Above all other aspects of beauty, as an esthetician, skincare is my passion. There is power in finding a routine that works and being able to be confident in yourself. 

I eat a plant based diet, which helps immensely to combat inflammation. I try to eat healthy, whole foods and make sure that I am well hydrated as well. As much as skincare is about what we put into our body, it’s important to find good topical options as well. All of the skincare I use is cruelty free, vegan, and non toxic. Switching to non toxic skincare was the best choice I ever made, and has made a huge impact on the integrity of my skin.

For a little background on my skin, my skin is combination, sensitive to many ingredients, and breakout prone. I try to focus on oil regulation, brightening, and wrinkle and line prevention.

The following is everything I use regularly on my skin, and why they actually work. 

CLEANSERS

DermaE AntiWrinkle Glycolic and Vitamin A CleanserThis is probably the least “clean” ingredient wise, but it is definitely a staple in my routine and I have yet to find one comparable in price and efficacy in another brand. This is a gel foaming cleanser that I typically use at night after removing my makeup. My skin is always in a state of being very regulated, and I rarely have excessively oily days anymore and I attribute a lot of that to this cleanser.

Why does it work?

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that dissolves the internal cellular cement and facilitates the slouching off of dead skin cells. By reducing this build up, it is great at preventing acne from forming. It also enhances hydration by increasing the skins ability to retain moisture. This combined with glycolic acids exfoliating properties, makes it great for reducing the appearance of fine lines. Vitamin A, like glycolic acid, helps regulate and normalize skin. It improves texture and firmness. Vitamin A is also essential for the regeneration of skin cells. 

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Mother Dirt CleanserThis is my favorite, most basic cleanser. The whole premise of the brand, Mother Dirt, is to not strip your skin of it’s good bacteria. This is probably the least stripping foaming cleanser there is, and would be good for any skin type. I prefer to use this in the morning, as it doesn’t strip my skin too much but starts me off with a clean slate. 

Why does it work?

This cleanser is formulated to be compatible with our skins natural biome, meaning it isn’t going to mess with your skins natural balance. There are also very few ingredients which make this great for sensitive skin. 

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Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating CleanserThis cleanser is what I use to remove makeup. The consistency is almost that of a lotion.  I use this with the cloth it came with, which helps to get off any stubborn eye makeup. This removes all my makeup, without stripping my skin and leaving it irritated. I can’t use this alone, as it doesn’t cleanse enough for me, but I’m sure it would be enough for a dry or normal skin type. 

Why does it work?

This gently removes makeup without causing me to tug or pull at the skin. Camellia has a high content of oleic acid providing the skin with essential fatty acids. It also has antioxidant properties. Damask rose helps skin retain moisture. The oils in this cleanser including sweet almond oil and castor oil, help remove makeup effectively. 

Buy here.

EXFOLIATORS

African Botanics Marula Buchu Botanical Enzyme PolishThis is one of the most expensive brands I use, but entirely justified. This enzyme polish has been incredible at improving the texture of my skin. I use this about three times a week and my skin immediately looks and feels amazing. It gives a glow to the skin and helps with previous scarring and dullness. It also helps keep my skin exfoliated so that my moisturizers actually work. This is gentle enough for sensitive skin, and leaves me radiant without redness or irritation.

Why does it work?

Buchu, crushed baobab and super fine granules of volcanic minerals provide a mechanical exfoliation that buff away dull skin. Papaya and pineapple enzymes provide another form of exfoliation. Enzymes give surface exfoliation by breaking down intercellular bonds. This clears clogged pores, making them appear smaller. Marula is a humectant and is rich in vitamins C & E. 

Buy here.

MASKS

Ursa Major Bright & Easy 3Minute Flash Mask

I love exfoliating masks, as it’s an easy way to get some more exfoliation in while also acting as a mini facial. This is by far one of my favorite products I tried in 2017. Although this is a flash mask, I typically leave in on for 10 minutes or so. I get some results within 3-5, but my skin can tolerate the longer time. If you’re trying for the first time, I would start at 3 minutes. I use this once a week to brighten my complexion. This gives my skin luminosity and improves tone as well. It also helps minimize my smile lines. I can do this before going out to an event, and it doesn’t leave my skin red or irritated. It is actually excellent before makeup application as well. 

Why does it work?

First things first, I love that this has an aloe vera base. The consistency is great, but aloe vera is also very cooling and anti-inflammatory. This provides moisture and moisture regulation. Witch hazel has anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. It also helps counter damaging affects of UVA. Fruit ferments and enzymes provide an enzymatic exfoliation. Willow bark is a natural source of salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that helps dissolve the top layer of cells and improves the look of skin. It penetrates pores and reduces blockage, helping fight breakouts while also making pores appear smaller. 

Buy here.

African Botanics Mineral Cleansing Mask

Can you tell I really love this brand? (And Marula). This is a combination skin dream. Most cleansing masks are way too drying, and only treat the oily parts of the face while neglecting the dryer areas. This mask does an amazing job of drawing out impurities without overdrying. This brightens, improves elasticity, firms & purifies. This really is like a facial in a jar. I do this once a week, and every time I do I get endless compliments on my skin the days following. 

Why does it work

Marula is rich in antioxidants and helps skin retain moisture. Baobab purifies and decongests. White clay absorbs oils. Avocado oil soothes and adds moisture. Lactic acid is alpha hydroxy acid from fermented foods. It is an exfoliant with an ability to increase the water retention of skin. It has been proven to improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles and smooth skin. 

Buy here.

Kypris Deep Forest Clay Mask & Exfoliant

This is what I use when my skin needs a super deep refresh, or when I really need to detox myself. The smell of this is amazingly minty and really does smell like a forest. This is another mask that really is like a facial in a jar. This decongests and exfoliates and leaves my skin refreshed looking. This is the mask I most use when I am having a breakout.

