Alright, I’m going to keep it real here: while I love the idea of natural, non-toxic, crap free skincare, over the years I’ve struggled to find a brand that delivers all of that good stuff in a way that actually works, without making me feel like I have to give up the experience of using products that I actually, you know, enjoy putting on my face. I’m just going to be honest: I’ve never been down with the apple cider vinegar as a toner crowd and I don’t have time to waste experimenting with the thousands of dodgy Pinterest DIY-yo-facecare recipes out there. I spend enough time in the kitchen as it is, thank-you-very-much!
In my early Paleo days, before I had tailored my diet for my autoimmune issues, I’d dabbled with some of the “natural” and organic lines available commercially. Ok, by “some”, I really mean “pretty much every damn brand available” and I racked up the Sephora points to prove it. I still have nearly 2000 points unspent from those crazy days… For the most part, none of those products performed any better than the stuff I’d been slathering on my face since I was 14. Unless you count insanely-high prices as a performance measurement, I guess. Then they were up there! So I stuck to what I knew, while ignoring the Call Of The Crunchy and desperately clinging onto my Clarisonic, damnit. All the while knowing I was putting crap on my face because I couldn’t find a better alternative that didn’t involve a three day process and a PhD in navigating BS online beauty claims.
Eventually, I caved in, because at least the concept of oil cleansing made more sense than all the caustic crap I’d slapped on my face for years. I tried. I really, really did. And for a while, winging it with nothing more than a couple bottles of oils and a too-hot facecloth, things were ok in Project Faceland. Until it wasn’t.
And there I was, slap bang at the square one of this stupid skincare saga, with a face full of dry, flaky skin no matter how much I moisturized. Did I mention it’s like 5% humidity here, year round? Because, yeah. That. My skin was having none of this self made hippy crap, despite my nutrient dense, plant led diet. You know, the one that everyone claims will give you effortlessly glowing, flawless skin? If it were possible to laugh in your own face, that’s what mine would have done.
So I’ll admit it, when I first came across Luminance Skincare‘s range of organic, vegan and synthetic free products, I was intrigued, but skeptical. Reaaaaaally skeptical. Because, reasons. But I loved the ingredients lists on their products: blends of fats, oils and extracts from fruits, vegetables and seeds, without excessive use of essential oils for fragrance. I also liked that they had a defined range of products, where you could tell that the ingredients had been tailored to their purpose, rather than each product being a very slight variation on the same ingredients, as with some brands I’d tried in the past.
These were ingredients I could feel good about and they weren’t hidden behind pseudo science-y gobbledegook designed to part people from their money. And unlike the “natural” products I’d been buying for years, Luminance Skincare‘s products are truly natural. There are no synthetic fragrances or preservatives, no petrochemical derivative oils, no lab manufactured vitamins, paraffin wax emulsifiers, gums, solvents, alcohols or weird ass binders. You could pretty much eat the stuff, no joke.
(Please note that none of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I’m not making money by recommending these products to you. I’m simply sharing the products that have worked for me and Luminance Skincare has been generous enough to offer my readers a giveaway prize and a discount code below if you wish to try them for yourself. No gimmicks, no shady sales stuff and no BS from me, I promise.)
So, back to skeptical me. I was really rather hopeful that I would like these products, but I definitely wasn’t going to recommend them to anyone until I’d really tested them out. Not just “I’ll slap on this moisturizer a few times ’cause someone sent it to me for free and then blog about it” tested. I’ve switched to new products enough in my time to know that something can seem just peachy for the first week or so, but then bite you in the ass later with surprise reactions or weird side effects. Or they just straight up don’t work.
I wanted to be absolutely certain that I could stand behind these products if I was going to recommend them to you, so I’ve been using Luminance Skincare products on my face exclusively since February. And after four months of taking care of my skin with their products, I can wholeheartedly say that I LOVE THEM. I’m talking, love them so much they could be the glue that brings vegans and non-vegans together. Seriously, we should all bond over the magical glory that is their Night Time Facial Butter. I love that they combine all the clean, crap free ingredients of handmade products, with creamy, fluffy, decadent textures and finishes that make me feel more normal and less crazy hipster lady who puts weird stuff on her face.
Now when it comes to the AIP, Luminance Skincare products aren’t elimination phase compliant because of the seed extracts from things like tamarind, sunflower and chia and the use of argan oil, which is technically derived from a tree nut. As someone who hasn’t done any long term, permanent reintroductions, though, I’ve not had any problems with or reactions to any of the products I have been using in the last few months that contain those ingredients. To the best of my knowledge there is no gluten, corn or soy to be found in any of the products I have tried or referenced here.
For me, the absence of all the chemical yuckery more than balances out the use of seed extracts and nut oils in a totally organic, raw skincare range, especially when you consider that nut and seed oils are one of the earliest reintroductions, but you’ll have to make your own call on whether or not you want to wait to try these products until after you have reintroduced nuts and seeds if you’re following the AIP. Nut and seed oils are both a Stage 1 reintroduction, while whole nuts and seeds are a Stage 2 reintroduction, so unless you’re allergic, you have a good chance of being able to reintroduce them just fine!
