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Non-Toxic Anti-Aging Beauty Routine Guide

Written by Irina Webb

Do you get upset when you notice your wrinkles?  For me, it became an issue when I was in my twenties.  Again and again, I visited spas in futile attempts to reverse the signs of aging.  Looking back, I realize that there was not much to reverse then.  Now, in my mid-forties, though I do not pay visits to estheticians, I feel satisfied with my skin.  Instead of fretting about aging and counting lines, I did a lot of research on how to reduce wrinkles, how to prevent wrinkles, and what skincare ingredients are especially helpful for that.  So, in this post, you will learn about my anti-wrinkle treatment secrets as part of my non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine.  Keep reading to find out what age-defying non-toxic skin care products I like and think you will like, too. 

Non-Toxic Anti-Aging Beauty Routine Guide. A photo of non-toxic skin care products.

How to reduce wrinkles

To begin with, what makes cosmetic products effective in the fight against skin aging is their ingredients.  However, almost none of them can erase the wrinkles that have already made an appearance.  What they can do is make them softer, smaller, and less visible, which in turn makes your skin look younger.  They can also prevent new ones from forming.

Nevertheless, among many others, there is one ingredient that stands out – vitamin A.  And the ingredients that are good at preventing new wrinkles from forming are antioxidants.

Vitamin A in non-toxic skin care

The various forms of vitamin A are called retinoids, and they are the real deal.  To spot them, look for “retin” somewhere in the name, for example:

  • Retinol
  • Retinaldehyde
  • Hydroxypinacolone retinoate
  • Retinyl acetate (palmitate, retinoate, propionate)
  • Retinoic acid (prescription only)

These are powerful ingredients in a non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine because they work in three ways. 

First, they prevent new wrinkles by fighting free radicals. 

Second, they speed up the skin’s exfoliating process, aka cellular turnover. 

And third, they boost the production of collagen that has skin firming properties (source).

However, the catch is that retinoids in your non-toxic skin care regimen can be irritating.  That is to say, if you are not used to them, they can dry your skin out, sting it, and even peel it off.  

In addition, the EWG Skin Deep database rates vitamin A ingredients between 6-9 on a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being the most toxic).  This unfavorable rating seems to be caused by side effects from the vitamin overdose.  Besides, after vitamin A treatment and sunlight exposure, mice had an increase in tumors.  That is why I recommend using retinoid products at night.  Most importantly, consult with your doctor about the possibility of overdose, especially if you take vitamin A internally. 

My best pick among retinoids

Marie Veronique Gentle Retinol Night Serum is what I love and use in my non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine.  And since it is the best seller on Credo Beauty, I conclude that I am not the only one who loves this product. 

For a long time, I was apprehensive of using retinol skin care products due to the risk of irritation.  However, the retinol Marie Veronique uses is microencapsulated, which prevents irritation.  Besides, I could not find a retinol skincare product without concerning ingredients.  After I studied the ingredients of Marie Veronique night serum, I decided to give it a try.  And I have had no regrets since I first bought it in November 2018.  Though costly, it is very economical – one pump is enough, and the results are amazing. 

In addition to retinol, Marie Veronique serum contains vitamin C, vitamin E, ceramides, and other beneficial ingredients to help further reduce and prevent wrinkles.

Antioxidants in non-toxic skin care

These ingredients prevent wrinkles by neutralizing free radicals.  To clarify, it is free radicals that diminish collagen and elastin.  So, antioxidants destroy free radicals BEFORE they can give you wrinkles.  In other words, though they do not rid you of wrinkles, they help your skin look younger for longer.  For example, the most powerful antioxidants are vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid. 

My best pick among antioxidants

Marie Veronique Vitamin C, E + Ferulic Serum is a great product because it has a combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, and ferulic acid, which makes it especially powerful.  In addition to its antioxidant qualities, it can boost your sunscreen’s effectiveness and help protect you against sun damage.  That is why it is a bestseller on Credo Beauty.

Non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine

While the ingredients I mentioned above are helpful to reduce and prevent wrinkles, I believe that you will reach the best results if you follow a certain beauty regimen.  Hence, my personal beauty routine consists of the following steps: cleansing, exfoliation, moisturization, sunscreen protection, and foundation.

