Clean skincare has become a popular topic over the last few years – especially for me. At 35 I was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer and started years of treatment. During treatment for my first cancer, I spotted something on my foot that caught my attention. Turns out it was a melanoma, and a new, different treatment plan to target my skin cancer started alongside my breast cancer treatment plan.
I am a California native and have spent loads of time in the sun. I am fair and have always been good about sun protection, but even then, I got skin cancer (between my toes no less!). Keep an eye on your skin – if something looks new or doesn’t look right – prioritize a dermatologist appointment.
During cancer treatment I overhauled my day-to-day life. Most people think about eating clean or removing toxins from the home, but few realize how many carcinogens and toxins are in the beauty and personal care products we use every day.
Our skin is our largest organ. It absorbs what we put topically INTO our bodies. Not only do we want to care for and nourish the most outward facing part of our body to keep it strong and healthy, we also need to make sure it’s free of chemicals that can harm us. It’s all about properly feeding and protecting it. Let’s just say I’ve done more than my share of homework on clean products, so let me give you the skinny!
There’s clean, and then there’s cancer-clean.
I’ve changed the way I think about skin and beauty. Healthy, nourished skin is beautiful skin, and needs little covering up. I’ve pivoted from investing in expensive heavy makeup into skin-improving products to make me glow from the inside out.
For me, the cornerstone of my cancer-clean skincare routine is SAINT JANE. SAINT JANE is a meticulously clean brand that uses the power of natural botanicals – and it is effective. The products rival the efficacy of clinical-strength products I’ve used in the past – and completely debunked the myth that “clean is not as effective” for me. Their products are clean, super luxe, and smell unreal. The packaging is also insane. I love having these little pieces of art in my bathroom.
I know many of you are always on the hunt for the right products, but are overwhelmed by the amount of clean (or, ahem, “clean”) products on the market. So I’m sharing what I’ve found to be the best, most effective products from a few years of research.
I’ll walk you through my daytime and nighttime routine with the SAINT JANE products I use – and tell you what they do, and why I love them. You can watch how I apply all of these products on our Instagram Reels @do.cancer. I also use a few other brands around the edges - and share my list of all favorites.
First – my skin type. I am fair and have sensitive, drier skin. SAINT JANE can work for lots of skin types, but the products from their line that I’ve gravitated to and super nourishing and hydrating.
I have 3 young kids, so sleep is sometimes hard to come by. So the very first thing I do is splash my face with water, and some days I use a cold jade roller to depuff.
SAINT JANE Superflower Detox Serum. I was a little dubious that I needed this product before using it, but it is a gamechanger and my daytime favorite. I place a few drops on clean, dry skin and press it into my face and down to my neck. I think of this like a multivitamin for my skin – and it smells amazing. Since I’ve started using it my skin is brighter, firmer, has better tone and overall just feels healthy and hydrated. It’s loaded with micronutrients that nourish the skin and has florals like rose and chamomile that keep it balanced. You may not think you need a skin “detox” product – but try it! You’ll be hooked. Learn more.
SAINT JANE Luxury Sun Ritual 30 SPF. The most important part of my morning routine – SPF. I have tried tons of clean, natural sunscreens and this one is my favorite. First – its’ clean which means it has zero chemicals (unlike most sunscreens), and it’s reef safe. The texture is almost whipped, and it has a little warm color to it which adjusts to all skin shades to help blur-out imperfections. Second – it’s a multitasker, which I love. It works like a primer, moisturizer and sunscreen in one. My routine has to be fast and SPF is non-negotiable so this can act as a base for no-makeup days, or as my primer when I’m wearing make-up. Finally, like all SAINT JANE products it’s beautiful and smells amazing. It’s light and has a desert rose and jasmine scent. After my Detox Serum dries, I apply this right on top. Learn more.
SAINT JANE Hydrating Petal Cream. After SPF I need a little extra hydration, especially in the winter. I like the Hydrating Petal Cream because it’s light and super effective without being greasy or heavy – perfect for daytime and under makeup. It has essences and antioxidants from 10 flowers (!) and instantly lifts my mood whenever I smell it. It is also brightening. I’ve always struggled with my skin looking sunken and almost a little gray. This really brightens it up with 10% vitamin C. That’s a pretty big dose for dry skin, but it never makes me flaky or dries me out because of all of the nourishing peptides and hyaluronic acid. After sunscreen sits on my face for a minute, I apply a thin layer. Learn more.
SAINT JANE Bright Repair Eye Cream. Oh, my under eyes. It’s always been the one place I really struggle to improve. This product has really helped the dark circles and crepiness around my eyes. It’s loaded with 10% vitamin C – so definitely patch test (I’ve never had an issue). It has a unique texture – almost silky and pillowy due to vegan collagen. It instantly wakes up my under eye. Learn more.
