I’ve battled skin issues since I was 14. I spent years in high school, college and beyond punishing my skin with harsh chemicals and ravaging my insides with all kinds of antibiotics. The topical medications were effective for a while but they’d without fail eventually dry out my skin until I developed a different kind of skin issue. The pills my dermatologists were all too eager to prescribe also worked like magic, but knowing what I know now about gut health and the damaging effects of chronic antibiotic use I wish I could go back and pick a more natural path.
Better late than never.
For the last few years I’ve experimented with a variety of homemade, natural and gentle skin care treatments. Age is certainly on my side – my hormones have calmed down over the years – but my skin has never been better now that I treat it like I would treat any other vital organ in my body. Be kinder to your skin and if you can, skip the harsh chemicals and antibiotics. After years of trial and error here is what I’ve found that works for me….
Every morning, I rinse with cold water to wake up and lightly pat my skin dry. After that, I use a homemade toner (1 part Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera: 1 part apple cider vinegar), followed by EltaMD UV Daily Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 moisturizer. The SPF component is key. I’ve used other brands that are “matte-ifying” and despite having oily-to-combination skin I think I look less greasy when I used the non-matte-ifying kind.
Every night, I wash my face with Herbivore Charcoal Bar Soap and dry it using a clean wash cloth, moving it around in small circles to gently exfoliate and lift off any residual moisturizer or makeup. I then layer on a thin coat of Dr. Alkaitis Organic Soothing Gel. I love how this feels on my skin – it’s like I can feel it tightening and toning! It’s not cheap but it lasts forever since you use so little each time. After that, I smother my face with a thick layer of Jason Aloe Vera Moisturizing Creme, which smells divine and is super affordable ($9 or less for 4 fluid ounces).
These rituals have worked for me on a daily basis for the last year and a half and haven’t shown any signs of losing their efficacy. As I get older, however, I realize it’s so important to give my skin a little more loving than this baseline alone, so three times a week I exfoliate using a homemade mix of coarse sea salt in honey and jojoba oil (1 part salt: 1 part honey: 2 parts jojoba oil).
And once a week I use Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Gel Mask. I’m obsessed with this mask even though it is a little pricey by comparison to my other favorite products. I always feel like I’m glowing and dewey afterwards. Well worth it in my humble opinion!
It’s a lot to invest in up front but these products stretch for a long time and your skin (and the environment) will thank you! It might take longer to see the results you desire but your skin will appreciate your patience.