Glow from the Inside Out: Vegan Lifestyle Skincare, Skin Renewal Products, and Cosmetics

I’ve had a lot of emails and requests to share information about (1) my beauty/skin care tips, and (2) my exercise routine. So, I’m going off the recipe path a little to share 2 posts with you, one about skin care and cosmetics (today!), and another about my exercise routine.

I’ll preface my post with saying that I am not an expert on vegan beauty products. I know there are a lot of incredible choices out there. Some more expensive than others, some available in stores, others online, some are small independent local retailers. While I enjoy trying new skin care and cosmetics, I’ve never been one to be in the know about all the best and exciting products, or to have a great stash of goodies. I know what I like, and know what mostly looks good on me and works for me, so I stick with it. Because many of YOU know a great deal, and certainly have different skin tones, skin types, climates, etc… please share YOUR products and beauty tips in the comments. I know I can learn from you too, and it will give many more options for all my readers.

The first and most important factor for healthy, radiant, youthful skin, begins with…

Whole-Foods PLANT DIET!

I’m a believer that the BEST thing you can do for your skin starts with your fork. Or smoothie cup. Our skin is a reflection of the foods we feed it. Nourish our bodies with fresh vegetables, greens, fresh fruits, nuts, avocados, seeds, whole-grains, legumes and it shows in our skin. Processed foods and animal products don’t deliver anything living or rejuvenating to our skin. Eat as close to nature, consuming a high whole-foods diet (80%+). Get those GREENS in your diet! If you have a hard time eating them in salads or sautes, make GREEN SMOOTHIES (I will gargle my green smoothie if you don’t love them)! ;) Fresh juices like carrot, celery, and cucumber will also beautify your skin. These foods will deliver hydration and skin-nourishing and rejuvenating fats, vitamins, and minerals. This image from Raw For Beauty gives a quick snapshot of some of the top anti-aging foods. Notice they are all whole plant foods? I’ve seen avocados, greens, and blueberries on so many similar infographics. Sounds like the makings of a delicious salad. Or smoothie!

top anti-aging foods

Fresh vegetables and fruits are particularly important, as they are hydrating for our skin, and full of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Try to incorporate many alkaline foods into your diet as well (good for overall health, not just skin health).

alkaline foods chart

Buying creams with antioxidants is no comparison to actually consuming them daily. Our skin glows from the inside out. Eat the rainbow, daily if you can. Beautiful skin begins at the farmers’ market! I wish I knew this in my teens and 20s, but at least I caught up quickly in my 30s.


We all know that drinking a lot of water is good for the skin. Here’s the problem with that message, however. The distinction isn’t made between water and naturally hydrating foods. What is the point of drinking 8 glasses of water a day if one is consuming scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast, a turkey/cheese sandwich for lunch, and steak for dinner? Even if you squeeze in side salad and a piece of fruit, most of that day’s food is dead and not water-rich. Fruits and vegetables are water-rich, even avocados and bananas, which have no juice are high in water content. So, by all means, yes, drink water. (And, please, stop drinking diet sodas.) But, you will notice that when you increase your consumption of natural, water-rich plant foods, your body becomes hydrated from those foods (as well as receiving vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc) and you do not need to drink as much water.

Exercise and Sleep

Don’t you find your skin looks more radiant after working out? Not just the immediate “after-glow”, exercise brings better blood circulation to the skin, and also elevates our mood, improves immunity, and helps with sleep. Sleep is so important to our overall health, everything goes into repair mode while we rest – including the our skin. Interestingly, the quality of our sleep improves when we eat a clean, whole foods diet, and also exercise. As we feel more rested and restored, we are energized to keep exercise in our lives and plan for healthier eating every day. The cycle continues. Great for our bodies, mind, soul – and yes, skin – in the long run.

DIY Skin Care

I do purchase skin care products, but there are also a couple of DIY or home fixes that I use regularly. I only have a couple in my arsenal, so would love to hear any great DIY solutions that you have for skin care, hair care, anti-aging, and also make-up!

