simple & natural skin care routine

Let's talk skin care. I strongly believe that what we put on our skin is just as important as what we put in our bodies. Establishing a natural skin care routine is just one more step I have taken along my journey to live a healthy, natural, and sustainable life. But let's be honest, skin care is hard to figure out! There are so many brands out there that claim they have the "magic formula" and there are so many health and wellness bloggers who recommend various products that have me running the opposite direction when I look at the price, in addition to having a long and complicated routine. When looking to start a more natural skincare routine, it can be overwhelming and frustrating when running into these things! 

Up until this year, I was unable to find a natural skin care routine that was simple and effective. Despite eating and sleeping well, I was unsatisfied with the tone and appearance of my skin, especially on my cheeks. This frustration finally motivated me to do some research and establish a routine that would eliminate some of these problems, with out breaking the bank. My goal was to have skin that didn't need coverup or foundation to look good. Once I started doing the following steps consistently, I saw a HUGE improvement how my skin looked and felt, so that's why I wanted to share it with all of you. It is important to be aware that while the following products and routine worked for me, it might not work for everyone. Regardless, I hope this post encourages you to try and find a natural skin care routine that works for you!

cleanse.

Every morning and every night before I go to bed, I use a gentle foaming cleanser, scrub, or exfoliator to wash my face. I enjoy using Burt's Bees deep pore scrub every few days. Since it is not necessary to exfoliate your face every day, I like to alternate between using a foaming cleanser and exfoliator. A simple DIY recipe for a great micro-exfoliator I love is to mix about 2 TBS raw honey with 2TBS coconut oil, and add in a 1 tsp of turmeric and 1 tsp of cinnamon with about 5 drops of lemongrass essential oil (great for blemishes, though careful it's super strong). No need to be exact.

In addition to more traditional cleansers, every few days I will also oil cleanse with coconut oil and a few drops of essential oil. All you have to do is rub the oils into your face and place a hot wash cloth over top, pressing down for about 30 seconds, repeat 3 times. If you'd like to learn more about oil cleansing, check out this huffington post article.

tone.

Toning is good for getting that extra dirt out of your pores as well as preventing break outs and evening skin tone. I find that the best toner for my skin is apple cider vinegar, though I have read that it irritates some people's skin types. For my toner, I mix 3 TBS water and 10 drops of essential oil for every 1 TBS apple cider vinegar. After cleansing my face, I put a small amount on a cotton ball and apply it all over my face and neck.

hydrate & moisturize

I used to be afraid of using too much moisturizer because I thought it would make my skin too oily. That is most definitely NOT the case. Now I am very generous when applying oils and lotions to my face- my skin has never felt or looked better. After using my ACV toner, I will put a small glob of coconut oil or a facial oil I picked up from a local health market on my fingers with a squirt of lotion and apply it to my face and neck. In the morning I will use a facial lotion with SPF in it to protect my face from damaging UV rays, at night I use a basic shea butter & oatmeal lotion.

You will notice that a lot of these products are household/pantry items. For example, coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, etc. are things you probably already have so there's no need to go out and buy all of the fanciest, most expensive products! Granted, things like essential oils are an investment but they last such a long time! 

For an added bonus, I'd though I'd share with you my favorite, natural deodorant brand - Tom's. It's reasonably priced and can be found in places like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. I haven't checked in Target, but I wouldn't be surprised if they carried it now. So there you have my skin care routine, I hope you've found this post interesting and useful!