Tag: skin

Feb 17

Homely Beauty

That’s right.  I’m pretty proud of my homely beauty.  I love that many of the products from my beauty routine come right from my home.  In fact, most the things I’m wearing on my face today are edible.  No, I don’t eat the leftovers.

Prove it, you say?  But of course.  Here’s a summary of my daily beauty routine:

If I’m feeling a little rough around the edges, I start with a sugar scrub to buff away the sins of old.  (You can make a basic one by mixing a little white and brown sugar with olive oil and honey.)

Then, I shower with one of my homemade soaps.  While these incorporate such ingredients as coconut milk, oatmeal, green tea, or pumpkin puree, a super-simple soap could be made with just olive oil, distilled water, and lye (100% sodium hydroxide).  Another option is to dilute a castile soap like Dr. Bronner’s and use that in place of shower gel.

After showering, I slather on one of my homemade body butters, but another option would be to use a small amount of high-quality, plant-based oil, such as extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil.  Coconut oil is another favorite, but some people (myself included), find it drying when used alone. *You’ll optimize moisturization by applying oils or body butters to damp skin.

Before continuing, I should warn you things are about to get a little bizarre (or maybe bizarre-er).  For my deodorant, in order to avoid villainous aluminum and other additives, I use…don’t laugh…plain Milk of Magnesia.  (*NOTE: Some brands add Sodium Hypochlorite–aka bleach–as a preservative, but I’d definitely stick to the ones which contain only Magnesium Hydroxide and water.)  Okay, you can laugh–especially when I add that I sometimes need to help along the drying with my hairdryer.  If you happen to give this a try and are less than successful at first, you might want to go through an armpit detox.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I hear it works wonders.  Are you laughing again?

After my questionable deodorizing, I swipe on a little witch hazel as my facial toner.  It’s not only all-natural and non-drying, but also cheap.  I have to admit, though, it can be slightly embarrassing to buy witch hazel (the main ingredient in hemorrhoid medications, I believe), along with Milk of Magnesia (a digestive-ailment cure) and the castor oil I use in making lip balms (another digestive-ailment cure) all in the same shopping trip.  You’ve been warned, in case you decide to shop similarly.

Time to finish where we started, with my mostly edible face. Recently, I’ve dabbled in making up my own makeup (see what I did there?)  My powder foundation is a mix of colloidal oatmeal with a hint of cocoa powder and turmeric for color.  My eyeliner is made of activated charcoal powder, mixed with a little arrowroot powder.  The color of this could be softened with a little cocoa powder, but I find it works well as is, especially when applied with a narrow brush just along the eyelashes.  This could also work as an eyeshadow, particularly if you’re going for a smoky effect, but my eyeshadows tend to be lighter, more natural shades, made from a base of eye-safe mica, mixed with some arrowroot and cocoa powders.  My blush is comprised of hibiscus powder (ground from the flowers–I purchased it this way), plus some cocoa powder to tone down the color and a little arrowroot to smooth out the mix.  My lip balm includes the previously mentioned castor oil, as well as honey, coconut oil, etc.  Like I said, my face is only mostly edible … although, it might smell good enough to eat.

Before we leave the topic of food, there are of course some other tried-and-true home remedies, such as the face-adoring combo of an oatmeal and honey mask or using yogurt and eggs to make hair shiny and happy.  Also, hasn’t flat beer been recommended as a hair treatment since the ’70s?

The moral of this story? Choose what you will for your beauty routine, but remember, you don’t have to look far for homely beauty.  At least I don’t.

*As always, use your own best judgment in figuring out what works for you.  I’m not a medical professional and this blog is offered as a reference only.  Any questions you have regarding the information presented here should be directed to your doctor.

 

Feb 17

Natural and Noteworthy: Rosehip Seed Oil

I’ve never been much of a trend follower.  In fact, trends have a habit of getting on my nerves…unless they happen to coincide with my own tastes or wishes, that is.  Maybe that makes me a trend hypocrite.  Either way, I recently stumbled upon a beauty trend that has fallen right smack into the middle of my favorite things: NATURAL OILS.

