I enjoy researching, testing and providing my thoughts on anti aging skin care products. Anyone who is interested in skin care already knows there is beyond a plethora of competing products on the market that tout the greatest results, some worthy and some that are just plain ol’ bull*&^%.
Although I enjoy trying many anti aging skin care products and achieving results to varying degrees, I also like to treat my skin from time to time using natural skin care remedies that are homemade. There are many natural ingredients to choose from that are effective in achieving an end to send skin care routine whether it be cleansing, exfoliating, toning, or moisturizing. Let’s jump into it!
Natural Skin Care – What is it?
Natural skin care uses topical creams and lotions made of ingredients available in nature. Although the term “natural” is not fully defined as it pertains to skin care, it does suggest that the ingredients are nontoxic and the product is free from synthetic chemicals that may be linked to health problems. While, this sounds locked down, it doesn’t mean applying natural products won’t irritate your skin, particularly those who have sensitive skin. For example, certain pure essential oils (bergamot and bitter orange) can introduce redness or sensitivity so when transitioning from store bought to homemade make sure you know what your skin can handle and testing it out first is always recommended.
Natural Skin Cleanser
There are literally hundreds of natural face cleanser recipes and which one(s) you ultimately decide to use for your face comes down to a set of preferences. For example, do you prefer a thinner or thicker texture, does fragrance matter to you, does having a sticky face drive you nuts? If you have answers to these types of questions, then you have chosen your favourite cleanser.
For me personally, I change my cleansing routine quite often just to keep things exciting and fresh. (don’t mind the pun)
Here are some great ingredients that you can use alone or in combination to achieve great cleansing results. Apply for 20 minutes and wash off with warm water and a wash cloth:
- Yogurt (plain only)
- Raw honey (unfiltered)
- Oatmeal Flakes – Cooked
- Oatmeal Flakes – Uncooked (Add water to create a paste)
- Clay with apple cider vinegar (create a paste)
- Olive or coconut oil
Here is a quick recipe with ingredients you may already have kicking around the house:
- 1/3 cup Raw Honey
- 1/4 cup Castile Soap *
- 1 tablespoon Almond Oil
- 3 drops Salicylic Acid (or Tea Tree Oil)
*(Castile soap is versatile and gentle on your body and on our planet. It’s named after Castile, Spain, a region renowned for its olive oil. Authentic castile soap is made of plant oils — coconut, hemp, sunflower seed, jojoba and olive)
Natural Skin Exfoliant
When it comes to gently exfoliating my skin, I always come back to two reliable routines. Which routine I use is also dependent on the time of year. For example, I typically use baking soda during the warmer months and as winter emerges I choose the sea salt scrub which contains great moisturizers to help barricade my skin against blowing winds and frigid temperatures.
1. Ingredients – Baking Soda, Water
This simple combination is a powerhouse in the cleaning department, not only for your face but for its 101+ uses in our daily lives. Add a small amount of warm water to a tablespoon of baking soda to make a thick paste and massage it gently onto your skin. Leave it for a couple minutes and wash with luke warm water. If your skin becomes red or irritated it is likely you have applied too much pressure. Not much pressure is needed, just let the baking soda do its job! Baking soda is great for cleansing blackheads and acne as well as sloughing off dead skin cells.
2. Ingredients – Sea Salt, Coconut Oil, Almond Oil
Whether it be a brown sugar scrub or sea salt scrub, either works well. I go between the two however I tend to enjoy the sea salt scrub which a friend of mine introduced to me awhile back. Sea salt is rich in minerals and is simply evaporated seawater, which means it’s not processed and doesn’t contain any additives.
- 1 cup Coarse Sea Salt
- 1/2 cup liquid coconut oil
- Almond oil drops
This scrub is great for your face and body. If you have sensitive skin, try replacing the sea salt with brown sugar.
Natural Skin Toner
On the days when I simply lack time, I skip the toning step of my skin care routine. When it comes to toners, I do not waste my money on the store bought variety when you can make your own at home. I am a huge fan of apple cider vinegar (for many reasons) and it makes the perfect base for toners. Have fun changing these recipes up a bit.
Reuse an empty spray bottle to keep your toner in and place it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for several days.
- 1 1/4 cup cool water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I prefer Braggs)
- a few drops of your favourite essential oil (optional)
(Tip: If you need to target age spots or winkles, you can always apply the ACV directly with a cotton pad and leave on for half an hour and then wash it off)
Natural Skin Moisturizer
I am not unlike many of you, I love coconut oil and it makes my list of the best homemade moisturizers. It provides for endless number of health benefits, whether it be taken orally or topically. It is a great moisturizer (and cleanser) and is not as heavy as it’s touted competitor – olive oil. Here are my recommendations for homemade moisturizers, all of which I have used and find effective in combating wrinkles and keeping my skin looking hydrated and healthy:
- Castor oil and Almond oil (equal parts of both)
- Extra virgin coconut oil
- Vitamin E oil and a few drops of Almond Oil (carrier oil)
- Vitamin C oil
- Shea butter (this can be very rich, so a little goes a long way)
I hope you find these suggestions helpful as you embark on your daily natural skin care routine. Transitioning from store bought products can be very rewarding (for your pocket book and overall health) however keep in mind there is a transitory period where your face may not agree to the change such as redness or breakouts. Give your new routine a couple of weeks to settle in before you throw in the towel. It is always a good idea to consult with your dermatologist before making radical changes to ensure the routine you choose is best for your skin.