Simple Skincare - Toner and Moisturizer
It has been over 5 years since I have used a store-bought facial moisturizer (typically between $8-15), a store-bought toner ($5-10), makeup remover ($5-8) or salicylic acid-based blemish-control pads ($5-7). Given that each product would typically last me about 2 months, I've saved almost $1,000 on just the most basic skincare products.
Now, I will say that I am spending a tiny bit of $ on my 2-3 ingredient alternatives...but since I already have the ingredients on hand (because I use them for SO many other practical things), I can't say that I'm actually spending that $ on moisturizers, toner, and blemish control, can I?
What I can say, is that I'm saving cash and saving my system from the falsely advertised, overpriced concoctions of unnecessary chemicals. That's a win for me!
When it comes to skincare, (just like any other form of health-care or self-care), if we want it to be successful (rather than just pounding sand down the proverbial rat hole), we have to look at our body and mind as a whole if we want to reach the root causes of any skin issues we may have.
Adequate sleep, hormonal balance, detoxing, and the right foods are essential for good skin. Stress is sometimes blamed as the culprit behind breakouts. But in reality, it's a combination of stress plus a deficiency of any of the above that creates a system overload, sending an SOS signal via your face that something's gotta give.
Lots of leafy greens, plenty of good water (like spring water or purified water) and of course - low sugar and very little junk food are important for a healthy body, and therefore healthy skin.
When my system is anything less than healthy (i.e., long periods of time with little sleep, during winter months when my immune system is taxed) I find that I'm prone to breaking out. But to add insult to injury, during those times, even just a little gluten (i.e., more than one meal every few weeks) causes me to break out right around the corners of my nose and mouth within 24 hours.
I've been noticing this GI system/gluten-related pattern for about a year now. And a few weeks ago, I discovered this chart! Seems to make sense, given what I've noticed about my face. It's my body's way of saying, "Too much!" or "Help!" http://lookglambox.com/what-chinese-face-mapping-reveals-about-your-health/
You've heard it before. Skin stuff is often triggered by hormone issues. For hormonal balance, I can't tell you how many people (both my real world friends and people online) are testifying to the powers of Progessence Plus. Though Young Living is extremely limited in the wording they're allowed to use in their descriptions (and by FDA standards cannot market the product in such a way as to compete with any pharmaceutical or over the counter medication) it is a source of bio-available, all-natural progesterone. Research it a bit: low progesterone is the root of a whole host of ills that we tend to believe we're just stuck with, including problematic skin.
Not to minimize your facial situation, but aesthetics of your face are the least of your worries if there are hormone imbalances in your body. Troubled skin could be an SOS signal that deeper, root issues need to be addressed, and ASAP. The good news is, there are many heart-wrenching, uniquely feminine woes (rooted in hormone imbalance) that are now being relieved by this serum. It's worth asking around and exploring the many testimonials that are out there!
In addition to eating well, sleeping well, and drinking enough water, the best routine I've found for my skin is as follows:
- Remove any waterproof or heavy makeup (with coconut oil!)
- Wash/exfoliate with a very gentle cleanser and facial sponge (or, if it's morning, just rinse and rub well with warm water)
- Tone (to remove any residual gunk, tighten pores, and add other benefits to skin)
- Moisturize with an all-natural oil. YES - I said it, an oil.
Moisturizing with Oil
Did you know that a sufficient moisturizer will keep your skin balanced and free of the environmental or chemical-induced dryness that causes your skin to overcompensate by producing inordinate amounts of sebum and oiliness, which leads to dirt-trapping, pore-clogging, pimple-producing nastiness?
Putting oil on your face isn't some novel practice - it's been around for millennia. Our skin needs it. In ancient times, moisturizing was done with straight up oil. In Biblical times, it was usually a base of olive oil with essential oils of medicinal, fragrant plants. You washed your face and then you put on oil, as long as you weren't fasting or in mourning.
My theory is that, in general, we experience problems with our skin (and the rest of our body) when we get further and further from the original, natural ways of caring for ourselves.
Forget the whole "oil-free/non-comodogenic" concept that beauticians emphasize while pushing a $40 chemical-filled product into your hands. An all-natural, 100% pure oil, the right one for your skin type, will NOT clog pores.