SAINT JANE Luxury Lip Oil. Run run run to get this product. It’s an all in one lip-saver. My lips have always been super chapped and dry. Even when I was a kid, I had to constantly apply Carmex and Aquaphor (definitely NOT clean). Lip Shine doubles as a lip hydrator and non-sticky lip gloss. It’s only got 8 ingredients, which for a beauty product is almost unheard of, and gives you a light wash of color. It’s silky, stays on, and works like a lip treatment vs. lip gloss. My everyday go-to is Calm, but I own 4 shades. I have them stashed everywhere – in my purse, the car, bedside table… you get the picture. As I wrap my morning routine I swipe this on and I instantly look pulled together and ready to tackle my day. Learn more.
On most days, I just leave it there (I’m not a big makeup wearer). This standard daytime routine takes me about three minutes. Easy peasy. I grab a hat and head out the door. If I’m going to be outside that day – I always reapply SPF. I keep one tube of sunscreen on my vanity and one in my purse – ALWAYS. On days I want to look a little more polished, I put on light daytime makeup and even though I’m wearing a fair amount of skincare, my makeup never pills over SAINT JANE. Everything glides right on.
Okay, my day was fun (and exhausting) and now is when I show my skin a little extra TLC. Daytime I’m all about brightening and hydrating, nighttime I’m more focused on treatments and correcting. My main concerns are wrinkles, hydration, and still – brightening.
If I’m really doing it up I’ll take a bath. The reality is – this only happens every couple of weeks. But when I do, my new addiction is the Deep Sleep Bath Salts. Holy luxury. Think of these like an elevated Epsom soak. They’re loaded with Magnesium and smell so rich – nothing clean I’ve ever smelled can compete. There’s tons botanicals in the mix but evening primrose and bergamot really jump out. My skin is definitely softer when I use these, but what I really love is just the ritual that helps my sleep (which I’ve really struggled with after cancer). Divine! Learn more.
Okay – so adding a bath is when I’m living my best life, but this is what most nights look like:
First, I do a double cleanse. I remove my makeup with a clean removing wipe (Burt’s Bee’s Rose Towelette) and I use 100% Pure Virgin Coconut Moisturizing Milk Foam cleanser. Then I pat my skin dry and start my nighttime routine.
Luxury Beauty Serum. This beauty oil is hands-down the staple of my nighttime routine. It does everything. It hydrates, repairs, reduces wrinkles, improves tone. It just sinks into my skin and starts working away. I apply a few drops to my face and neck and press it in. It does so much for the skin, it’s really the only thing I HAVE to use.
Bright Repair Eye Cream. Again – gotta hit those under eyes, unfortunately! I apply this, after my Luxury Beauty Serum. Just gently dab with your ring finger around the eye.
My dry skin doesn’t stop at my face – so I apply SAINT JANE all over my body. When I was healing from radiation burns, yes I had prescription creams and I used them as directed, but medicated creams are unfortunately loaded with toxins. I used these as I was supposed to, but couldn’t wait to start clean body care. The creams you are given for radiation accelerate skin repair, but nothing feels nourishing and healing. Then I found my healer:
Luxury Body Serum was a godsend for skin healing. It’s a super-clean dry body oil that was created to nourish skin deeply. It sinks right in, smells heavenly, and was just what my body needed. After radiation was over and my skin could handle topicals again, I would apply it all over my torso and saw the benefits immediately. There’s almost 30 botanicals in this body oil including those that have been used for centuries to repair fragile skin. When your skin is ready to heal this product is amazing! I still use it. I throw a few pumps in my hands and apply all over my body. A good hack is to keep this beautiful black glass container in the shower so you can apply it right after you’ve dried off. Learn more.
If a body oil isn’t your thing for everyday use, I love the Hydrabloom Body Silk. Finding a truly clean body lotion is hard, and this one delivers. Super light but effective, smells amazing. As you can tell – I’m addicted to hydration. Learn more.
These products have been a staple for me everyday. I’ve become incredibly focused on clean ingredients that improve the health and strength of my skin – my skin looking beautiful is a happy byproduct of that.
Here’s the complete list of my favorite clean skincare:
Daytime treatment: Superflower Detox Serum
Daytime face lotion: Hydrating Petal Cream
SPF for Face: Luxury Sun Ritual
Body treatment: Luxury Body Serum
Body lotion: Hydrabloom Body Silk
Makeup wipes: Micellar Rose Towelettes
Eye cream: Bright Eye Repair Serum
Under Eye Mask: Bright Eyes Mask