A Lockdown Discovery
As we gear up for a second lockdown and as the days get progressively darker and colder, the prospect of facing the winter months ahead can feel overwhelming.
Winter is Coming, and while Jon Snow isn’t around to save us, I’m trying to use this time to try new things at home and get around to doing things I never seem to have the time for (I’m looking at you, closet and messy drawer!)
When I think back to March of this year, it can feel as if I almost “wasted” the first lockdown. I didn’t emerge a sourdough master (while I did successfully make ONE loaf, the endeavour was short-lived) or become a fitness guru. I didn’t learn an instrument or write a novel – all things I SWORE I would do if only I could find the time. (ha!)
However, at a second glance, I realized there WAS something I managed to lock-down (no pun intended!) that had eluded me for years: A KICK-ASS SKINCARE ROUTINE!
In the past, I could never seem to get a good skincare routine going. Products either seemed too complicated (does hyaluronic acid come before or after retinol?!), too unaffordable, or didn’t feel good on my skin (either too scented, too oily, heavy or harsh).
I then made the most wonderful skincare discovery by way of clean skincare brand Cocokind!!
So, in the spirit of last week’s post on how to take care of yourself at home, I thought I’d share my own experience in at-home self care: my Cocokind skincare routine.
What is Cocokind?
I think I have told everyone and their mother about this brand. By gifting their products to my sister and girlfriends, I’ve turned them into fellow believers. I want to trumpet it from the rooftops and spread the gospel: COCOKIND IS A GAMECHANGER AND I AM OBSESSED!!
Not only has this natural skincare brand completely changed my life for the better, I am a big believer in the company ethos and what they stand for. It’s also female-founded, they are committed to social justice and diversity and have the start-up hustle that I admire as an entrepreneur and founder.
But let’s back up.
Cocokind is a 100% clean and conscious skincare brand born and made in San Francisco. Priscilla Tsai (an entrepreneur who I’ve come to really admire), founded Cocokind after leaving her job at JP Morgan to pursue her passion.
She made her own clean skincare products after struggling her entire life with harsh chemical-based products to treat her acne and started doing this full-time.
Skincare with a Soul
Cocokind’s key values are ones that really speak to me. They use simple, quality ingredients (think matcha, seaweed, beetroot and turmeric), are consciously and sustainably created, and are priced affordably.
The brand caters to all skin types and is truly inclusive: they frequently feature women of all races, colours and backgrounds and focus on revealing everyone’s natural glow, vs. trying to project a specific beauty ideal or market a standard “result” for their products.
They are also a brand that gives back to the community: in 2018 the brand launched the Cocokind Impact Foundation, providing financial grants to women-owned businesses in the health, wellness and sustainability industries. See? So badass.
On top of it all, their products are pure heaven. They feel and smell amazing (not too scented and really fresh and natural) and they leave my skin looking dewy, smooth and healthy. I have seen such a difference since starting my Cocokind skincare routine and I love knowing that the products I’m using contain few basic ingredients.
You can now find Cocokind products at Shoppers Drug Mart / Pharmaprix (huge WIN for us Canadians) or purchase directly online. While the website has a larger selection of products, beware shipping fees and duties.
My Cocokind Twice-Daily Routine
So, without further ado (and because sharing is caring) here is my Cocokind skincare routine that I swear by and actually look forward to doing twice a day:
Step 1 – Oil-to-Milk Cleanser
This is probably Cocokind’s number one hero product and has won numerous awards. It’s the first step in my Cocokind skincare routine. I had never tried oil-based cleansers before, and this one is just wow! This product uses prebiotic fermented oat to remove dirt, makeup and gunk. Its oily texture transforms into a milky wash upon contact with water which easily rinses off. You can either massage the oil cleanser into dry skin and then rinse off with water to get that milky texture, or use water first and cleanse with the milky wash. It’s up to you! My skin feels so fresh with this product and I make sure to always have it stocked in my cupboard. Plus, it’s carry-on friendly (86ml) so I never travel without it!
Step 2 – Rosewater Toner
I had previously given little thought to toners. In fact, I had no idea what the point of them was. I have since learned that this is actually one of the most important steps in a skincare routine! Toning acts as a second cleansing step: removing all leftover oil, impurities and makeup from the skin that the cleanser missed, as well as picking up leftover traces of the cleanser itself.
