This post has been a long time coming. Partly because it takes me the longest time to find products I actually want to put on my face, but mostly because I am SO BAD at skincare.
And I’ve only recently come to the conclusion that it is for the exact same reason that I’ve ever been bad at anything I thought needed to be routine. It doesn’t need to be routine! Remember that whole post about cyclical living? It applies to your skin as well.
I had cystic acne as a teen, and I used to have all those five step systems that are supposed to banish your acne forever. Some of them worked, but only because they felt like they were burning my skin off as well. No skin, no acne. Problem solved. Thanks drugstore dermatology!
I still get a pretty bad breakout once a month. It has always been hormonal, and nothing I ever put on my face is going to fix my hormones (working on a different post about hormones so stay tuned… in the meantime Alissa Viti wrote this helpful article on Well + Good). This is important to note. Good skin care is important, but it’s not everything. It should serve as the icing on the cake that is balanced hormones, healthy diet, and regular sweat sessions. And– here’s the real kicker– you don’t need to have the exact same skincare routine twice a day, every day!
Just like everything else, your skin probably doesn’t have the same needs every single day. My skin is more oily in the week leading up to my period, sometimes it gets incredibly dry if I’ve been out in the sun, and I certainly require a deep exfoliation after I’ve been out in the woods rolling around in the dirt. (I may or may not actually roll around in dirt, but it sure looks like it when I return home)
Ditching the twice a day, crazy expensive, chemical laden, burn-your-skin-off routine was the best thing I’ve ever done for my skin. And my overall health! Most beauty products contain a whole slew of endocrine disrupting chemicals (speaking of hormones) that I no longer want anything to do with.
And now I will get on with telling you what I actually do use.
Yep, oil. Lots of it. If you aren’t familiar with the oil cleansing method… there are plenty of better resources around here than I… but basically the concept is that oil dissolves oil. Pretty simple science right?
I have incredibly oily skin, so I need a fairly heavy oil blend to balance out my skin. I make my own oil blend, but there are also a few companies that make oil blends that I’m sure are worth checking out. They are, FatCo, Cocokind, and Primally Pure. I’ve never used the oil cleansers from any of these brands, but I have used almost all their other products and can highly recommend all of them.
As far as my own oil cleansing blend goes– I fill a bottle 1/2 way with castor oil, 1/4 jojoba oil, 1/4 extra virgin olive oil, and about 10 drops of tea tree oil. I have been using this for years and love it. At the end of the night, I just rub a small amount of the oil into my skin, as though I were washing it with soap. Then I take a hot washcloth and steam my face with it. It’s like a spa experience every night. It also removes makeup. Two birds, one stone.
More often than not… that’s all I do.
But again… I don’t have a “routine” and I do have some other favorites that I like to use pretty regularly for different purposes. I’ll go over those below…
Cocokind sea moss exfoliator + chlorophyll mask = dream team!
Most of the time, I like to use the exfoliator and the mask back to back. I’ll do this maybe two times a week, depending on what my skin is feeling like. I can’t tell you how much this has helped me with blackheads.
I used to be addicted to those pore strips– I think mostly just for the shear satisfaction of actually seeing the blackheads stuck to the strip after I pulled it off. It’s so oddly satisfying and I could do it over and over again. Except that they don’t actually treat the root cause of blackheads. Which is why I did use them over and over again.
Regular exfoliation is the key for actually banishing blackheads, and for the first time in my life I have seen a visible difference.
I’m also in love with this company. It’s woman run and they use only the most basic, earth derived, nourishing ingredients? Say no more.
The other company I have been loving is Primally Pure, for the exact same reason!
Their complexion mist is amazing. I usually use it in the mornings, after I wash my face with water only. I use it as a toner, typically followed up with (or used in tandem with) Cocokind’s chia seed facial oil. (sometimes I mix a few drops of the oil with a spray of the complexion mist in my palm and rub it on my face)
I’ve been especially amazed with the chia facial oil, since I have really oily skin and most serums and oils don’t react well with my skin. Moisturizers have been the bane of my existence. They ALL make my skin oily.
It did take my skin a bit to adjust to this oil, so while that was happening, I only used it at night and loved how nourished my skin would feel when I woke up.
Which or how much moisturizer and oil I use is mostly dependent on my menstrual cycle, as my skin produces different amounts of oil depending on which phase of my cycle I’m in– sometimes I just oil cleanse and call it a day– sometimes I slather on all of the oils and serums.
One more bonus product I wanted to talk about is this amazing body oil from Primally Pure– it’s not for your face but it’s still technically skincare so I decided to include it. I’m a sucker for anything citrus scented bur especially if it’s also floral. In short, this is Southern California in a bottle (which, I’m pretty sure is where they source all their floral ingredients from so that’s fitting)
Seriously guys– I have never encountered a more heavenly scent than the aromas that live in this magic bottle. It has become a pinnacle of my self-care for how relaxing and uplifting it is. Plus my skin feels luxurious when I use it.
And here’s my whole lineup– one big happy skincare family!
I feel like there’s this big wave in the healthy living community that is now focused on personal care products and skincare as well– and for a good reason. Everything we put on our skin also gets absorbed into our bloodstream. I’ve been loving how curious everyone has been about cleaning up their medicine cabinets as well as their pantry.
I’d love to hear some feedback and answer questions for you guys– I’ll likely do a follow up post with even more products like makeup, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. Is that something you would be interested in?
Let me know!