Why does it work?

Montmorillonate is a clay that detoxes and purifies. Radish root ferment is an anti-microbial and fights breakouts. Thyme stimulates circulation and tones. Chamomile heals. Licorice root acts as a tyrosinase inhibitor, preventing hyperpigmentation while also treating previous scars or marks. 

Buy here.

Herbivore Brighten Instant Glow Mask

This is the mask I do when I just want a bit of a glow added to my skin. This smells like candy, making it also really fun to do. This gently exfoliates and brightens complexion. I especially like this in colder months when my skin is looking duller. 

Why does it work?

The aloe vera base makes this mask hydrating and non stripping. Papaya and pineapple fruit enzymes exfoliate skin leaving is bright and fresh. Radish root ferment acts as an anti-microbial. 

MOISTURIZERS & OILS

Earthwise Beauty Ambrosia del Cerrado Liquid Moisturizer

If I was on a desert island and could only bring one product I would bring this. It is my number one favorite skincare product, without a doubt. If you have oily skin, or breakout prone skin, or combination skin that you think you can’t use serums or oils on, look no further than this. This has single handedly transformed my skin into glowing, balanced skin. I use this after washing my face, morning and night. It absorbs quickly and is great preparation before other products. I keep it in the fridge, so it feels soothing going on. If you buy one product, buy this. Seriously.


Why
does it work?

I don’t know magic, maybe? Must be. This is aloe based, which I have realized is now something I look for in products. It instantly hydrates and soothes. This is especially helpful if you have sensitive skin. Pequi fruit oil is a humectant with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants block oxidation caused by the damaging effects of free radicals. It also contains oleic and fatty acids. Increasing essential fatty acids improves elasticity, and helps prevent transepidermal water loss and improves moisture retention. Buruti oil is also rich in essential fatty acids and helps regenerate the skins barrier. It moisturizers, nourishes and improves skin elasticity. This is also beneficial for eczema. Moringa helps improve skins overall look and feel. 

Buy here.

Pai Rosehip Oil

Not all rosehip oils are created equal. I have tried a few, but I really prefer my outcome with this one. I apply a couple drops after my liquid moisturizer from Earthwise in the morning. This makes my skin hydrated and balanced, and has helped prevent breakouts from imbalances in sebum. This is my number one oil recommendation if you are oily or breakout prone. It is also good in helping signs of aging.


Why
does it work?

Rosehip oil is antiseptic and would healing, making it great for breakout prone skin. It improves skin hydration, and regulates oil gland secretion. It is a natural source of retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is a vitamin A derivitave that increases hyaluronic acid levels and it stimulates collagen.

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Pacifica Kale Luxe OilFree Multi Cream

This is my favorite affordable moisturizer. This feels lightweight and leaves my skin with a nice glow. It absorbs quickly and smells like fresh herbs.

Why does it work?

 Aloe moisturizes and soothes skin. Lime pearls provide an alpha hydroxy acid which brightens and smoothes skin by gentle exfoliation. Vitamin E provides anti-oxidants and helps skin retain moisture.

Earthwise Beauty Tigress Balm 

This is the only face balm I have found that doesn’t break me out. I use this on dry patches that I have or all over if I need added moisture. It hydrates and protects without making my skin feel greasy. This has been a savior so far this winter. 

Why does it work?

Kokum butter is a lightweight and astringent butter that doesn’t clog pores. Passion fruit oil is a skin conditioner and protector.  Babussa oil is astringent and emollient, and not pore clogging. Sapote oil is antimicrobial. Green coffee bean oil is a similar pH to our skin and provides lightweight moisture. Rosehip oil balances the skin. 

Buy here.

SPF & TREATMENTS

Kypris Pot Of Shade: Heliotropic SPF 30 sunscreen and primer

This is hands down my favorite sunscreen I have ever tried. It is a zinc oxide sunscreen that doesn’t leave a white cast. It is easy to spread and has a great lightweight yet moisturizing feel to it. It has never caused a breakout or sensitized my skin like many sun protectants. I cannot recommend this enough. This is suitable for every skin type. This helps my skin look bright and smooth, and is the best base for makeup. 

Why does it work?

Non nano zinc provides broad spectrum SPF 30 to protect against sun damage. Aloe provides moisture and is anti-inflammatory. Sunflower contains essential fatty acids that improve skin elasticity and prevents skin water loss. It is also not pore clogging. Chaparral extract is anti-oxidant and anti-microbial. This naturally provides some UV protection. 

Buy here.

Kahina Prickly Pear Seed Oil Rollerball

This rollerball is what I use instead of a traditional eye cream. The rollerball makes it easy to apply. 

Why does it work

I love the rollerball, as it helps improve circulation. Prickly pear seed oil is rich in vitamin K. Vitamin K helps reduce the look of under eye circles. Vitamin E is anti-oxidant rich and a moisturizer. It enhances blood circulation and reduces transepidermal water loss. 

Buy here.

Zyderma HS Clarifying Cream

This is magic for breakouts without over drying or irritating skin. I’ve totally stopped buying any other breakout treatments, as this is all I need. I use this as a last step over areas of my face that have breakouts, or are prone to them. It is great at combating current breakouts and preventing future ones. There’s no color, you can wear morning or night, and it can be used as a makeup primer. 

Why does it work?

This is the only product I have ever used like this, but also the most effective! Microsilver BGTM cleanses away and neutralizes bacteria on the skin. It reduces redness, inflammation and irritation. 

XO 

MO

Follow me on instagram@ZosoMorgan

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