How to Effectively "Green-up" and Simplify Your Daily Skin Care Routine

Updated: Jan 9

I’m sure you have heard about the Korean skincare routine. It has “only” 10 steps, from triple cleansing, through toning and spritzing, multiple serums and moisturizers, etc. etc.

Of course, I want to get glowing skin, of course I'm looking for the best natural skin care routine. But, I’m a working mom of two, with a full-time job teaching, and blogging on the side, and I definitely do not have time for 10 steps twice a day. So I simplify. Drastically simplify.

The first, and most important, principle for me is to use only clean products. (You can read here about what I consider “clean beauty”) What I definitely avoid is:

  • sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate,

  • synthetic fragrance,

  • and preservatives.

To be sure what really is in the jar or the bottle, majority of what I use on a daily basis I make myself from organic or wild-crafted ingredients. Short of that option, one can find quality toxin-free products that are certified organic and cruelty-free (the leaping bunny certification). These days, Sephora even has a separate category of products that are certifiably "green", lacking toxic chemicals and synthetic preservatives (Clean at Sephora).

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Whether I make my own skincare or buy a products, I look for:

  • non-irritating, moisturizing ingredients that hydrate, calm and soothe the skin (chamomile, calendula, rosewater, aloe vera juice, hyaluronic acid)

  • anti-inflammatory agents (green tea, turmeric, plant extracts such as edelweiss, arnica, St. John’s wort)

  • nourishing, top-performing oils such as argan, evening primrose, borage, camelia, hazelnut, pomegranate, hemp seed, or rosehip oil

  • therapeutic properties of essential oils, but it is important to be mindful that some (like citrus oils) can cause photosensitivity so they shouldn’t be used in daytime products.

My super simple but effective daily routine


  1. Cleanse with raw honey, aloe vera gel and hemp seed oil cleanser (equal parts of each)

  2. Tone with rosewater and witch hazel toner (DIY recipe here)

  3. A pure hyaluronic acid serum, I use my own Oko Hyaluronic Acid Aloe Vera Botanical Serum (see here)

  4. Clean sunscreen (I use Coola)


  1. Oil cleanse (see my post about benefits of this super easy way to cleanse)

  2. Tone with rosewater and witch hazel toner

  3. Vitamin C serum (I make it from ultrafine Vit. C powder and rose water, DIY recipe coming soon)

  4. Facial oil, I use my own Oko 14 Oils Facial Serum (see here)


  1. Glycolic or lactic acid exfoliator (I use one by Ordinary)

  2. Face scrub (handmade grains mix: olive leaf, cranberry powder, oats, almond meal)

  3. Lip scrub (see a super easy DIY recipe)

  4. DIY clay mask or other facial masks

  5. Alba Botanica sunless tanner

Finding natural make-up is a bit more of a challenge. I’ve seen people make their own blushes (with beet powder) and lipsticks (with various micas) and even mascara - but my few attempts at this were nothing to write home about. So I go form what Clean Beauty companies have to offer:


  • On daily basis, instead of foundation, I opt for Dr. Hauschka’s bronzer, it makes the skin look just sun-kissed. For evenings, I use Tarte foundation.

  • For blush, I use Josie Maran’s argan oil-based blush.

  • For lipstick, I go for Kosas wonderfully creamy lipsticks, but on daily basis I just go with my handmade lip balm tinted with pinkish/brownish mica mix.

  • For mascara, I opt for Josie Maran Argan Black Oil Mascara.


  1. Pre-wash: Hair growth serum (handmade with aloe vera juice, glycerine infused with hair growth promoting herbs, rosemary and cedarwood essential oils); on occasion a Ayurvedic herbs and oils hair pack (you can read here about my hair routine in more depth)

  2. Clean shampoo and conditioner (either make my own or get Alba Botanica ready-made clean and organic products)

  3. Apple Cider Vinegar hair rinse (1 part of ACV to 4 parts of water) leaves hair nice and shiny, as it lowers the pH

  4. Leave in conditioner, I use Oko Anti-Frizz Hair Oil Serum (see here)


  • Shower gel (easily made at home with castille soap, good oil, distilled water and essential oils or get a clean one like this one)

  • Soap (started making my own with the easy melt and pour method)

  • Body scrub (endless possibilities, see DIY recipe here)

  • After shower body oil (go for a mix of heavier and lighter oils, e.g. grapeseed oil mixed with jojoba wax and some essential oils for scent and therapeutic benefits, see my DIY recipe here)

  • Handmade hand-salve (DIY coming soon)

  • Handmade foot cream lotion (DIY coming soon)

  • Handmade arrowroot flour, benonite clay, coconut oil and essential oils deodorant (DIY coming soon) or get a clean, aluminum-free one like this one here.

  • I am very careful about fragrance. Did you know that conventional perfume companies are not required by the FDA to disclose their ingredients, so they can and do sneak in all sorts of nasties into their finished product. Since commercial perfumes are often scented with synthetically derived ingredients, I opt for natural perfume made with essential oils (see my sample recipe here)

That is pretty much it. Simple and fast, and, most importantly, I always know what is in the jar or bottle. Skin is the largest organ we have and what comes into contact with it can have great impact on overall health and wellbeing.

What is in your daily self-care routine? Let me know, I’d love to know.

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