Even supposedly "non-comodogenic" pricy products can stress out your skin and/or fail to provide adequate, lasting moisture. This in turn forces your skin to produce its own oil and sebum in excess, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. For me, this used to happen routinely in the late in the afternoon (especially on dry winter days) with my old moisturizers.
There is a plethora of different carrier oils out there, many of which are good for different uses and different skin types. I'll post my findings about various oils soon, but in a nutshell, for my face I use a lighter weight oil (such as fractionated coconut oil or apricot kernel oil) as a moisturizer in the summer, and a heavier oil (such as almond oil) in the winter.
Lavender, Frankincense & Tea Tree Moisturizer
In the warmer months, to my base of fractionated coconut oil in a roller ball bottle I add 5 drops each of Lavender essential oil, Frankincense, and Tea Tree.
Lavender oil is a go-to for all things soothing and skin-related.
Frankincense oil...oh let me count the ways... The real stuff is simply a miracle in a bottle. You just need it. Ask Dr. Axe for more information.
And Tea Tree - you're probably already familiar with its reputation for blemish control, but unless you've used a 100% pure, unadulterated, uncut, pesticide-free oil with the full spectrum of naturally-occurring chemical constituents in tact...you may not have experienced the real deal!
Moreover, all these essential oils have the following in common:
- All three are cleansing and banish those problematic, microscopic bad guys that produce problems in our pores.
- All three are good for helping your skin recover and regenerate.
- All three lighten places where it's too dark and soothe where there's irritation.
I add in bonus ingredients like Moroccan Argan oil for skin tone and dark-spot lightening, and Vitamin E oil for extra skin nourishing and extra fine-line prevention effects (you're never too young to start, right?).
If you have the Premium Starter Kit, you can use those oils by subbing Purification (a blend of Tea Tree, Lemongrass, and other cleansing oils) for the Tea Tree.
Add the following to a 10 ml roller bottle:
- 5 drops each Young Living Lavender, Frankincense, and Tea Tree (or can sub Purification blend)
- 11/2 tsp (or about 4/5ths of the roller bottle) carrier oil (like fractionated coconut oil, or, if your skin is extra dry or it's winter - try almond oil)
- 3 Vitamin E capsules, pierced & squeezed
- 1/2 tsp (or about 1/5th of the roller bottle) Argan oil
Add the essential oils, vitamin E and Argan oil to the bottle. Top off with your carrier oil, and shake well.
Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Facial Toner
For a period of time earlier this year I was having successive breakouts on large areas of my body and went on the hunt for a solution. As soon as I started using this toner, the breakouts stopped almost completely!
I use this spray on my face after cleansing, but I also use it right after shaving to tighten pores and prevent any type of post-shave problems. On my face, I always put some type of moisturizer on over the top.
Witch Hazel is in my cabinet for facial purposes and for a few DIY cleaners I make. It has been used for hundreds of years for first aid purposes on burns, scrapes, bruises, and rashes. Witch hazel is very balancing and soothing, and it is astringent, making it great for a facial toner.
NOTE: This brand of witch hazel has alcohol added to it, which is sometimes a bit too drying (and contains mysterious ingredient umbrella term "fragrance"- gasp!) so if you want to play it totally safe, I would go with a alcohol-free, fragrance free, 100% witch hazel that you should be able to find on Amazon if not in your health food store.
If you find witch hazel to be too drying, you can replace it (or cut it in half) with Aloe Vera juice.
Rosewater is a wonderful component of this toner that helps balance your skin’s pH, helps soothe irritated skin, reduces redness and tightens pores. It's a delightful thing to have around. I use it in some Moroccan recipes, and add it to hot and iced tea and lemonade for a nice Middle Eastern twist. I got this bottle at my local Middle Eastern grocer for about $2.50. Click here to find lots of uses for rosewater and how to make your own! (Or you can skip it and add a few drops of chamomile oil or lavender oil to the toner for a soothing effect.)
To a 2 oz. spray bottle add:
- 10 drops Tea Tree essential oil
- 1 Tbsp rosewater
- 3 Tbsp witch hazel (or aloe vera juice for sensitive or really dry skin)