My youngest sister is really passionate about natural beauty products, so it’s about time that it caught on to me. This section of my blog is dedicated to her. : )
Sometime during the “haze” (read: smog) season earlier this year my skin was really suffering from the exposure to not only the pollutants when I went outside but also the really drying, air-conditioned air in the office. I developed very dry skin, which needless to say I felt was incredibly unattractive. My skin was dry, dirty and stressed! When even the more expensive brand of moisturizer stopped working for me, I turned to my sister for help.
Did you know that more than 60% of products that you put on your skin is absorbed by your body? That was a bit of a concerning thought for me, and was what also led me to look for natural skincare products. I’m not all the way yet, but I switch out with every new purchase. Who knows, I might brave up and go the way of my sister, who uses apple cider vinegar as part of her routine.
Here are the products I use now. From clockwise from left: Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal Hydrating Cleansing Milk, Lush Breath of Fresh Air Toner, Thursday Plantation 100% Tea Tree Oil (but we buy any brand, no biggie), castor oil (in the squeezey bottle), avocado oil (in the spray bottle) and coconut oil (in the little pot).
I didn’t switch everything straight away. I started with the face wash and the avocado oil, which served as a moisturizer. Within days the dryness was a thing of the past and within two weeks I really, truly felt the difference! The Avalon Organics face wash is so refreshing, and the vitamin C really rejuvenates and brightens the skin. The only thing is that now that my skin is back to normal, I’ve realised that a gel face wash might be better for my oily forehead than milk, so I’m going to make that switch when this is finished. But for moisturizing dry skin, this is spot on!
In general I make an effort to seek out anything that is made up of more natural ingredients than unpronounceable chemicals and definitely no soap – so drying! For my toner I am using Lush, the only downside is that it still uses parabens as a preservative although they have started to release products that don’t. I like Lush because their products just smell so… Lush! Some of the ingredients include fresh seawater, carrageen (seaweed) extract, rose absolute and aloe vera. The carrageen extract and aloe vera soothes your skin while rose absolute tones and has antiseptic properties. Now you know why I couldn’t resist picking up this toner.
Avocado oil is full of fatty acids and vitamin E, acting to repair the skin barrier, soften and soothe the skin. It makes for a wonderful moisturizer. I like to use the spray bottle as a gentle squirt dispenses just the right amount of oil to dab and massage into my face and neck. A little goes a long way! Since using avocado oil, my skin feels so much more supple than when I used chemical-laden brands.
Now, you might think, erm, adding oil to my skin? It’s oily enough, no thank you! Science says that oil dissolves oil, which is fair logic to me, and if you do have particularly oily skin, jojoba oil is supposed to be really good as it imitates sebum on the skin, which sends the message that no more sebum needs to be produced. I’m trying this next since over the last month my forehead got extra oily. Stress really can mess up your skin…
Bonus: Avocado oil works the extra mile by being a perfect make-up remover – it really melts away that stubborn mascara. I also dab a bit on my cuticles at night. This means that you don’t have to purchase multiple products, which actually saves you money at the end of the day.
Tea tree oil is not new to my routine. I’ve been using it for years for its antiseptic properties to zap those pimples! I find that it really works – that angry red zit looks so much better in the morning.
Extra: Eyelash care
My must-have makeup product is mascara, so in order to reduce the stress on my eyelashes I follow my sister’s advice to lightly coat them with castor oil before going to sleep. It coats the cuticles and strengthens them at the root. I am lazy, so I just use my fingers and squeeze the tiniest bit on, in fact I don’t really squeeze the bottle I just get a drop, and wipe them along my lashes. My eyelashes fall less now though I don’t think it’s really any longer or thicker. Well, by not falling so much they are thicker than before using this method, but not especially thick. Am I making sense? Anyway, an optional step, but I prefer to do it than not to do it. It’s a personal choice.
Extra: Face mask
Coconut oil is another fantastic oil for skincare. Besides bringing moisture back to your skin has antibacterial properties, making it really good for skin that is prone to breaking out. Since I don’t usually break out, I just treat myself to a coconut oil face mask once a week or so either plain or with other ingredients. It’s so simple – just cover your face with a light layer of coconut oil and leave it on for 20 minutes or more if you can, then wash off.
Bonus: You’ll smell absolutely delicious! Also, both avocado and coconut oil make for great hair masks – comb it through the bottom half of your hair, towards the ends. Don’t go near the roots, or else you’ll have a tough time washing it off. Leave it on for hours, or overnight, then wash with shampoo and conditioner as usual.
I would love to know about your natural skincare regimen if you have embarked on one. I’m still learning and I would love to know how everyone else does it. What’s your favourite product?
Where I bought my beauty products:
Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal Hydrating Cleansing Milk and Kevala Organic avocado oil – www.iherb.com
My go-to for ingredients and beauty products that are not available in KL/Malaysia (i.e. cacao nibs!). Reliable, sometimes cheaper than getting stuff locally and the delivery charges are not obscene.
Lush Breath of Fresh Air Toner – Lush, Singapore
Thursday Plantation 100% Tea Tree Oil – Guardian Pharmacy, many places around KL
Castor oil – Soap Artisan, Publika
A good resource for beauty oils and natural soaps!
Coconut oil – organic section, supermarket
I believe most supermarkets in KL now have an organic section. They have all sorts of grains, oils, gluten-free items and more, if you are lucky. Sometimes they even stock organic skincare, shampoos and conditioners. It’s best to explore and find out what you have near you!