Hello Organic Skincare Loving Friends! I’m back for round two on this topic, but if you missed my first post you can find that here:
The post above still serves as the basis of my daily skincare routine, but I’ve added a few new tools and products in recently so I wanted to take the time to share those with you.
I really hope you enjoy, and find some useful tips here. Oh, and you’ll have to excuse the corny pictures littered throughout of me modeling all the products 😛
The new methods and products I’m going to discuss in this post are ones I have been using to help keep my skin clear, to combat the evil sorcerer that is Aging, as well as Aging’s equally evil twin, The Cruel & Drying Effect that comes with upstate NY winters, wreaking havoc on our poor skin as well as our souls this time of year.
If you’d like to jump ahead, the main things I’m going to be talking about in this post are:
1. Oil Cleansing Method & Steaming
You may have heard of the oil cleansing method as it has become very popular as of late. I am a huge fan of all different types of organic oils (both of the carrier and essential variety,) thus I had no choice but to jump on this bandwagon.
What drew me to the oil cleansing method was that it touted benefits like balancing oil production as well as the skin’s pH (because unfortunately I am an excessively oily gal,) being a really deep cleanse and helping to clear clogged pores, blackheads and acne, promoting hydrated, nourished, healthy, and “glowy” skin, anti-aging benefits, and being stupidly easy and quick to perform, which is obviously a major bonus.
But what is the oil cleansing method you may ask?
Well, basically what you do to perform the oil cleansing method is:
- Take an oil based cleanser, or a plain old skincare oil, or some combination of multiple ones you like
- Rub about a quarter sized amount of the oil between your clean palms to warm it
- Massage said oil into your skin for a minute or two (which also removes your makeup so no added step there)
- Place a steamy washcloth over your face to open up your pores and allow the oil to perform its oil cleansing magic. Yes, believe it or not, the idea behind the oil cleansing method is that the oil actually helps to dissolve built up oil (sebum) and dead skin cells that clog your pores, based on the principle that like dissolves like. Remember science class? Me either… but alas, it is true.
- Leave the washcloth on your face until it cools taking a moment to breathe and relax (this is an important step as we all probably need to relax more, and, well, it just feels good..)
- Gently wipe away any excess oil with the washcloth
- Rub any remaining oil on the skin in to moisturize the face
Super simple right? You don’t even need to use water!
I know, I know you must be thinking… “W.T.F. this can’t actually work can it???”
My Thoughts on this Method:
Well, I LOVE it, and it DOES work.
Though I haven’t completely replaced my normal cleansing method with this one, I do perform this in place of it several times a week now.
I definitely find that oil cleansing helps to keep winter dryness in check over regular cleansing. My skin is definitely more balanced, super soft, and it really is SO easy to do this. Definitely a go to on those nights you’re feeling too lazy to even wash your face.
On those nights I suck it up and do this instead.
Some Further Tips:
If you wear a lot of makeup, you may want to repeat the oil application and massaging process a second time to ensure all of your makeup gets completely removed, and you’re really getting a good, thorough cleanse.
You can also use a makeup wipe to remove your makeup first if you wish.
Instead of the washcloth, I actually prefer to steam my face to allow the oil to really kick ass.
This turns the process into a bit longer term one, but I think steaming is also super relaxing and works better.
Instead of using the steamy washcloth to open up your pores, you can use a facial steamer, or just a pot of water on the stove (which is what I do) to open the pores for a really deep clean.
To do this, just bring a pot of water almost to a boil, remove it from the heat and carefully pour into a clean bowl. Place the bowl on your table and get comfortable in a chair. Hold your face at least 6 inches above the bowl to let the steam soak into your skin for about five minutes. You can also drape a small towel over your head while doing this to really concentrate the steam on your face (I realize this is a funny image but it works).
Obviously be careful when working with the hot water as you don’t want to get burned! (feeling like a coffee company needing to explain that coffee is hot right about now…)
You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil into the water for an even more relaxing and spa-like experience.
There are a multitude of other benefits to facial steaming as well you can read about in a great article on the topic here:
These include such glorious things as helping to hydrate the skin, relieve acne, and helping skin to retain its youthful appearance. Amen sister.
What kind of oil should I use?
When I first decided to try oil cleansing out I just used a combination of organic castor and safflower oils because these are what I had at home. This combination worked great, and you can read about several combinations you can try for different skin concerns here:
This is by far one of the best articles I have ever found on skincare and skincare oils and you’re sure to find some great tips.
Since my humble beginnings, I have discovered an awesome little oil based skincare company called Annie James.
I have been using the Annie’s lavender and frankincense oil cleanser for a few months now, and this may sound a tad dramatic, but I am in love!
The Annie’s products work so well, smell so great, contain nothing but simple, natural and organic ingredients, and are so affordable (a little goes a long way!) Plus, who doesn’t love to support small businesses? I know I do.
If you are looking for an easy way to start oil cleansing, I highly recommend Annie James’ products. You can check out all of their great stuff by following the link below.
2. Mechanical Facial Cleansing Tools
If you’re into skincare like me then you’ve probably heard of another skincare fan fave which is the Clarisonic. Though I didn’t mention my Clarisonic in my last post, I have had it for years and in my opinion it is worth all the hype.
I honestly can’t remember why I stopped using it (call it laziness,) but I have started again recently and vow to not go back to the dark side.
Touted to clean the face 6x better than hands alone, I believe this to be true based on the way my skin looks and feels when incorporating it into my routine.
