Rinsing with just water? Salt water? Baking soda? Coconut oil? Wiping sweat off with just a towel?
I'm afraid to give up a commercial cleanser. Please convince me. I get pimples around my chin. I want them gone. Is my face wash holding me back?
Any suggestions for a natural face wash?
the oil cleansing method (OCM) is fantastic, but you have to play with it a bit to find what works best for you. what type of skin do you have? in general, i think less is always more. after much rial and error, ive found what works for me, but i get really easily bored and like to play so i switch it up, there is a ton of info on the interwebs about it, so definitely google and read. also, liz wolfe @ cave girl eats blogs quite a bit about OCM and "paleo beauty" and shes so much fun to read.
i have really dry skin and live in humidity in summer, super-dry climate in winter. im 36 and have some sun damage and discoloration from pregnancy. small pores, occasional break outs along my chin but rarely anywhere else. i rarely wear makeup, usually some mascara and eyeliner, sometimes cheek stain, rarely concealer. i really only cleanse once a day MAX. i rinse in the shower with cool water and if im particularly sweaty and gross ill use some african black soap in summer. never in dry winter.
i do OCM in the evenings with 100% olive oil, sometimes ill spike it with rosehip seed oil, and i add essential oils (EO) as needed. if im breaking out ill use lavender and tea tree and sweet orange, for example. normally i like rose, carrot seed, and vetiver EO in the carrier oil. massage in for two minutes, lay a hot-as-you-can-stand-it wet washcloth over your face to steam it a couple of times, then use the wet cloth to wipe the excess oil off. thats it. STOP THERE. just wipe it off and go to bed. dont worry.
a few times a week ill scrub my face BEFORE i use the oil with a mix of 50/50 buttermilk powder and baking soda. baking soda is the mechanical exfoliant, and buttermilk contains lactic acid which is a great chemical exfoliator.
last night i mashed up a big strawberry with some raw, unfiltered honey and slathered it on my face. i rinsed it off after about 15 minutes. it was so muggy and hot and sweaty that i didnt want to use the oil, but felt i had to do something to get the uck off my face. it was beautiful. felt great and woke up smooth as ever, clean and hydrated. and i didnt mind when it dripped into my mouth.
for moisturizing, i use a similar mixture as my OCM oil that im selling now through my site at great marsh artisan skincare. (i make things in small batches and when they sell out, they are gone. each season ill introduce three or four new items, but facial serums and oils are my baby, so im going to try and keep them around as i come up with new recipes. the testing on them takes a while, so this is the only one available right now.) its jojoba oil, rosehip seed oil, apricot kernel oil, vitamin e and a long list of EOs i made specifically for sun damage, discoloration, fine lines, hormonal skin. i love it. which is why i sell it. i massage a bit into my face, neck and chest after OCM (in winter) or just after exfoliating (in summer).
also, drink lots of water and take your fish oil.
i think if you play around with it, you will find something you like. i think there is an intellectual leap in moving from soap to oil on your face just like starting to eat a lot of saturated fat. you have to just trust that nothing bad is going to happen, and it just might make you feel better. cave girl eats has some before and after jaw-line acne pics on her site that are pretty dramatic. if you tell me more about your skin i might be able to recommend some more specific EOs and carrier oils for you to try.
I usually wear a little concealer, some blush and powder and only wash with cool water and a wash cloth, which works really well for me. I have pretty oily skin and I use coconut oil as a moisturizer, just a little bit that I rub between my hands and smooth onto my face. If it makes my face too shiny, I rub a hand towel over my face to remove the excess. I used to always get breakouts on my chin, but since starting this routine I've only had 1 zit and it was gone within a day. I've been really happy with this routine!
ETA: I wore waterproof mascara to a wedding last night and used coconut oil to remove it. worked like a charm!
I used to have the same concerns, but I think going absolutely cleanser-free is worth a shot. I just scrub in the shower with cool water and a washcloth. For me personally, it has helped my skin a lot. My hypothesis is that when you stop stripping the natural oils from your face (and scalp and other bodily places) with soap, your skin down-regulates how much it oil it produces, which makes your skin clearer.
I do still get a spot or two sometimes (usually it's because I splurged on something with dairy or sugar), but overall, things have gotten way better since I stopped using soap.
Water and a teeny tiny bit of real soap like Dr. Bronner's baby soap is all you need for a really clean face.
If you feel like you need a toner witch hazel works well. I usually do a cold water rinse after the witch hazel just because I feel like it is a bit drying if I keep it on.
A little bit of coconut oil to top it all off is both anti-bacterial and moisturizing.
I'll chime in and give more props to the natural stuff. My skin is insanely sensitive - come in the slightest contact with something it doesn't like - insta-zit! For me, any kind of natural soap or handmade soap works fabulously. For moisture, I use handmade lotions, or stuff with natural ingredients - lots of folks make wonderful products (thanks for the head's up about AKD Meredith!). Check local farmers markets or Etsy for sources too.
As a toner, I am using raw Apple Cider Vinegar. Started out with a 50% cider/50% water but now I just use straight vinegar. Face has never felt better.
I used to use a commercial moisturizer that gave me horrible IBS and was litterally eating up my insides because it had a gluten ingredient. Now I am using Olive Oil as a moisturizer.
I haven't washed my face with anything other than water since I was a teenager and a friend with gorgeous skin told me that was her secret. Wash your hands first with a mild castille soap, and gently scrub your face with your hands. You can use warm water, but always rinse with cool. You can gently exfoliate with a washcloth or sugar once or twice a week. I put coconut oil on my face every morning. You will likely go through a withdrawal period when your skin may temporarily look worse, but coupled with a clean diet and maintaining proper hydration, your skin should be lovely and glowing soon!
In most cases acne starts inside your body, so it's my feeling that anything you do to your skin is just damage control and has little bearing on the cause or resolution of pimples.
Any gentle, natural, face-wash you like and doesn't leave you too dry or oily is fine.. definitely avoid commercial anti-bacterial stuff. It might be useful to wash your face less often, or just use water for awhile to help your skin find it's natural balance as far as sebum production (like washing your hair less often does).
To lose the zits a) make sure you're drinking enough water. b) you might benefit from trying to eliminate some foods that could be problematic or inflammatory. Some prime suspects are dairy and nuts/nut-butters. c) hormones play a big role especially if you are a lady, but even if you are a dude.. and depending on your age and health, it just might be a matter of time.
I'll echo -- 2 months now with only water everywhere (face, hair, body) except hands (1-2x a day with soap). My skin never looked better. I tend to be dry and live in a desert climate, but I've never needed to put anything on my face. I do use a bit of coconut oil on my arms & legs, particularly my hands and feet which get quite dry. I don't, however, wear any makeup so I don't know what that would be like.
I got a blemish the day I decided to start this experiment. It took a month to totally clear up on its own, but that was probably because I could not keep my hands off of it. Since then, nothing. But since going Paleo, I've had virtually no blemishes anyway. Mine were surely caused by food intolerances.
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