Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In


Natural Beauty

Give Your Skin a Fresh Start

Make a resolution to make over your skincare regimen in 2021. Here are 7 ways—and 7 great products—to give you a natural glow.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

If you’re like most of us, you’ll agree: 2020 was a year to forget. This new year calls for more than resolutions; it’s time for a fresh start on every level—and that includes your skin care regimen. Kick toxins, animal-testing, and environmentally harmful packaging to the curb, and start over with more evolved options. Try these super-clean skincare choices:

1. Make makeup count.

Skip the heavy, fake-looking foundation; 2021 calls for a lighter, more authentic approach. Try a lightweight beauty balm to even skin tone without a layered-on look, or a sheer tint to add a dewy, radiant glow. Or use a tinted facial sunscreen with mineral-based UVA/UVB protection that’s free from harmful chemical sunscreens like avobenzone, oxybenzone, ecamsule, and octocrylene. Make your makeup count with peptides, emollient ingredients, and natural sunscreens that boost collagen production, enhance cell regeneration, minimize the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and protect skin from the sun’s damaging rays.

Fresh start: Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream

2. Soften and soothe.

After 2020, we all need more soothing. Start with a face-softening cream or lotion to seal in moisture, restore hydration, and strengthen your skin’s natural barrier. Look for rich, nourishing ingredients such as emollient plant oils, antioxidant-rich phytonutrients, collagen-boosting CoQ10, and firming ingredients like DMAE. And don’t forget your eyes—they need their own special treatment. Look for super-soothing creams with peptides and caffeine to reduce puffiness, brighten dark circles, and minimize fine lines.

Fresh start: Andalou Naturals Age Defying Hyaluronic DMAE Lift & Firm Cream

3. Use a really clean cleanser.

Does it make any sense to cleanse with a product that’s loaded with chemicals? This year, clean up your act on every level, including your skin. Switch to squeaky-clean vegan cleansers that nix sulfates, petrochemicals, parabens, and other nasties. Start with a moisturizing daily wash made with antioxidants and healing botanicals to nourish and repair. Add an exfoliating cleanser with fruit enzymes two to four times a week to shed dead skin cells and leave you glowing.

Fresh start: Mychelle Dermaceuticals Fruit Enzyme Scrub

Related: Niacinamide for Great Skin

4. Target and treat.

Moisturizing isn’t always enough—and this new year really calls for an extra dose of treat. Concentrated serums and primers target special needs and add a layer of calming and care. Antioxidants and hydrating ingredients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B3, hyaluronic acid, and green tea repair damage, soften fine lines, reduce sun spots and uneven pigmentation, and promote collagen growth. Add a plant-based primer with botanicals and peptides to hydrate skin and create a smooth, even canvas for makeup application.

Fresh start: Derma e Vitamin C Concentrated Serum

5. Go deeper.

The skin you see is only part of the picture—and if there was ever a time to go below the surface, it’s now. Ancient practices used in traditional Chinese medicine and other healing systems use special tools that target acupressure points and enhance circulation to improve the health and appearance of skin. Facial rollers, gua sha tools, and eye wands made from natural stones (jade, white jade, rose quartz, amethyst, or black obsidian) help reduce puffiness, soften fine lines, support collagen production, enhance skin cell renewal, and improve absorption of moisturizers and facial treatments.

Fresh start: Herbivore Jade De-Puffing Face Roller

6. Balance and refine.

Wipe away any remaining traces of cleanser (and 2020), with a toner to improve skin texture and restore pH balance. Stay away from alcohol-based toners, which are harsh and drying, and disrupt the skin’s natural microbiome and balance. Instead, choose gentle toners made with aloe vera, healing botanicals, and essential oils to soothe, calm, and restore pH. Also on the agenda for 2021: a renewed commitment to protect the environment. Make it count with truly eco-friendly packaging. At the top of the list: sustainable, plastic-free packaging that can be refilled, not tossed.

Fresh start: Heritage Store Rosewater Facial Toner

7. Think below the neck.

Skin doesn’t end with your face, so extend your New Year’s resolutions to the rest of your body with natural, nontoxic washes and moisturizers. Toss out the grocery-store soap bars and cheap, chemical-laden lotions, and choose cleansers and moisturizers with natural botanicals and essential oils to soften, heal, and repair rough winter skin.

Fresh start: Soul Spring Uplifting CBD Daily Body Lotion