I definitely experience fewer bumps, pimples, blackheads, etc., and it makes my skin feel a lot softer too.
My skin is sensitive, so I don’t use this every day, but rather a few times a week as well.
What brush head do I use?
The only brush head I use is the “Luxe Cashmere” head. This one is super soft, and I just find the other heads to be too rough on my sensitive skin.
What kind of cleanser should I use?
As far as what cleanser to use with your Clarisonic, you can use whatever one works best for you. I have actually been using the Dr. Bronner’s I mentioned in my first organic skincare post, which I have diluted to about 1/3 part soap and 2/3 parts water (it is important to dilute this stuff as it is strong and a little goes a long way here also!) This has been working great for me, and the best part is that this brand is all natural and over 90% organic.
After every use I clean the brush head with 91% isopropyl alcohol I store in a spray bottle, a tip I learned from my esthetician friend I have mentioned previously. Just rinse your cleanser off of the brush head thoroughly after use (you may need to use a mild cleanser to wash any excess makeup left on the brush away as well,) spray the brush head liberally with the alcohol, and then rinse it with hot water again. This helps to keep bacteria off of the brush (and thus off of your face,) and helps to make your brush head last a lot longer.
Another piece of advice if you’re just starting out with a facial cleansing device is to make sure you give your skin some time to adjust!
Purging is a real thing that can happen to the skin when it is adjusting to any new skincare routine. As horrible as it may seem to have to put up with breakouts, this is actually a good thing. The skin breaks out as it adjusts to the new deep cleansing method, “purging” all of the gunk held beneath the skin to the surface.
Give your skin a few weeks to adjust before deciding that something new just doesn’t work for you.
Though I have not tried these, I have heard through the grapevine that the newer silicone cleansing brushes give the Clarisonic a run for its money, and many like these even better. The nice part about them is they are easier to clean and you never have to replace brush heads.
3. Jade Rolling
Another trending skincare tool you’ve probably assumed to be a myth of the likes of centaurs and Nessie are jade rollers.
I myself was just like you in this department, but given my esthetician friend’s near-godly advice, I followed her guidance and have been using one of these lately as well.
The rollers are made from 100% natural jade stone.
What do jade rollers do?
Well, according to an article from Harper’s Bazaar:
“Skincare expert and facialist Abigail James explains that the main benefits of self-massage using a jade roller are that of “drainage”, by way of encouraging the lymphatic system’s natural detoxification process, and “brightening” – by boosting the circulation and blood flow beneath the skin granting a visible glow.”
Anything that helps to promote clearer and younger looking skin is a good friend of mine.
Jade also works to promote a more even skin tone, and to cool and calm the skin.
I love the way the jade roller feels on my face. You can also place it on a clean cloth in your freezer for a few minutes prior to use for an even more amazing cooling and calming effect.
But what’s even cooler then jade fresh out the freezer is that jade isn’t just a new trend, it is actually an age old beauty secret which has been used for centuries.
You can use your jade roller after cleansing, and before or after applying any serums or moisturizers you use.
I also clean this via the alcohol in a spray bottle method I discussed above, wiping the alcohol away with a clean cloth.
4. Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Number 4, hyaluronic acid serum, has really been a life saver this winter against my dry winter skin (yes you can be dry and oily all at once! have mercy…)
Don’t be afraid of the name. Hyaluronic acid is actually a compound that exists naturally in the body. It serves as a humectant meaning it actually works to draw water into the skin and keep it there. It can hold up to 1000x it’s weight in water, and thus does a kick ass job as keeping the skin hydrated.
And hydrated skin = younger, healthier looking skin with less visible lines and wrinkles.
I really like the one below from Amazon.
This one is not overloaded with fillers like many other products, and has amazing customer reviews from people like me who just love it.
Hyaluronic Acid is also “all the rage” in skincare, and many seem to say it is one of the most important components of any skincare routine.
Apply a small amount of this (literally like a drop is all you need) after washing your face and when your skin is still a little damp. Follow with your moisturizer.
5. Eyelash & Eyebrow Serum
Last but definitely not least, another product from Annie James I have been using and loving over the past few months is the eyelash serum.
This stuff is the “Big Kahuna” if you will.
It is very inexpensive, completely natural and organic, and really does work. I have also been using this on my brows which is where I’ve noticed the biggest difference.
They may not look like much, and certainly not like the uber-full brows I can’t help but envy, but I kid you not my brows did not have any “tails” whatsoever before I started using this.
They are actually growing (and quite rapidly,) and I could not be happier with the results.
My eyelashes have been looking fuller and longer since starting to use this as well. Now if only it could make them curl instead of being so pin straight!
Now I know I said in my last skincare post that I was going to be testing out castor oil as an eyelash serum, but I haven’t needed to because that is one of the main ingredients in the Annie’s serum as well. Rumor has it even the Kardashians use castor oil to help their eyelashes grow… Not that I am a big Kardashian fan, but they probably do know a thing or two about eyelashes I’d guess…
You want to apply this serum right before bed not during the day.
If you’re curious about Annie James, definitely check out their website as I said before, where they offers several other organic skincare products in addition to the ones I discussed here!
From moisturizers to beard oils for men, you name it.
Head over to my social media pages via the icons at the top of the page to check out a giveaway I will be hosting with Annie James within the next week also!
Well, I hope you enjoyed this post on organic skincare, and hopefully you have found some healthy alternatives to traditional beauty products here that will work as wonderfully for you as they have for me!
Please let me know if you have any questions at all as I am more than happy to help in any way that I can!
Peace & Love Always,