Thursday, January 16, 2014

Alternative Cleansers for the Skin

An acquaintance of mine was asking the other day about things I use on my skin. She's having problems with adult acne and blotching. I had mentioned that I don't use soaps on my face or neck. Ever. guess she didn't want to check out the blog posts I've done about my skincare routine. Whatever. This is what I told her, and if I missed anything, well, she should have read all my posts. (By the way, most of what I learned, that didn't come from my mama, came from other blogs and skincare sites.)

  • Oil - olive, coconut, sesame, cactus. I've even used Crisco if there was nothing else around. (I don't use Vaseline or other petroleum jellies just because they feel way too heavy.) 
  • Baking soda
  • Brown or raw sugar
  • Coconut Milk (this is a recent addition to my skincare routine)
With the oils, what I do is apply one of them and massage until my hands get tired. For removing eye makeup with the oils, I apply it with my fingers (gently), let it sit for a moment, then blot with a baby wipe. I apply again and then wipe remaining traces of the makeup as gently as I can. (I pay attention to the warnings about not pulling and stretching the skin in the eye area.) I did try using my Jamaican Black Castor Oil as a cleanser, but it can be sticky (at least, the Mango & Lime brand I use) and I don't like the way my skin pulled when as I tried to apply the oil.

When I use baking soda, I only use it on areas where I have issues with blackheads. I make a paste with a few drops of water and dab the mixture onto my nose and chin. With as little pressure as possible, I do circular motions on the problem spots. I make sure to rinse away every little bit of the paste. If you try this, don't even think about rubbing the skin dry. Blot, blot, blot - which is best no matter how you choose to clean your skin. Blot it and then let air do the rest.

The sugar is not really something I use to cleanse my skin. I mainly just use this for exfoliating my lips. I have tried dabbing honey on my face, tapping on some sugar and letting it sit for a few minutes as a moisturizing mask, but I once got sugar in my eye and.... Well, I just use the sugar as a lip scrub now.

Like I said, the coconut milk is a new thing I'm trying. I originally heard about using it on natural hair as a conditioner. I actually love using it to flavor my coffee, tea and cocoa drinks. I can't remember what made me think to use it on my face except maybe wanting that wonderful smell to be on my skin. What I do is warm some in the palm of my hand, then dab it all over my face. I massage it in, enjoy the delicious smell while I kill time filing my fingernails or something. I remove it with a warm rinse of water. I can't really say yet what it does for my skin (except make it feel super-soft), but it's a very relaxing routine. And that amazing smell! Ummm... I'd just love to be able to afford taking a whole-body bath in that stuff! 

I love that baby wipes are so inexpensive and versatile. Other than baby wipes or the oldest, softest towels, I try not to use anything else on my face and neck. 

As a side note, let me explain why I don't use baby oil on my face: it's just too, too oily. With the other oils (especially cactus oil), you don't get that greasy feeling left behind. Cactus oil is about to become more of a fave than coconut or JBCO for everyday use on my skin. Great absorbency and makes the skin feel more hydrated than oily.

And that's it. Nothing too fancy. I don't deny that I keep some Avon Anew around (along with some Walmart or Walgreen brand sunscreen) but, if I had to give up one or the other, I'd keep the oils and milk. If you look at a lot of products on the market, you'll notice they incorporate a lot of "natural" items. My question is: why would I pay so much for all the fillers and preservatives if I can just cut right to the good stuff? Or, ask yourself this: Could you use your face-care products to cook and/or flavor your food with as well? If it's too toxic to put inside you, why put it on you at all?

I'm just saying.

The great thing about most of these skincare items is that many women can use them on their hair as well. On that subject, I don't know for sure, but I'd think that women who have or wear their hair straight (non-kinky) could use the oils as wash-out conditioning treatments.