We’ve talked a lot about natural skin care and particularly oil cleansing here at PD. It took me a few weeks after Mary’s first post about her oil cleansing journey to finally go out and get my own bottle of organic sweet almond oil. That’s when I began a massive overhaul of my very expensive, chemical-laden regime and transitioned to a more nourishing routine based on organic botanical oils. The results of my 2 month-long experiment are nothing short of groundbreaking (to my long-suffering skin). My skin literally feels and looks better than it’s ever been before.
It turns out my skin woes (bone-dry on cheeks; uneven texture, flakiness and large pores on sides of my nose and chin; hormonal breakouts) were not the result of skin type, but skin condition. This whole time, my skin was perfectly capable of being silky, smooth, blemish-free and supple–it just was getting the wrong message from the way I was treating it, stripping it of oil and applying harsh chemicals. This in turn led to a vicious cycle of dryness in certain areas, and oiliness in others.
If you are using expensive, luxury brand skin care products, and wondering why your skin still misbehaves, you need to try this switch to natural skin care. I promise you won’t regret it.
At morning and at night, I used Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser to wash my face. In the a.m. I would put on Alba All-natural Sunblock before applying Clinique Even Better Makeup with SPF 15. Once a week I also did Philosophy Microdelivery Peel, which I loved because it’s so effective at getting rid of dull skin cells. The morning after, I’d feel all glowy and fresh–but the effect unfortunately didn’t last more than 2 days. I moisturized pretty sporadically: Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion (not pictured), which I bought at a drug store in a pinch. I didn’t like it at all, but I also didn’t want to toss a full tube, so I used it begrudgingly. And no wonder, even though the brand name is “Aveeno Active Naturals,” the ingredient list is full of chemicals I don’t recognize, and also includes petrolatum–eek. When I felt panicked about aging I also randomly used Philosophy Eye Hope, although fine lines were not a huge concern. (Total: $174)
Now my routine is a lot simpler. In the p.m., I apply about 3/4 tsp amount of organic sweet almond oil to my face and rub for about twenty seconds to loosen dirt and makeup. I then wipe off using organic cotton rounds. I rinse my face thoroughly with warm water and pat dry. (I don’t always use a facial cleanser at this stage, but occasionally I might use Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream, which is made of more botanical oils plus gentle exfoliants). Then, I liberally spray Everyday Coconut Coconut Water Face Toner, then wipe with another cotton round. Then I apply Pangea Organics Lavender and Thyme Lotion to finish. (Total: $122)
In the a.m., I skip the oil cleansing and go straight to warm water rinse, followed by toner and Pangea lotion. Then I use just a bit (size of my pinky nail) of Josie Maran Argan Oil Tinted Moisturizer in Light 2.
What I eliminated: All products containing harsh chemicals and preservatives; foundation; weekly exfoliating peel product; eye cream; petrolatum-containing moisturizer that had a misleading “natural” on the tube
What I added: Products containing all natural and organic botanical oils; pH-balancing coconut water toner; organic cotton rounds that provide twice daily exfoliation; tinted moisturizer
Results: About 2 weeks after starting my new routine, I started noticing a real difference in how hydrated my skin felt. Before, my skin always felt dry after cleansing, especially my cheeks and forehead. That dry, tight feeling was completely gone after introducing oil cleansing. Soon after that, I noticed dramatic changes in texture on my problem areas around my nose and my chin. In place of the incomprehensible mix of flaky, dry, uneven texture, and enlarged pores, I now have smooth, even, silky texture and almost invisible pores. My skin feels so soft and supple that I can’t help touching it!
An amazing and completely unexpected bonus is that I no longer get hormonal breakouts on my chin. I used to think, resignedly, that I had to suffer these once a month like clockwork, but it turns out these were something I could eliminate. In fact, I don’t really get breakouts anymore, although when I first began oil cleansing I noticed an extra blemish or two on my cheekbone (where I normally never get any). I’m so glad I kept going because those went away quickly, as did the hormonal cystic acne.
Overall, I feel so much better and more confident in my skin. While I’m not about to go to work with completely bare skin, it feels fine to be wearing just sliver of tinted moisturizer even under harsh office light. As for my old skin care products, I’m going to take a leaf from Mary’s book (again) and wash them out to use the containers for my impending trip to Mont Tremblant in Quebec!
Related: DIY Facial Massage Using Almond Oil
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling