As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, I’m spending more time than ever before in my New York City apartment. Over the past few months, I’ve prioritized my health and self-care, which has included upgrading my cabinets so that the products I’m using on and in my body and around my home are as clean as possible. Investing in non-toxic brands that I can feel good about using on a daily basis has made me feel a little more in control of my wellness at a time when so much feels turbulent and unpredictable. These changes, while small, make even the craziest days feel more grounded, and I’m grateful to have products right at my finger tips that make simple, routine tasks feel rooted in self-love.
Here are some of the brands and products I’ve become obsessed with this year and will be taking with me into the cooler Fall season and cozy days spent safe-at-home.
Taila‘s Ayurvedic skin care line feels like a major “treat yourself” moment with every application. I keep Taila’s Vayu Illuminating Toning Mist on my nightstand and spritz my face morning, noon, and night for a quick, energizing boost and instantly dewy complexion.
Follain has curated the best brands in clean beauty and skincare on their online shop – but don’t sleep on their very own line of products! A clay mask has always been my go-to if I need to unwind, and Follain’s Dual Detox Mask leaves my skin feeling so soft and clean. I love that they have 6-piece sets that cater to different skin types, offering a stream-lined skincare regimen that gives you exactly what you’re needing, and none of what you’re not.
Even though the Summer months are behind us, sun care is so important every day of the year, and SPF products are a must-use to protect from blue light exposure if you’re spending hours at a time in front of screens. Solara Suncare is my go-to before I take my daily walk or sit down at my computer to work, and I love that their entire suite of products noticeably hydrates my skin as it shields it from harmful rays.
Health & Wellness Supplements
I have always hesitated to use over-the-counter symptom-relieving drugs, so I was so excited to discover Hilma, which offers natural remedies for headaches, upset stomaches, and sinus congestion. Since a healthy immune system is more important now than ever, I’ve made good use of their Immune Support powder, which dissolves into water to easily nourish your body with Zinc, Vitamin C, Echinacea, and Ginger.
Nothing has assuaged my PMS cramps like De Lune‘s herbal Cramp Aid supplements. The anti-cramp formula doesn’t cover up period symptoms, but rather targets them at the source by providing your body with the nutrients it needs to avoid cramping in the first place. I love that they’ve also created a Steady Mood dietary supplement as a healthy way to soothe nasty mood swings and stress experience during menses.
Beauty & Makeup
While makeup has not been a priority for me during quarantine, I’ve been using this time to perfect my “no makeup makeup look” and experiment with some fun new trends. Planta, a subscription clean beauty box that highlights woman and POC-owned wellness brands, has introduced me to stunning, non-toxic products that have streamlined and simplified my beauty routine.
I love OGEE‘s sculpted lip oil pencils, cold pressed with melty, moisturizing Jojoba Oil and Butters. They come in clear as well as a number of build-able colors that make me feel instantly fun and feminine. OGEE also makes an amazing Liquid Gold Cleansing Oil that easily washes away makeup without drying out my skin.
Ere Perez‘s vanilla highlighter is without a doubt my favorite item in my makeup bag right now. It smells warm and sweet, and goes on so smoothly. I use it to highlight my cheek bones, cupid’s bow, and the tip of my nose, and even sweep it across my eyelids. If I have a last minute audition to self-tape or need to hop on a Zoom call, this is the product I turn to in order to achieve an effortless look in five minutes or less. (While I was writing this, I hopped onto their website and got very distracted filling an online shopping cart with their oat milk foundations, beet root cheek tints, almond brow pencil, and more.)
Taking time to paint my nails has always felt meditative, and while nail salons were closed due to the pandemic, I relished the time spent alone, peacefully and rhythmically painting my nails whatever color matched how I was feeling. I love sundays‘ line of non-toxic, 10-free, and vegan polishes and nail care products that center self-care.
My deodorant is one of the first personal care items I switched out in favor of a clean option, but it’s taken me years to find a non-toxic brand that actually gets the job done. While the stress of 2020 has made my armpits sweatier and smellier (maybe that’s TMI, but I’ve asked around and I am not alone here), Biossance‘s Squalane + Bamboo Deodorant is the only thing keeping my B.O. in check during workouts and on-the-go.
A hot shower is one of my daily rituals, and I try to pack as much self-care into that time as possible by choosing bath products that will turn a simple shower into a spa-like experience. Milk + Honey‘s body wash, scented with Lavender and Eucalyptus essential oils, cleanses and soothes me, mind, body, and spirit, so that I emerge with renewed focus and concentration.
Organic Bath Co. makes my go-to hand soap; their gentle but effective organic formula is a necessity because it makes me feel confidently clean without drying out my hands. I don’t leave home without a hand sanitizer packed in my bag, and Organic Bath Co. makes an amazing spray sanitizer that kills 99.9% of germs and smells yummy. My favorite scent is “Zesty Morning,” which smells like blood orange, but they also have “RefreshMint,” “Moroccan Rose,” and “PeaceFull.”
The Honey Pot has become a household name for people with vulvas – and for good reason! Their plant-based line of feminine care products has been perfectly designed to care for all of your needs, and I love that they have a personalized quiz on their website if you’re new to vulva care and don’t quite know where to get started! In addition to washes and creams, they also make 100% organic cotton tampons, with eco-friendly, bio-plastic applicators.
Momotaro Apotheca ‘s suite of products promote vaginal wellness and address bacteria and fungal infections with organic ingredients such as berberine and tea tree. They support your vagina’s natural ability to relieve symptoms from infections, irritation, itching, and pH imbalance, without harming the good bacteria you need to stay well.
A spotless kitchen counter is an immediate mood-booster for me, and Branch Basics‘s non-toxic cleaning products are my go-to. The Branch Basics concentrate can be diluted by water and used for all of your housecleaning needs, from hand washing to stain fighting to bathroom tile cleaning. Their refillable spray bottles are environmentally conscious, and tell you exactly what water-to-concentrate ratio you need in order to get the job done.
Blueland has been a savior in the kitchen when it comes to keeping my dishes clean. Their powder dish soap makes washing by hand easy and effective, and I love that their dishwasher tablets are “naked” in earth-friendly packaging.