These days, people seem to be using natural oils for anything from aromatherapy (with essential oils), to moisturizing, to cleaning their skin. (I know, that last one sounds counter-intuitive, but seems to be met with success.) Since the vast world of natural oils is more than I care to tackle in one sitting, I’d prefer to showcase my current love: Rosehip Seed Oil.

Image via Unsplash/LoboStudio Hamburg

I was introduced to this oil when people began mentioning it in an online group I follow.  I sensed a sprouting trend and reacted to it with my go-to response: *ignore.*  Again and again, though, it found its way onto my online newsfeed.  People were discussing it like it was the answer to facial happiness and, gradually, curiosity wormed its way into my jaded shell.  What was this oil?  Finally, I cracked.  My first order was placed.

Well, let me tell you, it was not love at first sight … or smell or use.  Actually, it looked fine.  It’s a pale amber-colored oil, so no trouble there.  The scent left something to be desired, however.  I was searching for the aroma of roses, but–trust me–it wasn’t there.  The use is where I really felt betrayed, though.  I massaged it into my winter-dry face and…the driest places on my skin only became drier.

This oil of oils had finally entered my life and it didn’t even like me.  I was a little crushed.  Then, I read that some people were experiencing the same problem.  I learned that it’s important to apply the oil to damp skin, in order for it to hold in moisture. Also, some people find it useful to combine it with a little jojoba oil (not a true oil, but a wax, which closely mimics the sebum of our skin).  I followed suit and…success!  Love had at last bloomed.

Now that the winter has passed and my skin is no longer at its driest, I’ve had to dump jojoba and devote myself entirely to my first oily love again.  Twice a day, I massage about four or five drops of the pure, undiluted rosehip seed oil into the damp skin of my face and neck.  Since it’s a “dry” oil, it absorbs into my skin pretty quickly.  That’s it.  Routine est fini.

Why is this oil from the hips of roses so swoon-worthy, anyhow?  Well, I did mention that it’s natural, right? In other words, NO CHEMICALS.  It’s simply oil, extracted from rose bushes which grow, most often, in Chile.

Also, according to the research I did before trying (I am a skeptic, after all), rosehip seed oil is loaded with all kinds of skin-nourishing goodies: antioxidants (Vitamins A and C), lycopene, Omegas 3 and 6, etc.  It is said to rejuvenate skin, help correct pigmentation issues, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars and stretch marks, serve as an anti-inflammatory and just overall kick butt at treating skin the way it deserves to be treated.

Image via Unsplash/Ananda Escudero Gomes

Personally, my skin is super soft these days (baby bottoms would be jealous). Its tone is more even, too, and I’ve seen a reduction not only in the fine lines of my face, but also the appearance of my pores.  Having had one disappointing experience after another with typical, chemical-filled, over-the-counter moisturizers, these results impress me to no end.  Is it really any wonder that I’ve fallen head over heels?

I suppose I should end with a few extra notes: although some may associate quality with price and choose to spend $20 and up per ounce, I’ve been very happy with my 4 oz/$20-something bottles (which I purchase from Mountain Rose Herbs).   They last forever, since you only use a few drops once or twice a day (unless your husband discovers it and decides he doesn’t hate its effects).  I opt for organic oil, which has been cold-pressed, because more of the nutrients are preserved during this type of extraction process.  Also, refrigeration is encouraged, as it will prolong the oil’s shelf life.  I prefer to transfer some whenever needed to a small, refillable bottle which I keep at room temperature in my master bath (because, really, who wants to slather cold oil all over your face?)

Also, if you are someone who has allergies or other concerns, such as acne-prone skin, this may or may not be the oil for you.  I would suggest doing your research before trying and, if it doesn’t seem destined to be a wonderful fit, there are some other greats worth investigating: argan oil, tamanu oil, or neem oil, just to name a few.

Personally, I may try experimenting with another oil or two some day, but for now it seems my affection for rosehips is the deep and abiding kind.  I guess sometimes it pays to be a trend hypocrite.

*As always, use your own best judgment in figuring out what works for you.  I’m not a medical professional and this blog is offered as a reference only.  Any questions you have regarding the information presented here should be directed to your doctor.