As part of my inherent femaleness, I love pampering. I love having my feet rubbed and having baths full of essential oils and epsom salts. I feeling soft and smelling like an aromatherapy candle.
I’m also generally a cheap b*stard.
While I do occasionally pay for these services (holler at Pure + Simple!) for special occasions, I generally feel rather guilty spending large amounts of money to have my face vigorously rubbed. And so I DIY.
I’ve discovered that you can actually give yourself a fabulously effective facial using ridiculously cheap and accessible ingredients, most of which you probably already have at home. Below I will reveal one of my biggest beauty secrets as I outline this all-natural DIY facial treatment.
Start with cleansed, makeup-free skin. I like to wear a head band during this whole process to keep my hair out of the way.
You will need:
-A clean face cloth
-Apple Cider Vinegar (Organic, Unpasteurized)
-Seabuckthorn Seed Oil (or substitute)
STEP #1: Exfoliate…with Baking Soda
Apply a warm, damp wash cloth to the face and hold there for half a minute or so. Repeat a couple of times until your face is nice and moist and your pores feel open. Apply 1/2 teaspoon of plain baking soda to the warm, damp washcloth and begin rubbing your face gently in a circular motion. Be extra gentle around the eye area and don’t forget the lips- they benefit from exfoliation too! The tiny mineral particles in baking soda are gentle on skin and act like a penny-pinching microdermabrasion treatment!
Because baking soda is very alkaline (and your skin likes to be slightly acidic) you will want to balance the pH by following up with a gentle, slightly acidic toner. Apple cider vinegar is perfect for this.
STEP #2: Tone…with Apple Cider Vinegar
The skin is healthiest when it is slightly acidic. This acidic outer layer is called the “acid mantle”. This acid mantle acts like a protective barrier against foreign invaders because bacteria and other contaminants are slightly alkaline in nature and therefore this acidic layer is inhospitable to them. Apple cider vinegar is great not only for normal skin but for acne-prone skin too. It restores the necessary acidity of the skin and it also has antibacterial properties which can reduce bacteria that contributes to an infected pore (i.e. a pimple).
For normal skin, mix apple cider vinegar with filtered water in a 1:1 ratio. For sensitive skin, use two parts water to one part apple cider vinegar. Soak a cotton pad in this mixture and swipe over face and neck area. Your face should be pretty glowy by now!
STEP #3: Make a Mask…with Honey
I loooove my masks. About once a week, you will find me hiding behind a greenish-grey clay mask, desperately trying to avoid laughter lest my clay face crumbles. However, sometimes clay can be a little too drying. And messy. Honey is an alternative mask that is much gentler and more hydrating than clay, but is still very detoxifying, soothing, and healing to the skin. Raw, unpasteurized honey (which usually doesn’t come in a squeezable bear) contains anti-bacterial agents, live enzymes, antioxidants, and vitamins. For acne-prone skin, try manuka honey, a type of honey from Australia that has excellent anti-bacterial and healing properties. To use, apply a thin layer of honey to damp skin, using a circular motion to rub it in. Leave the honey for about 20-30 minutes and then gently rinse it off with warm water.
STEP #4: Moisturize…with Seabuckthorn Seed Oil
Have you ever noticed that an apple or a bushel of kale doesn’t have a flashy label that says, “A good source of fibre!” or “American Heart Association Approved”? Although unfortunately that means some people pass these items up in favour of margarine or granola bars with catchy health claims on them, food without labels are often the healthiest. Same goes with face products. My favourite face oils are simple and say nothing about the percentage by which it will reduce your fine lines, deep wrinkles, or blotchiness. But don’t think they don’t perform. Oils like seabuckthorn seed oil, rosehip seed oil, and jojoba oil have research to support their treatment for aging, sun damaged, or dehydrated skin and can even help to treat skin conditions like rosacea and acne. Seabuckthorn seed oil is one of my faves, especially for the summer because it has a light, naturally occurring SPF.
Buy these oils at stores that have a fast turnover- most of them go rancid quickly- and keep them in your fridge if you don’t plan on using them up within six weeks or so. If your skin is acne prone, consider adding a couple of drops of thyme, lavender, or tea tree essential oil for extra acne-proofing effects.
To use, put 10 or so drops of face oil onto clean fingers and massage onto face and neck. And now you’re done, you thrifty goddess!
And Finally, My Thoughts on the No Makeup Selfie…
I think the whole “no makeup-selfie” thing is kinda interesting, in a conflicted way. On the one hand, the movement is sort of empowering because it’s like, “Hey! I don’t have to wear loads of makeup to be pretty! This is how a woman looks without eyelash paint! Deal with it!”. And on the other hand, it’s yet another opportunity to exploit our narcissism, and to potentially make others feel bad about themselves if they don’t happen to look stunning in that raw, ethereal, no-makeup sort of way. In other words, it’s an opportunity to say, “Yeah, I do look this beautiful all the time. And I swear I didn’t just spend an hour and 45 minutes arranging the light and camera angle to take 72 photos that I would later painstakingly curate to select the most flattering one. And also I didn’t cheat by applying some tinted lip balm and filling in my brows a bit.”
And yet, there is my selfie, above this post. And while I did take about 20 photos to choose from, I am not wearing a stitch of makeup, and still bare the faint indents where my glasses sit. I had to eliminate the photos where I was smiling because I had something in my teeth. My skin is generally quite nice, except when it isn’t, and this photo was taken on a “quite nice” day. I am vain enough to be too embarrassed to post a no-makeup selfie on a day when my skin is not nice. So don’t start thinking I’m better than you. Selfies are not really reality.
You don’t see anyone posting a #pmsbreakoutselfie, do you? Or #doublechinselfie? No. No you don’t.
All that to say that my selfie is real, but also manipulated in a sense. #imjustbeinghonest
Do you like a good at-home pampering? Do selfies make you feel self-conscious?