Monday, August 08, 2011

skin care 101

Recently, I've developed a new skin care regimen.  I've been doing it for about four months now, so I feel safe in declaring it my favorite ever.  Four months is a long time in the world of skin. 

I've always had a fairly volatile relationship with my skin and wavered between caring about it too much and trying not to consider it at all.  Every time I finished a bottle of face wash, I would buy a different kind, hoping that it would be "better".  And I must tell you that I found no joy in continuously spending money on face wash that did not appear to improve the state of my skin in any way. 

If you know me, you may have guessed where this is headed. 

That's right- it's headed straight to the gallon jug of white vinegar in my pantry.  You know how much I love vinegar

The idea behind this new skin care routine of mine is a combination of things I've read and things I've probably made up but thought that I read somewhere, so take it as you will. 

Almost every night, I steam my face with a wash cloth soaked in hot water for a few minutes.  I wring it out and put it over my whole face for about 30 seconds or until it starts to lose its heat, then get it wet again and repeat the process 5 or 6 times. 

After I'm done, I soak a cotton ball in a solution of white vinegar and water (50/50) that I keep in a little jar and rub it over my whole face as a toner.  Don't worry- the smell goes away once it dries. 

One or two nights a week (really as often as I have time), I give my face an oil treatment.  I keep a jar with a mixture of Castor oil and olive oil in the bathroom as well.  The exact mixture depends on your skin type- the Castor oil is the drying agent and the olive oil is the moisturizer.  My mixture is about 30/70 respectively.  I don't think you'd ever want to use more than 50% Castor oil. 

I massage the oil into my face for several minutes and then use the same washcloth steaming method that I use every night.  Eventually, the oil will all be soaked into your skin and that's how you know you're done.  I know it sounds crazy that you don't wash it off, but it really does just soak right in and not make your face oily.  It's a mystery.

You can buy a small bottle of Castor oil at the grocery store for about $2 and it lasts forever. 

Yes it does say "laxative" on the bottle.  Try not to think about that while you're rubbing it on your face. 

In the morning, I usually just rinse my face with hot water in the shower.  About once a week I use an inexpensive microderm abrasion cleanser to exfoliate.  And that's it! 

For those of you that never see me in person, I thought I'd also include an actual picture of my face, taken just last week.  It seems a little sneaky to suggest a skin care routine and then not show what your skin actually looks like.  For all you know, I could have started to resemble a salad. (you know.... all the oil and vinegar....)

But clearly, I do not look like a salad.  Just like a person with fairly happy skin.  And uncombed hair. 

I'll meet you back here on Wednesday with some pictures of our trip! 

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