I don't know about you, but this weird time of year where it's not quite summer and not quite winter wreaks havoc on my skin (yes, I realize for many of you it's a season called "fall", but here in MN we tend to jump right from one extreme to another with not much in between). My face in particular bounces between being sweaty and oily to dry and chapped, causing breakouts and peeling all at the same time. Really makes a girl feel pretty, amiright? Read on for my routine to help balance your skin, regardless of the season!
Exfoliate or Oil Cleanse?
Regardless of your skin type, it can benefit from a gentle exfoliation periodically. It helps to slough off dead skin cells and dirt that can build up in your pores. I often find that most exfoliating blends you find on the shelf can be a little too harsh (I'm looking at you St. Ive's Apricot Scrub). Your skin is delicate, and harsh exfoliators can actually strip away too much oil and cause your skin to then over-produce sebum (your skin's natural oil), giving you a sheen vs the healthy glow I'm sure you were going for.
You've probably also heard of the oil cleansing method. It really does work (because oil dissolves oil), BUT I find that it doesn't always do the trick for removing dry/peeling skin.
All that being said, I find that a combination between exfoliating and oil cleansing is really a winning combination when your skin just needs a little extra help. I like to use a blend of unrefined coconut oil, raw honey, and aluminum-free baking soda.
Coconut oil: Coconut oil is an excellent cleansing oil - that's because it is considered to be antimicrobial, antifungal, and full of antioxidants thanks to containing fatty acids. All that means that it can help to reduce the bacteria on your face that causes acne, infections, and other not-so-fun skin conditions. Note: coconut oil is considered comedogenic, which means it can clog pores if left on, so it's important to make the distinction that I use this oil for cleansing, NOT for leaving on your face as a moisturizer.
Baking soda (aluminum free): Don't be scared off by this one. I'm not talking about the generic baking soda likely sitting in your cupboard (unless you happen to have a high quality version that is aluminum-free, in which case: kudos to you and go for it!). A high quality baking soda that is aluminum-free - and used in a small ratio - can provide just enough exfoliation and cleansing to slough off that rough skin and reveal soft, glowing skin.
Don't forget the #beepower
The star of this show is really the raw unfiltered honey. It is a powerhouse of antioxidants for slowing down the signs of aging, and better yet: it's moisturizing for ALL skin types and antibacterial, so you get soft AND clean at the same time! Make sure it's raw and unfiltered for full benefits. You can read all about that and more in Meet the Ingredients: Part 1 - Honey.
DIY Honey & Coconut Face Scrub
This recipe really doesn't get any easier:
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons raw unfiltered honey
1/2 tablespoon of baking soda
Add all ingredients to a small bowl. If you'd like to add a little extra "oomph" you can add a few drops of pure essential oils. I like Manuka and Roman Chamomile for extra help with breakouts, but Lavender and Frankincense are also great options for dry skin and redness.
Mash it all together with a fork until everything is evenly blended. It'll be a thick paste.
Transfer it to a small container and keep it in a cool dry spot. Keep water out of the container and always use clean, dry fingers when scooping it out. This will allow you to get several uses out of each batch without worrying about any unwanted "growth" :)
To use: scoop out about a nickel size amount of the scrub and start massaging it onto your face. Hold over your sink, as it will start to melt against your warm skin and can drip a little! Continue massaging into your skin for a full minute or two. Place a warm washcloth against your face to let it steam for a few seconds, and then gently wash away the scrub. Follow up with a gentle toner and moisturizer to complete your routine.
Since this does contain baking soda, I typically use the scrub every other day so that it doesn't become overly dry. If you find that it's drying you out a little too much, cut back to just a couple times a week.
Enjoy your soft, glowing skin!!