Skincare is important to me and is should be important to you too. Not for reasons of vanity, but for reasons of health. Your skin is your largest organ and therefore your largest barrier to infection. In addition, your skin is an indicator of general health. Not always of course, some conditions are literally skin deep. But how often have you been feeling under the weather and your skin looses its shine? Or battling hormonal outbreaks each month?
I inherited my respect for skincare from my mum, at an early age. I’m not a dermatologist and I’m not medically trained. I’m a busy mama trained in holistic health, who feels good when my skin is good.
Recently, I have been making an effort to increase my zero waste living efforts. This, in combination with maternity leave and therefore a vast decrease in household earnings has made me go back to my teenage ways of making my own skincare products (recipe links included below). The result? My skin is thriving and my purse isn’t groaning.
Here’s what works for me:
I drink lots of water. Your skin has many layers, so you should see water as an internal moisturiser, creating healthy skin from the inside out. I aim for at least 2 litres sipped throughout the day, which is about 3.5 pints. If you’re thirsty, you’ve already been dehydrated for some time, so drink regardless of thirst.
Still on the water theme, I drink hot lemon water every morning. Though lemon is acidic, it has an alkalising affect on the body and alkaline bodies function easier, including your skin’s processes. Hot water is key because the liver finds is easier to digest. High in Vitamin C, lemon water brightens the skin and helps eliminate toxins that clog your pores.
I have dry skin, which is exacerbated by cold weather and pregnancy! So moisture is key for me. Maternity pay put a stop on expensive products and I made one easy swap, to oil.
Coconut or olive oil, occasionally sweet almond or argan if my travels bestow me with such goodies. But I can’t grind argan kernels in the mountains of Morocco, after they’ve passed through a goat everyday! Did you know that’s how argan oil is made? Anyway I digress!
Coconut oil, bought in a glass bottle, is now my moisturiser AND cleanser; it removes make-up easily. I use sparingly in the mornings and lavishly at night because I don’t mind being shiny for bedtime.
After cleansing, I use toner to close the pores that cleansing has opened. Gone are the days of expensive French branded toners in plastic bottles with plastic squirty tops.
I make my own, in two different ways depending on the time of year; rose water toner for summer and a green tea based toner for winter. I store them in the fridge in reused glass jam jars and I put them on my skin by dunking in a crocheted make up round and smothering over my face.
Lastly, I exfoliate twice a week. If you have oily skin, you may want to exfoliate more. I use a homemade three-ingredient sugar scrub, again using my trusty coconut oil as a base.
I cleanse, tone and moisturise in the evenings only because I’m a busy mum. In the mornings, I moisturise and use an SPF everyday, even in winter. I only wear make up for work or special occasions. Otherwise, I let my skin breathe, even on days when I have blemishes because these are the days your skin needs to breathe more.
That’s it! Nothing complicated, nothing expensive, nothing wrapped in plastic. I hope it’s refreshing to read skincare advice that doesn’t recommend products that cost the earth, figuratively and literally.