Cleansing as a step in your beauty regimen

I consider cleansing a very important step in an anti-aging regimen.  Oftentimes, people use soap-based cleansers that dry and even tighten their skin.  I used to do that, too.  However, soap-based cleansers are normally alkaline, which means they interfere with the normal skin’s pH of 4.7 (source).  To bring it back to normal, we would need to use a toner, which is an additional product to buy and use.  Yet, even when we use a toner, it is still not good for skin to go through rapid changes in pH. 

Thus, I believe it is best to use a pH-balanced cleanser in your non-toxic skin care regimen whose pH is close to the natural pH of the skin.  A non-drying pH-balanced facial cleanser will not only clean the skin but also prepare the skin to receive a moisturizer to the fullest. 

For example, when I used oil for cleansing, it was a one-step procedure for me.  After massaging my face with oil for a few minutes, I just wiped it off with a washcloth wetted in hot water.  It cleaned my skin well and opened the pores for the next step of my non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine.

If you feel like you need to use another cleanser after using the cleansing oil, you can follow up with a foaming cleanser.  You can also skip the facial oil and use a foaming cleanser only.

My best picks among cleansers

Over the years, I have looked into a great multitude of facial cleansers.  I want to assure you that these are the best of the best. 

Primally Pure Cleansing Oil is a great option for those who like the oil cleansing method.  Please use the discount code ReadLabels10.

Badger Face Cleansing Oil is an unscented budget-friendly option with no essential oils.  I used and loved it.

Marie Veronique E.O. Free Oil Cleanser is an option I have not used yet but wanted to include it because it has Omega-6 oils to dissolve congestion.  Plus, it will be easy to get this if you decide to buy the other wonderful anti-aging Marie Veronique’s skincare products.  Read on!

Rejuvenating Frankincense Refining Cleanser is a delicate cream cleanser that does not dry the skin.  It works the same way as the cleansing oils.  Read on about other amazing Neal’s Yard Remedies products I included.  Hint: they have peptides.  

Silk Therapeutics Complete Gel Facial Cleanser foams slightly, and I love using it in my non-toxic skin care routine when I do not wear much or any makeup.

Pure Haven Refresh Cleanser with Pre-Probiotics is what I really enjoy now because it cleans my skin well even when I wear foundation and mascara without drying the skin at all.

For more options of non-drying cleansers, please visit my post The Best Tips for Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin.

Exfoliation in your non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine

While apricot or sugar scrubs may leave your skin feeling smooth, they are not the best way to exfoliate.  In fact, the best exfoliators are lactic acid and glycolic acid, because they easily dissolve the bonds that hold dead skin cells together.  Consequently, your complexion gets a radiant glow and the wrinkles look softer.

My best pick among exfoliators

Silk Therapeutics Lemongrass Renewing Peel contains both lactic and glycolic acid making my skin look and feel soft and radiant after each application.  Additionally, it has activated silk as an anti-aging ingredient and works like an expensive spa facial treatment.  I love the fact that it refines the pores on my nose, too.  You can learn more about it in my review of this safe exfoliating peel.  Please use the discount code IRLFY25 to get 25% off. 

Moisturization in your non-toxic skin care regimen

I believe that the best moisturizing ingredient for your non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine is hyaluronic acid, or its close relative, sodium hyaluronate.  Many moisturizers use it because of its great capacity to hold water in our skin (source).  With all the moisture it needs, the skin plumps up and the wrinkles look smaller. 

In addition to hyaluronic acid, peptides are the ingredients that have an anti-aging effect on our skin.  Generally, there are two types of peptides: collagen-producing and Botox-like muscle-paralyzing.  Clearly, we want to avoid Botox-like peptides and use collagen-producing ones.  

For example, such peptides as palmitoyl tripeptide-5, trifluoroacetyl tripeptide-2, and caprooyl tetrapeptide-3 peptides can trigger a signaling cascade.  To clarify, they are released from the extracellular matrix and are also called matricins, or collagen stimulators.  In other words, they increase the proliferation of collagen, elastin, proteoglycan, glycosaminoglycan, and fibronectin.

As a result, the regeneration of the skin matrix cells reduces the pigmentation of photo-damaged skin and fine lines and wrinkles.  Consequently, skin elasticity increases, and skin appears smoother and firmer.

My best picks among moisturizing creams

Crunchi Daylight Facial Cream is so light and hydrating that I fell in love with this non-toxic skin care product.  Because it uses sodium hyaluronate, it has become a staple of my non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine, especially when I travel to places with a very dry climate.  Another great hydrating ingredient is chondrus crispus extract.  It is a powerful sea kelp that helps plump and firm the skin and reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles.  It is perfect for very dry skin.  I also like the fact that the cream comes in a glass bottle.  In my review of this hydrating face moisturizer, you can find my detailed report on its non-toxic ingredients. 