Avocado Eat it. And wear it! At least once a week I use ripe avocado for a face mask. It cleans and also soothes and moisturizes my skin. The process couldn’t be simpler: Slice a small piece of ripe avocado (no need to use a half, or even a quarter, a sliver will do):


Mush it up with your fingers. Yes mush. You could always mash with a fork in a small bowl. But why?.. When you can mush!


Smear it on your face. No need to mix with anything, just smoosh over your face. Very technical terms here today. Leave on your face for about 5 minutes until it starts to dry, then rinse off. I usually hop in the shower, easier to wash it off that way. Above, the avocado I used was very ripe, so smoothed on easily. If your avoc is ripe but still a little firm, the mush may have some clumpy bits. All good – still works!


Did I just post a pic of me with green mash all over my face? *Gulp* Gosh, the things I do in the name of blogging! Before any emails come in about how I have dark circles or wrinkles, remember I am almost 43. No makeup here. No tucks or injections. Just taking a selfie sporting green mush.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has some magical health and beauty properties. Recently I learned that lightly applying apple cider vinegar (mixed with a little fresh lemon juice) to your skin helps diminish age spots. Have any of you tried this or had success with it? I don’t have too many age spots on my face yet, but am making note of this technique. What I do use ACV for right now? My hair!


Give your hair a rinse with ACV every couple of weeks. It will make your fair feel softer, smoother, and look a little shinier! I often forget to use it regularly, but if my hair feels like it has a little build-up or looking dull – I pull out the ACV. I usually put the vinegar straight in a spice jar and take it to the shower with me. But, you can use an old shampoo bottle, fill with vinegar straight, or with a mix of 1 part apple cider vinegar to 1 part water. Work it through your hair either before or after a shampoo (or, in place of a shampoo, some folks do that). Rinse it well, and you’re set! Eden Foods even has a post on using their ACV for a hair rinse. Cool, right?

A Natural Oil To Moisturize

My skin is naturally drier than other types. I’ve talked before in posts about Ayurveda, and my body is very much a Vata constitution. So, it’s not that my skin is flaky or itchy in its dryness. It’s just that it’s not naturally oily. Hubby, on the other hand, has a strong Kapha constitution. His skin is much more thick and oily in its nature. He never needs a moisturizer on his face. Without some sort of moisturizing oil or cream, my face feels a little tight and ‘exposed’, like quite raw to the elements. I often find face cream and products designed for anti-aging (discussion coming up), simply aren’t moisturizing enough for me. So, I use a natural oil to combine with my daily face cream. I have rotated through a few, and here are some of my favorites:

Weleda: I’m not sure if all of Weleda‘s products are vegan, but I do know they are against animal testing, and that this Sea Buckthorn Oil is definitely vegan. It is pricey to buy a full bottle, but a little goes a long way (and that amazon link offers a much better price than I have bought in stores). I add just a couple of drops with my Arbonne moisturizer or serum, and it feels like my face just got a massage!

Weleda Oil

Andalou: I rotate between this product and the Weleda, as a soothing oil to mix with my moisturizer. Again, just a drop or two is enough, and this product has a lovely aroma from natural essential oils. Again, I just spotted this produce for a better price on Amazon. (I’ve got to start shopping for more there!) Andalou has a whole product line, and I haven’t tried many other items – have you?

Andalou omega glow oil

Another I’ve used and loved in the past is the Golden Olive Serum from TVAL skincare. TVAL is a company that originated in Newfoundland, and has grown considerably in recent years. Not all of their products are vegan, but this serum sure is. Interestingly, it contains sea buckthorn oil!



A couple of years ago I started using ARBONNE products. Before that I was bouncing between different lines of moisturizers and skin serums and renewal products. (They are usually called anti-aging. Think that should change. I’m not against aging, just want to look and feel my best while on the jouney!) I’m 42, and as I approached my 40s, I noticed definite changes to my skin, starting at around 35. (I also noticed definite changes to my skin after every baby. But that’s another story, for another post!) Into my 40s, I noticed my skin lost elasticity and I had many more pronounced lines and wrinkles. Part of aging? Yes. Completely reversible? No. But, can we improve some of the subtler effects of aging? I think so. When I used some of the Arbonne products, I felt my skin tone improved some. No, my deep wrinkles didn’t disappear (I’m not that foolish to think that’s possible either). But, I noticed the clarity of my skin improved some, as well as some of the finer lines. I don’t use all of the RE9 (or anti-again) line. I don’t feel I need them all, so I pick and choose the products I love. Also, I really love some of their make-up items.

