Ethical, Green Skincare That “Works” (If You’re Willing).
by Kiki Athanas
February 25, 2018
Wait. I know what you’re thinking: I was too. Another green beauty “luxury” skincare brand.
Look, I have issues. Like, I’m talking 'I don’t wake up like this' kind of a skin. I’ve dabbled in natural skincare lines in the past, and sure, without a doubt they hydrate and nourish my skin - unfortunately, the “troubled” skin issues come back with a roaring vengeance, and I’m back to benzoyl peroxide and other stronger chemical based formulas that just...work.
Still, I met with Sonja, the Founder of Double Happiness Skincare, with an open mind and was looking forward to hopefully getting some new insights on “green beauty” (it’s super duper trendy, after all).
Let’s just say, she knocked it out of the park - and I was a convert by the end of our coffee date.
Let’s just say, she knocked it out of the park - and I was a convert by the end of our coffee date.
But not for the reasons you’re thinking, so do yourself a favour and read on if you ACTUALLY want healthy skin that you can feel good about everyday, always.
First things first, this woman knows her stuff re good clean skincare. There wasn’t a question she couldn’t answer, nor a topic she didn’t have wisdom to share on. Best of all, Sonja presented it all in a way that was celebratory and enthusiastic about the power of plants - but never from a place of intense avoidance or that this was ‘the only way’.
There’s no doubt that ‘cleaner’, more natural beauty brands are on the rise, but I can’t help but feel like there’s still something inherently wrong about using fear-based tactics to get people to ‘switch over’ and ‘detox’ their bathroom cupboards.
Instead, Sonja totally redefines what “luxurious green skincare” can mean with Double Happiness Skincare. Here are the 3 main things that stood out to me:
It’s a simple line of just 4 products - no complicated layers and serums with several steps.
It artfully takes advantage of the healing intelligence of plants - no more no less.
It’s beautiful branding + packaging - without the hefty price tag.
thinking of - she’s a totally hip former makeup artist and skincare consultant for big brands like Make Up Forever and Holt Renfrew. She’s on a mission to bring real healing skin care to people in a way that’s financially feasible, intelligently simple and beautifully presented - all powered by real ingredients you can get excited about (hello: neroli flower and sandalwood oil!).
But I wasn’t about to throw out my toxic potions just yet - I have oily, acne-prone skin, and there’s a reason I wear makeup...everyday. It’s something I’m still working on, as I’d really love to be one of those free, freshly faced bare beauties, but instead I cover up my insecurities and dream on. Using skincare that’s totally “natural” has gotten me nowhere in the past, so I was hesitant to jump into another failed attempt.
I kept it real with Sonja and was awakened to the idea that ‘natural’ skincare and me, might just have a chance…
We inherently all have beautiful skin rooted in our DNA - we just need to discover the key that unlocks it. A typical skincare regime, over the years, has unfortunately taken on this air of complexity when in fact what your skin needs to thrive is actually quite simple.
Keep in mind that the health of our body is reflected in our skin’s cells and when things like eczema, acne, psoriasis pop up it’s your body’s way of telling you that there’s something out of balance. It could be due to an internal health imbalance or something you’re doing to your skin that your body is saying ‘please stop’.
Your skin is encased in the ‘microbiome’, or a collection of little helper organisms, whose purpose is to keep bad bacteria from breaking through the surface and causing issues. When it’s in an acidic environment (which face oils provide) they’re happy on the job and loving life. But when the environment turns alkaline (like it does with soap cleansers and products containing unclean ingredients) they call in sick…or tap out altogether.
When these helper guys call in sick your skin reacts by trying a number of things to get them to come back. For example, if you’re constantly washing your face or exfoliating too often (i.e. using a Clarisonic brush daily) you’re disrupting the skin’s lipid (fat) barrier and moisture can then seep out of the cells more easily – thus causing dehydration. Dehydration can then signal your skin to ramp up oil production which, if it gets out of hand, can contribute to breakouts. When we’re dealing with breakouts a lot of us tend to use products to “dry up” the pimple, but rather than spot treating we use it all over our face which can be too harsh. This leads to further dehydration and on and on the cycle goes.
