Product Layering Demystified by Jana from the Blog Small Bits of Loveliness
Jana Drolc is a beloved organic beauty and wellness blogger based in Slovenia. Many know her from her blog Small Bits of Loveliness, or from her impeccable Instagram page @smallbitsofloveliness. Jana has used our line of products for several years now, so I thought she would be a great person to walk you through the idea of layering them. Customers who are newer to natural skincare are sometimes surprised that we advocate layering, and a proper order of the layers at that. Layering products is actually a domain of passionate users of skincare products no matter whether the potions are natural or conventional, but it becomes essential when using organic and natural skincare lines because we use formulating principles that allow for a minimal use of preservatives. Our line is comprised of hydrosol- or aloe-based products that contain very little if any oil and of products that are made up of just oils and butters (waterless). The skin looks its healthiest and absorbs products best when it receives water/aloe/hydrosol-based hydration and oil/butter emollients, ideally layered in the same routine. There is more to optimal skin nourishment, but these are what we consider the basics.
I invite you to read on and see what you think about Jana's tips and suggestions. With Jana, you can always count on a soothing writing voice and on an easy, relaxing read.
Photo credit: Jana Drolc founder of Small Bits of Loveliness
Through the years of using and trying out Earthwise Beauty products, I have come to deeply appreciate and love pretty much all of the super-potent and active blends Ava has created. Some are of course more in line with what my skin needs—and this is where I really notice the differences and uniqueness of Earthwise Beauty products, and how some work amazingly well on my skin—and others are more suited for my mom’s skin, which is normal-to-dry, mature skin. Just to give you a bit of an insight into my skin type, to describe it with one word, I would say it’s combination. But as you may know, skin is always changing, and the skin type and the problems you had five years ago may no longer be there today. So to be more precise, my skin flows from being normal-ish to oily; it really depends on the time of year and my diet, hormones, and stress level. But for the most part it is combination. My main concern is hyperpigmentation, and since I just recently turned 31, I’m very appreciative of products that support aging well and help my skin to stay plump and firm. To achieve the radiant and healthy skin so many of us strive for, I’m going to share with you my tips and tricks on how you can layer Earthwise Beauty skincare products and get the most out of them.
Let’s start with the most important step in your skincare routine: cleansing. I went to bed with a full face of makeup only once. That was more than ten years ago, and I did try to remove it with water. You can imagine that didn’t go down very well. From a young age of 14 or 15 it was ingrained in me to always remove makeup and cleanse my face before sleep. I think that properly cleansed skin is the best way to achieve clearer and healthier skin, and it also assures that all the serums and creams can penetrate deeper into the skin. Additionally, makeup and impurities can clog pores and result in congested, dull skin. For my evening cleanse I’m the biggest fan of using cleansing oils and balms and removing them with a warm washcloth. There are many wonderful products on the market, and I recommend using those that are full of organic ingredients. For the longest time I was using organic, extra-virgin coconut oil as my first evening cleanser, and that worked so well for my skin. It can be comedogenic and can clog pores, though, so be careful of that. If you haven’t used an oil cleanser, it should be applied on dry skin (that is key!) and massaged all over the face, including eyes.
Once the oils dissolve all the makeup, sunscreen, and dirt on your skin, take a washcloth (I love organic cotton cloths, but you can also use muslin) and rinse it with very warm to hot water. Lay it over your face and neck, gently press onto the skin, and leave it just like that for about 30 seconds. Or at least 10. Not only will the heat help to clean out your pores, but it will also have a beneficial effect on your lymphatic system. Then gently wipe off the makeup and cleansing oil or balm, rinse the washcloth, and repeat with the clean side. Then it’s time for a second cleanse, and for that I love the Marshmallow Face Cleanser. This is a very concentrated, slightly foamy cleanser for all skin types, and can be used in the morning as well. A little goes a very long way with this cleanser, and it lasts for absolutely ages. The herbal infusion of marshmallow, calendula, and chamomile is really special and I love that it is so very calming, soothing, and hydrating.
The second step of the routine or the first step in layering products is to apply a toner or a mist. Cistus and Moonlight Face Mist is so much more than your regular mist. It is filled with not only good ingredients but also good energy. Ever since Earthwise Beauty’s rebranding, I’ve been really drawn to this mist and I’ve been using it every single day, usually twice a day. I love that it contains aloe vera juice, which is a humectant—it helps to attract water to the surface of the skin, and also delivers hydration to the deeper layers. As the name suggests, the main ingredient is cistus (there is cistus hydrosol and its essential oil), which is recommended for reducing signs of aging. It is pore minimizing, naturally antibacterial, anti-acne, and nurturing, yet non-drying and extremely mild. The mist also includes flower and gem essences. I find this very unique and I really love it! In the mist are essences of rainbow moonstone, clear quartz, and Pacific Northwest pink phlox, just to name a few. This mist is noncomedogenic, and not only can it be used as a face toner, it can also be used as an aura mist for emotional and spiritual benefits.
Mists can be the most understated products, but you can literally use them all day long. Yes, they should be used after cleansing, but you can also layer them between other steps of your skincare routine, after you apply your makeup, and simply throughout the day when you feel like it.
The next skincare product to layer on the skin is a serum, preferably an aloe-vera-based serum. If you would like to treat hyperpigmentation, redness, or inflammation or if you want to brighten, revive, and deeply hydrate your skin, then my number one recommendation would be the stunning Nap in the Meadow Face Serum. This is my absolute favorite serum Earthwise Beauty has to offer and is actually one of the best serums I’ve tried (and I've tried quite a few). It’s cooling, anti-inflammatory, soothing, brightening, and so hydrating. I highly recommend it for all skin types, from teen, oily, and acne-prone to dry and dehydrated skin. Daily use truly transforms the skin and helps tremendously with hyperpigmentation spots and dryness. Another cooling product that is more firming, rejuvenating, and quite hydrating is Resiliency Face Serum, which you would also apply right after toning your skin. Apply the serum all over your face and neck, and don’t forget about the delicate skin around your eyes. Resiliency Serum is so lovely to use as an eye serum, either on its own or layered with an oil or balm.