All their products are made without animal products, without animal testing, and without harsh and toxic chemicals - that’s definitely something to love! They are expensive, yes. But, the ingredients are high quality, and they are comparable to higher-end cosmetics and skin care lines in department stores. They aren’t sold in department stores, however. I signed up as a consultant so I could buy my favorite products at a decent discount. You can do the same if you are interested. I don’t actively pursue the business side. I am passionate about my work, and immersed in several projects. Still, if you also like the look of some of the products I highlight here, feel free to get in touch with me. I can either help you purchase them from me or another consultant, or you can sign up as I did. There are many Arbonne products I haven’t tried yet. So, if YOU have tried some and have favorites, please share – I’d love to learn from you too! Here are my current FAVES:

RE9 Extra Moisturizing Day Cream with SPF 20 This is the one I use daily with my Sea Buckthorn Oil, in the morning after a shower. It has a nice texture and no sickly perfumed smell.

RE9moisturizer RE9 Advanced Renewal Serum. This product is meant to be used twice a day, under moisturizer. In the evening, I use it alone with my Sea Buckthorn Oil. This feels “active” on my skin. I think this is probably Arbonne’s most deeply effective skin renewal/restorative product. I like it!


Sheer Finish Tinted Moisturizer. All through my 20s and 30s, I never wore foundation. Never really liked the feel of it of it on my skin, and I felt it didn’t make my skin look better. Enter my 40s, and I noticed my complexion changed – more uneven with some discoloration. I felt it now needed some help! But, I didn’t want the cake-y look or feel of foundation – or the strong fragrance that usually comes with foundations. A friend encouraged me to try a tinted moisturizer. I tried this one from Arbonne and I LOVE it. I mean LOVE. It might be my favorite product that I use. It goes on lightly and smoothly, and feels moist on my skin, not thick or pasty. It evens out my complexion and when I wear it I feel that I look a few years younger! As with the other Arbonne products, it doesn’t have any strong fragrance.

Arbonne Tinted Moisturizer

Lip Polish. I’ve always loved my lippy! As you get older, it’s harder to find shades that compliment your skin, wear well, and have a good texture. Last year I asked for vegan lippy recommendations on facebook, and a friend said “try the Arbonne lip gloss“! Hilarious! I’d already been using the skin care for a year, but wasn’t confident to order and try the lip gloss. I ordered two and fell in love with their Posh color. (Plant-Powered Posh?) ;) This was a pricier lippy than I’d been used to buying, but with the discount it was reasonable. Also, I was surprised at how long it lasted. I think because it’s a lighter, gentler color, it has a little better lasting power. This is by far the best lippy I’ve used in years. I panic when I can’t find it in my purse. Kidding. Not.



I don’t wear a lot of make-up, but I never sleep with any make-up on my face. Never. For years I used soap to wash off make-up. In my late 20s, I found it far too drying and started using cleansers. I have found that cleansers are either creamy or foamy. If you have oily skin, you probably like the foamy cleansers. I only like creamy cleansers, and I find they remove any make-up very well. I don’t use Arbonne’s cleanser because it is slightly foamy. It works well, but again, for my skin I need something a little creamier. There are a couple I’ve tried and loved, so again, I rotate between:

Sukin: I’ve tried a couple of their products and like them. They do have two different cleansers, so be sure you spot the correct one because their labelling is not distinct. The cream cleanser is the one I love. Also, they offer that cleanser in a bottle with either a flip cap or a pump (I pick the pump, easier to use).

Sukin Cleanser

Earth Science: Their A-D-E cleanser is also very luxuriously creamy. This is a pretty reasonably priced cleanser for its size. Not all of Earth Science’s products are vegan, but they details their exceptions here.

