My Mother has perfect skin. I don’t think she has had a single blemish or any skin inconsistency in her whole life. Her skin is even, and it has even aged well, with minimal wrinkles and no hyperpigmentation or anything that shows prior damage. And the real kicker is that she has had no skin care routine, splashes water on her face occasionally to wash it, rarely wears makeup, almost never moisturizes and uses any old lotion when she does, and does absolutely not a single thing to pamper her skin. Wouldn’t that be great? But alas, her perfect skin went to my younger sister, who also has radiant skin that needs no effort on her part.
Meanwhile, I have terrible skin, constantly fluctuating through the years with hormonal imbalance and terrible dryness. The injustice. But that is ok, because after years of experiments, I have finally perfected a natural skin care routine that has been very beneficial for my skin. I am sharing it with you today, so that you too can start a natural skin care routine toot sweet. Unless you have skin like my mother’s, in which case you can pass this information along to someone you know who needs it.
It is easy to establish an inexpensive natural skin care routine by taking a look at accomplishing two main objectives: washing and moisturizing. Once that has been determined, then some additional practices like toning, exfoliating, removing makeup, etc. can be added. Through my own experimenting, I have found that my skin likes it when I mix it up a little. So, I like to change up the routine by varying the oils that I use.
Keeping Your Natural Skin Care Routine Safe
DIY is a popular concept, and one I fully support for multiple reasons: 1. I think it is beneficial to have a sense of accomplishment, 2. I like to know what is in the products I use, especially in a world that uses toxic ingredients with misleading labels, 3. I look forward to the ability to choose specific ingredients that I know will most benefit my own skin, and 4. I can also control the cost of what I use and make sure that my healthy products are also within my budget.
But, before we go nuts in the diy skin care world, it is important to put safety first. There is a reason that store brands use preservatives in their products, it is to keep the products from going rancid or becoming contaminated in any way. Since we will not be using preservatives to protect our diy products, we need to know some basics for safety. Simply mixing ingredients together and putting them on your bathroom counter for use is not enough. We need to protect these products from contamination and spoiling.
Here are a few safety rules I like to follow…
- Never use tap water in any recipe. Avoid recipes that include water as much as possible. Use distilled water only, and keep it refrigerated. I don’t ever use water in moisturizers, I only add it to a toner, and I use distilled and refrigerate it.
- Make small batches that will be used up in a few weeks. Skin care is not the place to stock up and make double batches to keep on the shelf.
- Oils that do not have a good shelf life should be refrigerated.
- Vitamin E Oil is not a preservative. I see it listed as a preservative in some diy recipes on the internet, and it is very misleading. Vitamin E oil is an antioxidant, which can be added to other oils to aid in prolonging their shelf life; but it is not a preservative.
Natural Ways to Wash Skin
No expensive cleansers here, I keep this really simple. One of the most important lessons I have learned here is that stripping the skin of all of its natural oils is not good, it can lead to dryness and also an excess production of oil. So, I use two options that allow the skin to retain its natural oils: castile soap and oil cleansing. I use castile soap most of the time, and oil cleansing maybe 2 times a week or so. Learn how to oil cleanse.
Chris and I use castile soap as our body wash as well, which is a nice bonus, since we only need the one product.
Natural Skin Care Routine: Moisturizing
Again, simple and inexpensive. After years of overly drying my skin and not understanding how important moisturizing is, I have finally learned that oils are my friends. That’s right, oils are not to be feared! They are to be used to seal moisture in to our skin and help protect the skin by supporting its natural sebum (oil layer).
The key here is choosing the right oils for your skin type. Use my oil guide to help you make the right decision for you. If you are just starting out, then I can recommend jojoba oil. It is actually a wax ester, but it looks like an oil and it most closely matches our skin’s natural sebum. It is a good all around oil suitable for oily skin, normal skin (does that really exist? well, my mother) and dry skin.
The simplest way to moisturize is to take a few drops of the oil and gently rub them on the skin after washing and patting dry, while the skin is still a bit moist.
I have two simple, few-ingredient recipes for moisturizers that I will also be sharing with you in the coming weeks. They are so easy, no heating and melting required, just simple mixes that your face will thank you for.
For the body, I typically use coconut oil after showering, again while the skin is still a bit moist. When I need extra moisturizing, especially for my hands, I also make a body butter recipe similar to this one.
Those are the basics to get you started, but let’s take a look at more additions you can add for a natural skin care ritual.
DIY Natural Toners
One of the best ways to keep natural skin care simple is to use ingredients that are probably already in your home. So, for a toner, I have a simple ACV recipe that you can use. Using Apple Cider Vinegar makes a lot of sense to me, since your skin has its own microbiome, and since ACV works so well for the gut microbiome, it seems to naturally follow that it would also be effective on the skin microbiome. You want to use an active Apple Cider Vinegar that is raw and still has the mother in it, such as this one, a great option that is more budget-friendly than Bragg’s brand.
ACV can be strong, so best to start small.
Simple, DIY ACV Toner:
- 2 Tablespoons ACV
- 6 Tablespoons Distilled Water
- Mix together in a glass jar and store in the fridge. Shake before using, and apply with a cotton ball before moisturizing.
DIY Natural Exfoliating
There is a lot of debate about exfoliating. Removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores is the goal here, so that the skin is rejuvenated; which is great for the skin. However, grainy scrubs, even natural ones, may be harsh on the skin due to the scraping, scrubbing action. It is up to you how you want to proceed with this step.
Some of the options for diy exfoliating include using baking soda, sea salt or sugar mixed with an oil. You can find tons of exfoliating recipes on pinterest. This type of exfoliating is not for every day use – 1-2 times should be enough.
If you do exfoliate, make sure to moisturize well afterwards.
I am currently experimenting with enzymes for exfoliation. Some natural fruit enzymes are able to exfoliate your skin – no scrubbing needed! More on that to come.
Removing Makeup Naturally
To remove makeup, I simply add a few drops of my oil of choice to a cotton pad and wipe it off, before washing. Easy peasy.
Adding Essential Oils to a Natural Skin Care Routine
So we covered the steps of a natural skin care routine, and we have kept the ingredients very simple to make the process of changing to a natural routine as easy as possible. But, when you are ready to really boost some of the action in your skin care routine, like promoting youthful skin, supporting deep cleansing, encouraging skin tone balance, and the like; it is time to add essential oils to the repertoire.
My all-time favorite, and I personally think the best option for anyone’s skin no matter the concern, is frankincense. It is a pricier essential oil, and if you are looking for a less expensive option, then go for lavender instead. You can also read about more essential oils and how they benefit the skin here.
I hope this gives you some inspiration, so you can start making some changes in your own natural skin care routine. Next week, we will take a look at the simplest, yet very effective moisturizer recipe that I know. Two ingredients, and a shake is all it takes…you are going to love it! See you then!
In the meantime make sure you try my homemade toothpaste recipe. It is a real crowd pleaser.
p.s. Those photos are from our bathroom in the new house! You can see that the products on my sink are all homemade, with the exception of a natural mouth rinse that Chris loves. Mouth wash is tough to diy, because it contains water, and the shelf life is so short that it is just not worth it to me.