Frankincense Intense Lift Cream is one of the great products by Neal’s Yard Remedies.  It provides deep hydration by means of peptides, hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate.  The peptides are the three collagen-producing peptides: palmitoyl tripeptide-5, trifluoroacetyl tripeptide-2, and caprooyl tetrapeptide-3.  This is the only brand I found with peptides that does not have any concerning preservatives and emulsifiers. I have used and loved it, too, and I will be buying it again.

Frankincense Intense Lift Eye Cream is another great product by Neal’s Yard Remedies with three collagen-producing peptides and hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate for deep hydration.  It also uses green tea caffeine, turmeric, and organic green coffee seed oil to help revive the eye area.  For sure, among other eye creams, this is my favorite in my non-toxic skin care regimen. 

My best picks among moisturizing serums

Marie Veronique Soothing B3 Serum is a perfect product for your non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine, especially for very dry, blemish-prone, and irritated skin.  Sodium hyaluronate is listed first, which means that it is used in a big amount.  Also, it has 10% niacinamide, more than I have seen in any product, so it should work very well for damaged or acne-prone skin.  In addition, it contains probiotics and prebiotics, which means that it should restore a healthy balance of the skin.  My friend uses and loves it, especially the dewy effect it produces.

Silk Therapeutics C-Advance Anti-Aging Serum is a clinical-grade concentrated facial serum that contains activated silk, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C.  I liked this serum and used it in my because it is hydrating and quickly absorbent.  Also, it spreads around so easily that one pump covers the whole face, neck, and décolleté.   You can get 25% off on full-sized products with the discount code IRLFY25.

Pure Haven Hyaluronic Acid is a light-weight non-oily serum that contains aloe vera along with hyaluronic acid.  It also has healing organic botanical extracts and one of the safest preservatives, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate.  And it comes in a glass bottle, too.

Sunscreen in your non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine

To begin with, a sunscreen is crucial for preventing wrinkles.  Since the UVA rays can get through clouds and windows and are even reflected on snow, the recommendation is to wear sunscreen everywhere, even at home.  

For more information about non-toxic skin care sunscreens, please head over to my Best Non-Toxic Sunscreen Guide.

My best picks among sunscreens

Blissoma Photonic Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen contains only 12.5% of non-nanoparticled micronized zinc oxide.  Therefore, it has practically no whitening effect.  Furthermore, its relatively high SPF of 25 is achieved due to the herbs and oils in it that have natural SPF properties.  I also like the fact that the sunscreen contains niacinamide (vitamin B3).  Specifically, this vitamin helps protect from UV light damage, improves skin elasticity, and reduces blemishes and inflammation (source).  Additionally, this mineral facial sunscreen is light and non-greasy.  I think it will work well for oily or normal skin.  When I used it on the beach, I did not burn, or even tan.  And, it comes in a glass bottle.   

Crunchi Sunlight Facial Sunscreen is what I use now in my non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine.  It offers better protection and its SPF is 30!  Just like Blissoma sunscreen, the new Crunchi sunscreen formulation has 12.5% of non-nano zinc oxide and has no whitening effect.  Besides, I like the fact that it contains squalane, organic shea butter, and organic grape seed oil to nourish my skin.

Foundation as a final step in your non-toxic skin care regimen

A well-chosen foundation can actually do wonders for your skin.  Thus, a good foundation is one that you do not have to re-apply during the day and that provides full coverage but feels weightless on your skin.  Plus, it helps you mask wrinkles.  If you already have wrinkles, it is best to use a foundation with silicone because it fills fine lines and wrinkles, making them look smaller.  If you are skeptical about the safety of silicones, please read my post about dimethicone and its relatives.

My best picks among foundations

Crunchi Liquid Foundation is my favorite non-toxic foundation.  It is very lightweight and spreads easily, evenly, and smoothly.  And that bottle will last you for a very long time.  I use a quarter of a pump to achieve full coverage.  Also, it is important to use a number 1 brush for a flawless application.  Please read my post about this non-toxic liquid foundation to learn about its ingredients.

Conclusion about non-toxic anti-aging beauty routine

In conclusion, once wrinkles have set, it is almost impossible to get rid of them for good, especially with topical skincare alone.  However, with a good non-toxic skin care beauty routine, you can certainly look younger longer.  