A-D-E Cleanser

Other Cosmetics
I don’t wear a lot of make-up like eyeshadows and eyeliners. I don’t really know how to apply them in ways that are flattering (or hip)! But, I do love some color on my face, with an overall light blusher, and then a little brighter pink blush. Here’s the bummer. For years I’ve been using two products from TVAL: Pink Snowflakes and My Ducky. They have been my favorite, go-to blushers for years. Mad love. I always assumed they were vegan! In writing this post, I realized they aren’t. Sad day. :( I’m not perfect, but make changes when I can. So, I will look to find a similar product that I love… but need your help! What face powders/blushers would you recommend that have similar colors? Anything from Arbonne? Is there another line you’d recommend? The pink snowflakes is actually a little more pink than it looks in the link, and the Ducky blush actually a little more muted. Anyhow, lend some vegan help here my friends, I need a new blusher! *sniff*

I do also use mascara, a little on my top lashes opens my eyes. (I can manage to apply that – eyeshadow, another story!) Arbonne has very nice mascara, but it’s a little pricey. Mind you, seems most of the vegan mascara options are a little more expensive. Here is a link with a quick overview of other vegan mascara. Do you use any of these brands? Have any favorites? 

Finally, last summer I got my first full pedicure! Never before had I painted my toes. For real. I’d had a couple of pedicures, but would simply get the no-polish option. I figured it would wear/chip easy, and I don’t have time/patience for the polishing maintenance. I never paint my nails for that reason, they’re far too busy in the kitchen! My girlfriend said “what? no! It lasts for weeks on your toes“! She was right. After my first pedi, I was kind of hooked. I don’t maintain them through the winter, but in the summer, I quite enjoy my colorful toenails. There are quite a few options for vegan nail polishes, and Gena Hamshaw recently wrote an excellent, comprehensive post on vegan polishes. (Thanks Gena!)

Before our trip to Newfoundland, I took the older girls to get a polish with me. When we returned home, our 4 year old wanted hers done as well. Rainbow toes…


Now, I hope to hear from YOU! Have you tried any of these DIY techniques, or maybe have your own to share? Have you tried any of the products I’ve mentioned? Or, do you have others you love and want to share? Have you tried other products in the ARBONNE line that you love? Tell me about them! And, help me find me a new blusher! :)

32 Responses to Glow from the Inside Out: Vegan Lifestyle Skincare, Skin Renewal Products, and Cosmetics

  1. Wow! So happy I found your site off Pinterest! I have been looking into vegan skincare and this is so helpful! Thanks for sharing
    Shannon Leparski recently posted..Chickpea & Lentil Veggie BurgersMy Profile

  2. Effie says:

    Thanks for this post! I had been using a deodorant crystal but read about using baking soda to clear up an underarm rash (yes.) I have been dusting straight baking soda on my armpits all summer and it works amazingly. No stinky pits all summer long!

  3. Stefania says:

    I’m a big fan of Arbonne as well. Food Babe recently did a review of mascaras and Physician’s Formula was on the “okay” list. Something I’ll have to try. I’ll have to give the Buckthorn a try as I have very dry skin despite being more pita.

  4. First of all, you look fantastic in your 40′s. And being someone who is also in my 40′s I understand how things just aren’t quite the same 10-20 years ago. I’m getting better at embracing the changes I’m seeing in my skin, body and hair.

    My skin is more of the oily type so I’ve never tried avocado on my face. I bet it feels amazing! In high school I believe I tried a natural astringent for my face made with grapefruit juice. I can’t remember what else I put in there but it was refreshing and made my face feel clean. Doing a quick google search I found that ACV would work well too! I’m looking forward to trying it in my hair.

    I’m currently using Mary Kay products, have been for 15+ years. I’ve never checked to see if they’re vegan. I fear I may need to make a switch….

    Christine Magiera recently posted..summer fun and challenge hilightsMy Profile

  5. Ally M says:

    Dreena don’t be ridiculous! You seriously look like you’re in your 20s in that avoc face picture ;) And when you said you were nearly 43 I was shocked. I honestly thought you were in your thirties haha. I am a 19 year old vegan and thought these tips were great! I have recently discovered 2 etsy sellers that sell natural/organic/vegan products and they are AMAZING. Link for both of these here:


    As for your new need of blush, I found these that looked similar, though I’m not sure about shipping info to Canada.
    Similar to Pink Snowflakes: (Quite a bit pricey though) (The pink)

    Similar to My Ducky: (The wild pink one)

  6. Tanya says:

    LOVE all the tips! I’m going to make my deodorant today.

