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My Current Recommendations for Sustainable Skincare (with segments of my morning routine) <3

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USFCA chapter.

One of the best investments you can make for yourself is #skincare. My mom recently advised me to save $5 of my weekly allowance and invest it in my monthly skincare haul. She expressed that advice after I complained about how expensive skincare is nowadays. “Even if it’s washing your face with soap and water and then applying Ponds face cream, you’re still taking great care of your skin,” she said. Period queen! I took it to heart and since then, my trip to Sephora every two months is no longer dread. I enjoy it and still have a couple of bucks left over to treat myself to a Chai Latte with Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam. 

I’ve always struggled with finding the “perfect” skincare products for my face. Or vice versa, my face has always struggled with saying yes to non-clean skincare lines. Thankfully, after doing plenty of research, I discovered “Youth to the People.” Before  my hours spent on research, I heard tons of buzz talk about this brand from close friends and even on TikTok. “Zuri! You have to get Youth to the People’s moisturizer, it’s a real-life-saver,” said one of my close friends. I always declined and said my face is very very very sensitive, prone to any small breakouts and dry in the winter but oily in the summer. But hey, let’s continue normalizing imperfections! ;)

Disclaimer, I’m not a dermatologist. This is simply a recommendation based on what has worked for me from clean and popular trends! :)

First off, I cannot stress this enough: WATER!! Water is the literal source of all living things. Without water, we can’t function or survive. Even if you use the most expensive skincare products, if you don’t drink water or hydrating liquids, your face will most likely be breaking out. This does not count for stress acne, because trust me, I’m right there with you! Again, all imperfections are 100% valid and please do not pick at your pimples! 

So, let’s get into my current skincare routine and what has worked for me!

Ice Roller 

First thing I do after I wake up and practice my breathing exercises is I go to my freezer and grab my green (my favorite color <3) ice roller. Mine is from Amazon and under $10! It instantly makes me feel so alert and naturally awake. While rolling it all over my cheeks and under eyes, I drink one glass of water (sometimes two). After, I hop into my yoga clothes and do a quick 20 minute YouTube morning yoga stretch. This helps me become more centered and connected to Mother Earth.

Face Cleanser 

After my yoga practice ends, I begin my morning skincare routine. I start by washing my face (with my hands, I don’t recommend using a tool to scrub your face) with the “First Aid Beauty face cleanser.” I’m not entirely sure if they’re a sustainable brand, but I can confirm the product is vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free and perfect for sensitive skin (like mine)! If you can, dry your face with a reusable face cloth or air drying is also a great option (and a lot more sustainable). Another major plus is that this cleanser is only $11, definitely a steal!


Okay, this is my favorite part! After washing my face, I spray a generous mist of the “La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water Face Spray for Sensitive Skin.” Thermal water is used to naturally help balance your pH levels, which is a major part of your body’s homeostasis. My cosmetologist recommended me this product along with confirming Youth to the People products are 100% safe and sustainable to use.


After the thermal water I apply Youth to the People’s “15% Vitamin C + Clean Caffeine Energy Serum.” I use my Jade green Gua Sha stone, which I highly recommend to give yourself a sweet lymphatic massage! It feels so soothing and refreshing while the thermal water is still drying. This product plays a role in hydrating, visibly reducing morning puffiness and brightening your face by providing “plant-derived caffeine from super leaf’s yerba mate and guayusa” along with naturally derived Vitamin C and antioxidants. The benefits of these are many, but my favorite one is that my skin is constantly GLOWING!


This step is actually my favorite (sorry toner)! I used to be super anti-face oils because I felt like it made my face even greasier. This is factually incorrect. If you apply 2-5 drops a day, your face should naturally feel moisturized and won’t need to produce oil or sebum. Usually, your skin’s oil glands produce more sebum if they feel like your face needs more, but balancing your skin with face oil will most likely help your oil production! Okay now for the product, I use Youth to the People’s “Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Oil.” OKAY, now we’re GLOWING!! The product is packed with “rare super berry antioxidants…hydrating prickly pear, squalane oil…omega fatty acids and high levels of vitamin C.” Squalane is also a must because it improves your skin at a cellular level and helps your pores from becoming clogged. I promise it’s so worth the price and it will last you about six months!


I decided to get my hands on Youth to the People’s “Superfood Air-Whip Moisturizer Cream” about two months ago, and ever since then, I’ve been applying it non-stop! Its key ingredients are kale, spinach and hyaluronic acid, a substance that helps to retain the skin’s natural moisture. The product is pro-grade vegan and comes in sustainable glass jars and recycled kraft boxes. Their sustainable commitments allow trees to breathe, literally as they state on their website, “this practice helps reduce landfill dependency and deforestation rates.” We love more sustainable queens!


Ah the final step! But probably the most important step, especially if you have fair skin like me. Good ol’ sunscreen! So many benefits and also will help reduce your wrinkles as we continue to age :’). I’ve been using Josie Maran’s “Argan Daily Defense Lotion SPF 30.” I bought my first bottle back in June 2020 and I still have the same one, with a bunch of lotion left. I promise y’all it’s the best sunscreen I’ve ever tried! Think 10 in 1 sunscreen. It hydrates, protects and brushes your skin! I actually use it as my foundation and concealer, so a major plus for me! It’s also sustainable because it’s vegan and it comes in recycled glass bottles!

Well, that’s all for now! Feel free to DM me your current skincare/morning routine and your favorite products!! I’m always so open to trying out new and clean products! 



Zuri Vera is a second-year Psychology major with a Dance and Neuroscience minor at the University of San Francisco. Her career goal is to become a Dance and Movement Therapist for BIPOC folks. When not in her Zoom classes, she can be found cooking the latest Trader Joe's meal or her traditional Mexican recipes from her grandma's kitchen. Zuri also enjoys practicing yoga, meditation, and journaling. Fun fact: Zuri has been professionally dancing for 14 years!
Marisa is a senior @ USFCA in the sustainability and global affairs sphere, thinking about emerging economies, outreach and innovation. A digital nomad & explorer with a curious mind– and an accidental empanada connoisseur!