6 Tried and True Tips for Skincare Magic
I, like many, have had troubled skin for the better part of my life. I am familiar with the angst that acne can cause, as well as the endless experience of trying products that don't work. It's stressful and annoying and frustrating. But there is still hope. I've recently started using a few new remedies along with my favorites and I've seen some truly wonderful results.
1. A Dairy-Free Diet
I've seen the most drastic results from something you might not have heard about. I remember I was first introduced to the idea when I started college. Someone said to me, "You know milk is really bad for your skin, right?" Uh, no I didn't know that actually. I stopped drinking milk and saw a slight improvement. I've never gone back.
Yet my diet was still filled with other dairy products. Cheese, yogurt, creamy dressings, ice cream; pretty much all the things that taste delicious. I was eating yogurt and cheese a few times a week, and ice cream and other dairy products here and there. For some reason it didn't click that maybe I should cut out all dairy.
Until a few weeks ago that is. I'm not sure what brought the thought into my head. I think I had stopped eating cheese for a time because I didn't like how my body reacted to it. My skin was the clearest it had been in a while. Finally the pieces fell into place and I made the choice to stop eating dairy and see what happened.
It's been a few weeks now and while I've slipped up here and there I've absolutely seen a huge difference in my skin. If you're in the same boat, I highly recommend trying a dairy-free diet. Cheese is a hard thing to give up. But for everything else, there are easy non-dairy alternatives. I use almond, coconut, or flax milk and you can even get coconut ice cream or dairy free from Ben and Jerry's! Honestly, it's a price I'm more than willing to pay for clear, smooth skin.
2. Jojoba Oil
I discovered this nutrient rich oil after getting a facial at the healing center where I teach yoga. I talked to my esthetician afterward about my problem skin and she suggested Jojoba oil (pronounced ho-ho-ba). She even makes her own blend which I promptly bought and have been using for about 2 months.
Holy crap, my skin has never been so smooth in my life.
Like, not kidding guys, this is a miracle oil. I know they all say that but I'm serious! Jojoba balances out your skin's oil production so it works whether you are oily, dry, or combination and it's 100% natural! I use it morning and night before my regular moisturizer. You can find a wonderful blend here, or at your local health food store or healing arts center. Make sure it's organic!
Try Florapothecarie's Rejuvenating Facial Serum and sign up for 15% off.
3. ANDALOU NATURALS
I came across this fruit based skincare collection at my local health food store. They have these great sample boxes and everything was on sale so I decided to try it. It's now my go to product. Andalou makes everything from cleansers to toners, moisturizers to masks. They have different lines for individual needs like Brightening, Clear Skin, Age Defying, etc.
So far I've tried most of the items in their Brightening line, and a few in their Clarifying (which I believe is now Clear Skin). Not only do their products smell amazing, but they're gentle, non-drying, and come with results. My face started to look more even and felt softer and healthier after a week.
I remember standing in the same store a few weeks later and hearing someone ask the manager for their recommendation for a great natural skin care line. The manager said, "I've honestly never tried anything from Andalou that I didn't like." I wholeheartedly agree.
Try Andalou Naturals and check their promo section for discounts.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Oh, tea tree oil. You are so useful. Tea tree oil is anti-bacterial and can be used topically on anything from a zit to a fungal infection. It's one of my all time favorites; I'm pretty sure I've been using this since I got my very first pimple at 14. When I was in Bali, I got a heat rash from all the sweaty yoga I was doing. Tea tree oil cleared it up in no time.
For facial care I like to use it as a toner, putting a little on a wet cotton ball and wiping over the face. It has a bit of a peppermint feeling to the skin, like it's opening up the pores. It's also very drying if applied undiluted which makes for a great spot treatment, although it can cause flaky skin. A little bit goes a long way.
Try Desert Essence 100% Australian Tea Tree Oil and get 30% off bath and body products through January.
5. Activated Charcoal and Bentonite Clay Mask
Using this clay as a mask can be intense for some. Bentonite clay comes in the form of a powder which is mixed with liquid to create a paste and then applied to the skin. As it dries it causes a 'pulsing' sensation which literally feels like it's pulling toxins out of your skin and tightening your pores.
The liquid you choose to mix in will determine how intense or mild this sensation is. I like to go all out and use apple cider vinegar, another natural substance with a zillion health benefits to it's name. ACV has a strong smell and can cause a slight stinging when applied to the skin. For a less intense mask, simply add water.
I've used Aztec Secret Health Indian Healing Clay forever. A jar of this stuff has lasted me, like, 5 years although I'm not using it everyday. Recently I've been using bentonite clay with activated charcoal. I like this mask because it's a bit easier to wash off and has a calmer feeling while still giving me the same great results.
6. HIMALAYAN SALT SCRUB
I was introduced to this idea by the same facialist who recommended jojoba oil. She used her own creation of himalayan sea salt and coconut oil as a scrub in my facial and recommended I do the same. This is an easy and cheap way to reap the benefits of both pink salt and coconut oil. Purchase at your grocery store or health food store and mix melted oil and salt together when you want a scrub.
I happened upon a great himalayan salt scrub blended with rose hips and jojoba oil at a local artisan market in December. Whether you make your own or buy a blend, this scrub feels so good and leaves my skin not only feeling soft and smooth but also moisturized by the oil. I've been using mine once or twice a week to rid my face of any dead skin.
Try Florapothecarie's Rose Himalayan Salt Scrub for face and body. This stuff smells ah-mazing.
Have a favorite natural skin care product in your arsenal? Tag me @uniqorniqole and let's hear it!