A reader asked recently if I would mind sharing my skincare routine. This one's for her (and you).
Before the training bra, before make-up (except for the tube I found that had a nubbin of lipstick left in it, which I used ever-so-sparingly as blush and lip color on my younger-than-ten-year-old-face), before earrings and pantyhose and heels. There was skincare, the one ritual of womanhood for which my mom did not require any level of maturity or age to begin. The one she said was the most important, with her simple words, "Always take care of your skin. Every morning and every night." So it was that I learned about cleanser, moisturizer, and toner. About eye cream and masks. I would watch her, a pupil in her bathroom, the two of us facing the mirror, and I would learn. Then she would let me try. I remember the jars, the tubes, and fragrant pots of curious, mysterious, creams. This simple ritual was hallowed, somehow, almost reverent. This, I knew, was being beautiful.
The habit that began then continues to this day. Every morning and every night, I take care of my skin. Quite simply, I might add. Each evening, I clip my hair away from my face, pour a nickel-size portion of extra virgin olive oil into my palm, rub my hands together, and apply it to my entire face and neck. I then place a warm/hot wet washcloth over my face and let it steam for a bit before wiping my face clean. Following that, I tone my skin with apple cider vinegar on a cotton pad. Then, I apply vitamin E oil around my eyes, on my forehead, around my lips, and on my neck and decolletage. To the remaining portions of my face, I apply aloe vera gel. My morning routine is similar, only quicker. I simple apply a warm/hot cloth to my face and neck, then tone with apple cider vinegar and moisturize with aloe vera gel.
My routine for nourishing the skin on the rest of my body is equally simple. After showering, I apply coconut oil from neck to toe. I love how this one-ingredient natural moisturizer makes my skin feel, even after hours have past. And speaking of toes, I rub a drop of vitamin E oil onto each one, then on my heels, my fingernails, and the backs of my hands.
How I care for my skin on the inside, is as equally important as how I care for it on the outside. For me, hydration and nutrition are key in helping to maintain healthy, vibrant skin. By nature of how I was raised, and by habit, I drink a lot of water daily (and not much else, really, besides my morning cup of tea), and I prefer eating vegetables, and fruits, whole grains, farm eggs, and natural meat, over processed food and excessive sweets. I like to think of it as beauty from the inside.
Now then, if I were to become adventurous and try something a little different in the way of natural skincare products, here are a few that have caught my eye. Natural ingredients, small batch, made stateside.
What about you, loves? Any favorite natural skincare products to share? Whatever our choice, let's remember simply this: Take care of your skin, every morning and every night.