A simple and hypoallergenic skincare routine for people with allergies, sensitive skin, or just want a more natural approach to skincare!
We often think about what we eat when it comes to allergies, but just as important is what we put on our skin. A hypoallergenic skincare routine is so important! My skin is extra sensitive, burns at the slightest mention of the sun, and used to struggle with hormonal acne. Therefore it is important for me to use things that not only are gentle, but that I'm not allergic to. Using simple ingredients that can be found in the kitchen, I now have the best skin ever.
Here, I share with you my face skincare routine that I've developed over the years. It is filled with products that are gentle and made for sensitive skin, as well as being free of the top 14 allergens! As I share my skincare routine, please keep in mind that I am not a dermatologist or an esthetician. I’m sharing what I have found to work best for me and my skin with the allergy limitations that I have.
My hypoallergenic skincare routine can be summed up with two simple ingredients: Oil and honey.
It isn’t fancy. There is nothing elaborate about this; no more 12 step skincare routine (oh yeah, I used to have one like that). But this natural, allergy friendly skincare routine has given me the best skin I’ve ever had. For instance, no more random breakouts, no more patches of hives or eczema, and switching to this hypoallergenic skincare routine has dramatically reduced the amount of money that I spend on skin care each month.
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Why I changed to an all natural, hypoallergenic skincare routine
The skin is the largest organ on your body. Anything that you place on it goes straight into your body, your blood stream, and your biochemistry. As someone with severe allergies, this can cause some pretty dramatic effects, and none of them are good.
Slathering my skin in products designed to moisturize, tighten, and plump are filled with things like polypropylene glycol, which can be derived from nuts and uses lactic acid to help intermediate synthetization. While historically it has been made from a pure chemical formula, recently scientists have discovered how to make this ingredient via plant-based glycerin. Which sounds good until you realize that most plant-based glycerin is made from coconut. As someone who has an anaphylaxis reaction to coconut, I was quietly harming my body every time I washed my face.
To further cause problems, I also have dermatographia. Sometimes called “skin writing”, this is another manifestation of my allergies. Dermatographia is the body hyper-reacting to any scratches on my skin by causing hives to rise. Excessive exfoliation, harsh chemical face washes, and even just scratching my face can cause issues.
Diving deep into understanding what my skin really needs and how to give it that in the least harmful way possible, I created this hypoallergenic skincare routine. The bonus? It costs me hundreds of dollars less per month and is safe enough to eat.
My hypoallergenic skincare routine ingredients
What you put on your face and body should be clean enough to eat. That has been my philosophy for the last 3 years and my skin thanks me for it every day. Let’s go over why I choose the things I do for my face with my natural, allergy friendly skincare routine.
Hypoallergenic Face Wash + Makeup Remover: Olive Oil
Pure olive oil is the gentlest way to remove any makeup and prep the skin for deeper cleansing. You may have heard of the oil cleansing method before and let me tell you it works! Don’t be afraid of the oils causing any breakouts. It takes oil to dissolve oil (thanks, chemistry class!) so the only thing to really prep your skin and remove anything on it, is more oil.
I start by placing a quarter sized amount in the palm of my hand and rub my hands together, both to warm up the oil before applying it to my skin, but also to distribute the oil evenly.
Next, I start on my temples and work my way down my face, massaging the oil into every nook and cranny. To remove any mascara, I take the length of my fingers and gently massage down onto my cheeks in one “swoop”.
The face massage takes about 3 minutes from start to finish. Take your time with this and enjoy it!
From here, you can use cotton pads to wipe away any of the oils. When I’m wearing a lot of makeup, I typically will do a few passes with the cotton pads, but most days, I just take hot water onto a washcloth and gently wipe the oil and makeup away before moving on to the next step.
You can perform this face wash on bare faces as well! You don't need to only be wearing makeup to enjoy this skincare routine.
If you have a lot of makeup on, you can wash your face with oil twice: Once to remove the bulk of the makeup, and the second to remove any that was left behind and cleanse the skin.
Sensitive Skin Face Wash: Raw Honey
You might be thinking I’m crazy to wash my face with honey. Isn’t it a sticky mess? It is a little sticky, but tying my hair back makes it no problem, and the benefits of honey far exceed the stickiness.
- Naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal.
- Restores the pH of your skin naturally so no need for harsh toners.
