Growing into your skin
When I decided to shift my mindset from a negative to a positive outlook on life it highly affected my make up and skincare routine. I began to work out a serious skincare ritual in my late 20’s, incorporating more rejuvenating, balancing and deep cleansing elements while also cutting back on the use of make up. When I was younger, I always felt that I needed to put a lot of make up on in order to create some actual facial features, an actual physical personality. Also, I would use foundation and other concealing products as a “quick fix” to cover up dull looking skin, redness, blemishes and other physical signs of imbalance. Not to mention using these products as a mask to veil my mental and emotional insecurities…
These days, I don’t put on make up to cover the bad but to highlight the good. Some women who work from home put on make up as part of the “waking up and getting ready” routine to get in the mood for work, nothing wrong with that, but I’ve found that leaving the skin alone and letting it breathe most of the time has such a positive impact on the condition of the skin that I don’t use make up on a daily basis anymore. I also believe that it is good for our self-esteem to get used to looking at our own naked face. The face is the seat of all of our emotional expressions, a mirror of our heart, so it is a very vulnerable part of our body, and we might not feel so comfortable about exposing it to others. But how can I respect other people for who they are if I don’t even respect myself enough to look at my own face?
As we get older, the skin tightens, exposing the bone structure, which gives a unique personality to our face. Our appearance grows, just like we grow and mature spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Our physical persona reveals itself to us, step by step, like everything else in life. We can choose to honor and celebrate this process by building a skincare ritual which is focused on helping our appearance to grow by providing the nutrition and care that the skin needs to thrive.
Cleaning and Toning
I want to treat my skin to as much organic nutrition as possible while keeping the number of products down and the ingredients clean and simple. My daily cleaning routine simply consists of wiping my face with a mild, alcohol-free toner every morning and night. In case I wear make up, I rub 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil into my face and wipe it off with a few wet cottonpads before using the toner. The idea behind using oil to remove make up is that fat dissolves fat. The oil forces make up and dirt out of the pores while filling and cleaning them. I use Coconut oil because it is anti-bacterial and has the potential to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which could help with the overall health of the skin and prevent premature aging. If you have fat skin, Coconut oil might clog your pores, but there are many other oils to choose from, like almond and castor.
Nothing has changed the quality of my skin more than using a toner. Since my skin is dry I used to suffer from flaky skin, especially in the winter months, but that never happens anymore. A good toner restores the skin’s PH-balance and adds a layer of protection while moisturizing and removing excess oil.
The next step of my ritual is to massage a few drops of pure Argan oil into my face to moisturize the deeper layers of the skin. Argan oil has a whole spectrum of healing properties: it’s high content of vitamin E helps to protect the skin from sun damage, treats inflammatory skin conditions and many forms of acne. The oil has been proven to increase the elasticity of the skin (providing an “anti-aging” effect) and to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Because of it’s sebum-reducing qualities it can work for both dry and oily skin. If argan oil does not suit you, there is an abundance of natural oils for every skin type and every skin problem, and it is well worth it to read up on oils and experiment.
Face Cream & Eye Cream
After 25, you should consider using an eye cream to nurture the sensitive skin around your eyes. Normal face cream and oil is to heavy and can cause puffiness and irritation. There are eye creams that help to reduce dark circles and to combat puffiness (however, the best way to treat puffiness is to get enough sleep). I use an ultra sensitive, allergy tested eye cream that just provides moisture. In the morning, I use a light face cream with sunscreen to protect against the UV-radiation, and at night, I put on a layer of cold cream that provides more intense hydration. I haven’t changed skincare brand in 7 years, partly because what I use works for me, but also because the skin does not like when you experiment too much. Switching skincare products every 3 months is a certain way of creating skin imbalance. It’s also better to use the same brand for all of your products because they work together to enhance the result.
Masks and Exfoliators
I don’t use harsh face scrubs but gentle masks for deep cleansing. Once a week I apply a mask made of pure Moroccan Red Clay to the face to draw out all the dirt that builds up in the pores. Mix 2 teaspoons of clay with 2,5 teaspoons of lukewarm water, stir until mixture is well combined and attains the consistency of yoghurt. Apply an even layer to your clean face and neck (avoiding the area around the eyes), leave on for 10-20 minutes, and then rinse off with lukewarm water. Finish with a toner and moisturizer. Just like with oil, there is a clay for every type of skin.
Unless you have an allergy to pollen or other bee-related products, applying a mask of raw honey to the face is an easy way to gently exfoliate, treat acne and even out skin tone. I’ve found that applying raw honey and leaving it on for about 30 minutes completely revitalizes the look of the skin – which is especially helpful in winter 🙂