Last week I talked about how crucial it is for me to wash my face every night before bed. As weird as it sounds, it keeps me grounded and I know I need to get my life back on track if I allow myself to skip my routine a few nights in a row.
Aside from removing my makeup with a little bit of coconut oil, my skin care routine varies on a daily basis based on what I feel my skin needs on that particular day. I don’t know about you, but my skin is fickle like that.
I have combination skin–my nose tends to be dryer than my forehead, but it all depends a lot on the weather. I learned long ago that my face benefits from me listening carefully to it, rather than imposing a cut and dry routine on something so sensitive to its environment.
I have several all-natural skin care products and DIY concoctions that I have come to rely on over the past few years, so I thought I would share them and their purposes in my beauty cabinet. It’s a lot more fun taking care of your skin when you get to self-diagnose and self-treat with chemical-and-toxin-free formulas, isn’t it? And when something works, I love adding it to my stash.
These are the all-natural products I choose from, depending on what my skin is asking for:
Rose water is just what you think it is–water infused with rose petal extract–and it is nourishing and refreshing to your skin. This particular brand has a very subtle rose smell. It is not overpowering at all (as in, doesn’t smell like your grandma’s potpourri) and works on your skin as a moisturizer, with anti-aging and healing properties.
What I use it for: while it can be used as a cleanser or toner, I use it on my skin after a shower or when my skin feels dry. You can dab it on a cotton ball to apply to your face, but I find the cotton ball to soak too much of it up! I place my finger over the opening, and turn in the bottle upside down. I then dab my finger over the dry areas, and under my eyes. I’ll wet my finger about three times, applying it to any trouble spots each time.
Bonus: the bottle is beautiful, and using it the way I do, it has lasted a long time!
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is potent stuff, so you definitely want to dilute it before putting it on your skin.
What I use it for: I use tea tree oil as a powerful cleanser about once a week. It does a great job removing dirt and grime from your skin. To use it, I wet a cotton ball with water, then add a few drops of tea tree oil so it becomes diluted. I then swipe the cotton ball all over my face. Just be aware that while tea tree oil is perfectly natural, its potency gives it a very strong, almost chemical scent. A little goes a long way!
Where to buy it: I bought mine from Trader Joe’s, but you can get it at any health food store, or from Amazon.com.
This stuff is probably my favorite toner! It doesn’t have alcohol in it, so it doesn’t dry out your skin. In fact, it is very moisturizing without being oily or leaving any kind of residue.
What I use it for: a toner! If I am not wearing makeup, I will simply squirt a few drops of this onto a cotton ball and use it on my face as a cleanser. If I am wearing make up, I will remove it first, and use the witch hazel as a toner after I wash my face. When you see the amount of dirt your cotton ball picks up, you will be addicted. My skin looked better after using this just a few times!
Ah, the holy grail of skin products. I am obsessed with this stuff. The product description says this (and it is all truth!): “A true skin SUPER FOOD! Incredibly rich in Vitamin E, Essential Fatty Acids, and Proteins, Argan Oil helps fight lines, repair imperfections, minimize scars + stretch marks; all while restoring texture, elasticity and tone.”
What I use it for: I have the hardest time finding a moisturizer for my face that doesn’t have chemicals in it, or doesn’t make my skin oilier after using it. This stuff, being all-natural, is not only safe for skin, but wonderfully nourishing–and it absorbs into the skin beautifully.
One little pump of this argan oil is enough to cover my entire face. I apply it after simply splashing my face with cold water in the morning, or after a shower. It’s perfect to use before applying makeup as a non-greasy moisturizer. It is also the only moisturizer I have found that works well for all seasons. I can’t recommend this stuff enough!
Just as it says, this clay is deep-pore cleansing. And you know it’s good if it is an Aztec Secret ;-). It is used as a facial mask when mixed with a small amount of apple cider vinegar.
What I use it for: you guessed it–a facial mask! I should use this stuff about once a week to get rid of dry skin, and to clean out my pores, but I often forget to use it until my skin is in desperate need. Mixed with apple cider vinegar and applied to the face for about 20 minutes, it works great to purify your skin and give it that wonderful blank-canvas-feel.
Just make sure you don’t have any reason to laugh while wearing this stuff. The clay will tighten up your face which will make laughing almost painful–which will make the situation even more comical. It’s a viscous cycle, really. But take it from me, and don’t watch Portlandia while wearing this mask.
Where to buy it: you can follow the link above to get it from Amazon, but I bought mine from Whole Foods for $7 or $8.
Rose hips are the fruit of the rose plant, the part of the rose that forms after pollination. The oil extracted from it can be used to create a tea rich in vitamin C, in jam or jelly, or, for your skin. It is very conditioning and nourishing to skin (and improves elasticity) without being oily or greasy.
What I use it for: I use one or two drops of rose hip seed oil under my eyes, or anywhere on my skin that needs a little extra care (it’s great for red spots or scarring), and occasionally over my eyebrows and eyelashes as a conditioner. The product says to be careful around your eye area, so take heed. However, I have never had a problem with it getting in my eyes.
The picture of the spice jar is deceiving, I know. But I can tell you that inside is my favorite brand of coconut oil (linked above).
What I use it for: I keep this jar in the cabinet above the sink, and use it every night to remove my eye makeup. It removes eye makeup beautifully, including waterproof mascara! It can leave your skin a little oily when mixed with water, not to mention spread your makeup around, so I follow up my routine with a small amount of baking soda to remove excess oil and makeup. If you don’t want to use baking soda, you can use whatever facial cleanser you like. When my skin is extra dry, I use coconut oil as moisturizer as well.
(Coconut oil is also one of my all-time favorite health foods! Read more about it here).
8. Brown sugar scrub
You are right, the picture above shows just another spice jar. Inside, however, is my favorite exfoliant ever. It uses just two ingredients: brown sugar and olive oil.
How I use it: I use a tiny bit of this scrub every other night or so to wash my face. It does wonders for dry skin! The sugar is gentle (don’t scrub too hard) and the olive oil is incredibly moisturizing. I love this stuff. And the best part is that you can make it right now.
So those are my eight favorite all-natural skin care products. Do you use any of them? Will you try anything new from the list? Tell me about your skin care routine! I love chatting about this topic. :)