One of the things that I have noticed since I’ve been using Luminance Skincare products is that my occasional perioral dermatitis (which I suspect is triggered by cross contamination of food at restaurants, despite how carefully I order) has been much improved, faded faster and lingered for much less time than usual. In the past, a single episode or exposure would last about a month on my face, so you can imagine how wonderful it is for me not to be walking around with a bright red, scaly rash around my nose and mouth for that amount of time any more! Although I don’t suffer from acne, I actually found that the Acne Serum with tea tree and matcha did a wonderful job of soothing the redness of dermatitis without drying out my skin.
Another thing to love about Luminance Skincare’s range of products is that you can keep your skincare routine as simple or as layered as you like. I started out just using the Delicate Facial Cleanser, Rosewater Toner and Hydration Moisturizer, with a little boost from the Night Time Facial Butter if I had any particular dry patches that needed a little extra attention. (That butter is magical. MAGICAL, I tell you!) That was it. No fuss, no weird million-steps-system and a routine that could be done in under five minutes. Boom.
As someone who always felt like the cleanse, tone, moisturize habit was kind of a pain, I was surprised to find I enjoyed doing this each evening before bed. Taking care of my skin has become a nice little part of my self care routine that I enjoy now. It doesn’t feel like something I “should” do, so much as something I’m choosing to do for myself, something that nourishes my skin in the same way as my diet nourishes me from the inside out. That perspective makes all the difference.
If you like to keep your skincare routine pretty low key and not think about it too much, I recommend you start off as I did, sticking to the simple cleansing routine above to acclimate yourself and figure out what works for you. You may not need or want to add any extra products and you don’t even need to do it twice a day: I found starting out that I did just fine with an evening only routine and then just a little refresh in the morning if I was going to wear makeup. Otherwise, I skipped mornings totally and even with the desert heat and altitude here, my dry skin smoothed out and stayed totally flake and flare up free. You can check out the entire face care range here.
If you do have other skin concerns and want to add in some other options, Luminance Skincare has you covered with a range of serums, masks, acne products and more. It’s totally up to you! I’ve really been enjoying the luxury of being able to use natural products that not only work, but give me back some of the more decadent self care elements of skincare, not just the utilitarian experience.
It’s totally girly, but being able to pop on an exfoliating mask, smooth on a facial serum or dab on a little eye cream makes me feel a little more… normal. Like I don’t have to miss out on the beauty product experience just because I want to keep my skin chemical free. Sometimes a girl just wants a little pampering, you know?
I’ve been so happy with the Luminance Skincare products I’ve been using on my face, that I’ve recently broadened out to using some of their body products, too. I’m pretty much in love with their Skin Lotion, which I’ll use after a shower to avoid the dreaded Arizona Summer Legs Syndrome and for extra tough dry patches like elbows (seriously, why they gotta be so weird?), the Skin Butter is like a hydrating miracle. It just disappears right into your skin and barely needs to be rubbed in, smoothing the scratchiest and scaliest of skin surprises, without being even remotely greasy. What is this sorcery?! If you’ve ever struggled with dry skin, you need these products in your life.
Last of all, I’m currently testing out their zinc and aluminum free deodorant, as well as the non metallic organic sunscreen made with raspberry seed oil. So far, both have been holding up just fine which, to be honest, I was a little shocked about! I’m so used to slathering myself in a stick of something smelly that it seems strange that products so light and with so few ingredients could possibly work… and yet, they do! We’re just starting to get into the triple digit temperatures here, so I’m still testing, but I’m pretty confident that if these products work for me over the summer here, they’ll work for anyone! I’ll be posting an update to this in a few weeks to let you know how they both performed. (Hot weather tip: I keep a bottle of Rosewater Toner in the fridge to spritz on my face when I get in from the heat outside and it is heavenly!)
If you’re switching to natural products from conventional drugstore brands, you might find the pricing a little bit of a shock, per bottle. But the great thing about Luminance Skincare products is that a little goes a long way. Seriously. You need a spray or two of the cleanser, a spritz of the toner and a couple of fingertips worth of moisturizer. And that’s not to skimp or stretch your dollars: it’s just all you need. These products are rich, nourishing and you don’t need to be covered in an inch thick layer for them to work. Which I learned the hard way: I’ve had dry skin issues on and off for years, so it’s second nature for me to go with the “more is better” approach. Trust me, it’s really not when it comes to these lotions and potions! Unless you like the “wow, I put too much product on my face” look. Which you don’t, because that’s weird. And greasy. Very, very greasy.
And if you need a little extra motivation to make the switch to no BS skincare products, Luminance Skincare has generously offered a big ol’ discount to my readers! Which means that if you use the discount code MEATIFIED at checkout, you’ll get 20% off your purchase. How awesome is that?
Speaking of generosity, Luminance Skincare are also giving away my favorite introductory products to one of my lucky readers! Enter using the widget below for your chance to win a Delicate Facial Cleanser, Rosewater Toner, Hydration Moisturizer and Night Time Facial Butter set of your very own.
Giveaway closes Sunday 26th 11:59 PM PST; you must provide a valid email address for me to contact you. If I do not receive a reply from you within 48 hours, providing me with a valid mailing address for the prize, I will select another winner. Open to US residents only.