The Recipe For Perfect Skin.
Sometimes you've just got to strip it down and go back to the good old rough and ready days. Less fuss, no fancy tools or vibrating toys. Just raw and simple.
You know I'm talking about skincare, right? You dirty bunch.
Frankly, my skin was a mess in December. Dealing with the heat and humidity in Australia, and then arriving straight into sub zero temperatures and pumping central heating back in Blighty, made it do the mother of all flip outs right around party time. Typical.
My whole skin type was changing depending on which side of the world I was on. My make up was either dry and cracking or sliding off my face - neither ideal.
As I desperately tried to hit some form of middle ground with my misbehaving dermis, the moisture levels of my skin became the least of my worries as I began to break out from the ever changing products designed to rehydrate or strip oils. Angry red patches were flaring up and my eyes became puffy and swollen around the lids. I got an insight into the confidence-bashing feeling of being in my late 20s with teenage skin and it was not nice. The whole experience left me with a new found respect for those who have chronic skin issues - it dents your confidence and leaves you feeling antisocial and run down.
So it was time to do what I do best - Google the shit out of the problem until I'm spending £200 in Sephora from some random YouTuber who told me it would solve all my problems.
But it wasn't that simple.
Google sent me down the rabbit hole into roaccutane and laser therapy (both over reactions). Skincare blogs told me to invest in expensive weekly facials. YouTube plugged the latest miracle products which cost as much as a small house. And, finally, health & wellbeing websites told me to raid the kitchen cupboards and take the homemade natural approach.
And, of course, I jumped on the cheapest solution.
SO HERE'S THE DEAL:
- No more cleansers, toners, moisturisers, exfoliators etc. which are pumped full of chemicals or even concoctions of natural derivatives. You're putting a plethora of complicated stuff on your skin and it doesn't like it.
- Keep it simple. Wash your face with only water in the morning. Trust me, it doesn't want to be aggravated after doing all that rejuvenation whilst you were sleeping.
- Stop using aggressive tools such as a Clarisonic. It's just not necessary for a deep cleanse.
- Quit touching your face. Seriously, just leave it alone.
3 months on and I've only used five simple ingredients on my face - to remove eye make up, cleanse, moisturise, exfoliate and as a face mask .
And my skin has never been better.
Here are my skincare saviours...
Coconut oil. Yes, it's a little messy but my eyelashes are SO long and luscious since using it! And no more puffiness. Just look on the back of eye make up remover bottles and read the long list of random ingredients in there. Why would I want to soak that on my peepers? Coconut oil does exactly the same job and it makes you smell delicious.
How: I don't like the thought of contaminating my jar of coconut oil, so I thoroughly wash my hands and grab a spoon to scoop up the oil. Then I like to drop it onto my lashes and then use my index and middle fingers to gently remove the mascara. It comes off in little chunks and is so satisfying to watch. Then I sweep my eye with a cotton pad and move onto the next one. Viola!
Two products here - Olive Oil and Sorbolene.
How: Day to day, I use Olive Oil. Yep, the stuff you chuck into your frying pan. I'll explain why in a bit. Pour it into your palm and gently massage onto your face. Remove with a cotton pad.
For heavier, I've been on a night out, foundation, I break my natural only clause and use Sorboline (you can also use Dermveen) which is soap free and ph balanced. It's incredibly gentle and let's face it, you need to be 100% sure that you're going to bed with foundation-free skin.
Olive Oil. Only. Exclusively. That's it! It contains contains three major antioxidants: vitamin E, polyphenols, and phytosterols, and unlike commercial moisturisers that can clog pores and exacerbate current skin conditions, olive oil penetrates deeply into the skin while providing a cleansing effect. You can't even tell I ripped that from Google, can you? It has transformed my skin type (who knew oil reduced oil?) and my skin remains matte even on the hottest of days. I love it.
How: I, erm, put some on my palm and then rub it on my face. We probably didn't need this bit.
Warning! Don't use this in the morning if you're heading out into the sun as your skin will photosensitise. As my skin is still silky soft from the evening application, I just wash my face with water and whack on some factor 50.
Coconut oil and rock sea salt. The salt gently removes the dead skin and the coconut oil leaves you silky smooth.
How: I pop one tablespoon of sea salt, the chunky kind, into an espresso cup (I'm with an Italian and it's the perfect size. Don't judge me) and pour enough coconut oil in to cover the salt. A little goes a long way. Gently massage into your skin and wash off.
Manuka Honey. If you're already a user (both on your skin and in your gut) you'll know why it's on the list. This stuff is incredible. It cures colds, boots your immune system, has anti bacterial properties and reduces the size of spots overnight. I have one pot for the kitchen and one for the bathroom (best not to mix those up).
How: Again, don't contaminate your pot with filthy fingers. Scoop it up with a spoon (no double dipping!), and spread it onto your face using either your fingers or the back of the spoon. You just need a thin layer or it'll drip all over your favourite pj's and ruin your night. Leave on for as long as you like and then wash off with a wet cloth. No need to slather yourself in olive oil after as your skin will be as smooth as Nicole Kidman's forehead.
And that's the simple route to perfect skin!
What do you think? Would you swap your fancy skincare regime for the natural approach?
Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@alexandermils