Lifestyle

DIY Skincare 101: Saving Your Face & Wallet

Skincare can be complicated to say the least. There are so many creams, toners, and cure-all elixirs out there that contain exotic and hard to pronounce ingredients that it’s enough to make one’s head spin. Throw having sensitive skin into the mix, and it becomes nearly impossible to find products that help and don’t make some other ailment worse.

I’ve been battling with this my whole life and about a month ago, after spending $40 on a tiny bottle of another supposed miracle skincare product, I decided I needed a change. I needed to ditch the store skincare aisle and source products myself. My search first took me to the internet and then to local stores to create my own mixes for a change. I found myself shopping in the food aisle and the medicinal aisle and also trying to hunt down some ingredients at specialty stores. It was a fun and informative experience and I am finally on a skincare routine that is drastically changing my skin for the better. To give you a simple introduction into natural skincare choices, I’ve broken down the essential steps: cleansing, toning, and maintenance. These three steps, if followed, will turn around the most stubborn skin. Keep in mind, this exact thing may not work for you and you need to play around with different mixes until you find one that works. This is just the basic groundwork that will get you started on the natural skincare road.

The first step is cleansing. This, to me, was the step that I found the hardest to get used to. The most popular method is to cleanse with oil and it goes against my natural instinct to avoid oil on my face. If you have the same problem, trust me and just stick with it. It works. You can use a variety of oils but the ones I use are a perfect mix of castor oil and coconut oil with a few drops of tea tree oil. Grape seed oil, neem oil, almond oil, and lavender are great options too, to name a few. You want to mix up the oils and then massage a nickel sized amount onto your face. Then, get a nice hot washcloth and drape it over your face for a few seconds to let your skin absorb the oil. I usually wait until the washcloth becomes cool. If any excess oil remains, just lightly wipe it off. Do not scrub! Your face should feel refreshed but not dried out.

After you’ve finished with your oil, you want to use a toner. This will complete the process for your daily care regimen. I use diluted apple cider vinegar. It helps with redness and, even though the vinegar smell isn’t the best, it is very effective. Other toners can be rose water or even witch hazel. I personally use a witch hazel and rosewater combination to remove stubborn makeup but it is on an as needed basis. This is as simple as spraying your toner of choice on with a spray bottle. I used one that was leftover from a store bought toner that left my skin way too dry. You can also choose to wipe it on with a cotton pad though, it comes down to preference.

Those two above steps should be repeated each day during the morning and night. In order to keep your skin at its best though, there is routine maintenance that needs to be done to ensure that it is healthy. If you have dry skin, exfoliating with a sugar and water scrub is a must at least once a week. Also, if you love masks then be generous and do them as much as you can. I try to do them twice a week. My favorite is raw honey mixed with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. There’s a variety of face masks out there that you can mix. Be creative! Be bold! You’ll be surprised what household items can be used as face masks. Skincare can be fun!

With the fun of cleansing, toning, and maintaining comes responsibility. If you want it to be effective, you must stick to these steps and not stray back to your pre-bought bottle past. Stick with it for a month or two. There won’t be an overnight cure but there will be gradual changes and if you give up you’ll never get the chance to see them. For me it took two weeks to notice redness go down and I did break out at first but now my skin is clearer than ever. It’s refreshing to my skin and to my mind that I know what is going onto my skin when I do my facial skincare routine. Try it out today. You don’t have anything to lose except troublesome skin and high skincare costs. Switch to a routine you have full control of and see what all the buzz is about.

 

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