In just the past year, I have gotten slightly more into facial skin care. I still am pretty nonchalant about it; I figure skin will do what skin do. I don’t have ideal skin. Some people may comment that it looks good, but up close, it is blotchy, and my eye/nose area is plagued with milia, those hard, stubborn white head look-alikes. I simply try to keep support my skin’s natural processes, and keep it fresh and hydrated daily and nightly. I strive to give it what it needs by using the following simple products, which all fit in with my minimalist/resourceful personal philosophy:
Activated Charcoal Soap: Just picked up a bar at Whole Foods. I wanted something that is gently cleansing. mild and good for the face, and word on the street is that this is the stuff. I use a small piece of fine, smooth, non-rigged sponge to later it up a bit and lightly wash my face and rinse. Then I spot treat with:
Apple Cider Vinegar: I keep an ex-baby food jar of ACV by my sink to zap pimples and blackheads and to use as an astringent as needed. A dab on a pimple seems to do the trick. You feel the burn; it feels like it’s working. I believe it draws out gunk and bacteria. A word of advice: Don’t use it near your eyes or nostrils! It’s potent stuff!!
Kaolin Clay – I’ve read that this can draw out bad stuff (I’d say toxins but I don’t know if that’s actually true) and leaves skin with silica and other minerals that are good for it. I mix it with ACV to make a mask or just dab the mixture on a problem area, then remove by washing off once dry. Doing so almost feels like exfoliation. Follow with a light moisturizer, and skin feels tingly good.
Cabbage – I went to Rebecca’s Apothecary to inquire about a big, but not huge, milia lump near my eye/nose area, to see if they had an herbal or likewise solution. The woman who helped me simply recommended using cabbage poultices. I tried it and liked it. I chopped some up, put in a jar and drowned it in witch hazel. I dunk a cottonball in the mixture and gently swipe it on my entire face. Feels good! Occasionally, I’ll get a small strip of cabbage and put it on a problem area, such as a pimple or noticeable milia.
Witch Hazel – Common, easy and gentle. I use it (have for years) but can’t say if it actually does something…? I like the tingly feel after cottonballing it all over my face, but watered down ACV does the same thing…
Coffee Grounds – You can use your extra finely ground coffee grounds as an exfoliant after you’ve extracted your morning coffee. I’ve tried this and it is fun, but don’t leave it on for too long – I felt my skin start to burn and get itchy. A little bit and a little scrub is all that’s needed!!
Tooth Brush – I normally brush my teeth in the shower and one day I figured I’d use it on my face, like one of those facial brushes. Same concept. And it worked like a charm. Only every once in a while, I will use my electric electric toothbrush with some good soap on it and gently scrub my face, in small circles. I figure it cleans the toothbrush too! I always rinse it well before and after.
Beach Sand – On my last trip to Florida, we went to the Keys and my friends and mom and I sat in a shaded, shallow part of a beach and exfoliated head to toe with the fine, beautiful sand. I bottle some, smuggled it in my carry-on, and keep it in a container mixed with essential oils. I use it sometimes in the shower to exfoliate my legs, butt, and sometimes my face, but only with the extra fine sandy settlement that rises to the top. It whisks me back to that amazing day.
Coconut Oil – Did you see that coming? Yeah. It’s everywhere. We got a huge bucket of refined coconut oil from Costco for about $20, and use it every day. I use it in the bathtub and on my face. Just a bit goes a long way. Here in dry, crisp Colorado, you need emollient stuff on your skin and this is the best. Sometime’s I’ll leave it in my hair and rinse it out the next day, but it makes me look like a big greaseball.
Rosehip Seed Oil/ Rose Oil – I mix this a bit with essential rose oil (my FAVE) for a special quasi-daily treat. It feels so nice and gentle on delicate facial skin and I love to breathe it in. Rose oil has historically been used to care for the skin spread over faces and carries many benefits. Rosehip seed oil is very light on the skin and is packed with nutrients. I sort of like the scent on its own, but I love mixing it with 2 drops of rose. I feel like an ancient Egyptian aristocrat or something.
My favorite ways to chill are actually very warm and purifying. I am a cold blooded creature – I need warmth to survive.
Warm Bath with Epsom Salt – And a dab of coconut oil. My tub is my zen-o-sphere. It has plants and rocks and is a happy space. I chillax, sometimes put music on, put a dab of coconut oil and a few drops of lavender and just lean back. Warm baths aid with circulation and epsom salts are good for sore muscles and spirits.
Hot Springs – We are graced with the presence of hot springs. A short drive is all it takes to access Indian Hot Springs in Idaho Springs – I love the earth women-only cave with varied tub temperatures, the communal pool and the mud room. It’s my therapy. It’s also shockingly inexpensive and totally relaxing. One of these days I will stay overnight and just indulge in tub after tub, and mix it up with a few cold showers. A good hot springs soak offers countless benefits to the body and psyche. The water has many minerals and nutrients that nourish external and internal – our skin, after all, is an organ.
Speaking of amazing hot springs, another one I have been to that is absolutely celestial is Mt. Princeton near Salida – the hot tubs, carved out of rock, with the cold creek running literally right next to you (separated by a few good-sized rocks), in the mountains…. DIVINE. Go now, if you can.