My Skincare Routine and Cocokind Review!

For the record, this post is my own view and I did not receive any compensation for this post.  Other than my two online orders and my Instagram likes of their posts, Cocokind doesn’t know I exist :).

For a few years now I have been making a conscious effort to be more aware of the beauty products I am purchasing.  I am strongly against animal testing in the beauty industry and overall have been making an effort to reduce the amount of chemicals I bring into my home.  I’ve been working hard to find beauty products that are not only completely natural, but also animal testing free and vegan.

For a while I was using Origins products, but then I was disappointed to learn that while they don’t do animal testing in general, they sell in China, which still requires animal testing.  Also, their products are not as natural as I’d like.

While I was finishing up my Origins stock, I decided to search for some new beauty products to try.  I settled on two that I liked: Cocokind and 100% Pure.  100% Pure has a entire line of beauty products ranging from makeup to face washes to body wash, while Cocokind mostly has face care products.  I decided to go with Cocokind for skincare because they are a bit more affordable, and I appreciate their commitment to maintaining affordable prices.  I was attracted to their organic, simple ingredients, and I admire the fact that that their founder is focused on empowering women.  The brand is also local to me here in San Francisco!  (For the record – although it’s more expensive than Cocokind, 100% Pure is great and also empowers women.  I actually get my makeup products there, so more on them in another post!)

Cocokind products are oil based, which believe it or not, is not as bad for your skin as you were lead to believe as a teen.  You can buy their products online or in certain retail stores, like Whole Foods (although it depends on your area, so check Cocokind’s website before you go).  Most of their products are also vegan!

I was really excited to try out Cocokind, so I headed to my local Whole Foods and picked up close to the full line of products (some I ordered online).  Here’s what I bought and how I used them:

Organic Facial Cleansing Oil – was using to cleanse in the morning and at night
Organic Sea Moss Exfoliator – every other morning as an exfoliator
Organic Rosewater Facial Toner – after cleansing, morning and night
Organic Facial Repair Serum – after cleansing and toning, morning
Organic Matcha Face Moisturizer – after cleansing and toning, night
Organic Chlorophyll Mask – when needed
Cocokind Collective – MyMatcha moisture stick, Macabeet tinted moisture stick, Turmeric spot treatment – when needed

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My Cocokind haul!

OK, now onto what you really what to know – how did it go?

For some reason my face had decided that it didn’t like my previous routine anymore and I was breaking out like crazy.  So, when I tried Cocokind it was in pretty bad shape.  It took about two months for my face to become accustomed to Cocokind’s products.  It didn’t get any worse, but it wasn’t getting any better.  After about a month and half, Cocokind introduced their Raspberry Vinegar Toner, which seriously helped my skin.  I saw a decline in acne after using the Raspberry toner in the morning and at night in lieu of the Rosewater Toner.  At night I also add some watered down apple cider vinegar to my cotton pad for some extra umpfh.  I use the Raspberry Vinegar Toner every day now, unless I’m going somewhere fancy and don’t want the chance of my face smelling like vinegar.  It’s definitely not a strong scent, especially when you put moisturizer and makeup on top of it, but there’s still something about knowing you might smell like vinegar that might ruin a fancy event or date.  So in those cases, I just use the Rosewater toner.

However, even after the improvements I saw with the vinegar toner, my face wasn’t really where I wanted to it be.  I was still breaking out some and noticed an increase in large-ish blackheads.  I decided my face needed a little something stronger, so I searched for a natural facewash with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.  I found Alba Botanica Natural Acnedote Deep Pore Wash and this has worked fantastic.  Alba Botanica is also fairly natural and against animal testing, so I was OK with using it.  I realized through this process that sometimes you need some reinforcements.  Instead of Cocokind’s Facial Cleansing Oil, I now use the Alba Botanica cleanser every other morning (the others I use Cocokind’s Sea Moss Exfoliator) and at night and my face has gotten significantly better.

 

Another change I made to my skincare routine was how I sleep. I realized my hair was probably a source of breakouts since it usually has some kind of product in it.  Now I wear a satin bonnet when I sleep and I’ve also noticed a significant improvement in my skin.  They are super cheap and you can get them on Amazon.  Also, change your pillowcase often!

While my face was telling me I needed a stronger cleanser, I really love what Cocokind’s other products have done for me.  My face looks brighter and I know that my skin is absorbing nutrients and not chemicals.  After using the Organic Chlorophyll Mask, my skin just glows.  The Cocokind Collective sticks are also great for skincare on the go.  I have a reminder on my phone to use the MyMatcha moisture stick under my eyes every afternoon around 2pm, and I use the Macabeet tinted moisture stick as a natural blush and lip balm.  The Turmeric spot treatment is also great for those breakouts that still sometimes emerge because, well, I’m not perfect!

Overall, I’d highly recommend Cocokind’s products.  I love how they make my skin feel and how they are good for the environment.  I also love everything the company stands for and their founder’s (Priscilla Tsai) commitment to her products and making skinCARE.

