Over three years ago, I committed (once and for all) to cleaning my skincare act up. In fact, it was in 2017 that I cleaned a lot of things up — my diet, my skincare, my workaholic tendencies. It was something I had considered doing but didn’t feel any real sense of urgency around until I was forced to change. I had all of the thoughts: I’m young, everyone else uses chemicals, I don’t really get why it matters, won’t it be expensive? Do all-natural products really work?
It didn’t really sink in until after I had my second miscarriage and I started to pursue answers that came through investing in fertility testing. One of the first things my doctor asked me about was the products that I put on my body, and truthfully, I couldn’t give a straight-forward answer… because they were always changing.
My Skin Struggle Story
My whole life was a “trial and error” skincare journey! Everything jacked up my skin, from the super harsh winters to spending half my life submerged in chlorine from being on the diving team. When I went to Target, some marketing sucked me into buying a new serum or cutesy face mask or extra strength pimple cream. I honestly don’t even wanna know how many dollars I dropped on filling up my beauty cabinet over the years. When I say I tried a mountain of products, I mean it.
I’d invest money only to be left with, at best, really no help for my skin issues at all, and at worst? Raw, irritated, red skin, and a nice dash of disappointment on top. Honestly, those are the two options I thought I’d have to settle with forever.
It hit me on a super real level when I was prescribed a hormone medication that was a topical ointment, meaning I just rubbed it onto the skin near my wrists and my body was getting the hormone boost. THAT was then I started to really understand the fact that we’ve all heard: your skin is your largest organ and it’s in the business of absorbing things. Once I had that realization partnered with the advice from my doctor to start paying attention to the products I was putting on my body, I did what any millennial would do… I jumped onto Instagram asking for advice on making the all-natural swap.
The Email That Changed Things
I remember getting an email from a female founder named Bethany who had built a company of non-toxic skincare and she wanted to send me some to try. The goodies arrived, so I slathered them on my skin and waited for one of those two options I mentioned: irritation or frustration. Guess what? Turns out there’s a third option: improvement! Can I tell you how happy I was to like the face looking back at me in the mirror?!
That’s the real reason I was hunting down ANYTHING that would help me all those years. I didn’t necessarily want perfect skin, but I wanted to simply know that I was taking care of it! I want to do that for my whole body where I can. And my face is, well, me! It’s a big part of who I am! It’s what people see first. And, of course, being able to truly take care of your skin can deliver a huge boost of real confidence, right? That’s all I wanted.
So, it’s safe to say that once I started down the clean skincare path, I’ve never looked back. See message below if you don’t believe me that it started YEARS ago.
Step One: Swapping to Natural Deodorant
I feel like whenever I find myself out with girlfriends, I somehow go on a tangent about natural deodorant and reassuring them that: “Yes, it can really work and you won’t stink!” So many people I know have given a valiant effort to swapping to a natural deodorant because they know that aluminum and parabens probably shouldn’t be applied near their lymph nodes, but most give up because they feel like they smell bad and it doesn’t work. Here’s what really happened: you tried, your body was detoxing and adjusting (those pits need time!), and you gave up halfway through the detox, and THAT is why you smell.
Most deodorants have antiperspirants in them which is created to make us NOT sweat. Y’all, sweat is NOT the enemy; sweat is our body’s natural way of detoxing. Instead of blocking pores to prevent sweating (like an antiperspirant) with harmful chemicals (like aluminum), natural deodorant allows skin to breathe, rids the body of toxic buildup and regulates its internal temperature.
If you’ve unsuccessfully tried to make the swap to a natural deodorant in the past and you found yourself smelling like B.O. but with a distant hint of essential oils, it’s likely because your body was in the process of detoxing. This kind of detox can take a little bit of time, but here’s the greatest bit of armpit news you’ll get all year. When you stay the course and get past the detox stage, your body starts to settle into its new normal and you’ll likely find yourself sweating LESS and needing less deodorant on a daily basis. Win-win! After a week or two (the detox phase depends on your current chemical buildup), this will minimize and disappear as your pits + sweat glands become more balanced. Give me all the balance!!
There has NEVER been a better time to detox than right now: you’re at home, you’re alone (or you’re around people with whom you’re allowed to stink), and you’re able to make small changes that you can control (ahem, natural deodorant) to help work towards an overall healthier lifestyle. Heck, now’s the time to detox your whole skincare regime!