Love your skin by giving it three simple things:
Water - Keep yourself hydrated with filtered or spring water and wash your face with filtered water as well (tap water can cause a whole host of issues)
Oxygen - As hard as it may be to forego your foundation try to let your skin breathe once in a while
Nutrients - Lavish it with oils and watch how it rewards you with a glowing, healthy complexion
There’s destruction in the universe to our water supply, our food and the air and that destruction is causing cellular chaos in us. If we think we are the world, and the world is us, then we are dealing with this destruction on an internal level every day. This is why it’s so important to take a mindful approach when dealing with things that affect your mind, heart and body. When all three are in harmony I have a sneaky feeling you’ll be filled with happiness and when happiness fills your world anything is possible.
*p.s. this is totally why I'm finally investing in a Berkey water filter system from Conscious Water...Sonja mentioned she uses clean Berkey filtered water to wash her face - assuming spring water isn't available - and avoids tap water.*
While Double Happiness Skincare is crafted with a more mature woman in mind, as the ingredients are carefully chosen to provide potent anti-aging properties, it’s easy to argue this stuff is good for just about everyone.
See, what I’ve learned, is that balance is key. Not just with eating, but also with skin. Restoring your skin into balance is the essence to beautiful glowing skin that shines from the inside out. To further parallel this concept with diet: it’s not about starving yourself from those “bad” foods you richly enjoy, but finding a way to live a stress-free life where all food fits. With skin: the answer isn’t to sanitize and strip the skin of everything that seems to be causing you grief - instead, it’s about restoring and enriching the entire organ so that it can function at its most vibrant capacity. Yes, that means not only environmental factors play a role, but also what’s happening on the inside - deep in the feelings of your body.
I guess what I’m trying to say is…
How do you think and feel about your skin?
Are you looking for the ‘answer’ from an external source? Giving your power away to the latest and greatest ‘potion’ for a more beautiful you?
Just like diet and nutrition, the power lies first and foremost within yourself - within the whole of your being. Healthy skin is born out of a healthy relationship with yourself, the world around you, and of course - your approach to your skincare regime.
And that’s why I LOVE Double Happiness Skincare.
It’s “Mindful Skincare” not just because its “Preserved only by nature. Non-GMO and free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, and general toxic ingredients. Vegan and cruelty free.” but because it’s embracing all that your skincare regime can bring to your life.
A time to slow down, refresh, nourish, and ‘take the world off’ so that you can get reacquainted with the beauty that is you. Done in a way that is healing, therapeutic to all senses, and at the end of the day: simple.
I can honestly and truthfully say that my skin started to improve soon after meeting with Sonja - not only because I started using Double Happiness Skincare, as well as following her super rad foundation recommendations (bookmarked at the end of this post in case you’re interested!) - but rather, because I re-envisioned what my face meant to me.
It’s a piece of me and my wholeness, not a ‘problem’ to fix, detox and desperately seek out the ‘solution’ to. I started loving what my bare face had to offer, and how it felt to interact with people without a mask on (to be fair, I’m also writing this as I attend a Goddess Camp Retreat with the most supportive and inspiring women!). Best of all, I now look forward to my skincare regime, because just like how I’ve shifted eating and exercise into more of a consciously-designated self-care time, I have now incorporated that same mindset towards my daily + nightly skincare process.
Being ‘mindful’ doesn’t always have to mean practicing ‘meditation’ or doing yoga, it can be easily incorporated into just about every moment of your existence, if you provide the space for it. This might sound cliche, but it’s crazy how life instantly becomes more enjoyable and full when you lean into ‘all of the feels’.
I’m so blessed to have met some of the most inspirational and wise teachers these past months, and it’s such a pleasure to introduce Sonja as one of those gurus into my circle, as well as her transformational skincare line into my life.
Ready to rethink the power of green clean skincare? Trust me, you won't regret it. And with the 20% off discount code* MINDFULLYEXPONENTIAL - it won't break the bank either ;)
*Only one promo code use per person.
As promised...here are the foundation/makeup recommendations from Sonia that have proven to be 'acne-friendly (and by acne-friendly I mean BYE breakouts from clogged pores!!!):
- Hynt DUET Perfecting Concealer
- Sappho Essential Foundation (liquid)
- Alima Satin Matte Foundation (powder)
- Hynt ALTO Matte Powder Blush
- rms "Un" Powder (my FAVEEEE finisher!)
If you're in Toronto, you can get all of the above at The Detox Market.
*P.S. none of the above are affiliate links or is in any way sponsored content...I'm sharing from my heart what's worked for me to hopefully help you out too :)*