To follow up on my last holistic-minded post about winter healthcare in the form of food, I wanted to share my experiences with holistic skincare. Most importantly, I would like to point out that affordable skincare IS possible, you just have to find what works for you. As with anything concerning health, I am a true believer that it all begins with what you put into your body. What you put on the inside, will reflect out. This is something that takes work, and I also believe in balance and indulging every now and then! I am no expert, but here are my recommendations due to my experiences over the past couple of years. These are tried and true and I am always open to suggestions!
There is one main factor these products have in common and that is that they are all only ONE ingredient. Look at the ingredients in most beauty and skincare products and you will see that they contain an overwhelming amount of ingredients, and a lot of chemicals or ambiguous names or labels. The way I see it, how can anything truly work when you have tons of different ingredients competing against one another? “They” will tell you that you need not only the face wash, but the toner, the moisturizer, the night and the day cream, the eye cream, etc., etc. This causes you to spend a fortune and from my experience, end up with unsatisfactory results. The last somewhat expensive skincare product that I bought really irritated my skin and made me break out. So, I ditched it and decided to try a different route. Here is what I found.
- Baking Soda: Yep, you are seeing correctly: Baking Soda. Not only can it be used for cleaning your home and cooking, it can be used for cleaning your face! I don’t recall the source of my first hearing of this, but I remember it was an account of a male living in NYC, trying to cut back on any costs that he could. Baking Soda is A DOLLAR, Not only does it effectively clean your face, but it exfoliates as well. I simply pour about a quarter sized amount or less into my hands, mix with warm water and then lightly scrub all over my face and neck for about and minute and then rinse. My most recent box has lasted me probably 3 months. Do note that I have combination/oily skin. Baking Soda may be drying to people with already dry or sensitive skin so always test on a patch of skin first. I am no chemist, but those with dryer skin may want to try mixing the baking soda with coconut oil.
- Rose Water: Water from distilled roses. I once read that Queen Cleopatra used rose water in her beauty routine. If it’s good enough for one of the most legendary beautiful women in history, I will surely try it! Well…I’m hooked. To be honest, I am selfishly a little reluctant to share this discovery with those who haven’t already discovered it themselves. But what good is hoarding when you can share the goodness? For starters, it has that lightly divine smell of roses; it is simply distilled rose water. It is very important that you get 100% pure and organic, you absolutely do not want to be spraying pesticides on your face. A large bottle of this is only $8 at your local health food store. A small bottle is $4; try this and see if you like it. Secondly, it comes in the form of a spray bottle, which allows you to lightly mist it all over. I spray it on my face in the morning and at night, after I wash it, mid-afternoon to revitalize and refresh, and really anytime. I’m kind of addicted. It especially feels nice in the hot summer. Over-application is not possible with rose water. You can spray it in your hair, all over your body, pour it into your bathwater; you name it. It is pure as pure can be, gentle, soothing, and antibacterial. Rose water also helps maintain the skin’s pH balance and possesses anti-inflammatory properties.
- Grapeseed Oil: I started using Grapeseed Oil several months ago because I had read on several accounts that it is oftentimes used as a main ingredient in expensive anti-aging products. Grape seed oil is rich in beta-carotene, vitamins D, C, and E, and fatty acids. It doesn’t clog pores and is fragrance-free. I also heard that it was good for dark under-eye circles, which I get this time of year, due to allergies. Lotions like Jergens, or regular supermarket lotions always irritated my skin and made it really itchy and sticky. This bottle was about $5 and I have barely even put a dent in it. My under-eye coloration has gotten lighter and my general complexion looks smoother. I use it on my face and body after showers in the morning, and at night before I go to bed. After I wash my face and spritz with Rosewater (let your skin absorb it first), I put a small amount into my palms and rub together to warm it up. I then lightly massage it all over my face, and dab it onto my under-eye area. I have heard that you are not supposed to rub your face because it will stretch it out, but I always feel better after I do, because I feel like the toxins are being moved out.
- Zinc: I believe it is always better to get vitamins directly from a food source, if you cannot always do that, vitamins suffice. I especially pay attention to my zinc intake in the winter because it aids in a healthy immune system. It also helps with clear skin. It does not take much zinc to do the job, but I would possibly consult your health physician before you do, because everyone is different. Some foods that contain zinc are grass-fed beef, spinach, cashew, to name a few.
- Lemon Water: Lately I have gotten off track with this, but I used to drink lemon water every day, and my skin maintained a noticeable “brightness”. Lemons are high in antioxidants, so it can’t hurt!
At the end of the day, only you can determine what is right for you. I urge you however to step outside of the box if you feel like your normal routine isn’t achieving your desired results. For me, you don’t have to break the bank to do this, and oftentimes – cheaper does it better anyway!