Skincare Essentials

+ We’re talking closet and getting-ready essentials this month. Last week was Shower Essentials and now Skincare!

Skincare used to give me a lot of problems. Changing climates, diets, and being on and off of hormonal birth control didn’t help. I’ve used super fancy products and branded multi-step regimens but didn’t really feel right about it until I pared down. I obviously believe in less is more through most aspects of life (except love <3), and for skincare I definitely think this holds true.


1. Oil Cleansing. I mentioned in the Shower Essentials post that I like to clean my face with oils. Oils are better at removing oil and dirt from your skin, they help maintain your skin’s natural pH (unlike harsher cleansers) and they also have natural anti-aging and healing benefits. I’ve tried a few oils including coconut (easy and cheap!) and argan, but lately I’ve been using Rosehip Seed Oil (in a prettier bottle) and love it!

As for method, I like to put a few drops of oil on my fingers and massage it into my skin, making sure not to miss my eyes to remove any mascara leftover. (It’s a great makeup remover!) I do this in or out of the shower. After letting it sit for a few minutes, I rinse it off with warm water. If I’d like a little more exfoliation or I’m out of the shower, I use a washcloth or microfiber cloth to help further remove the oil. That’s it!

It took me a little while to give up the need for that squeaky-clean skin feeling… both on my face and body. But, I’ve learned that my skin is much happier when I preserve/don’t torture its natural oils.

2. Rosewater Balancing Mist. I started using this product about five years ago after reading about it in a Lucky magazine. I was getting fed up with the changes in my skin from moving to California and the beauty editor said she just didn’t break out when using it. I bought it, this has been true for me and I don’t understand it. It’s also pretty and smells lovely and makes me feel like I’m pampering myself a little bit while the rest of my routine is pretty sparse. I don’t know if it tones or hydrates but it helps keep my skin clear!

1 (again). Face Oil. I then moisturize with the same oil I cleanse with… not too much. I don’t have separate eye creams, face creams, anti-aging creams, body creams. I’m open to trying new products but usually just go back to this routine. I did learn that it can take a month for skin to normalize after switching products. So, if you’d like to try a new method like oil-cleansing, I’d recommend sticking with it for a few weeks even if you get some breakouts because it might get worse before it gets (much) better!
+ If I don’t want to waste my fancier face oil on my body, I’ll use coconut oil from the pantry.

3. Deodorant. I spent a few years searching for an effective natural deodorant and this one is the best I’ve tried. I actually gave up on all of them at one point and started making my own using a recipe similar to this. I wanted something a little more stable for travel and noticed that Schmidt’s has the same ingredients as my homemade concoction. I still make it from time to time but it’s nice to be able to buy one as well.
+ I do keep a toxic deodorant with my luggage as a backup if I have a summer wedding or sleeveless-dress event.


+ Sunscreen or a CC Cream. I should probably wear sunscreen everyday but I don’t. I don’t like having stuff on my face since I don’t wash it at night (I know :/) and I like to get as much Vitamin D from the sun as possible. But… if I’m going to be outside for more than an hour, I wear a tinted cream that doubles as sunscreen. It also evens out my skintone if I want a little more makeup in the evenings. I’ve tried a few, even some organic ones, and I don’t know… none are perfect. This one is lightweight, has subtle coverage, and doesn’t cake or flake.

+ Honey Mask. Every week or two, I might grab some of our honey from the pantry and maybe add a sprinkling of baking soda, then rub it into my face. I’ll let it sit while I shave or wash my hair and then rinse it off with warm water. Honey is healing, moisturizing and naturally anti-bacterial. (Read more about raw honey as a cleanser!) I also used honey as a daily face wash for all of last year and it was awesome but I didn’t love storing the honey in the shower.

This skincare routine has really helped heal my skin and allowed me to think about it a lot less. I think using fewer products and nothing toxic (like my old face wash or the countless moisturizers I used to help advertise ;) has made the biggest difference. Balancing out my hormones, cleaning up my diet including reducing dairy and gluten, and trying to drink enough water have also helped. And, oh yes, oil-pulling makes a difference too.

How many items do you like to use on your skin? Any miracle products? Would you consider trying just one or two?