From moisturizers to serums, cleansers and facial oils, it can feel overwhelming to find both effective and clean products for your skin. But Dr. Allyson Brennan, a clinical pharmacist of 15 years and the founder of natural skincare company Emogene & Co., says it need not be — that creating a top-notch skincare routine that yields beneficial results all year round is well within reach.
Dr. Brennan founded Emogene & Co. in January 2020 as she searched for natural skincare products for herself and her daughter. She soon recognized the need for simpler, purer products. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed how the skincare industry has failed us with ‘quick-fix’ products, the use of toxic chemicals, fillers and over-complicated skincare regimens that are not only expensive but ineffective,” she says.
Unlike most ‘quick-fixing,’ toxic skincare products, Emogene & Co. products provide natural regimens that can be used during your everyday skincare routine. Handcrafting each item with one goal in mind — to nourish and improve the health of your skin — Dr. Brennan has created a skincare line using only natural ingredients while focusing on the science behind each component. “Using natural ingredients, Emogene & Co. was created to provide clean, effective and uncomplicated skincare that is attainable for everyone while improving skin functionality and promoting healthier skin from the inside out,” she says.
When it comes to your daily skincare routine, one of the first pieces of advice that Dr. Brennan suggests is to always start with a good cleansing regimen. For her own routine, she uses Emogene & Co.’s Ritual Foaming Milk Cleanser in the morning. She then double cleanses every evening with the Fortiphy Cleansing Balm followed by the Ritual cleanser again. (SB TIP: Emogene & Co. offers a double cleansing kit that contains both the Ritual Foaming Milk Cleanser and Fortiphy Cleansing Balm.)
“Double cleansing is a transformational process of using an oil-based cleanser first to dissolve residual oils, sunscreen, makeup and impurities from the end of the day followed by a water-based (foaming) cleanser to remove water-soluble impurities, such as sweat and dirt that reside deeper in the pores,” explains Dr. Brennan. “It provides a perfectly clean canvas to then apply treatment serums that can actually reach the pore, where they are meant to work.”
Dr. Brennan also suggests using vitamin C serum in your daily skincare regimen for antioxidant protection, which shields your skin against environmental stressors and UV damage. “I never miss applying my Glow Vitamin C Serum, which has powerful antioxidant protection against sun damage. It also evens skin tone and hyperpigmentation, aids in increasing collagen synthesis, and minimizes fine lines and wrinkles,” she says.
After applying your vitamin C serum, Dr. Brennan says all skin types require proper moisturization. For this step, you can use Emogene & Co.’s Revitalize and Repair Facial Oil Set. However, it’s important to note that your moisturization needs may change based on the season. “In warmer months, opt for a lighter method of moisturization, such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin-containing products or other humectants, and focus on facial oils and moisturizing balms in the drier, colder months,” she advises.
The final step of your daily skincare routine may be the most important. As you’ve likely heard many times before, Dr. Brennan stresses the importance of wearing sunscreen. In fact, it is her number one piece of skincare advice. “Spending money on procedures, treatments and products won’t matter if you don’t protect your skin (as an organ) from further environmental damage,” she tells us.
In addition to following an effective skincare routine daily, it’s also important to look for products with the right ingredients. Different ingredients work for different skin types, which makes skincare products customizable and unique to each person. For her own skincare line, Dr. Brennan focuses on botanical ingredients with repairing properties that are always derived naturally.
However, Dr. Brennan says “natural ingredients” do not mean a product is ineffective — a common misconception about natural skincare. “Naturally derived ingredients are the blueprint for what skincare has historically been built upon to produce what skincare is today,” she says. “Conversely, synthetically produced ingredients are not bad as a whole. As a pharmacist, I truly believe there is a time and a place for both. However, I choose to focus on the building blocks of what nature has provided in both safe and efficacious amounts.”
Just as we must focus on what ingredients are in skincare products, it’s equally important to stay away from others. “I focus on staying away from parabens, phthalates and sulfate-containing ingredients [that] are irritating to our skin barrier,” Dr. Brennan shares. “More importantly, the concentration of ingredients is also important to know. Too much of anything can be harmful, and this also applies to our skincare ingredients.”
The most important component of skincare is improving the actual health of your skin, concludes Dr. Brennan. No matter where you are in your natural skincare journey, it’s important to know what steps to take and what products to use to keep your skin happy and glowing.