Further, the best age-defying cosmetic ingredients are vitamin A, vitamin C, ferulic acid, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and lactic and glycolic acids.  In addition, pH balanced cleansers, UVA/UVB protection, and foundation are important contributing factors to a more youthful look. 

Please, check out my shop for more options for non-toxic skincare and personal care products.  Also, consider booking a consultation with me and/or joining the Savvy Consumer Circle if you want to go deeper with healthy living with ease. 

Your Superpower To Read Ingredients

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With this easy unprecendented method, you will be able to spot potentially harmful personal care or skincare products that may cause irritation, an allergic reaction, or increase the risk of endocrine disruption or cancer.

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37 thoughts on “Non-Toxic Anti-Aging Beauty Routine Guide”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your routine, Irina!

    Can you give more information about the “ice message”? Have you already written about it, or can you provide links to it’s “research”?

    I’m intrigued!
    Northern Cali

    1. Hi, Annette: You are right that I normally provide links to scientific research. In this case, it is just my personal observation. The idea is when the skin is stimulated with cold, it grows collagen. I also heard that Hollywood stars pay top dollars for “cold therapy.” ~Irina

  2. Thanks for posting this, Irina! I’m intrigued. I looked into the Badger oil, and I’m wondering if you just wanted an I scented oil or if you think that’s better than the rose oil…? The rose sounds lovely 😊

    1. Hi, Laurie! Yes, the rose is lovely. I tried it. I found that the unscented version is the mildest on the eyes. ~Irina

  3. Hi Irina!

    Quick question. I was wondering if you thought it was a good idea for me to start using a retinol product now – or if I should wait until after I’ve had children? I know it needs to be avoided during pregnancy and nursing but I haven’t pursued children yet ( though I hope that stage of my life isn’t too far way). I’m leaning towards waiting, and if you agree, do you recommend any retinol alternatives to help keep my skin youthful in the meantime? <3 Thank you!!

    1. Hi, Tara: thank you for asking. Vitamin A skin care products are not recommended during pregnancy because the excess of vitamin A can potentially harm the baby. What would constitute the excess for you should be individually considered. With this said, generally speaking, whatever you believe can harm fetus should be discontinued at least 3 months prior to pregnancy. However, you should double-check that with your doctor. ~Irina

  4. Thank you for the write-up! I’m wondering if you have reviewed this retinol serum from Maya Chia and what you think…

  5. Thanks for this article! I’m wondering if you re-apply sun protection throughout the day, and if so, if it’s necessary to wash your face beforehand so that you’re putting too many layers of product on your skin?

  6. Hi Irina, I wonder if you’ve ever looked at Environ products. The entire line established by a dermatologist is predicated in efficacy of Vitamin A. Some products of their line are cleaner than others but this would be a great brand to research and vet as a powerhouse like that includes in one product (cquence) vitamin A, vitamin C and peptides so no need to use multiple products. Just something to consider. Thanks for your research and work to publish this information!

    1. Hi, Sharon: Generally speaking, I don’t like companies that don’t disclose ingredients on the website. If you join the Savvy Consumer Circle as part of the service, I can look at the ingredients of any products of your choice (given that you can provide the ingredients.) Thank you. ~Irina

  7. Do you need a serum and a moisturizer? I have extremely sensitive skin. I have been on your site for hours and hours. I am going to purchase some products, but I want to make sure I purchase exactly what I need.

  8. Hello I joust found your site and insta and I’m loving these posts.

    I want to begin using retinal but cannot spend the money on the one you suggested, do you recommend any others at a lower price point?


    1. Hi, Jessica: I am sorry I tried but it looks all skincare products with beneficial and safe ingredients are not cheap. The good news is that the products last a long time because you just need a drop. ~Irina

  9. Thanks for this article! I’m very interested in your website and information you have been provided. I’m wondering if you explain a little more about your skincare routine. As an example, in the morning and night what products do you use for your skin and what is their order. Thanks, Irina!

    1. Hi, Fereshteh: Thank you for asking. I changed it up a bit especially because I get curious to try new products. But right now I do the following routine. Morning: 1. Silk Therapeutics cleanser; 2. Neal’s Yard Remedies cream and eye cream; 3. Crunchi sunscreen. 4. Sometimes Crunchi foundation. Evening: Silk Therapeutics cleanser; 2. Marie Veronique retinol serum. Does it help? ~Irina

  10. I followed your recommendations but feel like maybe I bought too many products! Can you give me your advice?
    For the evening, I bought an oil cleanser, retinol serum, hyaluronic acid, night oil, eye cream, and crunchi night cream/moisturizer, and the weekly exfoliator mask. I feel like a maybe have too many?
    For the day, I have an oil cleanser, hyaluronic acid, crunchi day cream, eye cream, and blissoma sunscreen.
    I really like all of the products you recommended but wondering if it’s overkill. What do you think?

