February Chemical Elimination: Skin Care

For February’s Chemical Elimination, we are replacing toxic skin care with natural alternatives.  This is probably my absolute favorite replacement!

You don’t have to use half a dozen commercial products on your face and body to achieve clear, smooth skin.  You don’t even have to spend a fortune on quality, natural skin care products.  With only three simple, naturally occurring elements, you can cleanse, hydrate, and tone your skin without the risk of harmful toxins present in most commercial products.  And these things can double as your hair care and far beyond!

Here are the naturally occurring elements I use in my skin care:

Cleanse

Rhassoul Clay

Rhassoul clay is a mineral mined in Morocco that has been used for over a thousand years for hair and skin care.  It is lauded for its detoxification properties, as well as its ability to bind with oil and dirt and wash them away.  It leaves the skin and hair remarkably soft.   When mixed with water, it forms a paste that can be applied to skin and hair. It can be used simply as a face wash, or it can be applied in a thicker paste and used as a mask. It can be purchased by the pound at Mountain Rose Herbs for $9/lb plus shipping.  Read more about the benefits of rhassoul clay here. Read more about using it as a personal care product here.

Toner


Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar has been used for hundreds of years, largely for its medicinal purposes, but also for toning, smoothing and hydrating the skin and hair.  It is important for it to be organic and raw, as this means it has not been pasteurized and has left the healthful nutrients and enzymes intact. It is especially helpful in restoring the pH balance of your skin after washing with a mineral like rhassoul clay.  You can purchase this at your local health food store. The smell bothers some people, so you can also use

OR

Queen of Hungary Water

Originally used in Europe as a perfume, Queen of Hungary Water is revered for its many healing properties and is widely known as a cure-all.  It can be used as a toner, astringent, a deodorant, a hair rinse, and can even be ingested to help soothe a sour stomach, among other things.  Here is my recipe, but you can really use whatever herbs you have on hand:

Combine in a large Mason jar:

3 TB. Peppermint leaves

2 TB Comfrey leaves

2 Tbs chamomile

4 TB Rose leaves

2 Tbs Lavender leaves

2 Tbs Nettles

3 TB Calendula/Marigold

1 TB Lemon zest

1 TB dried rosemary

1 TB dried sage

Cover with organic, raw apple cider vinegar and leave in a sunny spot for 2-3 weeks. After 2-3 weeks, strain out the herbs and place in fresh, clean bottle.

To each cup of herbal vinegar, add 1c. total extra liquid (I used witch hazel extract).  Add several drops of essential oil, if using. Stores indefinitely.

That list of herbs may look intimidating, but most of them can be found at your local health food store, or you can place an order at Mountain Rose Herbs.  Or you can ask me for a sample size, and I can mail you one for a small price.

OR

Witch Hazel Extract

For a simpler toning option, you could make (or buy) some witch hazel extract. Used by Native Americans for its medicinal purposes, witch hazel has a nearly endless list of benefits, including soothing sore muscles, swelling, and insect bites.  It is also effective in treating acne due to its anti-oxident and astringent properties.  Witch Hazel leaves can be purchased at Mountain Rose Herbs or your local health food store.

To make Witch Hazel Extract:

Place a handful of witch hazel leaves in a mason jar. Cover with 2-4 cups boiling water. Cover and let steep for a minimum of 4 hours. Strain.

Add 3-6 drops grapefruit seed extract to preserve for several weeks, or store in refrigerator.

I also have samples of witch hazel extract if you would like to try it without the fuss!

(Tip: This will also be used in our deodorant and shampoo!)

Moisturize

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been called the “healthiest dietary oil on earth.”  When ingested, it has dozens of healing properties, but it  also has a plethora of uses in personal care!  It can be used as a deodorant, lotion, aftershave, toothpaste, just to name a few. To read more about its amazing health benefits, click here.

OR

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is extremely hydrating  and repairing to the skin and hair.  It is also helpful for treating acne.  Jojoba oil can also be found at Mountain Rose Herbsor your local health food store. I purchased my  2 oz. ounce bottle for $9. Since it is used extremely sparingly, it lasts for a very long time. To read more about its benefits, click here.

It is helpful to begin experimenting with natural alternatives when you begin to get low on the products you already commonly use. That way you have a fall-back for if things aren’t working well, or if it takes a couple of days to get into the swing of using the new options. It can be easy to get overwhelmed or intimidated and need to go back to what we are used to for a bit while we get the hang of the new options!

Sample Skin Care Regimen:

1.  To wash your face, mix about 1/8 tsp clay with 1/8 tsp water in your hand. With one finger, swirl mixture around to absorb the water into the clay. Apply to face and rinse off.  To use as a mask, mix about 1/2 tsp clay to 1/2 tsp water (or whatever consistency you like!) and apply to face. Allow to dry for ten minutes, then rinse.  My face has never felt softer!!

2. Pour some of your toner of choice onto a cotton ball and apply to face.

3. Apply a small amount of coconut or jojoba oil to face to moisturize.

If you don’t have the softest skin in your life, I will be surprised! And to simplify things, these lovely products can double as your hair care!  To learn how to use these products for your hair, read more here.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kristina Faleskin on February 8, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Do you have hard water? Does the rhassoul clay work effectively with hard water? I had troubles like you with the alternative dish soaps, so I’m just wondering if hard water affects the clay as well. Thanks! 🙂

    Reply

  2. Posted by Mary Disterhoft on February 8, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I am hoping to make this soon. I already put jajoba oil on my face because it is so dry. A person from India told me a secret they have is sesame oil. They use it for dry skin, pain, and sleep problems. You can buy a bottle of it for approximately $3 at a store on Center Point Rd in NE Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

    Reply

  3. […] February – Personal Care – Moisturizer, Make up, Skin care […]

    Reply

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