- Honey is a humectant, meaning it draws moisture from the air directly into your skin.
Basically, honey is a skin care all-star for us!
The kind I use is from Trader Joe’s and is in the raw state, meaning that it has a few crystallized bits still in the honey. This is a mild exfoliant, nothing too harmful to aggravate my dermatographia. Plus, it is a really good price for the amount of honey you get!
To use, I reach in with my fingers and grab about a teaspoon sized amount of honey. Starting on my cheeks, I begin to massage the honey into my face. This time, I try to avoid getting it on/in my eyes. After gently scrubbing my face, I will let the honey rest for a minute or two before washing away with warm water. No sticky trace of honey will be left!
Hypoallergenic Deep Cleanse: Red Clay Face Mask
From time to time, I like to do a deeper cleanse on my face, especially as my hormones shift through the month. For that, I have found that a red clay face mask is one of the best things for this. Mix a few tablespoons of the clay with water till you have the consistency of yogurt, apply it to your face for 5-10 minutes, and then wash away with a warm washcloth.
Red clay is one of the best clays for sensitive skin, although any skin type can benefit from it! Here are some of the properties of using a red mud mask:
- Nourishing to the skin due to its high levels of magnesium, calcium, silica, iron, and potassium
- Heal the skin after an allergic reaction
- Heal the skin after a sunburn
- Helps to prevent acne and breakouts
- Removes blackheads
- Naturally tones the skin
All Natural Moisturizer: Oil blend
The biggest change in my hypoallergenic skincare routine comes from the moisturizing blend of oils I use daily. If your skin is red, flaky, irritated, prone to eczema, and dehydrated, oils are about to become your BFFs
Plant oils are rich in antioxidants and replenishing emollients.
Make sure that you are using a blend, you NEVER want to put straight essential oils onto your face. They are too potent and can cause burns or irritations. A few drops in a bottle are all you need to get the benefits of essential oils.
How to make your face oil blend
First, you need to decide what your base oil is going to be. As I’m allergic to just about everything, I chose olive oil for its gentle fragrance and cleansing properties. If you have different allergies than me some other options include:
- Argan – great for dry, normal, ageing, or acne prone skin (do not use if allergic to tree nuts!)
- Jojoba – great for dry, oily, normal, ageing, or acne prone skin
- Almond oil – good for normal skin (do not use if allergic to tree nuts!)
- Avocado oil – great for dry to normal skin
- Grapeseed oil – great for oily skin
- Olive Oil - great for normal or dry skin and is what I use!
Boost Your Oil Blend
Next, you need your boosters. These give your moisturizer a little extra kick for making your skin look amazing but they are totally optional. You can just use a simple single oil until you feel ready to dive deep into oils. But, if you do want to give your skin extra glow, here are some of my favorites:
- Rosehip seed oil – amazing for acne, dry skin. This helps restore skin and prevents wrinkles. Doesn’t smell like roses either, so I can wear comfortably.
- Evening primrose oil – great for acne, ageing, or normal skin, this all-around oil helps everything.
- Borage oil – high in oleic acid, this oil helps to calm oily and acne prone skin
- Vitamin E oil – anti-inflammatory and calming on the skin, this is my favorite booster to add. Full of free radicals, it heals scarring, and helps to repair the appearance of damaged tissues. (Do not use if allergic to soy!)
Bonus, I massage the extra face oil onto my cuticles at night and have been growing the strongest nails ever.
My current blend is a simple mix of 1 part vitamin e oil to 4 parts organic olive oil. My skin loves this combo. However, you make a blend that is best for you!
How often to wash with this hypoallergenic skin care routine
I’ve switched from a twice a day to a once a day washer with this routine. However, your skin is uniquely you and might still enjoy a double cleansing. In the morning, I might take a warm damp washcloth to wake up my face and apply a little more oil. After that, I will proceed with my sunscreen and make-up.
In the evening, I wash and moisturize using this full skin care routine.
Coming from a 12 step skincare routine, this felt very weird when I first started this allergy friendly routine. But after the first wash, I looked in the mirror and my face wasn’t bright red and painful. I knew that this was weird, but worth it. Above all, if you are curious about how your face and skin might react, I say, try it! Customize to your skin and your needs and watch as your skin begins to glow.
For any questions, leave a comment below! I’m happy to answer them on this rather different skin care routine I follow.