Its funny how our mentality surrounding change can be so different depending on the area of our life that is changing. When I changed my diet to the autoimmune protocol it was like flipping a switch. I decided one night to give it a try and over two years later I have not eaten a single tomato, egg white, or potato. I wouldn’t say it was easy, but it definitely worked best for me to just dive right in and not look back. My transition to natural beauty products on the other hand? That has been much more gradual.
I learned the importance of limiting my exposure to environmental toxins (chemicals) a long time ago, but for whatever reason it has been much harder for me to make those changes than it was to change my diet. Maybe its because there are so many options out there that I have just been burned with a lot of products that just didn’t work. Maybe it is just because deep down (or not so deep down) I struggle with vanity and don’t really want to sacrifice my personal appearance in the name of going natural! Either way, its taken a while. I have written about making my own body wash, which I still do, and I have written about my no ‘poo journey and my favorite shampoo bar. Now I am finally ready to discuss my skin care routine. I have been fairly blessed through my life with good skin. I didn’t struggle with too much acne as a teen and I do not have many scars or pock marks, I do have darker circles under my eyes, the occasional blemish and I am approaching a certain age where many ladies begin to think about preventing early signs of aging in their skin.
With that in mind, I thought I would share my current skin care routine with you all. I will state right off of the bat that I do not use natural makeup, my makeup is conventional drug store makeup. I only wear some concealer under my eyes, a light blush and eyeliner and I have chosen not to change that for the time being.. The rest of my routine is natural. So here it goes:
- Oil Cleansing: Oil cleansing is basically just what it sounds like… washing your face with oil instead of soap. The way I do this is, I keep a jar of coconut oil in my shower, I take out a small amount during my nightly shower rub it on my face let it sit for a minute and then wipe it off with a wash cloth. This is a great way to remove makeup before bed, it is also wonderful for people with dry skin or in the winter when skin gets easily dried out or chapped. It is also a surprisingly effective facial cleanser because oil dissolves oil, meaning that the oil you use to wash with will dissolve the natural oil in your skin that has hardened around the dirt and impurities in your skin and the steam from the water will open your pores allowing it to be scrubbed away. Washing your face with oil also keeps your pores from over producing oil, like soap can, leading to a more even complexion.
- Natural Sun Block: All dermatologists agree that the best thing you can do to prevent signs of aging in your skin, especially premature signs of aging, is to use sun protection. The only problem is that many sunscreens contain harsh and potentially dangerous chemicals. I switched to natural sun block for the summer months a few years ago, but until recently, I hadn’t found a sun block that was suitable for every day use. Many natural sunblocks are very thick and can leave you looking pale because of the zinc oxide they contain. Then recently I found out the my favorite brand of regular sunblock made a facial sunblock! It is called Sunny Face by Goddess Garden. Not only is it a natural sun block rather than a chemical sunscreen, it contains some great natural anti-aging ingredients like green tea extract and helicrysum essential oil. The texture may stll take some people a little while to get used to and it does leave a bit of a residue feeling on the skin for a little while after application, but it rubs in completely, doesn’t leave my skin looking pale and works great under makeup.
- Eye Cream: Finally, I also use this Bert’s Bees Radiance Eye Cream at night before bed. It has natural ingredients and is meant to reduce the appearance of blemishes around the eyes. I do not have any wrinkles around my eyes yet, but I do have dark circles under my eyes that are unrelated to sleep or diet or health, they are just there. I do feel like this cream has helped lighten them slightly.
- Diet: I also have to put in a little plug about how diet effects skin. The best overall thing I ever did for my skin was give up dairy. Eating dairy has a well researched, negative impact on hormones. I had a very stubborn patch of acne on my chin for years that never went away until about a month after giving up dairy. I also used to get cyctic acne around my period that I no longer get. Balancing your hormones will go a long way in helping your skin!