    I have been using straight coconut oil on my face for a couple of weeks. I have combination skin. I love what it has done. First, the change to plant-based diet really cleared up my skin, especially the blackheads. And the coconut oil has, I think, lessened my wrinkles and firmed my skin as well as made it so soft!

  7. I have started using Cowgirl Dirt mineral makeup and really like it. It’s vegan and gluten-free, made in the US, and they will send you samples of just about everything for 0.99 each, so you can try stuff out.
    Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator recently posted..Life lessons: It’s never too lateMy Profile

    • Dreena says:

      oh nice! I’ll have to look into that one Stephanie, thanks!

    • Annie says:

      I tried some of their samples and really enjoyed their cream foundation and concealer — feels super light and natural (like I am not wearing ANYthing at all) but provides nice coverage for gals like me who have uneven skin tone and some breakouts and redness =) Lipgloss and blush nice too. Face Powder seemed to bother my skin….

  8. Jacqueline Pickowicz says:

    I had fairly low maintenance skin until I became just a wee more “interesting” in age. Then all of a sudden…excema! On my face! I started using Arbonne and it cleared right up. I stopped using it since I figured I was now “cured”. It came right back. Darn. I started using it again and I swear after just using it once in the evening and then in the morning again I was right back to beautiful smooth skin. I <3 this stuff. PS. I <3 your cookbooks too!

    • Dreena says:

      Wow, Jacqueline. I’ve heard a lot from readers about eczema, but never like this (usually about food). You using the RE9 cream as well? Thanks for the note!

  9. Vegyogini says:

    Other than mascara, I also don’t wear make-up. I use LUSH mascara, which is vegan, contains only one preservative (most mascaras use 3, I believe), and contains wheatgrass. The applicator wand is odd, but the mascara is nice. I do want to try Tarte’s one vegan mascara, which I will pick up when my current LUSH one is finished.
    Vegyogini recently posted..Viva La Vegan GroceryMy Profile

    • Dreena says:

      Wheatgrass in mascara? That’s cool! Must check it out, I like that it doesn’t have a lot of funny stuff in it. Mascara one of the trickier vegan finds, the good ones are quite pricey, and some flake and smudge – takes a few trials to get one you like a lot! Thanks for the tip. :)

  10. Jennifer says:

    I have used Aubrey Organics products for years. They work terrific and last quite a while.

    I use Vitamin E oil on my face and cuticles in the evenings – apply and leave on all night. Great in the winter for dry skin. Coconut oil also works great for this as well.

    I wear mineral makeup and remove it with olive oil.

    I like to mix up a honey and sugar scrub to exfoliate and pull any gunk from the pores.

    What do others use for deodorant? That’s always a tough one for me – to find a brand that works well. I’m back to just using a commercial drugstore brand for now.

    • Dreena says:

      Great ideas Jennifer, thanks for sharing them. I think I may have tried only one or two Aubrey products. What are your faves? I am going to be trying a new deo soon, and if I love it will review it. Right now I use this one and find it’s very effective:

    • Stephanie says:

      I’ve been using Alvera All Natural Roll-On Deodorant for a few years now and love it. I buy it at

    • Mandy says:

      for deodorant try this- put a light smear of coconut oil on your arm pits. (I keep it in the smallest can canning jar- a jelly jar) and in another jar I keep a mixture (you have to see what works for you – some are more sensetive to baking soda than others- google this) of 4 parts arrowroot powder to 1 part baking soda, plus a few drops of tea tree oil, puff on with a cosmetic puff… I have used this for well over a year.

      It is the best ever for me, your pores are not blocked from sweating, so they do not over react and dump tons of sweat like when you use anti-perspirants. When you do sweat, it does not smell as bad as when you wear store bought deodorant. Nothing bad getting in your pores.

