Breast Cancer Support

How to Gradually Adopt a Clean Beauty Routine

How to Adopt a Clean Beauty Routine

Adopting a Clean Beauty Routine: Overhauling your skincare and makeup collection in favor of clean beauty products can be daunting. While I have seen the benefit to a clean beauty routine for a long time, pricing, lack of variety and laziness held me back. I am now learning that a gradual approach is more budget friendly and achievable. Keep reading for my full guide on how to adopt a cleaner beauty routine and enter to win a few of my favorite items.


Instead of panicking and throwing out all your unclean products at once, starts small.  Pick a few items to start with. As your foundation runs out, find a cleaner options. Looking for a new face cleanser, look closer at the ingredients and find one free from chemicals, parabens, fragrance and dyes. Gradually you can achieve the clean beauty collection of your dreams without breaking the bank.

Why Bother With Clean Beauty

How to adopt a clean beauty routine

The personal care industry is essentially unregulated. Without regulations, brands are able to fill their products with a terrifying variety of chemicals and unknown ingredients without you really knowing what you’re use.  These toxic ingredients such as carcinogens parabens, and chemicals have been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption and a host of other problems. Our skin is our largest organ, why would we not pay attention to the products we put on it. We take care of our bodies through diet and exercise, why wouldn’t we give the same care to our skin?

What is Clean Beauty?

Gradual Steps to Adopting a Clean Beauty Routine

The goal of clean beauty is to use products that are not only non-toxic but good for your body.The tricky part is finding tryly non-toxic products. With a lack of regulations, companies are free to “greenwash” using terms like “organic”, “eco” “natural” or “green”even when their products may be filled with toxic additives.

It’s important to carefully review labels and ingredients but the process of determine all the ingredients to voice can be overwhelming. To make the process a bit easier I like to rely on the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Guide, which provides extensive reviews and ratings of  of personal care brands and products across the market.

They even have an app you can download to scan barcodes and easily search items while at the store. I used this while shopping at Ulta recently.

Another way to approach the research process is to look for products filled with nourishing, naturally found ingredients.

  • Rosehip seed oil to brighten the skin
  • Mānuka honey to calm redness/inflammation
  • Seaweed to hydrate/firm
  • Activate charcoal/clay to draw out toxins and fight blemishes.

As rule of thumb, when I can read every ingredient on the label and recognize the ingredients, I know I am on the right track.

Clean Beauty Retailers

Where to Shop Clean Beauty

I have really been impressed with more mainstream retails carrying non-toxic brands. You still have to check items closely though, because “natural” marketing does not necessarily mean the ingredients are clean. Target has a fantastic selection of clean products, particularly skincare. Sephora is carrying more natural based products, but I’ve noticed that they don’t carry many of the well known clean beauty brands like W3LL Beauty, Juice Beauty, Rejuva, and Mineral Fusion. Ulta has also really stepped up their game have expanded their selection of non-toxic/clean personal care products.

Clean Beauty Local Providers

Local Clean Beauty

Aside from the mainstream beauty retailers, Whole Foods is a fantastic place to find super clean beauty items though they don’t have a wide variety. I did hear a rumor that many Whole Foods stores will be getting a larger selection this summer. When I went in last week, my local store had a new Burt’s Bees display with a large makeup selection. While Whole Foods is not technically a local store, I included it in this section because they don’t have online shopping like the other mainstream stores and the contents can be unique at each store.

I am also excited to check out a local shop called Be Pure Beauty that only carries clean products. Not in NC? Check your area skincare boutiques for non-toxic cosmetics and skincare.

Online Clean Beauty

If you want are willing to shop online, which can be tough when it comes to trying new products, Thrive Cosmetics and Beauty Counter are great places to start. You can also buy most of the clean beauty brands I reference from Amazon. I have also heard great things about the Art of Organics beauty subscription box which sends a box of organic, natural, non-toxic, and cruelty-free beauty products to your doorstep each month.

