I’ve never really had great skin. I think I need to say that up front, because I don’t want anyone imagining me to be some flawless beauty spouting off about my amazing skin care regime…because I’m not. I’m pale, I’m freckly and I have a tendency towards being quite red and blotchy. Great image I know! Perhaps that’s why in the past, I’ve been sucked in by the marketing hype around some of the cool skin care products on the market, with their beautiful jars and packaging.
For many years I spent a lot of money on skincare, and I can’t say that I noticed any real difference in the condition of my skin at all, but I continued to be seduced by the illusion of glamour the expensive products offered. Many of them, even the ones which claim to be chemical free and ‘natural’, still often contained unpronounceable compounds which I wasn’t very comfortable with. I wanted something simple. Something I WAS comfortable slathering over my face every morning, and something which made a difference to my not so great skin.
Last year when I decided to overhaul and simplify the contents of my bathroom cabinet, I had to come up with some alternatives, and it had to be done before I could ditch all my fancy products. I started researching ideas online, and I came up with a few variations of oils, essential oils and some other basic ingredients from the kitchen. Then I discovered oil cleansing on Mommypotomus. From there I came across an avalanche of information about oil cleansing, and how well it works.
It is very simple. Firstly, you choose an oil which appeals to you. I could go all hippie on you, and talk about the connection you might feel to a specific oil, how the right oil will ‘speak’ to you, or how you’ll just know instinctively which oil is right, but that part is up to you. There are no rules. You can research one which is perfect for your skin type, or just choose one which takes your fancy. I chose an organic avocado oil. I love avocadoes! Secondly, you massage about half a teaspoon of oil into your skin, and then you cover your whole face with a very hot cloth to steam it. You can use a toner after cleansing, which I do sometimes, using diluted organic apple cider vinegar (about 10% solution). Then you moisturise with a small amount of the same oil if your skin feels as though it needs it.
The cleansing feels amazing, but afterwards my skin still needed moisture, and the oil didn’t seem to absorb properly into my skin as a moisturiser. My face felt really oily, and also very dry. It was strange. I almost reverted to my expensive cream moisturiser, but I persisted, and within a few weeks my skin started to absorb the oil and feel soft and smooth, rather than greasy. I had gone from being someone who loved using an expensive foaming cleanser which left my skin feeling squeaky clean, to an oil loving girl.
My diet has changed quite radically in the last year, so the internal effects of better health on my skin have been significant too, but I have had more complements about my skin texture and condition in the last year than I have had in my entire life. I love the fact that I’ve simplified this area of my life. I feel completely happy now with what I put on my skin, and I am amazed that such a simple method has had such a positive impact on my body. It reinforces everything I believe about getting back to the basics of life, and that the simple things really are the best.
Linked with Essentially Jess for IBOT