My journey into Minimalism has had many unexpected benefits, including making more intentional and deliberate decisions about purchasing the products I use, both around the house and the cosmetics I use. Whilst I am well aware of the detrimental effects of chemicals in our foods and other products, this has not always been reflected in my actual purchases.
The move towards intentional skincare
I have always tried to purchase natural and organic products, but usually resort to standard mass produced hair care products, shower gels, hand creams, etc. This summer however I decided to be more intentional in my skin care. My first act was to replace my shower gels with an organic bar of soap. The benefit of using a good quality soap is that not only does it work without all the additional chemicals that a shower gel contains, but it lasts for ages too. I am now a convert to soap and am enjoying trying out various different organic varieties to find out what suits my skin best.
Creating my own natural products
One major source of frustration for me for many years has been the lack of a good natural deodorant that actually works! After much research I found a simple recipe and decided to try and make my own. Consisting of only 3 ingredients (coconut oil, bicarbonate of soda and essential oils) it is homemade, organic and smells divine! It is without a doubt the best, and most effective, deodorant I have ever used.
The experimental deodorant was so successful that I then decided to see how easy and beneficial it would be to make my own natural facial skin care products. Research revealed many varied and wonderful ways of creating natural skin care, so I decided to start simply and create things with just a few ingredients. I read a lot about the oil cleansing method (both good and bad) and decided to give that a go to start, creating a cleanser out of coconut oil and lavender essential oil. As noted when I did my research, it can take a couple of weeks for skin to adapt to the change, and this was the case as my skin initially broke out. However it was definitely worth persevering with as now my skin is incredibly clear and soft. While I realise that this won’t work for everyone, it has worked really well for me so far.
Even with home-made natural products it is still important to find what works best for your skin, and this may involve a bit of trial and error! I did find that sometimes I wasn’t quite clearing away all the dirt, so I investigated alternatives and finally settled on an apple cider vinegar based toner. Using this in combination with the oil cleanser has worked brilliantly.
I have since created and tried out various other products too, so I am now using;
- Lavender Coconut Oil Cleansing Lotion
- Green Tea Exfoliator
- Honey and Aloe Cleanser
- Green Tea Exfoliator
- Apple Cider Vinegar Toner
- Cocoa Butter Moisturiser
- Tea Tree & Lavender Facial Oil
- Chocolate and Peppermint Body Butter
- Vanilla Body Butter
- Green Tea Body Exfoliator
- Lavender and Peppermint Conditioner
How have my routines changed?
Before changing to this natural skincare regimen, my morning routine used to consist of; foaming face wash, milk cleanser/toner, anti-aging serum and a moisturiser. Today I use a vegetable fibre sponge with water – that’s it! My previous evening routine was similar to the morning routine, with the addition of a face oil before the night-time moisturisers. Now I use one of the natural cleansers (lavender coconut oil, or honey and aloe) and a bit of homemade toner to clear any extra dirt from the day, and I’m done. Occasionally I use some lavender and tee tree oil overnight which ensures that my skin feels extra nourished and soft. Not only is my skin benefitting from the change to natural, homemade skin care, but I am also benefitting from extra time in my day as my skincare routine is so much quicker and easier. Less is most definitely more!
What I have discovered about my skin:
- My skin looks and feels the healthiest it has ever been (people have even commented on how good my skin looks now!).
- My skin no longer needs an extra product to moisturise as it always feels hydrated and healthy. I no longer have flaky patches of dry skin anywhere (I occasionally use a cocoa butter based cream to moisturise if I have just been in the shower or swimming, but I do not need anything on a day to day basis).
- My whole skin tone looks healthier. The patches of discolouration I had have reduced, and my skin tone has evened out, being smoother and softer than it has ever felt before.
Making my own natural skincare products has been an eye-opener. It has always made sense to me that natural products with fewer ingredients would be better for skin, however it has still taken me by surprise how well my skin has responded to the change. I can’t believe that I didn’t do this sooner! Creating and using these recipes has given me the confidence to research more into natural skincare and I’m planning to develop some of my own products soon.
As with any type of skincare, it is important to find out what works best for you. But if you want to give it a go yourself, why not check out some of the recipes I tried, (see below) or find your own?
Lavender Coconut Oil Cleansing Lotion – http://newleafwellness.biz/2014/05/15/lavender-coconut-oil-lotion/
Apple Cider Vinegar Toner – http://cocnutandkettlebells.com/diy-apple-cider-vinegar-facial-toner
Natural Deodorant – https://www.davidwolfe.com/homemade-coconut-oil-probiotic-deodorant/
Green Tea Exfoliator – http://livesimply.me/2015/07/03/diy-homemade-green-tea-exfoliator/