Pro-tip: If you have super sensitive skin and have gotten red bumps or irritation from natural deodorants in the past, it’s likely the baking soda in the formula. Baking soda is an incredibly effective odor-fighting ingredient but can cause irritation for some skin types. To prevent irritation and protect sensitive skin: don’t apply after shaving (shave at night + apply in the morning), apply only 1-2 swipes for lasting odor protection, allow deodorant to warm up to skin to reduce friction, and try dabbing instead of swiping.
Step Two: Giving Oil Cleansing a Try
Does anyone else remember grabbing the oil-free cleanser + the oil-free lotion straight off the drugstore shelf in hopes that it would be the cure-all for our acne? Yeah girl, me too. Coming from a girl who has tried all the chemical cleansers (that left my skin feeling sensitive, dry, and painful) this swap felt strange, but I’m shouting it from a my metaphorical skincare rooftop: oil cleansing is a game-changer! Unless you’re a skincare connoisseur, putting oil on your skin probably seems counter-intuitive. So, travel ALL the way back to high school chemistry class with me and remember this fact: like dissolves like. This is the simple premise behind the concept of oil cleansing.
In fact, using harsher cleansers and products strips our skin of the oil it needs and so it is then forced to produce more of it, putting us in this vicious cycle of removing excess oil and your skin working double-time to replace it. What if instead, we used a more gentle way to care for our skin with a natural product? It’s the best way to purify and nourish the skin (natural oils are SO powerful in their ability to beautify and heal) while still keeping its natural moisture barrier intact. Oil cleansing works for all skin types!
If I could only choose one product to have, it’d be cleansing oil hands-down. You can use it to remove makeup, cleanse your skin, even moisturize your skin. All you do is put a little bit of the cleansing oil in your palm, gently massage it onto your face, and wipe it all away with a warm washcloth (along with all your stress). It cleanses your skin without stripping all the good stuff away, and what you’re left with is happy, non-oily, moisturized skin!
Step Three: Transforming My Skin Texture and Tone
This part of my journey was the most transformational in terms of what you can visibly see. I have struggled with hormonal acne since I was a teenager and with each pregnancy (and loss) I experienced more discoloration and melasma, brown patches on my skin due to hormones. The other night a “memory” popped up from Conley’s early days and beyond the cute squishy baby that I saw in the photo, I said to Drew, “Wow, my skin has really transformed.”
This last shift took the longest, mostly because I didn’t have any desire to laser my skin and didn’t commit to chemical bleaching or expensive facials every week… And yet, the transformation is so wildly apparent. When Primally Pure introduced their serums, I didn’t realize I’d fall in love with the Clarifying Serum and that it would transform the texture and tone of my skin (probably because I was a serum noob). I can confidently tell you that I have NEVER had clear skin like this in my life. While melasma still exists (but it’s more like a scar than a wound, slowly healing rather than growing), it’s basically a faint memory compared to what it looked like even a few months ago.
The serums are a bigger investment, but two things to note: they last forever (you only need a few drops) and the quality of natural, super powerful ingredients means you’re absolutely getting what you’re paying for!
I alternate between the clarifying serum and the soothing serum (side note: Drew has started using my soothing serum that has CBD oil in it and is now obsessed, too. I have to hide it from him so it doesn’t disappear). When people reach out asking about my faded melasma or how my skin cleared up, I give my thank you’s to the clarifying serum alone. It’s potent and packed with goodness to fight discoloration and acne, the two things I struggled with the most.
Get My Faves and Save
Primally Pure has been my muse and my skin saver since 2017 and I share about it with anyone and everyone. I mean, think about it. When something ACTUALLY works, how can you not pass on the good news?
I’ve helped my family and pals make the switch, I’m always throwing in a product or two in people’s birthday and holiday gifts, and you’ll continue to find me preaching about the importance of natural products. I get asked about my favorites or recommendations on the daily, which I LOVE.
Because of that, a major lightning bolt of inspiration hit me! I emailed my (now friend) Bethany, the founder of Primally Pure, and begged her to help me create bundles of my favorites!
I not only wanted to help you see the goodness of clean skincare in MY life, but take the guesswork out of product-picking. And the JK X Primally Pure bundles were born!
Whether you’re looking to just get started or you want the full (non-toxic) enchilada, I now have bundles you can choose from to help keep it simple, fast, and still informative so there’s zero chance of confusion on your end. Plus, if you’re like me, I would prefer to save myself some screen-staring time and have less things to click on. Right? It’s the little things.
I really wish that a clean, earth-friendly skincare routine fixed all the things, but it sure does help with a few, right? Step by step, that’s how good things grow. Little by little, I’ve seen how the small things can make room for the big, important stuff! So, I’m all about making those small changes. They’re like the bricks for building a beautiful life.