Last week I did a product review of Living Libations skin care line and I received a few questions and comments regarding my own personal natural skin care routine. Some people were asking if I still use honey to wash my face, if I’m still using fresh aloe vera gel as an overnight mask, and if I’ve now included products in my skin care routine? Great questions! So today, I’ll address these question, plus talk about my current skin care routine, what I’m still doing, what I’ve changed, and what I’ve added in.
Why I went natural with my skin care
For those of you that don’t know my skin history, I use to have bad cystic acne connected to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). This is what got me into natural health to begin with, I was trying to clear up my skin and reverse the symptoms of PCOS. I had acne starting when I was a teenager, and as I was getting older, my skin was only getting worse. All the conventional mainstream lotions, potions and pills weren’t helping at all. When I was around 30 years old (about 10 years ago), I went to see a dermatologist to see if she could help me with my skin. Instead of prescribing me some pills and potions, she actually recommended I stop putting anything on my skin – no creams, no lotions, no nothing! She told me to just wash my face with a very gentle cleanser, and let my skin breath and have a break from all the products I was using. I was reluctant and fearful to follow her advice, but I was desperate for an acne cure.
How I cleared up my acne
For a few weeks I followed the dermatologist’s recommendation to stop using anything on my skin, and instead of using a store-bought cleanser to wash my face, I used honey instead. To my shock and delight, my skin started clearing-up. It was not only from stopping the use of all products on my face, but also from cleaning up my diet and lifestyle as well — all three combined.
Obviously from such great results, I continued for a few years using nothing on my skin but washing it with honey, and I also used fresh aloe vera gel (directly from the plant), on my face as an overnight mask. The two worked great!
As I was getting older, I started making some changes to my natural skin care routine
In my mid-thirties, after moving overseas to Southeast Asia from Canada, my skin started showing signs of needing a little extra help (a.k.a. ageing!). Coming from cold Montreal, Canada, with super fair skin, and moving to Bali which is close to the equator, hot, dusty and having it’s share of air pollution, my skin was thirsting for a little more added moisture. I was still just using honey to wash my skin, but I stopped using the fresh aloe vera gel at night, and replaced it with using natural oils and serums to give my skin a little extra moisture. I’ve used and experimented with many different oils such as coconut oil, argan oil, rosehip oil and jojoba oil, as well as experimenting with different non-toxic skin care lines that use natural ingredients like Living Libations, Ila, Oskia, and other green beauty product lines. This I found to be a natural progression and a complement to my skin care routine.
One thing I would like to mention that I think anyone that has gone a long period of time not using anything on their skin can possibly relate to – it’s actually really hard to go back to putting things on my skin! Over the years, I’ve really gotten used to always having bare skin that can breath, and when I would try putting anything on my skin, especially if it’s made out of synthetic ingredients, it felt so heavy, plastic, and suffocating. Luckily I have found that natural oils and serums, as well as some non-toxic, all natural moisturizing formulas, to be the exception. I will also say that even though I replaced using fresh aloe vera gel as my overnight mask, to using natural oils and serums, I still had a hard time wearing anything on my skin during the day, and instead I just used oils and serums at night, and during the day I continued wearing nothing on my skin.
After getting pregnant and giving birth, my skin changed, and so did my natural skin care routine once again!
Towards my late 30s, after my daughter Luna Ray was born, my skin went through some more serious changes. I was lucky during my pregnancy to have glowing, clear skin, no break outs, no issues, but as soon as my daughter was born, it felt like my skin aged overnight, not only on my face, but all over my body. It seemed like all the moisture and elasticity got sucked out, especially over the first 6 months after she was born, and as my hormones were balancing out. A few factors that definitely contributed to the change in my skin was not only the post-pregnancy hormone fluctuations, but also breastfeeding, sleepless nights from taking care of a new baby, and we also started sleeping with air-conditioning because Luna Ray was getting terrible heat rash from the tropical weather. All of this sucked the moisture out of my skin, and over the past year and a half I’ve made significant changes to my skin care routine. I should also mention I’m now almost 40, so obviously my age also contributes to these skin challenges as well.
The two major changes I’ve made over the past year and a half since my daughter was born: I no longer wash my face with honey, and instead I used coconut oil to wash my face twice a day. I find this switch has added a lot more moisture and elasticity to my skin. Over the years I’ve experimented with washing my face with oil, but my skin never reacted well to it until recently. In fact, I used to breakout from it, honey was always a better option for me, but now I find cleansing with oils helps to prevent breakouts and irritation, and I now find it to be extremely soothing.
The second change I made to my skin care routine is I’ve added non-toxic moisturizers to my evening routine (one for the face, one for around the eyes). I prefer using everything at night because I find everything absorbs into my skin well while I’m sleeping, and the moisturizers in conjunction with the oil or serum can protect my skin from the drying effects of the air-conditioner.
As for during the day, besides washing my face in the morning with coconut oil, I continue to use nothing on my skin to let it breath. Overall, I find this to be the perfect balance for me – I let my skin breath and be bare during the day (which always feels the best), and at night I have a deep moisturizing routine. I feel like I am enjoying the best of both worlds!
It will be interesting to see how things will change in the next five or ten years, and beyond! Like my diet, my skin care routine is always evolving, I’m open to adjusting things when needed, and I have a lot of fun experimenting and trying new things out. I feel very appreciative of all the innovative natural skin care lines coming out with simple, natural, non-toxic skin care products. Even though I do like to keep things simple, at the same time I do like to support other conscious companies and their endeavours.