I’ve noticed that there are many forumers who want to discuss both the basics and the Very Advanced when it comes to skincare products and routines! This thread is for just that.


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Related ded thread for history

Reminded me of the nice occitaine oil…


It me :joy: also though, I’m nightmare territory to find products for. Step 1: my skin is a sensitive diva who will randomly decide something that I’ve used for weeks is aggravating to her. I’m also prone to hormonal acne, and have lots of acne scarring. Step 2: layer on the hippy- I avoid phthalates, parabens, fragrances, and just generally want to good EWG score in my products. Step 3: I’m currently breastfeeding and will be trying for another Small Human Creature, which if last to round is any indication may take a few YEARS, being on pregnancy safe products the whole time just in case. Step 4: I’m cheap and don’t like spending too much in general, but especially struggle to do this on self care items.

There are no good lists I can find for me haha. At this point I think I’ve got most stuff dialed in, BUT I want to replace my moisturizer. I keep going back to the CeraVe tub, it works well for my skin but has allll sortsa parabens etc. that I don’t want to be using.
So if anyone has any recommendations for a similar product with no reproductive toxicity concerns on EWG, I would love to hear it. All I’ve found so far are like $48 for a 1 oz tube and I just can’t bring myself to do it :sob:


I had to look up EWG! Are there other standards and lists that forumers use? Many of these are unregulated, but can be a good starting point for folks overwhelmed by the research processes.

ETA: folks overwhelmed = me


I am excited for this thread and doing a write up of my goals, history, status. But as an aside, since we are chatting about EWG, I have heard some back and forth on this from the various evidence based mom’s groups I’m in. I grabbed a quick link for people to reference and decide on their own.

I am not in medical or science adjacent fields so take from this what you will


I think my biggest hurdle right now is hormonal acne. I started a Curology routine a few days ago, a day or two before I normally break out, and this is the least intense skin cycle I’ve had in ages.

Routine AM
  • Curology Gentle Cleanser
  • Curology Rich Moisturizer
Routine PM
  • Curology Gentle Cleanser
  • Curology topical treatment (4% Niacinamide 4% Azelaic Acid 1% Clindamycin)
  • Curology Rich Moisturizer
EWG reply, contains infertility talk

I do think the EWG scores can be problematic and pay to play, but as a starting point for research (and frankly even finding ingredients lists which can be difficult for many products if you’re only shopping online) it’s the only option I’ve found to fill that role. Years of unexplained infertility definitely have pushed me further down the “it may be problematic, but hasn’t been conclusively proven to be, so I will avoid it” path. Better safe than infertile if you will :woman_facepalming: Nothing like being repeatedly told you’re mysteriously broken, there’s no answer, and then having the tens of thousands of dollars you spend on fertility treatments ultimately not be what gets you pregnant. But the hippy shit slash early scientific findings (think, ubiquinol and vitamin D, not healing crystals lol) did seem to help.

Anyyyywho all that to say, I do think it’s imperfect but the alternative is to go straight to the literature and I don’t have the energy for that for every single ingredient. A starting point to show me which to research and make up my mind on is much more helpful at triage for my energies.


So my skincare since I got pregnant (so basically 3 years now) has been lackluster. Buuuut when I had the luxury of time and money, I was starting my foray into skincare and K beauty, so want to get going on that journey again.

Resources I relied on, am currently revisiting to see if still worth it:
Skincare Science reddit
Asian Beauty reddit
K Beauty bloggers (Snow White and the Asian Pear, Fifty Shades of Snail, Holy Snails, Fan Service-B)

Skin type: dry and sensitive AF
Skin issues: hyperpigmentation, dryness, BLACK PORES GALORES

AM routine

for daily use, I use a tinted sunscreen from Elta MD. Mineral, SPF 41 (9/10, ~$30)
For fancy days, Dr. Jart BB Cream, mineral SPF 45 (10/10 makes me look like a bronze skinned goddess, $40?)


If make up, Mamonde oil cleanser (5/10, $?)
CosRX good morning gel cleanser (8/10, $10)
Beauty Water toner by Park & Son (7/10, $30? Too expensive who cares)
Sometimes face masks for moisture
Neutrogena Hydro Boost (8/10, $?)


Totally understandable and reasonable! :heart:


How strong is the fragrance on this?

Anyone with fragrance sensitivity use this and have thoughts to share? It’s why I’ve been hesitant though I’ve heard good things.


It’s strong. I don’t like fragrances because they make me itch and there have definitely been times where this cream was too much for me. I’m going to switch to nivea I think. Good ole classic.

Eta: it is a great lightweight moisturizer, though!!


Ah damn. Thank you though, that saves me $10!

I am camp “itch for fragrance” as well, with some fun added “maybe I’ll have my throat swell and get facial swelling too just to mix things up” :weary:


How long would you give a moisturizer a try for?

It’s hard to say if it’s my skin adjusting or if the product simply isn’t heavy duty enough, but my current moisturizer isn’t lasting all day. I have one or two dry patches and the overall feeling if tight skin within two hours.


Oh good question. I’d give a month. But I’d keep slathering on the moisturizer whenever skin is dry. Maybe your skin is just thirsty!


With the caveat that I have relatively unfussy skin, coconut oil has been my go-to moisturizer during pregnancy and breastfeeding. I scoop it into a tiny glass jar to feel fancy. If it works for your skin it hits all the criteria I think! Cheap, no fragrances or parabens, etc.

I guess I should also mention cleanser while I’m here: I wash with plain water 50% of the time, and a cleanser if/when my face feels a little yucky, which is roughly once a day. I used Neutrogena Naturals for years, but it started being too drying in my mid-30s. Around that time a tiny sample of True Botanicals came in a magazine or something, and my face loved it. It’s the Renew Nourishing Cleanser. $48 but a bottle lasts me a full year and no parabens.


Alas, coconut oil is too… something. Comodegenic? I think that’s the “makes me have acne” word. I do use apricot kernel oil as an in shower facial cleanser, it’s my longest running “product” I’ve been able to tolerate, but my skin doesn’t like it as a moisturizer that stays on for my face. But for a good oil cleanse, my skin loves it.

I’m dragging my feet about trying some of the spendy moisturizers. There’s some great looking ones out there that meet all my criteria except for cost. It’s just hard to swallow as a one income family that spends very very little on self care products classically.


I have to moisturize twice daily, esp since my 30s/pregnancy. Maybe up the frequency and give it a couple weeks?


have you watched any Hyram on youtube? He is very into no-fragrance and low-cost skincare. That being said, he’s a big ceraVe fan and he talks about parabens but he will recommend things with them in it.

let me noodle around if I can think of a no-paraben, no-fragrance, no-phthalates reasonably priced moisturizer. Moisturizers are so expensive, I have the same struggle.

This is my fav affordable moisturizer that might fit that parameter. I find it great for acne scarring. It is a GIANT tub and aloe based, so no added fragrance but it does smell like aloe. It does have some alcohol in it though so that it evaporates, but I have had no issues with it as it’s such a small amount.

Next up I love but more expensive… I would get a smaller test size first to see if it works for you (like I do with everything). It isn’t outrageous though, I can get it on sale for about $10/oz and it lasts me about 3 months.


The extra dry skin version is fragrance free. I’ve been using it at night to stretch out my Curology and I like it. I don’t have dry skin really, so I don’t know how accurate that labeling is, but it might be too much for my skin if I used it twice a day.