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.
I’m always looking for natural skin care products. I’m loving the PLO coffee bean serum now, but love trying new skin care!
I would love to try the skin butter. I have Arizona dry problems too and horrible eczema so this would be a great soother.
Their website does say that the skin butter is excellent for eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis in terms of helping with the itching and scaliness. I can believe it, since their moisturizers have worked so well on my facial dermatitis issues!
I’d like to try the acne products.
You know what’s so awesome about them is that they’re totally non drying. None of that peeling, acid based action stuff and none of the feels-like-your-skin-is-going-to-crack dryness at all. I tried so many acne products a few years back when my skin was all red, blotchy and inflamed and always felt like they were trying to strip my face off!
The facial butter sounds amazing! I changed my diet a couple of years ago and have wanted to change my skincare but have been too overwhelmed by it all – I’d love to try this
I was so in the same place as you. I switched up my diet to the AIP and have made a lot of strides in managing stress and getting good sleep… but I just didn’t have the brain power to devote to figuring out skincare ingredients on top of everything else. The ingredients in Luminance Skincare products is so simple and the people I’ve spoken to have been so transparent and helpful that I really feel good about using these products 🙂
No more chemicals
I’m very curious about these products. I’ve been an aveda user for years and wonder if they are as natural as I think.
You know, I tried looking up Aveda ingredients and even their own ingredients glossary page is really vague 🙁
I’m always looking for a sunscreen that doesn’t drive my skin crazy. The “Non Metalic Organic Sun Screen” sounds amazing. I had no idea Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Organic Red Raspberry Seed Oil had sunscreen properties! Gotta try it!
It’s packed with omega 3 and omega 6, along with Vitamin E and antioxidants, so it’s good for your skin, too! I’ve read that it has an SPF rating of about 30 – 50 and carrot seed oil is in the 40 range.
The prices are actually incredibly reasonable. I’ve been using Paula’s Choice. I’ve watched their price triple and their integrity plummet over the last few years, so several of the items in this line look like a breath of fresh air! The sunscreen looks to be an exceptionally good blend to be used simply as a facial oil and the price is, ounce for ounce, 75% less than PC’s. The only negative things I can find about these products is the occasional use of lavender and citrus, and the packaging. Jars are not the best, as the contents are exposed to air on a regular basis so the antioxidants and other goodies lose their potency and oxidize quickly. They also should be packaged in amber, cobalt, or opaque bottles to prevent the aforementioned good stuff from degradation from light sources. That being said, it’s easy enough to store them in a small box. Regardless, I’m very much looking forward to trying a few!
I think the prices are great, especially given how a little goes a long way with these products, but if you’re coming straight to natural skincare from, say, a drugstore brand perspective, they might be a surprise. I’m actually not familiar with Paula’s choice, but that price hike sounds crazy! Sad to hear when companies don’t maintain their integrity.
I’m curious about your concern over the lavender and citrus, please do enlighten me! I’m guessing the citrus issue would be with sun sensitivity? Storage wise, I just pop them in my bathroom cabinet to keep them from the light.
Lavender has been scientifically proven to be cytotoxic when applied topically, it literally kills healthy skin cells, even in very small amounts. It’s also a skin irritant. Citrus is an irritant that is also phototoxic when applied topically. That being said, the lavender and citrus I saw in their products were not essential oils, but waters and extracts, so I would assume the effect would be reduced dramatically Lavender is one of my favorite scents, so it’s a bit of a bummer.
I’m really excited about trying the Night Time Facial Butter.
It’s the best. I love it. Nothing else I’ve tried as a nightly moisturizer has come close!
I’d love to win this fab contest!
I would like to try the Nighttime Facial Butter. I need lots of hydration!
It’s a serious dream. And it’s an amazing balm, too – last time I had a cold, I used it around my nose to avoid that nasty chapping from tissues that usually happens!
Would love to try all of them 😉 I am always on the look out for all natural products and usually buy mine from Whole Foods. Have even tried making my own, but I have to keep them refrigerated. So big thanks for the info.
You’re so welcome! 🙂 I believe the only item that needs refrigeration in the Luminance range is the Maitake Mushroom Mask. I’ve got all of my stuff just sitting on my bathroom counter and they’re done just fine, even as it’s heated up here. Aside from making sure I have clean hands when I used something from a jar (which I should since I’m about to put them on my face!), I haven’t made any special effort with storing them elsewhere and nothing has separated or changed in any way. I believe the red radish root extract in the blends is a great natural preservative. I do, however, recommend stashing some of the toner in the fridge, just because it feels so good sprayed on your face on a hot day 😀
Just stopped by to grab the link for sweet potato gratin (again, I’ve given it out a hundred times I think) and saw this post…kismet. I’m definitely on the look out to try one of these products, off to find a local source and fingers crossed they carry the sunscreen because I can’t wait to try that!
Hmm, I’m not sure where else they’re available other than directly through the Luminance website and perhaps still some CA farmer’s markets. I’ll see what I can find out!
i want to try the night time facial butter.
I want to try the Rosewater Toner
I would love to try the White Bentonite Clay detox face mask or the organic antioxidant facial spray!
I haven’t tried that facial spray, yet… so I think that’s next on my list, ha! 🙂
I’ve been on the hunt for a cleanser that’s truly as gentle and non-drying as it claims on my temperamental skin. The company I was using completely revamped their product line? There’s nothing more disappointing than investing in products that don’t hold up!
Right?! So frustrating. The delicate cleanser is really great; I don’t get that “stripped”, dry feeling using it and a little goes a long way. You have to shake it before using, but 1-2 sprays is plenty, even though it doesn’t look like it at first 🙂
I think that if I had to pick one, I’d go with the cleanser. I haven’t found “the one” yet, so I’d be interested to see if this one would be it!
I love this one, because it doesn’t leave that tight feeling behind. My face feels clean, as opposed to stripped of all moisture.
I’ve been wanting to try the rose water toner! It’s so hard to find one with 100% pure ingredients
It’s heavenly! Especially spritzed on cold 🙂
I want to try the acne serum. They need a category for “mature-teenage” skin! 😉 I need to find a moisturizer that won’t leave my skin so oily, but still helps with the dry patches. I keep thinking I’ll “grow out of it” with my oily skin one of these decades.
I’m certainly no expert since my experience is definitely more on the dry side of the skin divide, but I suspect a really gentle cleanser would also help you out by not stripping the natural oils from your face. I know that their delicate cleanser and acne serum are included in their Acne Traveller Kit, which might be a cost effective way to try them both out 🙂
I would like to try the Nighttime Facial Butter.
Thank you for sharing! I will definitely check out their deodorant and rose water tonic.
I’ve been hoping to try this product for a while now but with my allergy to aloe and sensitive skin I’m tired of wasting money on stuff that doesn’t work.
Would be awesome to be able to try it for free!!
I thought I entered but I can’t find my comment… I never can understand how these things work. Anyways I need to take better care of my skin for sure and would love to try this stuff if its as awesome as you say it is…
You’re all good – it takes a while for comments to appear 🙂
I’d love to try the facial butter. I have crazy dry skin that never seems to go away!
These look amazing!! I want to try them all!