Clean Skincare Favorites

How to adopt a clean beauty routine

Let’s jump into my clean skincare favorites. Some of these items I have used and love and others I am planning to buy based on rave reviews from others.

Cleanse & Tone

  • Acure Soothing Cleanser (Target/Whole Foods/Amazon) Very gentle and reasonably priced EWG Brand Rating  1-3
  • Charcoal Cleansing Bar (Beauty Counter) I am a big fan of anything with charcoal in it. The charcoal seems to help control my oily, blemish prone skin. This charcoal cleansing bar is awesome. I have a mini version for traveling. EWG Top Rated Product 
  • Witch Hazel Toner (Target/Amazon) Absolutely love this refreshing toner.  EWG Rating  3
  • Cucumber Micellar Water (Target/Amazon/Walgreens) Best eye makeup remover ever. EWG Rating  4
  • Juice Beauty Exfoliating Peel (Ulta/Amazon) This peel has gotten review raves and I hope to give it a try once my hormonal acne calms down. EWG Brand Rating  1-2
  • Obagi medical grade skincare I started two new products from my Esthetician within the Obagio line and I have to say they have made a huge improvement to my skin in just a few weeks. I have been using the pore therapy toner and the vitamin C serum in combination with my dermatologist prescribed sulfer wash and adapenlene (need to stop once pregnant). While EWG doesn’t have exact ratings for these two products, their other products fall into the 3-6 rating range.


  • Vitality Facial Moisturizer (Ulta/Amazon) – I picked up this moisturizer at Ulta and I have been using it for about two weeks. It’ss very lightweight and hydrating. EWG Rating  4
  • Herbivore Rose Facial Mist (Sephora/Amazon) I tried this facial spray at Sephora and not only does it smell amazing but it’s the perfect hydrating solution for dry skin. EWG Rating  1
  • Coola Sunscreen (Sephora/Amazon/Ulta/TJMaxx)  This has been my favorite sunscreen for a few years now. Coola’s unscented items are cleaner so I gravitate towards those especially for my face. For light coverage try the tinted moisturizerEWG Rating  3-6 depending on scent
  • Lip Conditioner (Beauty Counter) This product is a lifesaver for dry chapped lips. I got my container this winter and have used it excessively since. The best part is I still have plenty left. EWG Top Rated Product
  • Looking for a little glow, try the Coola self-tanning serum for those with light skin. For a darker color, I’m loving the Tan-Luxe drops, though they may be breaking my skin out so I am taking a little break to evaluate. The Coola self-tanning mousse also works well on my face and body and is 70% organic.

Coola Self-Tanner Legs before and after

Shop my clean skincare favorites below.

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Clean Cosmetic Favorites

How to adopt a Clean beauty routine

You all know I am obsessed with makeup. This has been a hard area for me to transition because I hate committing to just one brand. On the cosmetic side, I am slowly starting to add items to my collection as my old favorites run out. It’s hard to find a large variety in store so I am relying on reviews of others when trying out new items.


  • Juice Beauty Foundation (Amazon/Ulta) This foundation got raved reviews, but I couldn’t find a good color match.EWG Rating 2
  • Tarte Cosmetics Airbrush Foundation (Sephora/Ulta/Amazon) Medium coverage airbrush finish and natural glow  EWG Rating 1-3
  • Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Concealer (Sephora/Ulta/Amazon) Absolutely LOVE this concealer. It’s the perfect consistency, full coverage and does not break me out. EWG Rating 2
  • Dr. Hauschka Cover Stick (Amazon/Whole Foods select stores) I have been trying this for about 3-4 weeks and while I love that it is clean and soothing for my acne, the coverage is quite thin for my liking. Brand EWG Rating  1-6 (depending on fragrance)