      I do not get coconut oil on my clothes, I don’t sweat as much as I used to, in fact hardly at all, unless exercising. All natural ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

      Again, google this- so many ways to do it- some people mix the two together, I prefer to apply it separately.
      Some mix with wax to harden it and pour into a old deodorant container, I do not. See what works for you.

    • Liz says:

      Jennifer, I left a reply for you in re: to your deodorant question, but, it somehow got rerouted to the end of the comments under Jacqueline’s comment. . .

  11. Marla Rose says:

    Great tips here! I have been posting weekly home and beauty tips on my website, and all are vegan and homemade with simple ingredients. This one if for my facial masque, which will make your skin so soft!

  12. Sarina JW says:

    Thanks Dreena for this very helpful collection of tips and reviews! I love Emani makeup, and they have a blush though I haven’t tried it; I just dab a small amount of lipstick on my cheeks after applying foundation and blend it in, I find it looks more natural than powder blush. I use SpaRitual nail polish. For face products I like Cocoon Apothecary, which is all vegan, toxin-free and Canadian made. I also use Argan oil which makes a great serum/moisturizer. I use plain avocado for masks too!

    • Dreena says:

      Emani. Ok, will look into that one. And, I hadn’t heard of Cocoon either. There are SO many options now. Don’t you LOVE avoc? No need to mix it with anything either. Straight up! Thanks Sarina. :D

  13. Aimee says:

    Hi Dreena,
    Check out “pinksofoxy” on you tube or blogspot. She did an entire series on vegan, essential-oil based skin care. Amazingly helpful tips. She has oily acne prone skin but mine is dry and “aging” and I still found a lot of her ideas very useful. I love the sea buckthorn oil, too.

  14. Confession: I only opened this to see you w/ avocado on your face :) What’s it supposed to do? Moisturize?

    Great info in here! My fave ‘beauty’ product is coconut oil – wash my face, shave gel, DIY deodorant, moisturizer, I could go on and on!

    • Dreena says:

      Confession: I was *this* close to deleting it. ;)

      I didn’t explain that well. It cleans your skin, but also moisturizes. After I use it, my skin feels soft yet a little tighter, just great!

      You use coconut oil for deo? I’ve never heard of that! I use it sometimes on my hands, but it’s so greasy sometimes gets on clothes, etc, lol. YES, great for shaving too – forgot about that, thanks for mentioning!

    • l wages says:

      yes! coconut oil is my only product!

    • Liz says:

      I live and die by a product called Pit Putty by Bubble & Bee ( It’s just 3 (!) organic, EDIBLE ingredients, not including the organic EOs she uses for fragrance (AND their antibacterial properties). I’ve been using it for over 7 years now and have NEVER looked back. Not only does the Pit Putty have a bunch of different scents to choose from, she’s also got a bunch of other deodorants in the line, as well. My two favorite scents are Lemon and Clove and Lemongrass.
      When I found Pit Putty, I was swiping my underarms with clinical strength antiperspirant several times a day and STILL didn’t smell completely fresh. This stuff, though, is amazing. During the summer, I’m in the yard ALL. DAY. working, and this stuff keeps me stink-free. If I’m going to workout, I DO need to reapply, but that’s more than undertandable.
      If you’re going to be working out or sweating A LOT immediately following application and wearing a sleeveless shirt, wherever your sweat travels, it WILL leave white track marks. BUT, they’re easily rubbed away, and that only happens if, as mentioned, you’re going to be dripping right after putting the stuff on.
      I can’t say enough about Pit Putty. (Can you tell? :) ) And the founder/creator is SO nice and knowledgable. I’ve corresponded with her several times regarding several different matters, and she’s always been SO pleasant and patient.
      Please give this stuff a try. I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed. (PS Though she does have other deodorant products, I’ve found the Pit Putty to be, by far, the most effective. While the Cream smells nice, it doesn’t last nearly as long as the Putty in combatting odor. Though, everyone’s body is different so it may work perfectly fine for you. Just wanted to let you know my experience.)

  15. Dreena- I have to tell you you MUST try the new “Its A Long Story” Arbonne mascara- it is AMAZING. I promise. Thanks!!

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