    1. Hi, Jana: I would say hyaluronic acid is not needed for the day because Crunchi daylight has a good amount of hyaluronic acid already. I hope you’re enjoying the products. Let us know how you like the products. ~Irina

    2. Hi Irina,
      I just purchased several items through your links.
      I’m plan on having the same routine as you posted in a few comments above (just including the serum from NYR’s Intense kit too).

      Would I need a moisturiser after Marie Veronique retinol serum at night?

      1. Hi, Brianne: I don’t think you need Marie Veronique retinol serum. NYR products are really wonderful. When did you make your purchase of NYR products? ~Irina

  11. Hi Irina. Can you tell me which of the products you listed from you skincare regimen aren’t safe for breastfeeding? I’m currently breastfeeding but need to buy a while new array of skincare products. Thanks

  12. Hi Irina,
    Thanks for all of your work! I’ve appreciated several of your ebooks. Both Silk Therapeutics C advance serum and Neal’s Yard Frankincense intense lift serum look great – but we wouldn’t want to use both at once, correct? Trying to decide if the vitamin C or peptides are better. I would also like to use the Marie Veronique C, E, ferulic antioxidant serum. Would you use an anti-aging serum at one time of day (e.g. morning) and the anti-oxidant serum at another (e.g. evening) or at the same time? And are these three products safe if I am breastfeeding?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi, Anika: I know this is so hard to decide, even for me. They are all great products. I change up my skincare routine. And yes, you can use some products for your morning and others at night. Currently, I use Neal’s Yard Intense Lift products in a morning. I also like Neal’s Yard Remedies especially becuase their extracts and oils are organic. By the way, I like Neal’s Yard Intense Lift cream better than serum because it is easier to dispense and apply the cream. You can read more about the brand here. My doctor reviewed the post for medical accuracy, too. If you have to decide between peptides and vitamin C, I think peptides are more beneficial. As for breastfeeding, all these products are void of the many potentially harmful ingredients found in most conventional products. However, if you have any specific ingredient questions or concerns with use during breastfeeding please consult with your healthcare provider prior to use. Does it help? ~Irina

      1. Thank you Irina! Yes, that’s very helpful. Oh and is there a good alternative to a retinoid while I’m breastfeeding?

  13. Hi Irina,

    This is a fabulous post! I have very sensitive skin, so I’d like to add one product at a time. I only wash my face at night, so think I’ll start with some kind of moisturizer. (Then I just put sunscreen over it on the morning.) I’ve been using Osmia Organics Purely Simple Face Cream, but it’s not doin’ much for me. I’m in my mid-thirties with an eye toward anti-aging. If you could recommend one product to start, what would it be? Many thanks!


    1. Hi, Carina: I used to use Osmia Organics too and was not impressed. Great idea about adding one product at a time. Hydrating is key in your case. I would start with Crunchi Daylight cream, which is super hydrating but light, absorbent, and non-greasy. And Crunchi is having a sale on it right now. Check it out here:
      When you become my Crunchi client, we can talk more about your next steps at no charge. ~Irina

      1. Thanks Irina! Yes, I’d actually like to order some other Crunchi products and would like advice. What’s the best way to connect with questions/become your client?

        I’m also curious to know why you’d go for the Daylight Cream versus the Night Light Cream. I’ll be using it at night but not washing my face in the morning, so perhaps that’s why? I also have fairly dry skin. Thanks again.

  14. Hi Irina! Thank you for all the info for skincare! I have read lots of your articles and want to order a couple things. My daughter is 21 and seems to struggle with acne and small break outs on the lower part of her face and maybe some rosacea. I would say she has oily skin. She uses crunchi charcoal soap and not sure it helps? What are some simple things you would suggest for sunscreen and a moisturizer? Anything that is 2 in 1 that is clean? I know she/we could try the crunchi sunscreen- but looking for 2 in 1.

    What about a serum like Vit C. At this age does she need it? And with having acne would that make it worse? We have read your articles but can’t decide beat place to start for her. Thanks

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