  • Ilia Multi-Stick (Sephora/Amazon) The “All of Me” shade is universally flattering on everyone. I love it as a lip color or for a natural flush on the cheeks. EWG Rating 3
  • Cosmo Power Strobing Blush (Thrive Cosmetics) I have this blush in the shade “Rosie”. The color is pigmented and lasts all day. EWG  Unrated 
  • Mineral Fusion Blush (Amazon/ Whole Foods) I have yet to try this blush, but I have swatched it at Whole Foods and was very impressed with the formula and the color payoff. EWG Top Rated Product 
  • Glossier Cloud Paint  (Glossier) I absolutely love the Glossier Cloud Paint. It’s a lightweight color for lips or cheeks and blends easily.  I have the shades Puff and Haze. EWG Brand Rating 3


  • Zulu Luxe Mascara (Target/Amazon) This is definitely on my list to try when my  It Cosmetics Superhero mascara runs out. EWG Rating 2
  • Eye Brightening Stick (Thrive Cosmetics) This eye brightener is magical. It can make even the most tired eyes look awake and I love that it’s vegan, non-toxic and paraben free, especially since I m putting it around my eyes. EWG  Unrated
  • Mineral Fusion Eyeshadow Trio / Eyeliner (Amazon/Whole Foods) I haven’t tried these products yet but they are highly ranked on EWG and extremely clean. When I run out of eye products, which make take a while I am going to check these out. EWG Top Rated Product 
  • Waterproof Brow Pencil (Thrive Cosmetics) I have yet to give up my Stila waterproof brow pen, but this is a good alternative. I don’t believe it’s waterproof and it does smudge easily but the micro tip is perfect for application and they have a wide color range. EWG  Unrated

Clean Beauty Routine _Lip Products


  • Matte Legacy Lipstick (Thrive Cosmetics) Not only is the shade I have named after my friend and fellow cancer thriver Rowan but it’s the perfect universal shade. It looks different and yet beautiful on every single person. It’s also a very hydrating matte lipstick, which is hard to find. EWG  Unrated
  •  Sheer Lipstick (Beauty Counter) I am generally not a fan of the Beauty Counter makeup, but the lipsticks I do really like. They’re really hydrating and sheer. The color “Petal” is on my wish list. EWG Rating  2

Shop my clean cosmetic favorites below.

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Have you tried any clean cosmetic or skincare products? What helped you make the transition? Save this post for the future to help you add more clean products over time. Have questions or want to chat further about clean beauty? Reach out on social @mycancerchic or shoot me an email.

Coola Suncare Giveaway

Coola Self Tanning Mousse_At pool

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    Melisande Balleste

    June 24, 2018Reply

    I am glad you did this blog post. I have been on a clean beauty rountine since 2014 due to my skin allergies. I have notice an improvement on free parabens products on the market. I too use ulta as well since the last two years. I have learned recently the importance of expiration dates on makeup products. While using Pinterest. I even posted back in February about it. Thank you great information. Great insta stories today (6/23) my favorite outfit is the jumpsuit.


      June 24, 2018Reply

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience and insight. I did not know that about expiration dates or I didn’t really check even if I kind of knew. Thanks for your love on the jumpsuit. It is to die for in person too. You can also order online.


    June 25, 2018Reply

    I’m so happy to see you making incremental changes instead of stressing about replacing everything all at once.

    I’m so proud of you hunny.

    The Hubbs


      June 25, 2018Reply

      It is truly less stressful this way. Thank you so much for supporting me in the process.


    June 25, 2018Reply

    I love all your recommendations and have picked up a few prodcuts you’ve suggested in the past and I love them!


      June 25, 2018Reply

      Thanks so much! It’s an exciting new realm to explore and feels so good

    Emily Adams The Planking Traveler

    June 26, 2018Reply

    Thanks for sharing such a comprehensive list! I will be saving this to reference in the future. I try to use non-toxic personal care and beauty products as well! My favorite brand right now is Real Purity and Alvera for deodorant.


      June 26, 2018Reply

      Thank you so much for your support. I am excited to check out those brands you shared as well.


    July 9, 2019Reply

    Shop 10 of the best natural beauty brands on the market at

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