traces of make-up without the need for another cleanse. With daily use, this one jar lasted me around 4 months.
  5. Moisturisers - I have never found a cream SO lovely as the Edible Beauty & Coco Bliss Intensive Repair Creme. It is incredibly light on the skin, so silky and deeply hydrates and plumps the skin. It is heaven. I really ought to put this with number 4, as it's a bit of a draw here too. 

Well, I hope this is helpful and you've gained a little more information about the differences that quality can make, but also know you don't need to spend $$$ to take care of your skin. If you haven't, I strongly recommend reading that article I linked to above.

I realise most of these products are priced around the $50 mark, which is still pricey for some, so if you'd like me to do a budget-friendly round-up of my fave natural skincare and recommendations, let me know down below or on instagram.

Kelsey xx
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