On the internet, you will find endless skin care tips that promise glowing skin. Some are more reliable than others, of course, but others can be surprisingly effective if you have reached a point where you want to consider taking a natural approach. Not all chemicals are bad for us, and not all natural ingredients are good for us. But in terms of products that we put onto our delicate skin, certain ingredients are beneficial while others are the opposite. From drying alcohols to harsh ingredients that can cause allergic reactions, breakouts or other problems, more people are turning to natural alternatives than ever before.
How do you find a healthy balance, and what should you be starting with as a newcomer to natural skin treatments?
Why Simple is Best for Natural Skin Care Routines
Before you get overwhelmed by expensive, exotic ‘must-try’ facial oils, complicated facials and other treatments that cost more than your grocery budget each week, it is a good idea to remember that simple is always better. From my own personal experience, I stopped using regular store-bought cleansers and moisturisers over two years ago. In that time since then, I have experimented with various routines and natural treatments but my skin has been at its happiest most recently when I simplified my routine down to the basics.
Right now, as we enter winter here in the southern hemisphere, I am still on my summer routine, but once the cold Cape Town weather starts, I will adapt my routine accordingly. Here is what my natural skin care routine looks like:
- Clean: warm water and clean wash cloth (yup, just water!)
- Moisturise: rosehip oil (enhanced with orange essential oil)
My skin is combination, and is generally problem-free. Before I ditched the foaming cleansers and conventional moisturisers however, I had dry patches and clogged pores, and my skin often felt a bit rough. Now, it stays hydrated, soft and smooth. The rosehip oil has done wonders for the fine lines starting to appear as well as my overall complexion. The orange essential oil adds even more of a boost (and it smells amazing, too, I might add).
What works for me will not work for everyone, obviously. Every skin type is unique. In fact, every skin is unique – whatever type yours happens to be. My skin sometimes accepts a new oil, only to break out or look dull a few weeks later. It is largely a case of trial and error to find what works for YOUR skin. What this means however is that you will learn exactly what your skin likes (and what it does not like). You’ll get to know your skin better than you ever thought you could, which in turn, will allow you to give it what it really needs.
Try These Skin Care Tips for Naturally Glowing Skin
Not sure where to even begin? Here are some suggestions that you could try to make the transition over to a natural, skin-friendly routine.
Step 1: Clean
Before I scaled down to my current summer ‘water only’ routine, I tried all sorts of natural cleansers. What you want here is something that is gentle, ph balanced. You want to exfoliate, but not scrub so hard that you lose your skin’s natural barrier of oil that it uses to self-regulate. Scrubs are a great way to buff away dead skin cells, but take care to avoid large crystals of salt or sugar. Make a super fine powder and mix with a carrier oil suited to your skin and make very gentle circular motions when scrubbing. Honey is one of my favourites, as it is super mild, naturally exfoliating and very good at helping the skin retain moisture.
- Oil Cleansing
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Step 2: Tone
This is not really a necessity unless you need to clarify after cleansing. If you do tone, aim for something that is alcohol free (or, at least, very low in alcohol). For a while, I had a great rose water witch hazel blend that worked well, but I found that I no longer needed to tone after my skin began to stabilise. In summer (especially when it’s hot and humid), I like to keep a small spray bottle of green tea in the fridge to refresh my skin. It feels fantastic on a hot day!
- Rose Water
- Witch Hazel
- Green Tea
Step 3: Moisturise
It sounds weird, but oil is one of the best things for the skin… even if you have oily skin. Some oils that are good for skin include argan, jojoba, rosehip, grapeseed, almond and avocado to name just a few. Take the time to do your homework to find out what oil is best for your specific skin type, then try it for a week or two. To use skin oils, pour a small amount of oil into your palm and then rub gently into your skin the same way you’d apply a moisturising cream. Skin butters are also effective during cold, dry winter months (or if you have very dry skin that needs extra TLC). Try shea butter, avocado butter, mango butter or a super rich butter such as Brazil nut. For a light dose of moisture, you can mix equal parts aloe vera gel and vegetable glycerin to make a serum.
- Skin Oils
- Skin Butters
- Aloe & Glycerin
Do look up natural skin treatments online, and do pamper your skin with masks now and then, too. But before you put anything on your face (natural or otherwise!) make sure that you take the time to research. A quick Google search could save you a lot of hassle.
What natural skin care tips have helped you the most? Share them over here!