Over the past few years I’ve learned a lot about how to take care of my skin. When I was in college, I used to try all sorts of ‘sensitive skin’ facial washes and lotions in attempts to appease my ‘problem skin’.  What I didn’t realize was that my skin was allergic to all of those chemicals and unnecessary additives.

I never had problems with acne, but now as I find out more about skin ailments, I realize that I had mild eczema on my face and constant problems with irritations and rashes.

Now that I use gentle bar soap on my face, herbal-based toners, and all-natural creams, my face has improved so much.  No more rashes, eczema or irritation! I’m sure that many women share this story, but it is wonderful to look back on where we’ve come from and to see where we are now!

Here are tips that have helped me.

Cleaning: I used to clean my face once a day but have found that cleaning twice a day has helped my skin so much.  It benefits from being cleaner longer and I get many less breakouts (although the ones I do get are very minor).

I usually use either Aubrey Organics’ Luxurious Rosa Mosqueta wash (so gentle), sometimes with cleaning grains mixed in, or Chagrin Valley’s Honey Butter soap. The Honey Butter soap is truly my favorite bar of soap of all time. It is so versatile, ultra moisturing, and I love the sweety, creamy and slightly nutty smell created from the synergy of loads unrefined cocoa butter, shea butter, aloe, and honey that it contains. If I were stranded on a deserted island, this would be THE bar that I would use head to toe!

Honey Butter Soap

Honey Butter Soap

Toning: I used to think that toning was an unnecessary, harsh step, that is until I used natural, alcohol-free toners with essential oils and aloe. My skin has benefited so much. I sometimes use plain hydrosols, such as rose and calendula. For the summer my skin is really loving Farmstead Apothecary’s Herbal Astringent. It’s chock-full of herbs and lightly scented with essential oils. So refreshing!

Facial Oils: Although I forget to use facial serums and oils, when I remember, especially in the winter, I find that my face is so moisturized and lovingly soft. Using a few drops of a mix of 3/4th jojoba oil plus 1/4 castor makes a great simple facial oil that can be used year-round!

OCM: The Oil Cleansing Method is also used by some. I’ve used it a few times and find that I still have the urge to wash my face with soap and water afterward, which I end up doing. There are many ways to do it – check it out and let me know how it works for you.

Moisturizer: In the fall winter I use my whipped shea butter on my face and all over my body. In the spring and summer, I use a lighter cream, such as Dress Green’s Calming and Clarifying Cream. I rotate this with Joyful Girl Naturals Organic Sunscreen, which works so good for my face and gives me a nice matte look without that white, powdery afterglow.

Joyful Girl Naturals Organic Sun Protection Cream

Joyful Girl Naturals Organic Sun Protection Cream

Masks: I use several different masks, from my Cocoa Coconut Symphony mask to several others. I tend to use masks more in the winter, and less now that I’ve moved from a very hard water area (which used to strip my skin) to a location with fairly soft water. What a difference that makes!

Exfoliation: For over a year now, I have been using my favorite cleaning grains by Farmstead Apothecary 1-2 times a week, and sometimes I use Helena’s facial grains, which also contain ground castile soap. For an extra special treat, I use Ayelet’s Tea Tree and Honey facial scrub. It smells fantastic, has a wonderful consistency and makes my face feel so invigorated and refreshed.

Tea Tree Honey Scrub at ayelet17.etsy.com

Tea Tree Honey Scrub at ayelet17.etsy.com

General Tips:

Only use one new product at a time to see what really works for you.
Avoid parabens and formaldehyde-donor preservatives.
Be gentle with you face – no tugging or scrubbing!
To avoid bacteria, use clean hands to wash your face in an upward, circular motion.
Exercise, drink lots of water, and eat fruits and veggies for healthy skin and body!

Please share your facial tips and regimen! What works for you?