After a hydrating serum, I always recommend applying an eye serum next. You would want to apply Passion Eye Serum before any facial oils or balms, so the other oils and butters you might put on next won’t block the beneficial oils in the serum, which are specifically there to nourish the delicate and thin skin around the eyes. Deposit most of the product on the outside of your eyes, and with your ring fingers, tap it under and around your eyes. Be gentle and don’t tug on your skin (I should mention that this goes for the cleansing step too, especially when you’re removing mascara). This serum is quite lightweight, so in the evening I would recommend applying another oil or balm on top—Ferns and Moss Face Serum would be a wonderful choice.
Next up are facial oils. There are many different ways to go about using facial oils, but make sure that you always apply them on damp skin because water helps oil to penetrate more deeply. You can mix a drop or two of oil with the serum of your choice and be done with it. This is great if you have oily skin or if you’re just getting used to facial oils. I have also heard that if you have perioral dermatitis, you shouldn’t apply pure oils on your skin, but rather should mix them with a serum or moisturizer. What I really want to emphasize is not to be afraid of oils, even and especially if you have acne-prone skin. They are amazing at softening the skin, reducing scars, and helping to balance out the skin, and of course they also nourish and improve its elasticity. They are just so good and I urge you to hop on the facial-oil train. If you have oily, acne-prone skin, I recommend Ruby Face Oil, which is lightweight and rich in antioxidants and noncomedogenic ingredients. Ruby is my favorite oil from Earthwise Beauty (and I’m definitely not the only one who thinks that). It is just so beautiful! Another noncomedogenic oil is Ferns and Moss Face Serum; this one is more rejuvenating and moisturizing, but also healing and repairing. If dryness and sensitive skin are your top concerns, then Magical Babassu Face Oil sounds like the one for you.
For daytime use I highly recommend mixing your oil of choice with the amazing Farizad’s Veil Sun Reflector. This powder contains only a few ingredients, including coral-reef-safe, non-nano, uncoated zinc oxide. I have been using Farizad's Veil for a couple of years and I can’t get enough of it! I love that it’s so customizable, it’s soothing on inflamed skin, it doesn’t clog my pores but actually helps to clarify my skin, and of course, it also shields the skin from UV rays. In my opinion, applying an oil mixed with Farizad’s Veil should be the last step in the daytime routine. If you have dry, mature skin you can also apply some balm under the Farizad's Veil-oil mix, so you get both lots of nourishment and protection, or you can simply mix the powder with your favourite balm, like I do sometimes in the winter. I’m slightly crazy when it comes to skincare for the sun, but I believe it is one of the best things you can do for your skin, especially in terms of premature skin aging. Not to mention that wearing a sun shield prevents pigmentation, so if you have ever had pesky post-acne red scarring, don’t shy away from sun protection-boosting ingredients. Sun rays darken the already-existing pigmentation, and the deeper the pigment is, the tougher it is to address, and the pigmentation just lingers and lingers on your skin for that much longer. If you are struggling with this particular skin problem (hyperpigmentation) then I highly recommend using Nap in the Meadow Face Serum and Farizad’s Veil mixed with Ruby Face Oil. Also look into the Sungod Face Mask, which brightens, revives, and strengthens the skin.
Last but most certainly not least are balms, which I’m all about in the colder months. Balms are usually always used as the last step in your skincare routine, typically in the evening, but in the colder months they can also be used in the morning. Earthwise Beauty has three balms, and I’ve tried two of them. Tigress was my first and I was obsessed with it last year, and I still love it today. It’s so unbelievably beautiful! It is lightweight and full of noncomedogenic ingredients that support acne-prone, oily skin, but it also works very well on dry and normal skin. Tigress heals acne and can be used as an all-over-the-face balm or as a spot treatment, because it reduces inflammation. Even more lightweight than Tigress is Yasuni, which really is featherlight and is perfect if you have sensitive skin because it doesn’t contain any essential oils. It’s rich in antioxidants and also contains ingredients with enzymatic properties.
If your skin is very dry and/or dehydrated, then perhaps one of these two balms won’t be enough for your skin. If that is the case then I urge you to use the very hydrating Nap in the Meadow serum underneath the balm, and perhaps also one of their oils—either Ruby Face Oil or Ferns and Moss for more combination skin, and Magical Babassu for very dry skin. Earthwise Beauty has another balm called Green Leaves Face Balm, which is more suitable for dry and mature skin. It definitely wouldn’t be the first choice for oily skin because it contains coconut oil, which can clog pores. No matter which one you use, know that it will lock in all the goodness you already applied on your skin and additionally help to soften and nourish the skin.
I know that I’ve bombarded you with a lot of information, and even though it’s helpful and useful to layer products in a particular way, there are exception to the “rules.” I encourage you to listen to and take a closer look at your skin. Some days you can do a full-on routine and use all the products, and then other days you can use only a product or two, or even let the skin be as it is. I don’t want to complicate things even more, but you can also experiment and use a serum over your oil and see how that works for you. If nothing else, I would like for you to take one thing from this article: for healthy skin, you need to properly wash it in the evening and apply both a water- or aloe-vera-based product, and an oil-based product. Skin needs both, hydration (water) and moisture (oil). So for example, you can use only a mist and an oil, or a serum and an oil or balm—it all really depends on your skin type and its particular needs.