The average woman applies over 500 chemicals to her skin every day. YIKES. Your liver has to neutralize and detox all these chemicals, which end up stored in fatty tissue if they become too numerous to detoxify. The build-up of toxins in the system can adversely affect your hormones and fertility and contribute to weight gain. Add to that the assault of chemicals we get from pollution, our food supply, and household chemicals, and you have a recipe for tired, dull skin and an overload of toxins. Not good.
Years ago I dumped all my toxic skincare products for more natural, chemical-free versions to reduce my total toxic load. I used to love the scented lotions and face creams with ingredient lists a mile long that promised youthful eternity. Many of these products irritated my sensitive skin, but I just assumed that was all part of the anti-aging process. So I purged and simplified, often just using coconut oil alone for a moisturizer (now I use my DIY anti-aging skin butter and the oil blend I describe in this post). My clients inquire about natural skin care, so I’d like to share my pared down routine with you. My skin has never looked better! BONUS: I’m saving tons of money since I no longer drop $50 on an ounce of moisturizer.
I’m prone to dry skin, and my skin is pretty sensitive, so this routine is best for dry, sensitive, combination, or normal skin.
Natural Skin Care Routine
NOTE: this routine changes based on the season, new products I find, and how my skin is feeling.
testimonial from reader: I started using the face care regimen (including DIY skin cream) on your blog 2 days ago, and today someone asked me if I’m my husband’s daughter 😉 He’s only 3 years older.
First off: I don’t wash my face with soap. Traditional cleansers strip the skin of natural oils needed for elasticity and a dewy glow. I just splash with cool water in the morning, and I’ll rotate between natural/gentle cleansers at night. I like Pacifica sea foam face wash, Acure products, and my latest crush, Body Deli.
First thing in the morning, I splash my face with cool water and spritz with rose water, ($10) which acts as an anti-inflammatory, soothing irritated skin. It can help strengthen skin cells and regenerate skin tissue, and it’s moisturizing. If you’re prone to redness or rosacea, try refrigerating it and spritz to soothe irritated skin as needed. I’ll then have a smoothie and some green tea, which is great for skin because of the antioxidants it provides (and, incidentally, makes an excellent toner for acne prone skin). I’ll get some work done, then exercise with the dogs. Studies have shown exercise is great for your skin and can reverse signs of aging.
Then it’s time to shower. A few times oer week I use the Acure Brightening Facial Scrub, ($9) a gentle exfoliator that contains sea kelp, green clay, and argan stem cells. It really leaves you with a nice glow. I also like Avalon organics lavender luminosity enzyme scrub ($10). Both of these exfoliators are super inexpensive, gentle, and don’t strip your skin.
Post shower, I apply my homemade whipped coconut oil body butter with frankincense and myrrh to my face, neck, arms, and chest. Click here to learn how to make it. I also use the homemade serum I describe in this post. You can add whatever essential oils are right for your skin. Or I’ll use my every day moisturizing and anti-aging oil that I share in this post. Again, super inexpensive to make; a batch lasts forever; and it’s moisturizing, soothing, prevents wrinkles, and provides some sun protection (coconut oil has a natural SPF of about 2). I also apply it to my lips, which tend to chap easily (frankincense is excellent for chapped skin). I also LOVE Body Deli moisturizers.
At night before bed, I’ll splash with cool water again. I don’t wear much makeup, but if I have makeup on, I’ll use micellar water to remove it. Then I apply Egyptian Magic, an awesome all-purpose skin cream which contains healing propolis and olive oil. Over that I apply a few drops of frankincense to prevent wrinkles and nourish skin. Or I may use an oil blend of rosehip, essential oils, and jojoba oil (described here), then it’s off to bed.
I love a good face mask. Often I’ll just mix up bentonite clay with a little water and olive oil. It helps detox the skin and clear any blemishes. You can also add it to a detox bath. Big fan also of the Body Deli masques. I also make face masks from honey, egg yolks, and/or avocado. There are tons of quick and easy homemade face mask recipes out there. I’ll also just make a simple yogurt face mask. The fats and acids in yogurt make your skin super smooth.
Obviously, diet plays a roll in healthy skin, too. Certain foods, like dairy, for example, contribute to acne or problem skin. Eating plenty of antioxidants (think berries, brightly colored fruits & veggies, spirulina, and green tea) and good fats are keys to healthy skin. Kick the sugar, dairy, and gluten. I always get a zit after I eat dairy or gluten, boo. A liver detox program twice yearly is great for skin. Toxins that have accumulated in the body contribute to poor health and poor skin health. Click here for my recommended detox program.
So there you have it. Here’s a makeup free picture I took today as a testimonial for healthy, glowing, natural skin!
Click here for superfoods to eat for glowing skin
How to get healthy skin from within
A great roundup of non toxic DIY lotions
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to rebalance the body. In addition to her 1:1 coaching, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and improve your health. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.
Nice blog, and your natural look is very pleasing on two levels — it’s not fake, and it’s going to be around awhile, since there is nothing toxic involved in your skincare routine.
Your skin is gorgeous! I’m going to try your routine. When you do wear make up, what brand do you use? Do you have any suggestions for eye wrinkles? Can’t. Wait to try it!
I am really impresses with your natural skin care routine. I do agree maintaining a healthy diet is the key to healthy and glowing skin.I prefer to use some natural elements for my skin.
I am really impressed with your natural skin care routine. I do agree maintaining a healthy diet is the key to healthy and glowing skin.I prefer to use some natural elements for my skin like olive oil is on the top of list.
Really a nice Article. Too much informative. Here a some products that everyone should use for their skin care.
I wanted to ask you about scrubbing with sea salt/oils as a face exfoliation regimen in the shower. I actually love what sea salt does for skin on me, and I live in Utah- the driest state in the nation – or at least it feels that way. I literally pay pennies for this as it’s a few tablespoons ground sea salt ( I use Real brand) a couple drops of my favorite essential oil for smell, and a mellow almond oil or sunflower that wont’ clog pores.
I also make a small batch of sea salt water with a few drops of Wintergreen for a mouth rinse as well.
Also- what are your thoughts of using lemon juice straight on the skin, and rinsing away?
sea salt is typically considered way too harsh for facial skin, but i do see it in exfoliant recipes. if it works for you go for it! i personally think it’s a little harsh and salt is drying (dry = wrinkles!).
same with lemon juice– very acidic and drying. if you have oily skin, it will overcompensate to drying agents by producing more oil (which is why oil cleansing can calm oily skin). apple cider vinegar is a good toner though.
Great tips! I’ve recently been changing things out for cleaner products. Question about the cleanser, I know you said you rarely cleanse your face, but what about if I wear occasional makeup or eye makeup? I feel like I need to wash my face, but don’t want to strip all the essential oils.
Alexis, I do wash my face, but not with traditional cleansers. I sometimes use Burt’s Bees wipes to remove makeup, and these days I like Acure & Body Deli face cleanser products.