It also helps balance your skin’s pH levels and provides extra hydration. This step is key: by removing all impurities and hydrating, your skin is better able to absorb serums and moisturizers that you’ll be using next.
I love Cocokind’s rosewater toner because it’s geared towards people like me who have dry skin (Pro tip: they also have a Raspberry Vinegar toner for those with oily and acne-prone skin that you can check out.)
Unlike other rosewater toners that have a laundry list of ingredients and are rose-scented, this one has ONE SINGLE INGREDIENT: rosa damascena flower water. That’s it that’s all.
Step 3 – Glow Essence Spray with Sea Grape Caviar
If you’re like how I was at the beginning of my skincare journey, you may be wondering “what the hell is an essence?”. Essences prep the skin so that the subsequent products you use (serums, moisturizers, SPFs) can penetrate deeply, as well as prevent dehydration and improve elasticity and suppleness. To use, spray Cocokind’s glow essence spray directly onto your face after toning. The eucalyptus oil in the product makes me feel like I’m at the spa! It smells amazing and my face feels so fresh. It’s become an essence-tial step (see what I did there?) in my routine. I can’t get enough!.
Step 4 – Vitamin C Serum with Seagrape Caviar
I love this serum, as it’s super lightweight and helps reduce the appearance of large pores and evens out my skin tone while reducing the look of dark spots. The Vitamin C helps build collagen and increases skin elasticity.
I also love how the serum (like the glow essence spray) also contains sea grape caviar. What is sea grape caviar you ask? It’s a natural straight-from-the-ocean superfood that is part of the algae family. They grow in tropical climates and are dense in Vitamins A, E and C to help keep skin looking young. Fun fact: in Asia, it’s commonly referred to as the “longevity seaweed”! I’m sold!
Step 5 – Texture Smoothing Cream
The last step in any good skincare routine is moisturizing. I have used many moisturizers in the past (from generic brands like Nivea to more trendy options such as The Ordinary) but I wasn’t able to find a moisturizer that didn’t leave my skin feeling greasy and a bit gritty. That is, until I tried Cocokind’s texture smoothing cream. It is LIFE! For a cream, it’s still quite lightweight and super silky. Its key ingredient is celery seed and while the scent seemed a bit odd at first, I have come to love it. The cream makes my skin feel so hydrated and noticeably reduces the look of my pores and lines on my skin. It is the perfect way to finish off my Cocokind skincare routine, morning and night.
Step 6 – Daily SPF
Anyone else spend their twenties trying to get tanned at every opportunity and rarely use sunscreen? Well, that era is over for me. I always thought SPF should be used only when in the sun for long periods of time, not as a daily preventative product. FALSE. I have since learned that daily SPF is crucial for anti-aging and for skin protection as it also protects against blue light (I am working from home in front of a screen ALL DAY) as well as pollution. Cocokind released its very first daily SPF this past summer and I love it. Scentless, lightweight and not too oily. A key step I am trying to make sure to do to protect my skin every day.
Last but not least, I thought I’d include an awesome face mask that I use 1-2 times per week when I feel like treating myself. Cocokind created its sea kale clay mask in collaboration with Instagrammer and blogger Jeannette Ogden from Shut the Kale Up.
Guys. This mask is the real deal. The clay acts as a magnet, removing blackheads and dirt from deep within the skin and leaves my skin feeling SUPER SOFT. It hydrates and does not make your skin feel dry after rinsing like so many other masks I’ve tried. It’s a winner and gamechanger. Make sure to check it out as it does not disappoint!
So there you have it! My Cocokind skincare routine that I discovered during the first lockdown. It is truly an integral part of my day. These are the products that work for me, but Cocokind has MANY MANY other products available that you can explore. Their website is a GREAT resource and explains how to use each product, its list of ingredients, as well as how to recycle the packaging (how awesome is that?).
I hope this was helpful and that I have sold you on at least giving this clean beauty brand a try. As you may have noticed, I am an absolute Cocokind evangelist and want to spread the message far and wide.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.