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Lunch Option: Vegan Cabbage Curry

More vegan stuff!  So the reason for all the vegan recipes?  Well, a few months ago I decided to go full vegetarian (I will make exceptions on rare occasions, but for the most part I don’t eat meat anymore), and I also found out after I made that decision that I have high cholesterol!  Woo! Not enough that I need medication, but enough that some dietary changes were suggested.  I am not super strict about it since I already eat fairly healthy, but I cut out my morning yogurt and replaced it with oatmeal or a granola bar, and I try to cut out other items like dairy when I am cooking at home.  That way, I don’t have to be outrageously picky when I go out to eat.  Given the changes I’ve made, I think it will make a dent in the numbers.

I cooked this recipe for dinner one night and decided that it was better as a lunch meal.  It’s flavorful, but not enough that it left me satisfied me for dinner.  However, for lunch it is perfect because I’m not a big fan of heavy lunches.  It’s light enough to bring as a lunch and leaves me full, but not feeling sluggish.

I originally found this recipe on Healthier Steps, but modified it and added a few ingredients.  You should have about 4 days worth of lunches when you make this batch!

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Ingredients:

Jasmine rice – 4 servings

1/2 of a large cabbage, cut into strips

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground thyme or 2 fresh sprigs

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 carrot, chopped

1 can of chick peas

1 cup of potatoes or sweet potatoes, chopped into small chunks

1-14oz can of light coconut milk

1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste

 

Instructions:

  1. Prep and cook rice.  You can have the rice cooking while you make the curry.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft – about 5 minutes.
  3. Add coriander, turmeric, thyme, cumin, carrot, chick peas, potatoes, and cabbage and stir.
  4. Add coconut milk and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover saucepan and reduce to a simmer.  Cook for about 20 minutes.  Add some cornstarch if the sauce is not thick enough.

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Vegan Orange “Chicken” (Cauliflower)…or not vegan if you want!

Recently I’ve been trying to eat less meat, eggs, and dairy.  It’s very hard to completely cut out eggs and dairy (shoutout to the vegans out there), but the cutting out meat has been pretty easy, especially since I’ve been a vegetarian before.  My boyfriend isn’t a vegetarian, but I find it pretty easy to make us both the same dinner and just sub out my portion of meat for tofu or veggies.  I’m not picky about using the same pan or having them touch, so that makes things a lot easier.  Anyway, I came across this recipe and was very excited to make it.  By no means is it healthy, but I guess it’s slightly healthier than if you used chicken.  No matter how you slice it, you’re still deep frying something.

HOWEVER, the great part about this recipe is that if you don’t fry the cauliflower, the orange sauce is actually pretty healthy.  So, if you’re in the mood for something Chinese food-esque, I’d recommend frying the cauliflower.  If you’re looking for a quick vegan stir fry, just cook up some tofu (1/2 package) and add some frozen broccoli (170 oz for one).  If you want some legit orange chicken, just cook up some chicken (6 oz) and add some broccoli. Don’t use any cauliflower or batter. It’s that simple!

I found this recipe on Yummily Yours.  I adapted it slightly.

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Ingredients (serves one):

One serving of rice

6-8 florets of cauliflower

1/2 cup sliced into strips bell peppers of various colors

1/3 cup & 2 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 cup all purpose flower

1/4-1/2 cup water (to make batter)

Oil for frying

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon orange zest

3/4 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tsp soy sauce

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp Sriracha

Sprinkle of sesame seeds

Sprinkle of green onions

 

Instructions:

  1. Prepare rice – this can cook while you are making everything else.
  2. Heat oil for frying
  3. In another small frying pan, saute peppers for about 2-3 minutes.  Don’t overcook.  Set aside when done.
  4. Mix the corn starch, flour, and water to make a thick batter.  It should be thick enough to coat each cauliflower floret evenly.
  5. Coat each floret in batter and dip into the oil.
  6. Once the batter is crisp, remove the florets from the oil and place them on a paper towel to absorb extra oil.  You want them to remain crisp, so while they are cooking, you’ll want to make the sauce.
  7. Heat up the minced ginger and garlic for about a minute.  You can do this in the same pan you cooked the peppers in.
  8. Add in the orange zest.  Cook for another 30-60 seconds.
  9. Add broth, orange juice, sriracha, soy sauce, sugar and stir together.
  10. While that is heating up, mix together the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in some cold water.
  11. Once the broth/orange juice/soy sauce/etc mixture comes to a boil, lower heat.
  12. Add in the corn starch slowly to mixture while stirring constantly.  The mixture should be very thick.
  13. Once it is thick, add in the peppers and cauliflower (or chicken/tofu + broccoli if you’re not using cauliflower).
  14. Mix well and heat everything in the pan for about 2 minutes.
  15. Put rice on a plate, and put your orange cauliflower on top. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and green onions on top.